Fighting Bigotry With Snark

This is amusing: The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is encouraging people to donate to invalidate Proposition 8 in the following way:

Make a donation, in the name of the president of the Mormon Church, to support the legal organizations working to invalidate Proposition 8 and to fund grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. For every donation of $5 or more, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will send the following postcard to President Thomas Monson’s office in Salt Lake City, acknowledging your donation in his name:

Dear President Monson:

A donation has been made in your name by _________________ to “invalidateprop8.org” to overturn California’s Proposition 8 and restore fundamental civil rights to all citizens of California. The money will be donated to legal organizations fighting the case and to support grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. Although we decry the reprehensible role the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leadership played in denying all Californians equal rights under the law, we are pleased a donation has been made on your behalf in the effort to overturn the discrimination your church members helped enshrine in the California Constitution. Given that throughout its history the Mormon Church has been subjected to bigotry, we hope you appreciate the donation in your name to fight religious bigotry here in California.

All other issues aside, I’m not entirely sure the LDS Church thought through the end-game issue of pissing off gays and lesbians, a group of people who thanks to the AIDS crisis and other recent rights discrimination battles has a couple decades worth of creative and committed leaders who know how to mobilize, know how to perform dramatic civil disobedience, and, yes, know the value of snark in raising cultural awareness. I suspect they’ll be finding out now.

318 thoughts on “Fighting Bigotry With Snark

  1. It appears that it was Black and Hispanic voters who gave Prop 8 its props.

    Though blacks and Latinos combined make up less than one-third of California’s electorate, their opposition to same-sex marriage appeared to tip the balance. Both groups decisively backed Obama regardless of their position on the initiative.

    It always helps to know what demographics you are attempting to persuade.

  2. Separate but related – what happened to that thing going on in Washington(?) where they were trying to invalidate all marriages that weren’t for the purpose of bearing children?

  3. Frank:

    This is a very good point, and one of the reasons I noted a couple of days ago that there were definitely pro-Obama, pro-Prop 8 voters out there, and the folks who are against 8 need to factor that in. And I suspect gay and lesbian organizations are talking about that as well.

    However, this does not diminish the role the LDS Church and its members played in the run-up to voting, and I suspect this will not diminish the ire the LDS Church has raised among gays and lesbians because of it.

  4. MWT: I think you’re referring to I-957, which would require all heterosexual marriages to produce children within 3 years or be annulled. It was designed to shine a light on the absurdity of Washington State’s DOMA, which argued that bearing and raising children is the primary purpose of marriage. As far as I know, I-957 didn’t receive enough signatures to get onto the ballot.

  5. Frank @ 1:

    The misinformation regarding gay and lesbian marriages and the spreading of that misinformation was largely done with the assistance of the Mormon Church (although they are not exclusively to blame). A wide range of voters of all demographics that voted for Prop. 8 were likely influenced by the misinformation.

    A bit of a moot point though, prop 8 is unlikely to survive a legal challenge against the US Constitution. And it’s a lot harder to pass a US Constitutional amendment.

  6. I’m hoping this goes all the way to the Supreme Court. That represents an opportunity for the Court to make gay marriage legal across the entire United States. If that winds up being the end result of Prop. 8, that would be very satisfying poetic justice.

  7. Andy Smith:

    “A bit of a moot point though, prop 8 is unlikely to survive a legal challenge against the US Constitution.”

    I’d warn against cockiness on this front, personally.

  8. Hard to imagine SCOTUS in its current composition coming down on the side of gay marriage though, right? My hope is that the California Supreme Court can somehow knock this crap down, but I’m not really seeing a cogent legal argument.

    Oh those Californians. Smoking pot while denouncing other folk’s marriages. Like characters in a wacky sitcom!

  9. I wonder if there’s potential for a massive class-action damages suit, given that issues of property, child-custody and other matters are suddenly thrown into disarray (in addition to the very tragic human cost).

  10. Andy Smith:

    A bit of a moot point though, prop 8 is unlikely to survive a legal challenge against the US Constitution.

    I agree with Scalzi on this. I really believe that only a tortured interpretation of the Equal Protection clause would allow it to be applicable to Gay marriage. I would not rely on a Supreme Court decision in it’s favor. Mostly because the Court would be very aware that it would be a shotgun approach the issue that could easily come back to bite us.

    I most heartily advocate that what is required is education and information to convince voters. You know, actually persuade people of the correctness of your position.

    In other words, politics.

    You already have at least half of the Whites and Asians on your side (if California is a good litmus) now you need to persuade Blacks and Hispanics who have a much deeper cultural bias against it.

  11. I’m not at all convinced it’s a good idea to use snarkiness. There’s an opportunity for opponents of Prop 8 to rise above here, and I don’t see that sinking to this level gives you an advantage. Why not stick with transparency and honesty?

    (Where do I stand? Opposed to Prop 8 on moral grounds. But not living in the US, so it doesn’t matter.)

  12. I seem to recall something similar this fall regarding Sarah Palin and donations to Planned Parenthood.

    The people who voted for both Obama and Prop 8 must think that things like “hope” and “change” and only apply to certain segments of the population. Some people are, apparently, born “more equal” than others.

  13. I like the snark!

    Dear Church of LDS -

    I know you weren’t satisfied with one resurrection, and since you invisible friend in the sky came back for a second and third appearance – what happens if he comes back a fourth time? It’s entirely possible that he might be upset (see Mark 12:33) with some of the choices you have made.

    Cheers,

    The LGBT Community.

  14. Has anyone looked into how the Johnson Amendment could be used to at least pull the LDS’ tax-exempt status for getting so involved in a political situation? Just asking…

  15. Imani: I don’t think anyone would claim that the 70/30 split is 100% accurate — but if the polls were wildly inaccurate, we would expect to see a lot of deviation between the poll results and the actual results on other ballot items as well. And in fact we do not see this, which implies pretty strongly that the 70/30 split is within a few points of being correct.

  16. You are likely correct that it may be cocky to assume that constitutional challenge would find against prop. 8. That said, I think legal challenges against it from the US Constitution do stand a good chance. Especially if it takes a while to percolate up to the SCOTUS after a few retirements/appointments have been made.

    You also have to wonder just how many “yes it is legal” “no it isn’t legal” folks are going to stand for before they give up the fight. Its not like gay folks are ever going to stop trying and its not like gay folks are going to go away. Any victory by anti-gay folks on this front is purely transitory.

    Unless we convert to a theocracy and start burning gays at the stake I think there’s no chance any more for anti-gay activists to prevail in the long game. Our culture no longer forces gays to hide in the closet. The biggest victories gays have won in our culture come from refusing to hide what they are.

  17. I’m pretty sure the LDS church knew the heat they’d get from this move. They’ve gotten plenty of heat from the LGBT community in the past, so it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with it.

    From the LDS official press release: “We hope that now and in the future all parties involved in this issue will be well informed and act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different position. No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.” http://is.gd/6rFf

    That’s the standard they’ve set for themselves, and given today’s political climate, it’s a high one. If you really believe this is bigotry, engage in actual conversation, not snark. I seem to recall someone saying something once about flies and honey.

    (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the LDS Church, though not living in California.)

  18. I think this is a great opportunity to show that it is not okay to impose one’s views on other people. Churches should not legislate. I think such impositions have always backfired. Snarkiness and humor are some times the best way to make a point.

  19. Imani @12

    Ed Champion posed a good question about the validity of the “AAs tipped the balance” meme going around:

    Unfortunately, the exit poll is consistent with other data.

    Such as this and this.

  20. Steve Thorn:
    Yes, someone has looked into that. http://is.gd/3MaY.

    The relevant part: Tax Exemption

    Another accusation made against the LDS Church’s participation in political measures is that it is abusing its tax-exempt status by advocating support for a specific piece of legislation. This claim is demonstrably false, as evidenced by the IRS’ own position on the matter:

    The IRS has published Revenue Ruling 2007-41, which outlines how churches, and all 501(c)(3) organizations, can stay within the law regarding the ban on political activity. Also, the ban by Congress is on political campaign activity regarding a candidate; churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations can engage in a limited amount of lobbying (including ballot measures) and advocate for or against issues that are in the political arena. The IRS also has provided guidance regarding the difference between advocating for a candidate and advocating for legislation.

  21. Before you go blaming the LDS for this, it might help to take a step back and examine, say, the Florida campaign for their Def. of Marriage Amendment. The idea that Blacks and Latinos were somehow fooled by the LDS is not likely. It should be noted that most members of those two racial groups belong to conservative Christian churches. The more reasonable explanation is that their own churches opposed Prop. 8, and they listened to their own preachers and priests.

    The other meme seems to be that LDS members should not be allowed to form political action groups. Should we extend that to other religions, or the lack thereof? No JADL? Atheists must have at least one believer in their political group? That’s not the way I’d like our political system to run. Freedom to assemble and petition is a good thing, even when people I believe to be wrong and destructive are taking advantage of it.

    The good guys lost on this one. It sucks, but it happens. Stop attributing it to a cabal of mystics, start figuring out how to change the mind of 5% of the state population without using state action to destroy your enemies.

  22. Brett L:

    “Before you go blaming the LDS for this…”

    I’m not aware of saying I blame the LDS Church for the passage of Proposition 8, although it’s fair to say the both the church and its members actively worked for its passage, and thus, in my opinion, actively promoted bigotry. Its prominent role, however, does make it a worthy target of ire for gays and lesbians.

    Zach, considering the general disinformation and shock advertising the pro-8 campaign engaged in, to suggest that gays and lesbians just be nice in the aftermath is more than a little disingenuous. Also, you know. People whose marriages might end up in the legal dustbin in no small part due to the LDS Church’s efforts have reason to be very, very pissed.

  23. The LDS says: No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

    But apparently it’s OK to strip legal protections and destroy marriages. Cause that’s not intimidating or anything.

    WTF? Doublespeak anyone.

  24. Natalie L:

    The people I blame for the passage are the people who voted for it. Simple enough.

    That said, if particular demographics voted for its passage out of proportion to their percentage of the population, those are valuable data to know. Gays and lesbians who want their rights back need to know where to focus their efforts, both constructive and snarkastic.

    Andy Smith:

    Your comment (“join a better church”) is over the line.

  25. “or subjected to erroneous information”…. Yes, yes, all the ads that the LDS funded were STRICTLY ACCURATE about what not passing 8 would do. *cough*

  26. To echo Brett L @23:

    I think what passed Prop 8 was not so much the LDS (unless there are a huge number of Moroms in California) but the support it got from the Catholic and Evangelical churches as well as various Jewish organisations.

    An awful lot of the propositions supporters will have voted on the logic: “I don’t have any thing against gay people, but the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, so by not voting against it I will be commiting a sin and won’t get into Heaven”.

    Somehow the zeitgeist needs to be turned against that chain of logic.

    I’m afarid I personally am not a lot of help here. Bigotry based on holy scripture is a contributing reason I’m a militant agnostic and would cheerfully sling all religions in the bin. I’m also in another country – but given the (comparitively) recent vileness of clause 28 we in the UK shouldn’t feel superior.

    Mind you – the current campaigners might be able to learn a thing or two from that. Ultimately it was brought down by an overall change in public opinion. (I suspect I may be teaching granny to suck eggs here mind!)

  27. According to the LA Times and http://rodonline.typepad.com/rodonline/2008/05/california-supr.html , the California Supreme Court is considered conservative, with “six of the seven justices … appointed by Republican governors”. This suggests to me that the legal argument for same-sex marriage is quite strong on constitutional grounds (hence the CA constitutional amendment — if you can’t make the legal argument, write it into the constitution, I guess — another good reason to require supermajorities to amend constitutions). I fully expect that when the issue goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, state constitutional bans on gay marriage will be struck down. The justices will be persuaded by the same legal arguments that persuaded the California Supreme Court.

    FWIW, I’m LDS and opposed Proposition 8 (though, not being a Californian, I didn’t have a vote on the issue).

  28. As Zach said, the LDS church knew that they would get heat from LGBT organizations. The church has been at the forefront of the fight against gay marriage for years, so it’s not like this is a new thing for them.

    As for the postcards, every penny wasted on mailing them is a penny that won’t actually go toward legal challenges, so I doubt President Monson will mind.

    (For the record, I am LDS.)

  29. John:

    Granted, you have been fair on this. I don’t disagree that being vocal in pointing out who opposed your position is fair and a good idea. Some of the commentors in recent posts have gone well beyond that view. I don’t put you in that group, but I would like to oppose that viewpoint. (Note that I don’t say I have any right to oppose that viewpoint on your blog.)

    I just reached my own personal tolerance level on the memes that either:
    a) The LDS single-handedly swung the Prop. 8 vote
    b) It’s okay to sic the state on your political opponents and prevent them from exercising their rights to assemble and petition because they belong to the same church church.

  30. Regarding the Supreme Court handling gay marriage, I don’t think you can hope for a lot. I’m not an expert by any means, but I think the only thing you’d be able to legally leverage Amendment 14 for would be to force all the states to have some sort of equivalent status (i.e. civil unions) where homosexual couples have the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples. While it would blow away all of the anti-adoption measures, it means all the states with anti-marriage amendments can just set up civil unions with equivalent rights and then be done with it. “Marriage”, from a legal point of view, would be merely a semantic term at that point. If the LBGT community is happy with that, great, but I know a lot of people I’ve talked to who would claim that isn’t enough of a solution.

    So I think leveraging the Supreme Court would only manage a half-assed solution that people might be stuck with for a long time.

  31. a couple decades worth of creative and committed leaders who know how to mobilize

    I trust you see the irony of this statement as used to describe the opponents of the people who moved their entire congregation to the desert, built a working city out of practically nothing, and still manage to convince adherents to donate 10% of their income every year to the cause.

    Forget California as a whole — what do you imagine would 10% of the income of every gay person in Hollywood for a year amount to? More than the $30 or so million the “yes on Prop 8″ advocates spent on that campaign, yes?

    dramatic civil disobedience

    Is that what we’re calling hate speech now? Because last I checked, mass actions designed to harass and intimidate a select minority of voters for exercising their rights to free speech and democratic participation — you know, like what the pro-gay protesters are doing outside of the Mormon temple in LA — was clearly hate speech.

  32. Someone told me (I know, not the best source of information) that the LDS church believes that laws passed on Earth in opposition to God’s will will bring the second coming. Can anyone verify or refute this? It doesn’t condone it in my eyes, but would help me understand their position a bit better.

  33. Your comment (”join a better church”) is over the line.

    Its your show, I shall bring it down a notch or refrain from comment.

  34. Ironically, the most fundamentalist Mormon I have known was a lesbian. She was a bully and a bigot and after her death her family disowned her nigh-completely … but I was favorably impressed by other members of her church, who displayed a measure of charity and acceptance their Messiah would have been proud of.

    So; there are good people and bad people, both in organised religion and out of it. I’ve never found the proportion to be influenced by faith.

    I’m still annoyed at how many people still think that it’s possible to apply equality unevenly without creating inequality, or who act according to the letter, rather than the spirit, of Christ’s teachings. It’s very disheartening.

    I have to concur, however, that the California SC seems like it’s out of options to overturn the amendment … and at this point, taking it to SCOTUS would likely fail, given its current conservative bias.

    This won’t stop the LGBT community from trying, of course; as Scalzi says, they’re fairly good at dogged persistence by now. San Francisco’s Pride Parade should be interesting this year.

  35. Oh hey, look. People bashing my church!

    Disagreeing with, reporting the facts about, and getting informed around what the LDS has done is not the same as bashing it.

    But I’m sure it makes you feel good to call it “bashing”. Makes you the victim, you know, and all these people talking about facts, well, they’re big meanies picking on you and your church.

    Dude. seriously. the victim complex, especially when no actual harm has been done to you and no one is saying anything untrue about LDS actions, is old.

    If anyone has been bashed, if anyone has been harmed, if anyone has had untrue things said about them, it’s gays. And that was done by your church.

  36. Zack: from the LDS Church’s statement, people shouldn’t be “subject to erroneous information,” yet that is exactly what the pro-8 ads did. If the ads had simply said, “The Bible says being gay is forbidden,” that would have at least been *honest*, while still being wrong. The outright lies and fear mongering is reprehensible though.

    For the record, I am LDS too and have been speaking out against Prop 8 as loudly as I can.

  37. Sub-Odeon,

    If they were to live by the spirit of tolerance and mutual respect embodied in article of faith 11 more people would have more of a reason to focus on all the really wonderful things they do and not have to do this. Till then a boot to the head is called for. I’ve been openly atheist and thoroughly lapsed for many years now. But I really did expect better than this from Monson.

    I really wish the IRS would slap them down and hard.

  38. John D, there are probably many members of the LDS Church who believe that “laws passed on Earth in opposition to God’s will will bring the second coming” (in the sense of setting the stage, not being the actual cause), but it is not a teaching of the Church. It’s extrapolated from statements by early leaders of the Church, typically made during the period of intense antagonism between the Church and the U.S. government at the end of the 19th century. (For example, LDS senator Orrin Hatch alluded to this in a recent comment that the U.S. constitution was “hanging by a thread”.)

  39. The great thing about being LDS is not having to give a damn if people think you’re in the wrong. LDS have been told they’re wrong so loudly and so often — by the Rightist Christians and the Leftist Seculars both — for so long, it’s become a kind of formless background drone.

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, oh what, huh? That noise? It’s just people bashing the church again, whatever. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ….

    If you’re LDS and you spend any time living and working outside of Utah, you get used to the jokes, the puns, the insults, the stereotypes, etc. I’ve sat in rooms with doctors and nurses — educated people — who, not knowing I am LDS, tell some of the worst, most bigoted jokes, and laugh at the church and its members.

    When I was young, it made me mad.

    Now, I just sigh to myself and go on about my business.

    The world is what it is.

    If people want to think Mormons are fucked, that’s their right. I think the LDS in the U.S. have, by and large, proven their worth as a people. We’ve got a rep for honesty, thrift, charity, and ferocious patriotism — to include long-standing military service. You might think we’re evil becuase we take a stand on gay marriage. We don’t have to care. The Christian Evangelists think we’re evil because we have significant Christian doctrinal differences with, say, the Southern Baptist Convention. Again, we don’t have to care.

  40. gerrymander:

    “I trust you see the irony of this statement as used to describe the opponents of the people who moved their entire congregation to the desert, built a working city out of practically nothing, and still manage to convince adherents to donate 10% of their income every year to the cause.”

    Oh, sure. That said, let’s just say I find the styles of the two groups very different, and I think the LDS Church may have underestimated the blowback they’re going to get. No offense to Zach, who seems confident that the LDS can handle it, but when the LDS Church worked to delegitimatize thousands of legal, existing marriages, they took it to another level, and I suspect the response will be in kind.

    Andy Smith:

    Taking it down a notch will be fine. Thanks.

    Sub-Odeon:

    “LDS have been told they’re wrong so loudly and so often — by the Rightist Christians and the Leftist Seculars both — for so long, it’s become a kind of formless background drone.”

    However, this is not to your advantage when your church has, in fact, done something very wrong. If your church had wisdom, it would listen at those times.

  41. If people are interested, bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy have been covering the various legal theories under which Prop 8 might be attacked.

    Most of the talk has been about Prop 8 being a revision rather than an amendment, and thus impermissible under the California Constitution. It’s arcane.

    Another argument that I expect to see is under Romer v. Evans, in which SCOTUS struck down a Colorado proposition that prevented state and local laws extending anti-discrimination principles to sexuality. I think there are a number of crucial differences between that proposition and Prop 8, but it’s still a colorable argument.

    As a Californian, the passage of Prop 8 was bitterly disappointing. The next missionaries to come to my door are getting an earful about their church’s policy.

  42. I agree with not getting cocky about the US Supreme Court coming down in favor of gay marriage. Not saying it’s impossible, but the ramifications would be serious, and even if the court was sympathetic they would consider all the possible consequences.

  43. gerrymander @ 37:

    How do you reckon that non-violent protest of the church’s stated position is hate speech? Violence against the church is not being advocated. Harassment perhaps, but only of the variety currently tolerated by the law and certainly not anything somebody with thick skin can’t survive. Certainly it’s a far cry short of trying to break up Mormon marriages.

    If Mormons don’t like it they should convince their leaders to pay a bit more attention to the golden rule.

  44. Andy W @ 32

    Actually, I believe the Mormon church is one of the largest denominations in California. (I think Cal also has the largest Mormon population outside Utah, but I can’t find anything to back that up, so it may be wrong) The biggest, of course, is the Catholic church, which I suspect had more of an impact, since just under 28% of the population of California identifies as Roman Catholic. (per this, which admittedly may not be a good source.)

  45. Twelve dollars in my checking account right now, and I just had to go and donate five of it to this. Too good to pass up.

  46. California Will Continue to Honor Marriages of Same-Sex Couples Who Married Before the Possible Passage of Prop 8 :http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/california-will-continue.html

    I know it’s not much, but at least those 18000+ marriage certificates are not worth nothing right now.

    I’m just hoping that this might invalidate the proposition if it does pass : http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/legal-groups-file-lawsuit.html

    And one more link on the issue of blacks-hispanics turning the vote around on prop 8 : http://darkrosetiger.livejournal.com/396883.html

  47. I think the proposal in the OP is brilliant. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that many members of the LDS church, especially in the higher echelons, don’t get snark.

    Still, this is a funny and original way to register a protest to the way the LDS church has operated in regard to this issue.

    Oh, and Sub-Odeon #47…You are correct that you don’t have to care what others think of the LDS church and its doctrines and policies. On the other hand, I think the authorities in the church have to get used to the fact that the rest of the world really doesn’t have to care about what they and their institution think, either, and don’t have any obligation to live according to their dictates. Their willingness to spend so much time and money on Prop. 8 to try to force everyone in the state of California to hew to their doctrines proves that they don’t get that yet.

  48. OK, to be fair, there is a decent amount of Utah contributors on the top end, and some people who identify as LDS as well. I am assuming that they are LDS affiliated, but they don’t say they are one way of the other.

  49. JS,

    Well dude, what can I say? You think opposition to gay marriage is immoral. My church leadership thinks allowing gay marriage is immoral. It’s a fundamental clash of paradigms. There is nothing my church can do to convince you of their position, and there is nothing you could do to convince my church of your position.

    End of the story.

    I will say that the original snark named in this thread is high-quality snark. Donating to anti-8 in Monson’s name, that’s pretty funny.

  50. John @ 48: when the LDS Church worked to delegitimatize thousands of legal, existing marriages, they took it to another level, and I suspect the response will be in kind

    Maybe, but gay advocates need to realize that such a tactic has costs, too. If, instead of just “work for same-sex marriage rights,” the new campaign is to “work for same-sex marriage rights and actively disenfranchise religious freedom,” then they are playing directly into one criticism the “yes on Prop 8″ side has had all along. And that’s not just the LDS, but also Catholics, Baptists, and so on. They’ll need to make the case that anti-religious bigotry is both acceptable and inherently superior to anti-gay bigotry — which I expect will run into some serious resistance.

  51. Sub-Odeon @ 47,

    I don’t know if you intended it, but the subtext I get from your statement is pretty much “I don’t have to care if my actions cause real and lasting harm to people who aren’t part of my church because they’re not really people and anything they say that doesn’t agree with my internal reality is a lie.” Up until this point I’ve thought of you as someone with some intellectual honesty and some bigoted positions. This convinces me that I was wrong. That makes me sad.

  52. you get used to the jokes, the puns, the insults, the stereotypes,

    Uh, once again, no one has done that here. You’re trying to take legitimate complaints about real world harm that the LDS has done to real world people and throw it all into a bin labeled “you’re just picking on the LDS”.

    No. We’re talking about what the LDS actually DID and what people should do to try and correct the damage the LDS inflicted on real world people.

    If you’re unwilling to see any criticism of LDS as anything but “bashing” and “stereotypes”, then you’ve just made clear that the LDS can do no wrong in your mind. In which case, you’ve made clear that you are nothing more than a “True Believer”, and you’re only real reason for being here is to shout down the bashers.

    So, is everyone just a basher? Or is there at least one legitimate complaint about the LDS here? ANd if so, which one?

  53. Kelly, I’ve proposed my solution on this blog before. <a href=”http://whateveresque.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1008″Click here to see it.

    So it’s not like I am ignoring the fact that gays are a) U.S. citizens and as U.S. citizens they b) deserve equal protection under the law.

    So if you’re assuming, based on my language in this thread that I am giving gays the middle finger and heartlessly don’t give a damn, that’s incorrect.

  54. You have to wonder what would would happen if the Prop or the CA SC came back with and actual definition of marriage:

    Per the amended constitution of the state of California, a marriage shall be defined as a union between a man and woman conducted only within the auspices of as state or county agency, and by a duly sworn member of the government of California. Marriage shall not be recognized when performed by the clergy or representative of any declared religious institution, unless that clergy person is also an employee of the state and performs the marriage within the site offices.

    Civil unions will be recognized as valid and legal whether conducted under the auspices of a state or county agency, or by any duly registered member of registered and recognized religious institution, in light of the fact that no actual rights beyond the right to enter into a contract is being recognized.

    Or something. If the government can regulate what is and isn’t a marriage, then the church (any church) and the clergy no longer have any business getting involved in them. They can still perform them…but not issue certificates or sign licenses. (Although I’m not 100% sure on California Marriage license rules…in my state, a minister or clergy person can sign off on the license after the ceremony.)

    Might open some eyes if LGBT folks can get there unions recognized in a church and those opposed to those unions have to jump through a few extra hoops to claim the benefits of marriage under the state,

  55. The problem is that this doesn’t really educate people at the top, but the people in the mailroom who get to sort through this and most likely throw it out. I certainly would say that you should go ahead and donate. I donated money to defeat prop 8 as part of my wedding celebration.

    I remember hearing about people making donations to Planned Parenthood on behalf of McCain and Palin. Mostly I felt bad for whoever was in their mailroom but then again running a campaign for presidency means you probably get all kinds of weird mail.

  56. Sub-Odeon @ 57:

    The problem in your clash of paradigms is that not all churches believe that gay marriage is immoral. Either marriage is the bailiwick of churches, in which case any given state recognized church (including gay tolerant ones) should be free to marry whomever they like, or it is the province of the state, in which case the concerns of any church are incidental compared to the constitutional argument of non-discrimination.

    As I mentioned somewhat harshly before, we have a lot of churches in this country. I honestly don’t believe that every single one should be free to redefine marriage to suit their particular brand of morality. I suspect there are plenty of them out there that you’d agree are not necessarily well suited for that amount of latitude.

  57. Sub-Odeon at 64, I’ve been following your proposal on this blog for some time and have already read it. That was what made me feel that you were at least intellectually honest if somewhat misguided. 47, in this thread however pretty much sank all the credibility you’d built up with me to this point. Sorry dude, but no, I don’t think you’re arguing in good faith. You basically just told anyone who disagrees with you that you won’t actually listen to them.

  58. Andy Smith @ 55:

    I think what Jeff @50 was trying to point out was that given how groundbreaking any kind of gay marriage decision would be, the Supreme Court is more likely to come up with some kind of case specific ruling that isn’t able to be used as a universal legal precedent, rather than some kind of wide-sweeping bombshell like Roe v. Wade or Brown vs. Board.

  59. Sub-Odeon:

    You think opposition to gay marriage is immoral. My church leadership thinks allowing gay marriage is immoral. It’s a fundamental clash of paradigms.

    Yeah, the pro same-sex marriage people think they should be allowed to make their own decisions based on their own morality without first getting permission from a church they’re not a member of, whereas the LDS believes that their morality should be legally binding on everyone, regardless of morality.

    Hey, here’s a question: When you eat beef, does it ever occur to you that Hindus (a demographic far larger than the LDS) consider that to be unconscionably immoral? Does that lead you to believe that eating beef should be made illegal?

  60. Lysambre:

    The link from the Lambda Legal organization isn’t actually confirmation that the existing marriages will remain legal, it’s merely noting the belief of several organizations, including the California AG’s office, that they will be. Whether they will be still has to be decided. I don’t imagine that Prop 8 supporters will want them to be, because then California is obliged to recognize same-sex marriages, which renders the proposition irrelevant.

    Sub-Odeon:

    “Well dude, what can I say? You think opposition to gay marriage is immoral. My church leadership thinks allowing gay marriage is immoral.”

    Well, no. I think opposition to same-sex marriage is merely bigoted; I think voting to destroy marriages is immoral.

    Moreover, I don’t want to convince your church to change its position as long as it is confined to the church. It’s when the LDS Church decides it has to meddle in the affairs of other people that it becomes my problem.

    If the LDS Church had contented itself with holding that same-sex marriages were immoral and using that position solely within its own organization, you wouldn’t hear much from me; I’m not LDS and as long as it keeps that stuff to itself, fine. However, the LDS Church worked to destroy existing marriages and celebrated their destruction as a moral victory goes beyond mere opinion and has an impact on the lives of people who are not LDS members and who did not deserve their lives being disrupted.

    Which is to say, your Church’s decision to work to destroy marriages goes way beyond its beliefs and well into the realm of maliciousness and immorality. It’s a mark against your Church which it will have a hard time expiating, and I both suspect and hope it will come to regret its overreach.

  61. If, after viewing my proposal, you still think I am intellectually dishonest, feel free to let me know.

    Yeah, I do. You accuse people of “bashing” when they haven’t. You dismiss an entire conversation as nothing more than bashing on LDS “stereotypes”. You allege people are saying things that are not TRUE.

    you at 25: Oh hey, look. People bashing my church! How original. (yawn)

    You at 47: BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, oh what, huh? That noise? It’s just people bashing the church again, whatever. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    not a single legitimate fact being reported here? Not a single one? Nothing? Zip? Nada?

    All lies and stereotypes???

    Yeah, I accuse you of intellectual dishonesty.

  62. Gah. That should have been “…regardless of religion.” at the end of the first unquoted paragraph. Sorry.

  63. One of the main points missing in this discussion of the LDS church is the Church’s moral certitude in everything they do.

    They are led by a living “prophet seer and revelator” whose function is to serve as the “mouthpiece” of God.
    Thus, if the church says it, it is TRUE. end of argument.

    When I was a young Mormon boy living in Salt Lake, I was rather taken aback by the announcement in a Spring General Conference of the Church that it is impossible to be a faithful member of the Church and a Democrat at the same time.

  64. Zach@19: That’s fucking rich. There is nothing “civil” or “respectful” about shredding gay people’s loving marriages. The LDS church is committing acts of oppression, and they have the nerve to ask those being oppressed to stop complaining? Fuck that.

    How about this, you first. Stop trying to legislate discrimination, and maybe (maybe) I’ll stop calling you names.

    Imani@12: Actually, yes, those exit polls DID sample enough to be 95% confident of their results. See my reply at Champion’s website.

  65. Sub-Odeon: “Kelly, I’ve proposed my solution on this blog before.”

    I’ve read it, and it consists of little else than an identification of the problem, and a suggestion that everyone compromise.

    Do you even read the followups in that thread? Identifying the problem is a start, but hardly a solution.

  66. Sub-Odeon: “If, after viewing my proposal, you still think I am intellectually dishonest, feel free to let me know.”

    Well, what is your reaction to this counter-proposal?

    Religious people will need to give up marriage as a function of the church. Marriage will instead be, as it historically has been, a function of the state. People who want their unions blessed by the church can get an additional “religious union” performed by their clergy. This union will convey no legal standing, but since a legal marriage license is available for the asking, there will be no functional, legal difference between a union that is performed only by the state, and one that is also blessed by the church.

    If you can accept that proposal as readily as your own, then I would be willing to say you are being intellectually honest.

  67. Sub-Odeon, let me put that more succinctly. Before, I thought you were wrong but arguing from a position of good faith. Now I think you’re wrong and not willing to listen and thus not actually engaging in argument so much as finding new ways to repeat talking points. Also, what John said @ 70.

  68. And as I’ve noted before — which is one of the reasons I’m so tired of it — this particular “solution” SO bruits about has no chance of happening in the real world, and is therefore not really worth talking about, particularly in the context of what’s happening now in California.

  69. Why aren’t you guys out for the Catholic Church and the Baptists? Because they didn’t run TV commercials? That’s an interesting reason to heap scorn on one particular religion. At this point many of the commentors on this thread have descended into the bigotry you claim to decry.

    The idea that people shouldn’t advocate for the most moral society as they see it is just strange. The idea that we can’t or shouldn’t legislate morality fails on face. Why shouldn’t private businesses be able to discriminate against race, sex or religion in hiring, then? After all, its just their business, not all businesses. Its a moral decision.

    Again, the good guys lost, it sucks. Quit demonizing and dehumanizing your opposition (even if you believe they do the same to you – wrong is wrong) and start figuring out how to convince 5% of the voters to support your position.

  70. Bill @ #76:

    Actually, I’d be fine with your proposal. My church performs a “sealing” in the Temples that most LDS get sooner or later, so giving up the word ‘marriage’ wouldn’t be a colossal loss for LDS people, in the long term.

    It’s the other churches who would cough up a lung.

  71. @59, gerrymander-

    They’ll need to make the case that anti-religious bigotry is both acceptable and inherently superior to anti-gay bigotry — which I expect will run into some serious resistance.

    I fail to see how allowing homosexual couples to marry is anti-religious bigotry. Homosexual couples are not wanting to rewrite religious doctrine, they simply want to have the same rights that everyone else had. Churches/religions:
    1. Wouldn’t be forced to change their teachings or beliefs; they could still call homosexuality a sin if they wished.
    2. As private institutions they can deny anyone the use of their services, buildings, or memberships; allowing gays to marry does not mean that they would be forced into religious people’s lives.
    3. No law absolutely makes anyone think or accept anything; we have many laws on the books regarding racism, hate speech/acts, and discrimination but that doesn’t stop people from still believing that they are better than someone else just because of the color of their skin.
    4. At one time the Bible was used as a reason/excuse to keep people of different racial backgrounds to marry but such arguments failed in the face of universal legal arguments. Opposition based solely on religion is not a very valid argument.

    Barack Obama gave a speech in May or June about religion and said that because we are a nation of many religions (or no religion in the case of atheists), many with conflicting beliefs and standards, we cannot base our laws solely on the teachings of one religion; instead, people must translate their religious beliefs into universal arguments for their positions so that those beliefs can be argued by and applied to all. Unfortunately, nearly all of prop 8′s arguments in favor for were based, fundamentally, in one particular religious group’s moral beliefs, which isn’t right.

  72. Brett L:

    “Why aren’t you guys out for the Catholic Church and the Baptists?”

    As it happens, to the extent any church in itself campaigned for Proposition 8, I do consider them having acted immorally.

    However, this particular entry is about the LDS Church and the response to its activities. Not every discussion thread has to be about everything, Brett. So chill, please.

  73. Why aren’t you guys out for the Catholic Church and the Baptists? Because they didn’t run TV commercials? That’s an interesting reason to heap scorn on one particular religion.

    Is it “talk like a victim day” or something?

    How does one talk about the LDS very specific and targeted actions to get gay marriage outlawed in california without accusations of “heaping scorn” from the likes of you and subodean?

    Me: “Yeah, the LDS launched a campaign to raise money to oppose prop 8 in california, this november 2008″.

    You: You’re heaping! You’re heaping!

    Me: Uh, and the catholic church had a problem with pedophile priests???

    You: Don’t forget the Protestants!

    Me: er, uh, … and Luther messed up a perfectly good door?

    Yeah, that’s really a legitimate complaint. We have to register a complaint about ALL RELIGIONS if we are to complain about ANY SPECIFIC religion, or we’re heaping.

    This victim complex is getting seriously out of whack.

  74. We’re talking about LDS because the LDS are the church that donated $22,000,000 to yes-on-8 campaigns, far out of proportion to their California population.

  75. John:

    Right. Go back and put ‘Blacks’ everywhere you see LDS and tell me about the bigotry level of this thread. That’s a bit more topical, I believe.

  76. Greg London:

    To be fair, it was a perfectly good door.

    Brett:

    “Go back and put ‘Blacks’ everywhere you see LDS and tell me about the bigotry level of this thread.”

    Alternately, put “interracial marriage” where you see “same-sex marriage” and you’ll see it too.

    Or alternately to this, we can avoid silly stunts like either of those things and recognize the active participation of the LDS Church in destroying legal, existing marriages is a legitimate topic of discussion. If you don’t like the discussion, don’t participate.

  77. We’re talking about LDS because the LDS are the church that donated $22,000,000 to yes-on-8 campaigns, far out of proportion to their California population.

    If the Mormons don’t like the spotlight being shone on them, might I suggest they mind their own damn business and stay out of gay people’s marriages?

  78. anti-religious bigotry is both acceptable and inherently superior

    we have this thing called separation of church and state. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. But I suppose that’s really just anti-religious bigotry too…

  79. JS,

    Dude, you write SF. Is my proposal any crazier or less likely than, say, the BrainPal? Cosciousness transfer? SmartBlood?

    Future solutions to complex problems will inevitably be “outside the box”. Seems to me like you don’t want to deal with my solution, and dismiss it out of hand because you conclude it’s too unorthodox, and that anything unorthodox will get a FAIL when implemented on a wide scale.

    But really, do you think it’s any more likely that the U.S. public will just stop caring about this issue? Again and again and again, when put to a vote, the U.S. public rejects gay marriage. Seems to me the current course of using courts and legislation to “impose” gay marriage gets a FAIL because the public overturns it when it’s put to the vote.

    I keep saying over and over that the gay marriage issue is not the same as racism. This isn’t the same as people slowly just learning to get over long-standing racial prejudice. Opposition to homosexuality and the homosexual act is written into the doctrine of most of America’s active religions. A majority of Americans continues to oppose gay marriage, if given a say.

    Maybe you think they shouldn’t have a say. Maybe you think you’re automatically right about this — amusing, considering how the LDS church has been chided in this thread for daring to think it’s ‘automatically right’ — and that the majority will of Americans doesn’t matter, because the rights of gays trump all else and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

    If the straight community and the gay community are ever going to reach a point of stability on this issue, it will have to be done via a method that seriously considers both sides, and attempts to accomodate same. Simply steamrolling one side or the others, and tell the losers of that steamrolling to fuck off or get over it, is an invitation to a reverse steamrolling, following by a reverse-reverse steamrolling, and on and on and on.

  80. Sub-Odeon #80:

    That compromise you just agreed to (marriage is a civil contract that any two people can engage in, and churches can celebrate that as they see fit) is exactly what Prop 8 outlawed. It’s exactly what the LDS was campaigning so heavily against.

    So, I take it you disagree with your church for having taken this stand?

  81. #86

    So, Brett L – the “blacks” (replacing LDS) put together a whole heap of pro-Prop 8 ads, did they?

  82. And now, a SubOdean remix, c.1859:

    Support for slavery and the taking of slaves written into the doctrine of most of America’s active religions. A majority of Americans continues to oppose abolition, if given a say.

    Maybe you think they shouldn’t have a say. Maybe you think you’re automatically right about this and that the majority will of Americans doesn’t matter, because the rights of negroes trump all else and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

    If the slaveowners and the abolitionists are ever going to reach a point of stability on this issue, it will have to be done via a method that seriously considers both sides, and attempts to accomodate same.

  83. Sub Odean, you’re entire post at #90 can be boiled down to one point:

    The process has thus far kept gays from having legally recognized marriages and therefore that’s OK. If we’re to find a solution, it must work within the process which thus far has consistently failed to recognize gay marriages.

    shorter you: Process is king, because the process has gotten you the result you want.

    We’ve had this discussion before. The keeps boiling down to people causing real world harm to others and then disassociating themselves from the harm they’ve caused by redefining “harm” or by saying it’s just a result of the system or some such nonsense.

    More recently, you and several others have taken it upon yourselves to redefine “victim” here. You’re being made the victim here because people are talking about real world actions of the LDS. Saying the LDS did this and the LDS did that suddenly becomes bashing. facts no longer matter, it’s all just bashing. And if we only talk about the LDS in a thread, it then becomes “heaping” on top of “bashing”.

    And through it all, you have steadfastly refused to acknowledge any of these language games you’ve been playing. You ignored my direct question to you at #71:

    not a single legitimate fact being reported here? Not a single one? Nothing? Zip? Nada?

    All lies and stereotypes???

  84. “work for same-sex marriage rights and actively disenfranchise religious freedom,”

    You know I just don’t get this gays are against religious freedom thing. Do people really believe that for a religion to be free it has to have the right to limit others freedom? That’s completely asinine. If this is really the way things are I propose that GBLT organization petition the government to be recognized as religious organizations so they can enjoy the same right to freedom that some religions think they should have.

    Just imagine a proposition that says that it’s a matter of religious belief that marriages do not require that the parties be of opposite sex. After all our version of the Bible says so. The rest of you have just been lead astray. :P~

  85. Sub-Odeon:

    “Dude, you write SF. Is my proposal any crazier or less likely than, say, the BrainPal? Cosciousness transfer? SmartBlood?”

    Leaving out the obvious fact that each of the above is a theoretically scientific while marriage is social, so the engines of use and application are in fact wholly different: Sub-Odeon if someone is bleeding to death in front of you, the appropriate response is not to say “hey, you know what would work here? A type of artificial blood that carries more oxygen!”

    I have no problem with you arguing alternative theories of what marriage is or should be. However, those theories have no more applicability to what’s going one right here and now as would offering a “solution” such as the one above to someone bleeding out.

    The fact you keep offering your theory as a “solution” suggests either you’re having a hard time conceptualizing what’s going on in the real world as regards marriage or that (as I’ve noted previously) you’re intentionally trying to distract from what’s going in the real world by offering a pointless theoretical construct.

    Neither is useful at the moment, and I wish you would just stop offering up your theoretical “solution” when we talk about real people’s lives and marriages being destroyed in the real world. In my opinion it makes you look kind of stupid and oblivious.

  86. wintermute,

    That’s actually an interesting observation.

    Maybe the best way I can put it is, I think the church involvement in California’s Prop. 8 fight is strategically sound, while perhaps tactically faulty. I would like to see the church come around to my proposal, which is why I push this proposal as strongly with LDS (and other religious opponents of gay marriage) as strongly as I push it with seculars and gay marriage proponents.

    The odd part is that the reaction I often get, from the LDS and religious side, is identical to Scalzi’s: even if they think it’s a good idea in the abstract, they consider it so far beyond the box as to be impossible, and therefore not even worth discussing.

    Seems to me both sides of this debate continually suffer a failure of imagination?

  87. FWIW, in Germany what #76 proposes is pretty much what happens. You go and get married by the state, and then you have a religious ceremony to be married by your religion. It’s all a matter of semantics in the end. Do you call them both marriages? One a civil union and one a marriage? I personally wouldn’t care if I had to have a legal “civil union” before I could get religiously “married.” Of course, I imagine it’s easier to dismiss it all as semantics when you’re not the one who’s being told what s/he can/can’t do.

  88. There’s no need to “imagine” anything. If the Mormons don’t want gays to get married, don’t perform gay marriages. AND THAT IS ALL.

    It does not matter one hairy little bit what your religion tells you is ‘moral’; if you can’t justify your position on secular grounds as the anti-marriage contingent cannot, then it doesn’t get to become law. Period.

  89. S-O: “Dude, you write SF. Is my proposal any crazier or less likely than, say, the BrainPal? Cosciousness transfer? SmartBlood?”

    Or, say, FTL drive?

    “But really, do you think it’s any more likely that the U.S. public will just stop caring about this issue? Again and again and again, when put to a vote, the U.S. public rejects gay marriage. Seems to me the current course of using courts and legislation to “impose” gay marriage gets a FAIL because the public overturns it when it’s put to the vote.”

    Voters aged 29 and under voted against the amendment by a 2-to-1 margin. A few old bigots die off, a few more younger people grow into voting age, and this problem goes away, as long as the Prop 8 people don’t bump up the threshold for constitutional amendments to lock in the victory. I mean, it’s not like civil rights should be a matter for majority vote anyway, but at least we know there’s an expiration date on this particular bit of nonsense.

  90. Scalzi,

    You seem to be employing the, “People are dying, man!” argument.

    Basically, the trauma caused by Prop. 8 is so colosssal (in your mind) that we must discount all else in our rush to overturn Prop. 8 via the courts or legislation, and erect barriers to Prop. 8 (or anything like it) ever having any chance of succeeding ever again.

    In essence, you think the strife caused to gays by Prop. 8 is so enormous, it warrants steamrolling all other considerations. Is that a correct impression?

  91. Sub-Odeon: “Future solutions to complex problems will inevitably be “outside the box”. Seems to me like you don’t want to deal with my solution, and dismiss it out of hand because you conclude it’s too unorthodox, and that anything unorthodox will get a FAIL when implemented on a wide scale.”

    Given how unresponsive you have been to comments made on your “solution”, this comes across as somewhat arrogant, since you don’t appear willing to deal with your solution apart from slapping down a bunch of verbiage and walking away from it.

    It does occur to me that maybe you don’t actually have anything more than that. You appear unwilling to think things through, and if true, this would mean that paying attention to your “solution” is merely a way to waste time.

    “I keep saying over and over that the gay marriage issue is not the same as racism.”

    Your dependence upon its repetition doesn’t make it true.

    “Simply steamrolling one side or the others, and tell the losers of that steamrolling to fuck off or get over it, is an invitation to a reverse steamrolling, following by a reverse-reverse steamrolling, and on and on and on.”

    Sure. When will you propose something that works?

  92. JS @ 70 “I don’t imagine that Prop 8 supporters will want them to be, because then California is obliged to recognize same-sex marriages, which renders the proposition irrelevant.”

    I did see a story that claimed the Yes on 8 campaign was going to try to get those marriages invalidated.

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/politics/stories/PE_News_Local_S_eight06.421895c.html

    Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based conservative legal group, said last week that if Prop. 8 passes, Liberty Counsel would seek to invalidate all same-sex marriages already performed in California. Randy Thomasson, president of the Sacramento-based SaveCalifornia.com, said his group would support any lawsuit.

    “One of the main reasons for passing Prop. 8 was to have real marriage be a role model for the next generation,” he said. “Since these are a bunch of false marriages and false marriage licenses, they are bad examples for little children.”

    I’m sure there are others.

  93. Uhm, Sub-Odeon @ 90

    You said:

    I keep saying over and over that the gay marriage issue is not the same as racism. This isn’t the same as people slowly just learning to get over long-standing racial prejudice.

    Which doesn’t fit the actual facts:

    CNN exit poll on Prop 8

    Vote by Age
    Yes No
    18-29 (20%) 39 61
    30-44 (28%) 55 45
    45-64 (36%) 54 46
    65+ (15%) 61 39

    People are learning to get over long standing prejudice in exactly the way it usually happens, with generational change.

  94. Sub-Odeon:

    The LDS’s campaign against a compromise that you agree with was “strategically sound”? I suppose if you recognise that their ultimate goal is completely different to yours (you want with same-sex marriage to have all the legal rights of any other marriage, they want no same-sex marriages, ever), that could be forced to make sense.

    But that would give a lie to your professed cluelessness as to why anti-same-sex-marriage people might not want to agree to a “compromise” that means they don’t get anything they actually want. Which would mean your continued insistence that it’s a compromise both sides could agree on would be an argument from bad faith. And that can’t be right, can it?

  95. Bill @ #102:

    If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart.

    If you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.

    I think many of your under-thirty-somethings will be thinking (and voting) differently by the time they’re parents of their own twenty-somethings.

    Lord knows my political and philosophical views have shifted a ton in my short life, and I am only 34.

    Relying on the under-thirty-something metrics as a predictor of future outcomes, seems like a real stretch to me.

    After all, the liberal revolution in the 60′s gave birth to the conservative revolution in the 80′s.

  96. Many of the people I spoke to about Proposition 8, both PRE and post election said “isn’t that the one where they want to teach gay marriage in the schools?”

    You tell me if the sponsors of prop 8 were being truthful and unbiased in their position.

  97. Greg @ 89: Separation of church and state is not anti-religious bigotry – or it wasn’t initiated as such. The concept originated to allow everyone to worship or not as they please, and to not impose their own church or lack thereof on anyone else through legislation. I think it’s a concept that needs to be practiced more.

    As a side note to practicing separation of church and state, I don’t think that means removing all references to God from public view. It means not legislating the views of any religious organization onto the general public.

    Marriage is a word that has too many hooks into the law at all levels to be relegated to being a religious-only term.

  98. Hmmm..another thought. Lets just certify GLBT as an ethnic group and grant them all the rights and protections that go along with it. After all being designated Hispanic has more to do with culture than genetics, so there is precedence.

    Then the whole marriage question would be moot and other protections would be put in place.

    Semi kidding aside, I’d like to just abandon the word marriage and leave it to the religious folks along with all the other outdated concepts they cling to. Civil union is fine as long as it affords every right and privilege given to what we refer to as marriage now. I mean really what the faithful are clinging to so much is just the word marriage. Many of them have no issues with civil unions.

  99. S-O, 103: I, too, would say yes. The harm is that egregious.

    Also, regarding your proposal, I would actively fight against it. As an atheist, I have no church, and I am opposed to being required to seek out a church to perform the ceremony. As it happens, John solemnized my own marriage, and I love that he was able to do it, but it irks me that he had to be a mail-order priest to have the authority. That, or a justice of the peace, which would have been fine with me but would have required a great deal of extra work on John’s part.

    Kelly: My mistake, the ratio was closer to 1.56 to 1, not 2 to 1. Still, it makes it clear that it won’t be long before the younger voters in favor of gay marriage outnumber the older ones opposed to it.

  100. wintermute,

    It’s been my experience, with pro and con both, that past a certain point people are just so upset by the whole discussion that they close their ears.

    We’re dealing with HIGH EMOTION on both sides.

    I’m not stupid. I know I’m fighting against two tides.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s worth doing, because I do care about U.S. citizens getting their rights that are due them at the same time I care about my church’s moral stance on marriage.

    From where I sit, there are two opposed camps.

    Gays and their allies, who think the churchy people should shut the hell up and go the hell away.

    Churchy people and their allies, who think the gays should just shut the hell up and go away.

    As long as one side or the other “steamrolls” its agenda over the top of the other, it’s an open invitation to have that decision overturned. If not by the vote, then by the courts. If not by the courts, then by the legislature.

    It’ll be a merry-go-round that never ends unless BOTH SIDES find a third way of doing business. It will require stepping outside the comfort zone for the churchy, and it will require stepping outside the comfort zone for the gays.

    If we pretend that gays are sacred cows and should never be expected to compromise with the churchy, then nothing long-term can be accomplished.

    If we pretend that the churchy are sacred cows and should never be expected to compromise with gays, then nothing long-term can be accomplished.

    Does that make sense?

  101. You seem to be employing the, “People are dying, man!” argument. … you think the strife caused to gays by Prop. 8 is so enormous, it warrants steamrolling all other considerations.

    And you keep employing the “gays cause harm, stoping gays doesn’t really hurt anyone” argument. You keep employing the “STOP BASHING MY RELIGION, You’re all just arguing stereotypes” argument when people are actually talking about what actions LDS took. You keep employing the “Process is king” argument. And now, when you percieve someone saying that process is not king, you go all slippery slope and reframe it to mean “steamroll all other considerations”, as in the “if we don’t follow process, we’ve got nothing”, argument.

    You’ve got a “it means whatever I want it to mean” relationship to language.

  102. Sub-Odeon @ 110:
    Well, nice backhanded insult to us old non-conservative folks. You should also be careful of assuming that gay rights is a conservative/non-conservative issue.

    I count myself as a moderate on most issues. Frankly I think somebody without the flexibility to adjust to situations in the best way possible is doing the intellectual equivalent of trying to push open a pull door. If you push hard enough you can often get through, but it is not the most elegant solution. Take your conservative brain and try to come up with something that doesn’t baselessly insult most of the folks you are talking to.

  103. Why do I feel like I am on the dunking machine?

    Oh right, I put myself here.

    My bad.

    (slaps self with fish)

    I need to get off this thread before it consumes the rest of my day.

  104. Andy, I’m not sure I feel like I owe you any kind of special favor, considering your, “Go join a better church!” quip from way up the thread.

  105. “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart.
    If you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.”

    Yeah, that sounds good, and conservatives love to repeat it, but it doesn’t actually mean anything.

    “I think many of your under-thirty-somethings will be thinking (and voting) differently by the time they’re parents of their own twenty-somethings.”

    Take a look at the margin by which California’s previous effort to ban gay marriage passed, and compare it with the margin by which Prop 8 passed. If a similar vote is held in 2013, there’s no question it’ll have a different outcome.

    You’ll find, I think, that today’s young generation is unlikely to become more bigoted as it grows older; quite the contrary.

  106. Justin @ 113:

    I think you’d find that there are a fair number of religious straight and gay folks who would find that solution unsatisfactory. There are plenty of churches that do not oppose gay marriage and dodging the word marriage really is not a full solution for a lot of people.

  107. Sub-Odeon: “I think many of your under-thirty-somethings will be thinking (and voting) differently by the time they’re parents of their own twenty-somethings.”

    You’re right. There was a backlash in the 1980s. But it didn’t cover racism. And it didn’t cover a number of other social factors like divorce which were frowned strongly upon in the ’50s. Conservativism became viable not because it was purely reactionary, but because it changed itself considerably.

  108. #76 Bill

    Yes. Civil marriage ceremony that grants all the legal rights. Separate church ceremony (if one is performed) that has no legal standing at all. Seems to work fine for France.

    This was Bill’s proposal:

    Religious people will need to give up marriage as a function of the church. Marriage will instead be, as it historically has been, a function of the state. People who want their unions blessed by the church can get an additional “religious union” performed by their clergy. This union will convey no legal standing, but since a legal marriage license is available for the asking, there will be no functional, legal difference between a union that is performed only by the state, and one that is also blessed by the church.

  109. (keeps slapping self with fish)

    Fuck it. Fuck. It.

    I am self-banning myself from all further gay-related or gay marriage threads at Whatever. I have clearly made zero impact on anyone, annoyed a whole lot, and perturbed the blog host.

    Ironically….

    This is exactly the same kind of shit I deal with whenever I talk to staunch LDS or religious of any stripe, from the pro-gay side.

    “Huh?”
    “They’re wrong!”
    “You’re wrong for defending them!”
    “Your logic is flawed!”
    “You’re the one being arrogant! Not us!”
    “Go tell it to the (insert slam against liberals here)!”
    “What, are you a faggot?”

    Good Lord, people… Sometime I regret my membership in a species which can be so brilliant, yet so stump-headed, at the same instant.

    My apologies to everyone for thoroughly, thoroughly wasting your time. And mine.

    (final self-slap with remains of now-shredded fish, departs thread….)

  110. Sub-Odeon:

    “You seem to be employing the, ‘People are dying, man!’ argument.”

    No, I’m employing the “Your so-called solution has no relevance to the situation at hand” argument. The chance government will stop being the avenue through which marriages are legitimized in the US is non-existent, both immediately and almost certainly for decades, and anyone who has a good grasp of political and social reality knows this. So offering your solution to issues regarding government sanction of marriage — and in particular the delegitimization of marriages which already exist — here and now is pointless and stupid.

  111. Frank @ 1:

    It would appear that data suggesting California’s minority voters (blacks, hispanics, et al.) are primarily — or even substantially — responsible for the passage of Prop. 8 is questionable, and so too, the conclusions that have been drawn.

    See: Facts Belie the Scapegoating of Black People for Prop. 8. It’s a pretty compelling deconstruction of the numbers and the populations of people involved, suggesting that 9 times as many non-black voters were in the “For” column on this one… more than enough to win even without the black vote.

  112. (keeps slapping self with fish)

    Fuck it. Fuck. It.

    I am self-banning myself from all further gay-related or gay marriage threads at Whatever. I have clearly made zero impact on anyone, annoyed a whole lot, and perturbed the blog host.

    Ironically….

    This is exactly the same kind of shit I deal with whenever I talk to staunch LDS or religious of any stripe, from the pro-gay side.

    “Huh?”
    “They’re wrong!”
    “You’re wrong for defending them!”
    “Your logic is flawed!”
    “You’re the one being arrogant! Not us!”
    “Go tell it to the (insert slam against liberals here)!”
    “What, are you a faggot?”

    Good Lord, people… Sometime I regret my membership in a species which can be so brilliant, yet so stump-headed, at the same instant.

    My apologies to everyone for thoroughly, thoroughly wasting your time. And mine.

    (final self-slap with remains of now-shredded fish, departs thread….)

  113. Sub-Odeon,

    The one thing I’ve never seen you present here is why you think destroying those marriages is justified. What harm comes from them?

  114. Sub-Odeon @115:

    I’m still confused. The following is a summary of what I understand you to have said. Please explain either how it makes sense, or how I’ve misunderstood your position:

    It was strategically sound of the LDS to fight against a compromise that you agree with (and that would have made everyone on the pro-same-sex-marriage side of the debate very happy) because the LDS should find some way to compromise with same-sex marriage advocates.

    I think “everyone can get married, and churches can deal with that (or not) as they see fit” is not so much a compromise as a complete, unconditional victory for the same-sex marriage advocates, and I fully understand why anti-same-sex-marriage groups like the LDS oppose it so vehemently, and channel so much money it fighting against it, but you have continually argued that you believe it’s a middle ground that should be acceptable to both sides.

    If you’re now acknowledging that anti-same-sex-marriage campaigners are, you know, anti the idea of same-sex couples getting married, that opposition to your compromise is their very raison d’etré, then you have to realise that your “compromise” is never going to be acceptable to them. If you do realise that, and still argue your stated position, then you’re not arguing in good faith.

  115. I’ve long admired several aspects of LDS theology. In particular I think their conception of heaven is pretty decent. Few people get condemned to hell, and people have a chance to convert after death and go to one of the heavens (a lesser heaven, but a heaven none the less). I far prefer that to the concept of a select few who go to paradise while the bulk of humanity is condemned to an eternity of suffering. I don’t accept either view, but the LDS conception of heaven certainly seems to me to be more consistent with the idea of a god who loves his creations.

    I actually might technically be LDS in the sense that I might still be on the church’s rolls. I don’t know. My parents left the church when I was pretty young, but the church wanted to leave me and my sister on. I don’t know if they did, and to be honest I’ve never really cared since I’ve always been kind of fond of the church. I’m from Utah and descended from people who pulled their belongings to that state in hand carts (well, one branch of the family waited for the completion of the transcontinental railroad). After the election though I’m ashamed at how the church behaved. They acted in a way that I think is directly analogous to the way the bigots in the 19th century Mid West acted when they ran my ancestors out of town. The LDS church is free to condemn homosexual marriage, and they’re free to refuse to let homosexuals take part in temple rites, but that’s it. They should damn well be aware of the difference between having the right to state your views and forcing your views on others. If the LDS church thinks they have the right to declare a marriage in California void because they’re morally opposed to it, then they have absolutely no right to condemn the people who felt the same way about LDS marriage in the 19th century.

    I’m writing to the LDS church and asking to be removed from their rolls. It’s a bit of a pointless gesture since I’m not a practicing member of the church, but I don’t want to be even tangentially related to the church anymore. This is the most effective way I can think of to let the LDS leadership know just how much of a mistake I think they’ve made.

  116. Sub-Odeon @ 119:
    I am not looking for any particular special favor, so by all means, any inclination you have against me in that regard feel free to indulge in.

    For my part, I make no apology for my opinion of the Church of LDS, but I do apologize for being rude enough to turn that opinion into an broad insult against your church. I recognize that there are a large number of Mormons of the usual variety of opinions you would find in any other group of individuals. Your church’s leadership deserves my disdain for their actions. Your stated opinions in this thread are not ones I am inclined to favor either, however that you chose to make those opinions yours is on your karma, not a reflection of every member of your church.

    I stand by my feeling that you would be better served by finding a church that preaches a more tolerant world view and worries less about who is screwing who and with what.

  117. Frank –

    It appears that it was Black and Hispanic voters who gave Prop 8 its props.

    Racist nonsense. And I mean that even when the criticism is coming from the GLBT community, which has it’s own racism issues to deal with. If you removed ever black or latino vote form the equation, it still would have passed.

    The GLBT community could have done a better job at outreach, but bigotry among everyone who voted for it was the reason it passed, race notwithstanding.

  118. Scalzi @70:
    Well, no. I think opposition to same-sex marriage is merely bigoted; I think voting to destroy marriages is immoral.

    I can get the idea that people voting for an initiative to ban gay marriage is evil. I don’t get the idea that voting for Prop 8 was especially vile because they’re destroying existing marriages.

    Proposition 8 was submitted to the state in October 2007, and was essentially on the 2008 ballot as of the end of November 2007.

    In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution required same-sex marriage, and explicitly refused to delay the effect of this decision until after Proposition 8 could be voted on, declaring that it would take effect in June 2008.

    I have a problem with the idea that supporters of Proposition 8 are now extraordinarily evil because they ripped away these marriages from unsuspecting gay couples.

    Proposition 8 didn’t sneak up on anyone. Its existence predated the May decision. Any couple getting married between June and November 2008 was (or at least, if they were aware enough of the law to know of the court’s decision, clearly should have been) aware that there was a proposition pending which might change things.

    I find it problematic to say that, if Proposition 8 had managed to be on the November 2007 ballot, or if the California Supreme Court had agreed to delay the effects of the decision until after the November 2008 election, that this would just be garden variety evil, but that because of the actions of a third party in May 2008, entirely unrelated to anything done by proposition proponents, those in favor of the proposition now intrinsically go from ordinary evil to vile creatures that must be shunned by all those with a shred of humanity.

    Not from California, and can’t really say that I have a dog in this fight, save that I’m not a big fan of judicial interpretation creating rights contrary to original meaning. However, I’m even less of a fan of declaring that, once courts have discovered these hitherto unknown rights, any attempt to correct this interpretation (even if done practically immediately) is beyond the pale.

  119. This is exactly the same kind of shit I deal with whenever I talk to staunch LDS or religious of any stripe

    Yeah, nobody understands you. We’re just as stump-headed and dogmatic as whatever staunch religious person you may have talked with. Only you can move freely between the two camps, only you can choose.

    Right.

    All that and you still managed not to answer a single one of my questions. You know, like do you seriously hold (in a stump-headed way) to your notion that not a single valid complaint was stated here? That it was all bashing and stereotypes not worthy of addressing?

    have clearly made zero impact on anyone, annoyed a whole lot

    Maybe if you didn’t take legitimate complaints and throw them all into the “You’re just bashing my religion” wastebucket, folks might not get so annoyed at you.

    Not a single legitimate complaint?

    I know you’ve self-banned, but just a yes or no would do. Yes, there wer some legitimate complaints about hte LDS, some truths being spoken. or No, it was all bashing and stereotypes.

    Because right now, you haven’t come out and directly stated “No, it was all bashing, all stereotypes worthy of ignoring”, but you’ve made it pretty damn clear that’s what you think. At the very least, you’ve ignored multiple opportunities to answer that specific question every time I’ve posted it. So, I’m not sure what you think people would assume by you ignoring the question.

    You think maybe people might be annoyed at you because you dismissed all their statements into this “stereotypes” basket, rather than you annoyed people because you were right and they were wrong? Maybe? Possibly?

    If you want to have a conversation with people without annoying the entire lot of them, it helps not to sweep their entire contribution, their entire thread, everything but what you say, into the wastebasket.

    Just a thought.

  120. But really, do you think it’s any more likely that the U.S. public will just stop caring about this issue? Again and again and again, when put to a vote, the U.S. public rejects gay marriage.

    Not the young. As someone pointed out earlier, the 29 and under crowd went against it 60/40. And, according to the last data I dug up, 15% of the population is between 11 and 19. That’s 15% that’s going to be old enough to vote in 2016.

    You’re not the first person I’ve heard claim that folks tend to go more conservative as they get older, but you’re making the assumption this is a liberal/conservative issue, and I’m not sure the numbers support that. Certainly it was clear in this election that just because someone was voting democratic didn’t mean they’d oppose Prop 8.

    CNN’s exit polls are here: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#CAI01p1

    Notice that while 85% of those voting yes identified themselves as conservative there was still 15% voting no. And moderates were 54% opposed, so even if there’s a shift as these kids age not all of them are going to shift all the way – note that self-identified moderates at 44% outnumber both other groups. By party ID there’s also more independent support for gay marriage than there is opposition.

    The LDS and others are trying to sweep back the tide. It’s criminal that we have to put civil liberties to a popular vote but this change is inevitable.

  121. If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart.
    If you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.

    The other version of this is, of course:

    A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.

    A liberal is a conservative who tried to get health care after getting mugged.

  122. Brian Gibbons:

    “I have a problem with the idea that supporters of Proposition 8 are now extraordinarily evil because they ripped away these marriages from unsuspecting gay couples.”

    I’m not aware of suggesting the supporters are extraordinarily evil; indeed, I’ve explicitly said quite the opposite.

    However, it seems you are making the argument that the Supreme Court of California, having recognized that the state of California’s constitution allowed for same-sex marriages, should have withheld access to rights the citizens of California had just because there was something on the ballot that might change those rights. I’m not sure why: if rights exist, they should be exercised, whether or not they might or might not be taken away later.

    You seem to think the moral quality of a vote for Prop 8 should not have changed since the beginning of the initiative drive, but that’s wrong because the circumstances surrounding the proposition changed; same-sex marriage went from being theoretical to legal, and people got married. The result of the proposition went from keeping people from getting married to destroying marriages that already existed. That’s a substantial change, because real marriages were now involved.

  123. I’d like to actually give props to S-O for being less inflammatory then most religious folks on the whole topic. The fish thing is even funny.

    I understand your frustration, oh S-O, since you see yourself as trying to find a compromise between two factions, and (without actually reading your manifesto) I see you as pretty moderate on the subject. Unfortunately, I see the majority of the religious groups as wildly rabid. Sorry.

    I’m not religious and have no desire to be. I’m not gay and have no desire to be. I’m not married and have no desire to be. I will defend your right to be any of these – and so many others will too.

    As a nation, we’ve put limits on what being “a religion” is to keep cults from causing members to suicide. Any relationship involving a minor (no matter what the orientation) is punishable due to the limits our society has decided on. I can see the desire to put limits on what “a marriage” is to prevent harm. But like so many others, I’m failing to see what harm these limits are trying to prevent. Every explanation I’ve heard does remind me of arguments for slavery or the un-emancipation of women – or a child screaming “because I said so”.

    Sorry you disagree with us and/or can’t verbalize what your church’s position.

    (*passes tarter sauce*)

  124. RitaInTheHood:

    “The fish thing is even funny.”

    It’s from an earlier thread. It is now apparently a symbol of my moderating authority. When he was smacking himself with it, he was anticipating such fish-smackery from me.

    I like the idea of the Moderating Fish of Smackination, myself.

  125. Wasn’t that an old IRC smackdown convention?

    *Moderator smacks around SomeGuy with a large trout.

  126. The federal courts (at least SCOTUS, the 9th circuit is capable of anything) will stay out of the marriage issue, gay or otherwise. There are quite a few federal opinions that marriage law is under the purview of the individual states per their police powers and not the federal courts.

    As to the equal protection argument, I think that would fail. Every man is able to wed a woman, if she consents, and every woman is free to marry a man, if she consents. The classes of women and men are being treated identically and so an equal protection claim under the federal constitution would likely bomb.

    Which is why the gay marriage issue has been brought in state courts. State constitutions can offer more rights than the federal constitution, but not less. The MA and CA courts can interpret the rights granted under the state constitution as broadly as they like and that interpretation is not subject to federal review (as marriage is a state issue and the federal courts will not trump a state court’s interpretation of its own constitution so long as they interpretation does not fall short of the minimal federal standard).

    I also think that the state court challenges to the gay marriage ban in CA will fail. It passed muster with one intellectually honest conservative vote in favor. I believe that the amendment of the constitution will switch that vote, as the ban is now part of the constitution, like it or not and personal preferences aside.

    If gay marriage proponents want to change the ban, they need to get on the ballot and switch 5% of the population of CA. The democratic process is its only relief, at least in CA.

  127. Zach 19: From the LDS official press release: “We hope that now and in the future all parties involved in this issue will be well informed and act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different position. No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.”

    Wow, look up ‘hypocrisy’ in the dictionary and you find a picture of this. After they spread “erroneous information” to get it passed, vilified gays (and show no signs of stopping that), and supported those who intimidated and harassed everyone on our side, now they want to change the game to a clean one? FUCK THAT. AND FUCK THEM.

    They’re willing to set a “high standard” for themselves AFTER they used every dirty rotten trick in the book to get their way, and rob hundreds of thousands of people of their civil rights. They don’t get to suddenly say “let’s all be nice now” after that. They made their bed, and now they can fucking LIE in it (as they did during the election).

    The LDS church has always been the enemy of the gay community, and of every gay or Lesbian person in the world, in the church or out. Now we are their enemy too. No more conciliation, no more pleading our case. I speak only for myself, but my attitude just changed from “I want the CJCLDS to reform its attitude toward gays” to “I want the CJCLDS to be brought down, so thoroughly discredited that everyone will laugh when you say that’s your religion, so reduced in numbers (through people leaving it in disgust, I stress, not violence) that it can’t possibly recover.”

    Yeah, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But it’s time to bring out the DDT.

    Brett 35: I just reached my own personal tolerance level on the meme[s] that…It’s okay to sic the state on your political opponents and prevent them from exercising their rights to assemble and petition because they belong to the same church.

    Oh, but you think it IS OK to sic the state on your political opponents and prevent them from exercising their right to marry?

    Sub-Odeon 47: The great thing about being LDS is not having to give a damn if people think you’re in the wrong.

    Yeah, great thing about being Sarah Palin too. When you absolutely don’t listen to anyone telling you you’re wrong, you get to keep thinking you’re right. Too bad you’re actually wrong, and can never correct yourself.

    Wow, a whole church with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Amazing, but really kind of sad.

  128. Perhaps I will calm down eventually, and set aside the goal of utterly destroying the CJCLDS. But it sure sounds good right now.

  129. I believe that the amendment of the constitution will switch that vote, as the ban is now part of the constitution, like it or not and personal preferences aside.

    It’s my understanding that the planned legal challenge to prop 8 will be precisely on the basis of whether or not it is part of the constitution. (It’s the revision versus amendment thing, which the court has claimed standing to rule on in the past.)

  130. I thought the fish thing was from the Monty Python sketch. Might be ancient though – it’s classic physical humor.

    In any case, am I the only one who finds it deeply deeply ironic that the LDSs, of all people, are fighting against non-traditional marriages?

  131. An idea popped into my head earlier, while I was walking down the road to the polling booth, and my idea was as follows; what if a bunch of LGBT people got together and made their own religion – claiming that the Omnipotent Godhead had decreed homosexual marriage not only permissible, but /mandatory/? I’d be interested in watching the fallout from /that/, since America seems to have something of a blind spot where religion is concerned. I mean, heck, you can smoke peyote (ingest peyote? I don’t know how it’s done) if you belong to the right religion, or skirt the federal education requirements if you’re Amish, or whatever else.

    … I suppose this is the theological equivalent of trolling, really. “Unlicensed theogenesis with intent”?

  132. Brian: please explain to me why on earth a Court ought to say “This law is unconstitutional; however, some people are trying to change the Constitution, therefore we will let it stand until they vote on the change.”

    I’m thinking a legal basis, but I’d settle for a mildly logical one.

    You’re also, if you’re being honest, cheering on the idea of delaying the ruling of In Re Marriage Cases forever. Because if Prop 8 had gone down in flames, the bigots just try and get another law passed, or another measure on the ballot, and then you and they would argue we should still let them stall it out….Just In Case.

    Roughly the same crowd has been trying to get a parental notification law passed in California for at least four years running. They never seem to bleat about “the will of the people” or “popular opinion”, funnily; they just keep trying over and over. You think they’d treat Prop 8 any different?

  133. Mythago; I beg your pardon, I’m clearly not as familiar with Californian politics as I should be … but when you say “roughly the same crowd has been trying to get a parental notification law passed in California for at least four years running.” – parental notification of /what/, exactly?

  134. The origins of Fish Smackery.

    So far as I have been able to remember them.

    Click here.

    And thanks to those who appreciated the humor I tried to inject into this (very often serious and heated) topic discussion.

  135. Fletcher, sorry about that – requiring notification of a minor’s parents before she can have an abortion. Every year they lose and then file another ballot measure for it. So much for deferring to the “will of the people”.

  136. The problem with Sub-Odeon’s idea is not that it isn’t a good one. It’s that it isn’t a PRACTICAL one. American society does not make fundamental attitudinal changes overnight. It’s like a friend I have who thinks that all we need to do is abolish all the public school systems and replace them with his model. I like his model, a lot. But he doesn’t have any plans for the bridge getting us from where we are to where he thinks we should be. And that’s the problem with Sub-O’s position as well; it may well be a good destination, but we don’t have any idea which direction to go to get there. Draw us the map, don’t just point to the postcard.

  137. In regard to the race issue, yes, it was a factor. But the far bigger factor is a generational one, as I point out here:

    http://uppityliberal.livejournal.com/156583.html

    This may well be evidence of what S-O was talking about above, in that people do tend slightly to conservatism as they age. (I also, fwiw, think that the under-40 component of the 30-44 demo probably voted No, and there is a component there of the black/Latin@ vote that swayed that age group.)

    That said, I do lay a large part of the blame in the lap of the LDS church, for the misinformation campaign they sponsored that implied ridiculous things like ss marriage being taught in schools, and churches forced to perform them, or fined for speaking out against it. Polls were running heavily to the “no” side until those ads started running.

    And for what it’s worth, I think it’s also important to note the huge difference in voting by education level. The more education someone has, the less likely they are to be swayed by such misinformation.

  138. Can we introduce a proposition invalidating the marriages of all Californians of a mormon-ic persuasion?

  139. Honestly, the way I see it is that there are two types of marriages practiced in the US today; civil and religious. The civil ones are a wholly legal/social structure and the religious ones are sanctified by the process designated for marriage in the particular religion. Therefore I agree with allowing marriage to same-sex couples, and I don’t see how this affects religious marriages if the church doesn’t marry the couple.

    Historically, the idea of a traditional marriage being based in the church, specifically modern day ones, came after their initial establishment. Before than it seems to have been a mostly social/legal matter that predates religious involvement. I’m sure there are exceptions.

    However, in this case it seems like a clear case of attempting to apply a specific religious definition to a social/legal contract that was legal previously. At least in California. Therefore, it may be something that does literally encroach upon the separation of church and state and something that is a national issue in regards to the rights given by the national constitution.

    Of course that’s my opinion.

  140. I have a simple suggestion to Gavin Newsom, Mayor of SF. He should just have the city/county stop issuing marriage licenses and only issue civil unions. That will be equitable.

    No, i’m not joking. Arnold should do it statewide, but doesn’t have the constituency that Newsome has.

  141. Steve Moss@144

    Forgive my ignorance, but could one make a case that dividing the classes of women and men when considering marriage is discrimination?

  142. *slams his forehead into the keyboard until it is but flinders*

    I don’t knwo which is more fucking nauseating. That the fact that we’ve elected a black President is important, or that we’re still fucking other people over because our invisible friend tells us to.

    Through, of course, their straw bosses who dispense straitjackets of blind faith.

    Holy fuck, Humanity. Grow up.

  143. To clarify my previous statement, the fact that the skin colour of the President-Elect is important is gut-churningly fucking apalling. The simple melanonin content of his dermis having and fucking vailidity in people estimating his ability to take the Big Chair is less relevant than his ability to play Scrabble. And yet, IT IS A BIG DEAL!

    It shouldn’t even be something you fucking NOTICE. GROW THE FUCK UP, HUMANS!

  144. Personally, I’d like to see the state get out of the marriage business completely. Let folks write up their own contracts and file them with the county. Hell, they could even expire after a period of time. Whatever. But then I’d like to see the goverment get their mitts off of a lot things.

    As a side note, I suspect most people are unaware that the great state of Missouri order the extermination of Mormons. As in state-sanctioned murder. Just FYI.

  145. Apologies for typos in the above posts, I think I’m still intelligible, but that was a Rage Inhibitor Failure, right there. I had a complete flashback to when I was 16 and realised that segregation and institutionalised practical racism was still alive and well in America less than twice my age before. And that was a running kick to the bollocks, let me tell you.

    Bigotry based on your invisible friend telling you something is loathesome, disgusting, and makes me treat organised religion like I would typhoid or polio. Something to be stamped out and destroyed, before it kills or hurts other innocent people.

  146. That will be equitable.

    No, it won’t be. Because civil unions don’t have the status of marriages, and aren’t recognized by other states. That was the point of the state Supreme Court ruling: that no matter how similar you make civil unions, they don’t have the social or legal impact of marriage, and are therefore separate and unequal.

    Forgive my ignorance, but could one make a case that dividing the classes of women and men when considering marriage is discrimination?

    That’s been my argument for a while: that it’s an equal protection violation based on gender because the parties to the marriage contract are forbidden to be of the same gender.

    Also, the whole question of who is what gender becomes relevant: what do the Measure 8 proponents have to say about transsexuals? What if someone is FTM but hasn’t had the surgery yet? Is he allowed to marry his boyfriend only before the surgery but not after? Or not at all, because if gay sex wigs out people, just imagine their response to trans people…

  147. There are certainly, no end to the snarkiness that the gays could inflict upon Mormons in response to the LDS funding of the Yes on 8 effort. Off the top of my head:

    1. The Hollywood Mafia could guarantee that a dollar of every movie ticket purchased in Utah would go to anti-8 efforts;

    2. Wealthy gays in CA (of which there are tons — Geffen alone could do this) could start buying all the Mormon special undergarments made in a year so that Mormons would not be able to buy replacements;

    3. Gays could have a millenial “We Have No More Reason To Even Pretend to Conform” Meet-up and Sodomy Sextravaganza in the Great Salt Lake where they have the stated goal of leaving the Lake one half saltwater and one-half Astroglide.

    All of these would be pretty funny and would piss off the Mormons while doing something good for the Anti-8 effort. They’d also, like the funding on behalf of Pres. Monson trick, ultimately be self-destructive to the eventual goal.

    The best indication of how you voted on 8, I bet, is whether you know a gay couple. (much like, I bet, the best indication of whether you think all Mormons are bigots is if you know a Mormon). I know several very Christian, very conservative families that voted or would have voted (if they were CA citizens) No on 8 because they include gay children. So, ultimately, I think the work here is about out-reach. It might actually be time to start gay missions to Utah much as there are Mormon missions to other parts of the country and world. Maybe gay couples and their children can knock on doors in Utah (and in the rural areas of CA) in blue blazers with little white name tags and ask if they can talk about their families with the homeowners. Hell I can think of one very prominent conservative with a gay daughter who might be willing to join such an effort just to rehabilitate his own image–Dick Cheney.

    Now, to be clear, I think it’s f’ing ridiculous that gay people would actually have to go to these lengths to secure rights that I consider pretty self-evident, but if you’re going to have to make some effort, best to make it an effective one. ACT-UP’s tactics in the 80s may have been hilarious in a punk rock, fuck the man!, sort of way, but more than one gay was pissed off at the fact that ACT-UP’s tactics just solidified the religious opposition to AIDS awareness, education, and medical funding. I think the same is very likely to come from this. The best thing to happen is let the Mormons rest on their laurels and forget about this so that the next time we have this vote (and unfortunately it’s not going to be for 5 years, I think) they will not be motivated to fund raise like they did this year.

    Or, alternatively, I’ll see you all at the Great Lube Lake in a few years.

    BTW, reading other comments in this thread — Andy_Smith, sorry, the SCOTUS has continually refused to hear cases that would apply 14th Am. protections to gays. They will deny certiorari to any case involving Prop. 8 which will leave it locked with CA S. Ct. opinion, which is not likely to overturn Prop. 8 because the gorund of the challenge are legitimate but, frankly, way too weak.

    Sub_Odeon — Your solution has been bandied about by many, but, four points: 1. Unlike the extension of “marriage” your universal application of “civil unions” makes it very easy for polygamists, incest-practitioners, and bestialists to challenge for recognition of their “civil unions” based on CA’s equal protection clause. “Marriage” is a more tradition contractual relationship (ergo the inclusion of a dowry in the earliest forms) created outside of state structures but onto which the state decided to hang some beneficial tax and probate effects. As such it is arguably outside an equal protection argument; 2. Why the hell should gays compromise at all when I think everyone on Earth recognizes that the extension of marriage rights to them is just a matter of time? I mean Gavin told us so! (BTW if there’s one good thing that comes out of this, please God, let it be that Gavin Newsom does not become Gov. of CA) 3. More importantly, why should straights suddenly redefine their relationships — some of them would be resistant because they don’t want gays to have the same rights and some would be resistant because they want gays to have the same rights — straights have no skin in this game so why should there be any effect on them?; finally 4. You fail to address how children are affected and that’s the biggest issue for the Mormons and other religious (I’d say “bigots” but let’s use) recalcitrants. If civil unions are universal, then gays still can adopt.

  148. Well, if there was an institution out there that should remember what it is like to be marginalized and vilified for their beliefs, it would be the Mormons…

    That said, I can’t donate. Scapegoating just one of the groups responsible isn’t near enough action IMO.

    Andrew

  149. Steve Moss #144:

    As to the equal protection argument, I think that would fail. Every man is able to wed a woman, if she consents, and every woman is free to marry a man, if she consents. The classes of women and men are being treated identically and so an equal protection claim under the federal constitution would likely bomb.

    And if every Christian were allowed to attend Buddhist religious services, you’d have no problem with a ban on Christian churches?

  150. Becca at 163: I think its somewhat a logical position to take but I also think it would fail under the federal constitution (as opposed to the various states, as demonstrated by CA and MA analysis). While it is true that the law discriminates, in that it prohibits men from marrying men and women from marrying women but allows the converse, it would not be unlawful discrimination in that both sexes are being equally discriminated against. Thus both have the same protection (or lack thereof).

    Also keep in mind the government can discriminate. Whether is may do so is analyzed under various standards of review. Race discrimination is strict scrutiny while age discrimination is rational basis. Rational basis discrimination is allowed if it reasonably advances any legitimate government purpose, even if the Court’s thinks it is not the best or most efficent method of discrimination available to advance that government purpose. That’s why social conservatives generally point to the procreative aspects of marriage, in that they believe (and I think they’re right) that the courts would review a marriage equal protection claim under the rational basis test. If so, the government can argue that a legitimate purpose (procreation, stability of children, etc.) is being advanced and so the Court cannot overturn it on equal protection grounds even if the Court believes other less discriminatory methods (subsidized child care, early education, loosening adoption laws, etc) might achieve the same social benefit.

    By the way, rational basis review sucks. I personally despise it and do not think it should have any basis in the analyzing individual freedoms. In a truly free society any infringement should be strictly scrutinized. But, if the Court’s employed that strict standard, a whole host of laws would fall flat, many of which are near and dear to the hearts of both parties.

  151. Wintermute at 172: First, I can’t recall the standard of review for religious discrimination but I think its strict scrutiny. Thus the government would have to prove a compelling government interest for the ban which cannot be achieved by less intrusive methods.

    Second, it would depend on how the Court framed the question a liberal court would, in a gay marriage cause, try to frame it narrowly to highlight the differences in the manner the sexes are being treated such as “does the government discriminate when it allows men to marry women but does not allow women to marry women”. A conservative federal court (or even a liberal federal court who honors stare decisis, being the prior law keeping the federal court out of marriage issues) would likely frame it more broadly such as “does the government discriminate when it prevents each gender from marrying the opposite gender”. The way the court decides to frame the question usually answers the question.

    Even if the court answered yes, in that discrimination exists, it would have to then apply the standard of review (rational or strict) to determine whether the discrimination was lawful. If rational basis review, the government’s discrimination is almost always upheld. And I think that’s the standard which they would apply under the federal constitution, which grants fewer rights than a citizen can obtain under the state constitution.

  152. Looks like there may be the beginnings of a tourism boycott of the state of Utah brewing. Believe it or not, people apparently spend $6 billion a year there on tourism-related activities.

  153. I mean, heck, you can smoke peyote (ingest peyote? I don’t know how it’s done) if you belong to the right religion

    No, you can’t, actually.

  154. It always helps to know what demographics you are attempting to persuade.

    It always helps if you try to persuade rather than “snark” people into submission. I actually have Mormon family members who’ve always been supportive of me, because I’ve treated them with respect (and expected the same), tried to find what we have in common, and don’t the hard work of unpicking their prejudices and misconceptions apart stitch by stitch.

    Perhaps, if groups like L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center had done a better job of persuading Mormons — or even tried, instead of treating them like subhuman trolls — there would be no Prop 8 requiring “invalidation” today.

  155. Oh, and if anyone thinks I’m being a Pollyanna, anyone else think there’s one or two Democrat pundits who like to discretely forget they ever slammed the President-Elect’s Red State outreach strategy as, at best, naive in the extreme if not actively politically suicidal?

  156. “They were mean to us! Let’s take away their marriages! That will show them!”

    Craig, don’t be stupid. The LDS Church wouldn’t have not been pro-8 if gays and lesbians had just been nicer to them. To suggest so shows a misunderstanding of LDS doctrine.

  157. Fletcher @ 152

    “An idea popped into my head earlier, while I was walking down the road to the polling booth, and my idea was as follows; what if a bunch of LGBT people got together and made their own religion – claiming that the Omnipotent Godhead had decreed homosexual marriage not only permissible, but /mandatory/?”

    A similar idea happened when a bunch of prison inmates got the idea of creating what was, basically, the Church of Marijuana, and then sued the prison for not allowing them to take the holy sacrament. The courts pretty much saw right through that one and basically said, “No, that’s not a religion.” While courts are, as a general rule, a little bit touchy about determining whether a particular religion is actually a legitimate faith, they had no problem saying that THIS wasn’t one, but an attempt to work around the law.

    And (as long as I’m posting) here’s the thing about marriage. Under California law, a “marriage” IS a civil institution. To the extent people are arguing that we ought to just make all marriages civil unions — all marriages ARE civil unions. (They just happen to go by the name of “marriages.”) As far as California is concerned, your marriage has (almost) nothing to do with the religious ceremony of marriage.

    Now, I said “almost” because California requires that all marriages be “solemnized.” Religious leaders are authorized to solemnize marriages, as are judges, clerks, and various other folks that have nothing to do with religion. So — regardless of the legality of same sex marriages — people in California can get good and legally (civilly) married without it having anything to do with religion.

    The key point here, though, is that although a married couple might refer to the priest, minister, rabbi, or other religious leader as the person who “married” them, and think of that religious ceremony as their “marriage,” that’s only true between God and them. As far as California is concerned, the “marriage” is the civil document they signed, and all the rest is just window-dressing. It isn’t that the state is “recognizing” your religious marriage — it’s simply allowing your religious leader to solemnize your civil marriage.

    On the flip side, you can have the religious ceremony and be good and married IN YOUR CHURCH, but the state will NOT consider you to be married if you didn’t sign the license. (Some religious leaders will happily perform religious marriages for same-sex couples. So they can be married in the eyes of their faith, but — as of now, anyway, NOT in the eyes of the State.)

    My point is: there’s civil marriage and there’s religious marriage. And these are two totally different things, that may only overlap in that moment of solemnization (if that’s the way you choose to have it solemnized.) When we’re talking about Prop 8, we’re talking ONLY about civil marriages. Religious leaders can religiously marry whomever they want and the law says nothing about it; the State can allow whatever civil marriages it wants and the religious leaders aren’t in any way required to solemnize any marriage they don’t want to.

    Given that, the only LEGITIMATE arguments against same sex marriages are the ones that have nothing to do with religion. And I’ve yet to hear such an argument that’s even remotely persuasive.

  158. Initially, I would have been in favor of changing the definition of marriage to be only done by churches and have everyone else have civil unions.

    I’ll give a reason this won’t work: what if you die overseas and the foreign government recognizes a marriage in Texas but not a civil union from California?

    Marriage has become fungible from place to place, and this is important. Thus, while I’ve previously held that I’d be willing to give up the term marriage for both straights and gays, I’m now reversing that.

    Churches can keep their other terms: holy matrimony, sealing, etc.

    Marriage is for the state, and for its same-sex and straight couplings.

    If I have to go on a rampage and ask for a repeal of California Family Code § 400(a), so be it. I’m drafting my letters now, in fact. This would strip me of the right to perform marriage ceremonies, as I have done so as a minister (and my religious rights are currently curtailed by bigots of other faiths) in the past.

    I would, however, gladly give up that right if it helped shed the illusion that marriage is a religious thing rather than a state thing.

    (“400. Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is of the age of 18 years or older:
    (a) A priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination.”)

  159. Craig: Your remark about there being no Prop 8 if gays and lesbian groups had just been nicer to Mormons is about the silliest thing I’ve read in this thread. And that’s saying a lot.

    I grew up in the heart of Utah, and I can attest to the levels of homophobia that pervade the culture there. Granted, things are changing–they always are–but when I was growing up and well into my twenties, homosexuality was still a hot topic with the church. You can be excommunicated for it, although in theory, you can still be gay and a church member if’n you just DON’T HAVE SEX FOR THE REST OF YOUR NATURAL LIFE….or if you do the equally unthinkable, and try to marry somebody of the opposite gender anyway, hoping that God will make you attracted to your spouse. Both are pathways to a lot of repression and unhealthiness, I think.

    Anyways, my point was: LDS church (at this point in history) — they were going to be against gay marriage. The line they crossed was in trying to say how people outside their religious purview should be treated.

    But fear not. Either the LDS church will change, as they have changed at least once before, or they will lose members or both. (Both is the likeliest case, actually, given the church’s history.) They changed once at least when Spencer Kimball gave the priesthood to blacks–about ten years after the rest of the country had experienced its civil rights upheaval. Eventually the old generations will die out and the younger generations will gradually be mellower and mellower (although probably not at a rate mainstream to society) until things that were once unthinkable are now regarded as common sense. I predict that in the future, although perhaps not in my lifetime or until I am very old, the Mormon church will allow gays to marry and women to hold the priesthood. After all, we’ve already seen them let blacks have the Priesthood and let women wear pants on BYU campus. Perhaps in a couple of centuries, one will even be able to check books out at the YBU library while having a pierced nostril.

    In the meantime, many a member with a brain AND compassion for their fellow human beings will have slipped out the door, thinking that a God worth worshipping won’t discriminate.

  160. This is why I have a problem with the gay marrage thing- please dear god quit trying to go through the broken courts.

    I really don’t mind the goals, but the ends do not justify the means. If you want real “equality” then argue your point with logic and keep pushing for legislation (where this problem belongs). The courts already have trouble staying within their constitutional limits, besides; you’ll never get what you want if it is handed down by the courts, you need to convince the public it is the right thing.

    And the donation notices sent to opponants is not good on any level. Do you really need to antagonize your opponents? What does that hope to accomplish? Would you like it if you sincerely believed in something (undoubtably not framed as “bigotry”) and got swamped with comments like that? I really don’t see why anyone would be celebratary about such a pointless, infantile gesture.

    All that said I really don’t see anything wrong with gay marrige in and of itself.

  161. Adara,

    Thank you for SO MUCH for saying what I have been thinking for two years now!

    Let the religious people change their status – (religious union, perhaps?) – they are the ones who want to be separate.

    A plurality of heterosexual couples are married in civil services – yet they are “married”. Why should homosexual couples be any different?

  162. Steve Young’s wife donated 50k to fight Prop 8. While not anywhere close to the millions donated by individual members in support of Prop 8, it is still worth noting. Not all Mormons agree with the church’s involvement or position. I’m LDS, and I would have voted against it if I were a California resident.

  163. Craig, don’t be stupid. The LDS Church wouldn’t have not been pro-8 if gays and lesbians had just been nicer to them. To suggest so shows a misunderstanding of LDS doctrine.

    John: I won’t be stupid, if you’d refrain from being a patronising arse. You do realise that Mormons are no more a theocratic Borg Collective than Jews, Catholics – or atheists, come to that – and there have actually been Mormons who’ve opposed Prop 8, and been rather more gay-friendly than you might think.

    Nowhere near enough, granted. And I’m as heinously pissed off at everyone who voted for that appalling Prop 8 and funded a profoundly dishonest campaign in favour (they can’t all have been Mormons, could they John?)

    But could you tell me exactly what the hell “snark” is supposed to achieve, that making a serious effort to persuade opponents by… well, just treating them like sentient adults wouldn’t. Sure you don’t get the instant gratification of self-righteous bitchiness, but I’d rather do the hard and often uncomfortable work of making real progress.

    And finally, John, when I’m talking about my relations with my own family you may care to assume two things: 1) I know what I’m talking about, and 2) you don’t.

    To paraphrase your good self: You snark has been graded. You might want a do-over.

  164. Craig Ranpia:

    “John: I won’t be stupid, if you’d refrain from being a patronising arse. You do realise that Mormons are no more a theocratic Borg Collective than Jews, Catholics – or atheists, come to that – and there have actually been Mormons who’ve opposed Prop 8, and been rather more gay-friendly than you might think.”

    All of which is irrelevant to the fact that the LDS Church itself encouraged its members to support Prop 8, and it does appear that as a result, a significant amount of the funding for 8 came out of the LDS community. Which is why, while I certainly agree that individual LDS members could choose to oppose their churches’ stance, and I wish that more did, being nice to individual LDS members would not have made any significant difference the LDS Church’s formal position, nor, given the social and hierarchical dynamics of the LDS Church, would it have stopped significant numbers of members from doing what the church directed. The LDS members are not Borg, but they are generally very attentive to their church and its directives.

    And yes, it continues to be a stupid suggestion, very much like suggesting that pro-choice folks being nice to Catholics will change the Vatican’s mind on abortion. Whether one is nice is aside the point when considering deep-seated theological and doctrinal issues in a church with a long-standing tradition.

    “And finally, John, when I’m talking about my relations with my own family you may care to assume two things: 1) I know what I’m talking about, and 2) you don’t.”

    I invite you, Craig, to show specifically where I’ve suggested otherwise. I wasn’t talking about your family. I was talking about the stupidity of your statement.

    Also completely fucking stupid, Craig: The idea that any group of people should have to be nice to another group in order that members of that second group don’t retaliate by taking away the first group’s rights. Not just prevent these people from getting rights they deserve, mind you, but actually taking them away.

    Not that you’ve actually shown that gays and lesbians were actively out there on the street hurting the feelings of members of the LDS Church before Prop 8 went down. On the other hand, we have lots of examples of how the supporter of Prop 8, many of whom were members of the LDS Church, willfully misrepresented the truth in order to convince others to vote for the proposition. Which in my book isn’t exactly nice. So as long as we’re talking about who should be nice to other people, let’s start with the people who worked tirelessly to take away other people’s rights. As opposed to the people who just wanted to, oh, marry the people they loved.

  165. Craig, you don’t understand.

    The CJCLDS is the ENEMY of the gay community. (I don’t mean the International Homosexual Conspiracy, which is as imaginary as the Jewish one; I mean every single gay or Lesbian person.) It has acted against our interests in the most extreme way, without ethics or morals, spreading lies about us and deceiving the people of California into voting for an initiative that would not have won support had the rhetoric about it been truthful.

    The CJCLDS has poured money into bearing false witness against their (gay) neighbors. They also have been afflicting widows and orphans, because if a woman dies, her widow—the only remaining parent her children know—will have a terrible time getting custody of the children, whereas if they were married it would be automatic. This harms the children, who are already suffering from the death of one parent.

    They have, in short, departed from the moral behavior that one of their two books dictates, meaning they can’t even claim to be moral by their own lights. Well, of course they can so claim, but doing so makes them hypocrites on top of everything else.

    Now you want us to be polite and nice to them. This is too much to ask. Everything we can do that angers President Monson is a good thing. I want him to have heartburn. I want him to have more and more trouble deceiving himself into thinking he’s acting with love or charity or in good faith. I want him to pray to have his heart cleansed of the hate that now fills it.

    Failing that, raising his blood pressure will do.

    We’ve already tried treating them like sentient adults. That appears to have been a mistake. As Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” And that’s exactly what the CJCLDS has done (though ‘atrocity’ is too strong a word for Proposition Hate, there’s really no limit to what lies can accomplish).

    Their actions have caused many of us, including me, to give up on the idea of trying to reason with the CJCLDS—though not, obviously, with individual Mormons. But now our argument with individual Mormons will be to tell them that they belong to a church that preaches hate, and that they should pray about whether they can in good conscience remain part of such a vile and detestable organization. The “win” for us: when they get themselves removed from church rolls, and their folder in Salt Lake City is stamped “EXCOMMUNICATED.”

    Craig, you’ve mistaken the situation for one where rational discourse is relevant, or even possible. It is not. It is a war.

    And it is a war the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints declared, on us, on our families, and on our children.

  166. John, you misunderstand something. In Mormon culture, it’s OK to do the most horrible things to other people, as long as you do it politely and with a nice big shiny smile. (Just ask a woman who has been called a “sweet spirit” by one of the girls who in mainstream American culture would be one of the cheerleaders/Plastics.)

    They get all offended if you call them what they deserve, because they’ve been behaving with proper social protocol, and you’re not allowed to criticize them for anything they do as long as they do that. And also, you’re obviously in the wrong, because it’s NEVER proper (in their opinion) to say “go smile at the wall, you self-righteous piece of shit.”

    In a way, this attitude is very American. If not for the general American preference for form over substance, we wouldn’t have been suffering the most incompetent administration in history for the past eight years.

  167. Craig: when I’m talking about my relations with my own family you may care to assume two things: 1) I know what I’m talking about, and 2) you don’t.

    Er, but that wasn’t Scalzi’s main objection to your statement. He wasn’t saying you don’t know what you’re talking about with regards to your family. He said you don’t know what you’re talking about when you take the specific case of your relation with your family and make a generalization to describe all pro-gay-marriage folks with regards to the LDS church as an organization.

    It’s called a hasty generalization, and you just made one: The whole LDS organization is just like the members of your family who are Mormon. And if all pro-gay-marriage people were nice to all LDS people just the way you are nice to your mormon family members, then the entire LDS organization would be nice to all gays, just like your Mormon family members are nice to you.

    No. That’s not how it works.

    I believe Scalzi had an entire thread recently that started off saying that there are probably quite a few people voting to get rid of gay marriages who are basically good people, who think they’re doing a good thing. But that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t religious nutjobs out there who know EXACTLY what they are doing to other human beings AND DON”T CARE because they’ve got some religious construct in their mind that throws their moral compass about 80 degrees off kilter.

    I saw pictures from a anti-gay-marriage protest from a couple years back where some minister of some church was carrying a sign that said “God Hates Fags”.

    If you seriously think that we should try to persuade people like that, that we should respect them, that we should try to find common ground, then you are seriously into the polyanna plane.

    Some people are bigots and want to inflict harm on others, want to put them in their place, want to cast themselves as the righteous hand of god metting out justice, want to keep them down, want them to sit in the back of the bus and drink from the other water fountain.

    And I’ll be fucking damned if I’ll put up with that shit. I will not play nice and try to come to an understanding with people while they are intentionally inflicting damage on other human beings. Fuck that shit.

    I’m willing to go along with the notion that some people voted against gay marriage because they thought they were doign the right thing, but that they didn’t know the real harm they were causing real people. To those folks I’d be perfectly willing to engage in some sort of conversation to try to show them the damage their vote did to other human beings. The marriages broken, the rights denied, the human lives affected. I assume that some people will see that cost and change their view.

    But to think that the entrenched bigots who have cast gays as “god hates fags” don’t see the harm of their vote is polyanna. Of course they see the effects of their actions. The thing is THEY DON”T CARE because they’re operating on orders that tell them the damage doesn’t matter compared to the “damage” that would be done if they let those gays get married. They’re doing “gods work”, and so the righteousness of their actions means they can ignore any harm they are causing in the world.

    i.e.: Fags are evil just for being fags. Anything that stops their fagginess and faggy behaviour is a righteous action.

    It might very well be that the mormon members of your family respect you and you respect them. But that doesn’t mean your respect for them is what created their respect for you. To assert categorically that that is the reason would be a non causa pro causa fallacy.

    It might be that your uncle reads something tomorrow and starts carrying a sign that says “God Hates
    Craig Ranapia” and that would have nothing to do with how you’ve been treating him.

  168. Xopher:

    I understand this perfectly well, actually, and this is one reason I suspect they will not be well-equipped to handle the sort of protests, covering the spectrum from vehement to sarcastic, that they’re now going to be dealing with.

  169. Ah. My apologies. But I think it’s also part of where Craig is coming from. He’s steeped in that culture, and he’s a good person (I believe) so he thinks other people who are also “nice” are good people too.

  170. Xopher: In Mormon culture, it’s OK to do the most horrible things to other people, as long as you do it politely

    I have no familiarity with the internal culture of Mormonism. But if that bit is true, that’s more of the “process is king” mentality that puts process as more important than real world damage the process might create.

    It’s maddening how we can create linguistic constructs like “be polite” and make them more important than “that person is bleeding”.

  171. @Sub-Odeon #110…If anything, I’m more progressive in my social and political outlook now, at age 52, than I was in my 20s and 30s. I attribute that to life experience.

    Also, you say that “the liberal revolution in the 60s gave birth to the conservative revolution in the 80s” as if all the liberals of the sixties turned into neocons in the 80s or something, which is demonstrably not true. Having studied the phenomenon a little bit, I’ve come to the conclusion that many of those leaders of the neocon movement who were previously fairly radically to the left made the shift because their main objective was to gain personal power. When that didn’t happen when they were leftists, they just charged to the other end of the political spectrum to see if they could achieve their search for power from there.

    @ca_geologist #131…I was a convert to the LDS church as a teenager (talk about peer pressure), and when I finally left after many years of hoping to change the institution from the inside (which will, in my opinion, never happen there), I never bothered to have my name removed from the records. So I, too, am still technically LDS. I’ve come to a similar conclusion to yours since the whole Prop. 8 thing. I don’t think I can continue to let them claim me as a member any more and I’ll likely be sending my name-removal request soon.

    @Xopher #192…You are absolutely correct about LDS culture and the acceptability of being rude and disrespectful to others so long as you smile and are polite while you are doing it. I’ve seen it a million times, and had it directed at me a bunch of times.

    And, just a translation for those who read your comment about calling a woman a “sweet spirit” but who aren’t familiar with LDS culture and terminology: Calling a woman a “sweet spirit” is code for calling her fat and ugly and, therefore, unmarriageable…which is the worst thing a good LDS woman can be, considering the church’s cultural norm that everyone must be married and that anyone who isn’t is fundamentally wrong in some way.

  172. I wouldn’t say that it’s precisely okay to do those horrible things in Mormon culture, as it will vary from community to community. I’ve had some really good leadership and some really shitty leadership while I was a church member. But I would say that it IS true that you are encouraged not to make waves and to defer all wave-making accusations/behaviour to your local ecclesiastic authority the bishop. And what happens if you have a weak bishop, is that your complaint about the culture or persons within the culture disappears. My sister was encouraged by her singles ward bishop to let her ex-boyfriend stalk her (he was trying to coerce her into letting him go to church with her, she was trying to get a restraining order) because HIS spirituality was at stake and he was preparing to go on a mission. (My dad raised hell over that one, and the bishop backed down.) Similarly, I’ve known at least two cases, where bishops knew about child molestation and didn’t want to report them, because the people involved were high-ups at the stake level. (Terminology alert: I suggest reading Bill Shunn’s Glossary of Mormonspeak)

    Anyway, a lot of your personal authority is abrogated. You are encouraged to pray over everything, and if a bishop sees you doing something they don’t personally like, they’ll encourage you to pray about it. Have you seen the movie, Emma, with Gwyneth Paltrow? There’s a scene where Toni Collete’s character, Harriet, is trying to decide whether or not to accept the marriage of Robert Martin, a farmer who Emma considers to be much inferior. Emma tells Harriet she can not counsel her, but pretty much makes discouraging faces when Harriet seems to be leaning towards acceptance, and when Harriet finally squeaks out, “I have thought…and I will not accept?” Emma then suddenly tells her she has made the right decision. Well, that in a nutshell, is how authority leans in Utah. You are supposed to accept authority in a direct line of priesthood to the prophet. Everyone in the immediate family accepts that the priesthood-holding dad is the head of house and has authority to accept revelation about his own family. (And people do believe this. One of my college roommates had her dad drive to visit her in the middle of the semester because he’d had a feeling she wasn’t to marry the guy she was currently dating, and he thought she should know as soon as possible. She broke it off with her boyfriend soon after in a marvelous display of self-fulfilling prophecy.) The bishop is supposed to have authority to have revelation over his ward, the stake president over the stake (a collection of wards), and so on, up the line til you get to the president and prophet of the church, currently Thomas S. Monson. Over time, this attitude has infantilised the culture, as people often pray over small things and look to their leaders to make their big decisions. This is pretty ironic, considering the Joseph Smith once said, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” But then in Joe’s time, the blacks briefly had the priesthood, and women, like Eliza R. Snow were allowed to bless people and preach. Brigham Young turned the clock back on that. Not that I’m saying Joe was a great guy, mind you, but the church has changed, and will change yet again. Even the most revolutionary of movements will find the need to stabilise after a while, and lose many of the reactionary elements that attracted its followers in the first place. Then as attrition sets in, the movement becomes more rigid and more controlling, even though that in and of itself will encourage attrition. People schism off and declare that the organisation has lost its way, and go off to start their own organisations, while they have the righteous fire of their own idealism. This happens a lot with religion (although political movements are particularly prone to it as well.) In the LDS church’s case, I imagine this was the result of a top-down correllation of doctrine and practises that occured in the early days of the last century. Then, the Mormon church, a decade or so from repudiating polygamy, was struggling for mainstream acceptance. I’m sure reinforcing the chain of command through the priesthood seemed very necessary, nevermind that they ended up axing the personal elements of the religion–yes, you can in theory recieve revelation for yourself, but it can always be superseded by somebody higher than you. In such an environment, people are taught over and over to follow the priesthood authority. Primary children even sing a song called “Follow the Prophet.”

    So it becomes very pertinent that Thomas S. Monson, and his general authorities, told the wards and stakes of Mormonland to get out there and support Prop 8. For many an LDS person, when the prophet speaks, they jump. If you don’t jump….you can lose your temple recommend for not following and sustaining the prophet. And losing your temple recommend can lose you status in strongly LDS neighbourhoods.

  173. Wow, even I didn’t think it was that extreme, PixelFish. I’m going to call Monson “Der Mormonsführer” from now on. (It just means “leader of the Mormons,” but the language choice has obvious semantic content.)

  174. RE: Sweet Spirits – When I went to Ricks College, my roommates and I rebelled against the Sweet Spirit terminology. We hadn’t yet heard about feminist efforts to reclaim words like “bitch” and “cunt” but we decided to start calling ourselves Sweet Spirits despite the fact that we were not the sort of girls that “she has a sweet spirit” would generally apply to. (Well, other than the fact that some of us actually did have genuinely sweet temperments. I would have been “She’s a bit of a mouthy spirit, isn’t she?”)

    Also, because the prevailing attitude at Ricks College, an LDS-owned college–even when I went–was that the girls were there to find husbands, and the joke went “Ring by spring or your money back,” I ended up using a Sharpie marker to make a temporary RingBuster’s tattoo on each of our tummies. (It was a No symbol on top of a ring.)

    (This is the sort of thing wot happens when you take six girls from across the continent and wedge them into a small apartment with a curfew.)

  175. Craig Ranapia @ 180 your use of “Democrat pundits” rather than “Democratic pundits,” which is a standard verbal devaluation of Democratic leaders used by various individuals on the right wing, leaves me in pretty severe doubt about your motives and veracity.

  176. MattRenthere @ 81: I fail to see how allowing homosexual couples to marry is anti-religious bigotry.

    You misunderstand the point. The anti-religious bigotry comes in where gay rights advocates are deliberately targeting a religious group with the intent of punishing it and intimidating its members for practicing their rights as citizens. LDS churchgoers have the rights to talk about political issues, to donate to causes they support, and to vote as they like.

    If the only way gay rights advocates can practice rights is to remove rights from others, that’s exactly the same tactic that those same gay rights advocates are protesting against with the passage of Prop 8. By those advocates’ own definition, that’s bigotry.

  177. gerrymander: It isn’t simply “punishment” or revenge. It’s a necessary part of the ongoing strategy. Read here; the Prop 8 coalition isn’t going to stop with their success in California. They’re going to keep going.

    Part of preventing them from winning the next round is to make their efforts as expensive as possible; make it cost them money, members, and friends. At best, it will discourage them from joining the next campaign; at the very least, it will make their next campaign that much less effective as there’ll be less cash available to pour into it.

  178. Mr. Scalzi:

    I’m not associated with the LDS church. I am, however, a moderator of the website Christian Teen Forums, and one of our members recently posted an article concerning the fact that the folks who passed Prop 8 in California – including, in large part, the LDS church – are now [url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hZmLBrL36NObNyMR0ghXN7vB5hYwD94ADAB80]planning to use the same tactics in other states.[/url]

    I simply wanted to make it very, very clear that we are not all like this.

    I, for one, find this behavior utterly reprehensible, and I can state with complete surety that the Jesus Christ I worship would never encourage such cruel, insensitive, hateful, and bigoted behavior.

    That’s all. Thanks for your time.

  179. gerrymande@203 – it is not anti-religious bigotry to factually show that the people involved in religion voted to remove a right that they already had. That is telling the truth. That is hurts the feelings of a bunch of bigots, well boohoo. They can still marry, can’t they. Unlike the people they just shat upon.

    Really, if you (the universal “you”) can’t take the shitstorm you produce when you tell people they aren’t actually people, you shouldn’t stir it up in the first place.

  180. gerrymander – A lot of racists claim that their views are god-given – should we treat them with respect too? The LDS were the primary funders of a hate campaign, a hate campaign that they had to use lies to get passed even. They deserve what they get. I agree that a lot of the people who voted for it were ignorant, but the people who actually gave money to it are evil bigots – no better than a member of the Ku Klux Clan. And should be given no more respect than a member of the Clan would be given in decent society.

  181. gerrymander, criticism and censure are not the same as taking away rights. Nobody is saying the LDS churches should be shut down by the power of the state, which would be the equivalent of what the CJCLDS just did to us.

    Shaming them is fair game. People SHOULD be ashamed to go to an LDS church after what they’ve done.

    To amplify Corby, boo fucking hoo.

  182. gerry: with the intent of punishing it and intimidating its members for practicing their rights as citizens. … that’s exactly the same tactic that those same gay rights advocates are protesting against

    Woah there doggie.

    LDS lobbied hard to change the LAW to reduce gay’s rights.

    I haven’t heard anyone advocate that the gay-right strategy should be to lobby to get the law rewritten to take away LDS rights. There certainly isn’t any gay right organization that I know of that’s doing that.

    This isn’t hate spech (you #37), this isn’t trying to actively disenfranchise religious freedom (you #59), and this isn’t anti-religious bigotry (you #203), and this isn’t trying to remove rights from others (you #203).

    Seriously. Stop and compare what is happening in the real world with the terms and phrases you’re using to describe it.

    disenfranchise and removing rights would require the gay right advocates to organize money and some campaign to declare LDS an illegal religion or something. Hate speech would require that someone is attempting to incite physical violence against LDS or its members, or at least attempting to intimidate them through fear via threats implied or direct. And it isn’t bigotry to vigorously object to people taking your rights away, or to organize some response to try and get them back.

    The only campaign twist that I know of that’s happening right now is people donating money to gay-rights campaigns and doing it in LDS’s name.

    That is no more a hate crime or infringing LDS rights than naming a sewer plant after George Bush is a hate crime against the president, or infringing his rights.

    Again, this is little more than an attempt to redefine “harm” and other terms to the point where they don’t reflect their physical meaning, to the point where they act as post it notes that can be slapped on anyone for anything.


  183. Focus on the Family, Predictions for 2012
    (PDF) reads like bad science fiction. Frighteningly, some of the predictions in that document match up precisely with some of the reasons given justifying Prop 8. I’d like to dismiss that xenophobic hateful fear-mongering fantasy as just some loony fringe wingnuttery, yet hearing propaganda taken straight from there to justify Prop 8 frightens me.

  184. That PDF is hilarious. Well, except for the fact that it is a disgusting, hateful, fear-mongering, document of terror that claims things like “Fairness” (as in the Fairness Doctrine), and articulate and intelligent Supreme Court justices are things to be afraid of.

    If I hadn’t belonged to so many fundamentalist churches, or didn’t have family in said churches still (the Megachurch is Colorado Springs), and hadn’t read so many of the comments about Prop 8 that claimed a No on 8 destroyed their religious freedom, I would ignore that as paranoid propaganda. Unfortunately, it is all too true.

  185. Ok, so we have our first African-American president-elect. This is a great start for civil rights and equality.

    For the next 8 years we must fight for civil rights for ALL of our citizens. That includes holding those who discriminate accountable for their bigotry.

    Then, in 2017, we need to inaugurate our first female president, and her wife will be First Lady.

  186. Scalzi at 140:
    However, it seems you are making the argument that the Supreme Court of California, having recognized that the state of California’s constitution allowed for same-sex marriages, should have withheld access to rights the citizens of California had just because there was something on the ballot that might change those rights

    No, once the court discovered these hitherto-unknown rights, there was no rational basis for not allowing citizens to exercise them based merely on potential future restrictions. My note was merely that the court thought it wise to delay the effects of its decision for 30 days and made a deliberate decision not to delay it any further; if the court had chosen to delay the effects of its decision for 180 days, I don’t see how that affects the morality of those supporting a proposition already pending before the decision.

    I think I’d view this differently if Proposition 8 was proposed after the court decision, or went down in defeat this year and was brought up thereafter.

    Leaving aside for the moment that any analogy is likely to be seen as trivializing marriage, I guess I see same-sex marriages between June and November as being akin to someone buying a house that the state is in the process of condemning. You could certainly still feel outrage and argue against the condemnation, but from the position of those trying to seize the house, you were on notice before buying the house and your actions don’t really affect whether the condemnation is a moral action or not.

    You seem to think the moral quality of a vote for Prop 8 should not have changed since the beginning of the initiative drive [...] That’s a substantial change, because real marriages were now involved.

    This strikes me as begging the question. If these truly are “real marriages”, then the moral act of preventing them or stopping them doesn’t seem that meaningfully different to me. The core point of Proposition 8 proponents was that these aren’t real marriages.

    This argument seems to me like someone who’s against abortion arguing that “real people” are being murdered. Well, yes, if you accept the conclusion that fetuses are real people, then supporting abortion becomes much more an immoral act; however, if you don’t, then the argument that you are voting for actual “real people” to be killed doesn’t affect the moral weight of your action, because as far as you’re concerned, you’re not.

    In the same way, if you believe that same-sex marriages are “real marriages”, then removing legal protection for them is certainly immoral, as is not allowing legal protection for them in the first place. If, however, you believe that these are mockeries of marriage that can destroy western civilization and harm your kids, then I don’t see how ending them carries with it any moral weight greater than stopping people from entering into them.

  187. Brian 214: If…you believe that these are mockeries of marriage that can destroy western civilization and harm your kids…

    …then you’re* a stupid ignorant fuckhead. “Mockeries of marriage,” maybe not so much, but “destroy western civilization”?! How stupid would a person have to be to actually believe that?

    Well…as stupid as half of the California electorate, I guess.

    *The general ‘you’ meaning ‘one’, as Brian used it in the original statement. Just want to clarify that I don’t intend to call Brian a stupid ignorant fuckhead; in fact I believe his analysis of the thought patterns of stupid ignorant fuckheads is correct.

  188. You know, for an institution with a 50% failure rate, people are sure going to great lengths to defend it.

    It’s California people, the next time the vote goes up, limit it to people who have only been married once, as people who have been married and divorced are making a mockery of the institution by marrying so many times.

    Andrew

  189. Andrew @ 216, EXACTLY. Some of the recently-married CA couples have been together for DECADES. How on earth can anyone think their relationships are less deserving of the “marriage” stamp than the serial monogamists?

    Honestly, how “sanctified” are the third and fourth marriages of those heterosexual couples and how do they deserve marriage more than gay couples who lave long-term, stable relationships?

    This is nothing more than a civil rights issue and anyone who says differently is either a fool or is lying about their motivations.

  190. Brian@136: I have a problem with the idea that supporters of Proposition 8 are now extraordinarily evil because they ripped away these marriages from unsuspecting gay couples.

    Dude, seriously, do a search on this site for the word “unsuspecting”.

    You’re the only one who made the morality of prop 8 hinge on whether or not gay people had their marriages taken away unsuspectingly.

    No one gives a rats ass if the marriages were taken away unsuspectingly, people are pissed because the marriages were taken away. Your post at 136 is nothing more than a strawman of Scalzi @ 70.

    And then you continue this “unsuspecting” horseshit @214 by taking a gay person getting married while Prop8 is being bandied about and comparing it to buying a condemned house?

    If you’re proposing that gays shouldn’t get married as long as some bigot is lobbying to take their rights away, didn’t you just create a nice loophole that basically says no gay should marry as long as there are bigots on the planet? And since there will always be bigots on the planet, aren’t you saying no gays should ever get married?

    What the fuck is the point of rights if you’re saying no one should exercise their rights as long as any bigot on the planet is working to take them away?????

    All you did with this unsuspecting bullshit was attempt to minimize the damage done by bigots by trying to blame the victim. Bigots just took someone’s rights away, and you come back with “well, they shouldn’t have gotten married cause they knew the proposition was on the ballot”.

    It’s the standard rape response that blames the victim. What was she thinking dressing up like that in public?

    Given that, I would guess that you’re one of the bigots, and you’re simply trying to downplay the damage you and your people did to other human beings.

    If, however, you believe that these are mockeries of marriage that can destroy western civilization and harm your kids,

    Stop hiding behind conditional statements. They are not logical arguments, they do not prove anything. If that’s what you believe step up, be a man, and say that’s what you believe.

    Conditional statements are convenient for bigots because they allow them to disassociate from their own bigotry. It allows them to present their bigotry in passive voice. They don’t have to say “I think you are living in sin”. They can simply say “If some hypothetical person thinks this behaviour is living in sin”.

    Which is to say you just did the linguistic equivalent of “mistakes were made” rather than saying “I made a mistake”.

  191. My note was merely that the court thought it wise to delay the effects of its decision for 30 days

    Brian, I am still waiting for you to explain why the California Supreme Court had any basis to say “This law is unconstitutional; however, we will let it remain in effect because some people are trying to amend the Constitution.”

  192. Mythago @219:
    Brian, I am still waiting …

    I think you need to re-read the sentence before the one you quoted. I don’t think there would have been any rational basis for the court to let what it considered to be an unconstitutional law stand.

    My point was merely that I don’t consider the morality of Proposition 8 to be affected by whether the court’s decision took effect before the election or not (or, if you like, whether the court had made its ruling before or after the election). In either case, this is (depending on your point of view) either a fundamental constitutional right being denied or people averting some sort of harm to marriage in general, and (again, depending your point of view) either a deeply immoral or religiously-mandated action.

    My only quibble is with the idea that the moral quality of the vote changed based on the timing of the court’s decision and the effective date thereof, which, unless I’m egregiously misreading things, is what posts like Scalzi’s at 136 seem to be saying.

    Greg @218:
    Bigots just took someone’s rights away, and you come back with “well, they shouldn’t have gotten married cause they knew the proposition was on the ballot”.

    The discussion was in the context of the morality of the proponents. I’m not saying that same-sex couples should have refrained from anything; my issue is merely whether their actions are able to change the moral quality of the proponents’ choice.

    My general thinking is that Proposition 8 was either moral or immoral on its face when proposed. I find it problematic to say that voting for it could become immoral or become more immoral, based on the actions of its opponents after its submission–if, in an absurd hypothetical, all same-sex couples had decided not to get married until after the election, I don’t see that as changing the moral nature of the vote as compared to the situation in reality.

    You may be right that I’m the only one using the term “unsuspecting”. My thought there is that I’d look at a proposition which invalidated marriages taking place before it was proposed as being morally different from one that affected marriages in which the parties entering into them were on notice that there was already a pending proposition that might affect the validity of the marriage.

    Stop hiding behind conditional statements. They are not logical arguments, they do not prove anything.

    I think, in this context, when I’m trying to contrast belief structures, conditional statements are useful.

    As an analogy, assuming you’re pro-choice, the moral quality of voting against Colorado Amendment 48 (the “life begins at conception” amendment) does not change based on whether or not there are actual specific fetuses that someone can point to and say that these are “real human beings” that will be destroyed based on your vote, because that is only true if you buy into their premise.

    If you believe that a fetus is a “real human being”, then an argument that abortion kills real human beings has meaning; if you don’t, it doesn’t.

    If you believe that a same-sex marriage is a “real marriage”, then an argument that Proposition 8 destroys real marriages has meaning; if you don’t, it doesn’t.

    If that’s what you believe step up, be a man, and say that’s what you believe.

    I doubt my personal beliefs are that relevant, but hey, since you asked, here they are: I find it difficult to imagine a situation in which my life would be personally affected in any way by two dudes being able to marry. I think that heterosexual couples divorcing and committing adultery have done more to harm the sanctity of marriage than same-sex couples being able to get married ever will, and if the institution of marriage can survive the former, it can probably survive the latter.

    On a strict theoretical basis, I have some antipathy toward expanding government regulation of marriage, but as this really doesn’t affect me, I’d have a hard time arguing that this should trump the views of those who are personally affected by being unable to marry.

    I have conflicted feelings about judicial discovery of rights based upon new interpretations of longstanding texts, but I am against the idea (should one be espousing such) that once a judge has discovered these hitherto-unknown rights, this decision is final and it is wrong for citizens disagreeing with the interpretation to attempt to change the underlying document in order to fix what they perceive as an incorrect interpretation. I do, however, find it mind-boggling that a state would allow its constitution to be changed by a simple majority.

    Basically, in this discussion, I’m more about the abstract theory level, which, in retrospect, is probably a bad idea when entering a discussion about a topic about which people have such deeply-held beliefs.

    As I think I’ve imposed on Scalzi’s hospitality long enough in this thread, I’ll bow out after this and let someone else have the last word.

  193. I wonder how many people voted in favor of Prop 8 because they opposed an activist judiciary but were not necessarily opposed to, or at least indifferent to, gay marriage? In other words, did people vote for Pro 8 as a method of rebuking the Courts? Has anyone looked into this? If even 5%, gay marriage might pass if simply placed on the ballot and letting the citizens decide as opposed to Courts waiving magic wands and creating previously unheard of rights.

  194. Basically, in this discussion, I’m more about the abstract theory level, which, in retrospect, is probably a bad idea when entering a discussion about a topic about which people have such deeply-held beliefs.

    deeply held beliefs? WTF? Real people had their rights taken away and you want to say its just about beliefs? The abstract theory level is probably a bad idea when you’re discussing it from inside your bubble while amongst people who’ve actually felt real world effects of this kind of bigotry.

    I am against the idea (should one be espousing such) that once a judge has discovered these hitherto-unknown rights, this decision is final and it is wrong for citizens disagreeing with the interpretation to attempt to change the underlying document in order to fix what they perceive as an incorrect interpretation.

    If you want to argue technicalities of constitutional law, you probably would have done a lot better if you hadn’t launched into an attack on something that no one actually argued. The whole “unsuspecting” thing and the “buying a condemned house” thing wasn’t actually addressing any issue that anyone was bringing up.

  195. And people ask me why I’m an agnostic. Maybe it’s because so many of you people out there are completely unbelievable . . .

  196. It’s also worth noting that the very same rhetoric used by the LDS church in its opposition to Prop 8 was leveled against it during the days when it sanctioned the practice of polygamy. During the 19th century protestants back east decried the practice of polygamy in Utah, claiming it would undermine the institution of marriage if it were legalized. The church’s response back then: It’s absurd to claim that the practices of a relatively small percentage of the population could undermine the practices of the population as a whole.

    I wish someone could show me how the situation now is any different.

    And for what it’s worth, my bishop knows how I feel about Prop 8 (I am adamantly opposed), and I have lost no “standing.” The church recognizes that this issue is highly controversial even within its own membership, and to my knowledge no one has been sanctioned for voting according to their conscience, even if that means voting contrary to the position held in Salt Lake City.

  197. Kelly @ 202 wrote:
    Craig Ranapia @ 180 your use of “Democrat pundits” rather than “Democratic pundits,” which is a standard verbal devaluation of Democratic leaders used by various individuals on the right wing, leaves me in pretty severe doubt about your motives and veracity.

    Serious question: WTF are you going on about? I use the English language, like “various individuals on the right wing”, and had no idea that “Democrat” was some kind of slur. Please enlighten me.

  198. Craig Ranapia:

    It sounds like you unintentionally walked into a minefield there. A somewhat recent GOP thing is to call the Democratic Party the “Democrat Party,” which for some reason was seen as a slur. I’m not sure I ever followed the logic there myself, but there it is.

  199. JS #227:

    The closest I’ve heard to an explanation is that “Democrat” ends in “rat”, but I don’t know how much sense that actually makes.

  200. Speaking of hitherto-unknown rights:

    Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Just because the constitution doesn’t specifically enumerate a right doesn’t mean the people don’t have the right.

  201. Wintermute #228–

    Or it could be that they’re trying to distinguish between small-d “democratic” and capital-D “Democratic”, a distinction that doesn’t come through when the word’s spoken or when it appears in all-caps text. Hence “democratic process” but “Democrat Party”.

    Lower-case “democratic” has lots of warm fuzzy connotations. If regard the D’s as an emanation of the Evil One, or even if you’re striving for fairness and balance, you might not want to use an adjective that would tend to prejudice the listener in their favor.

    In the same way, if Sen. Jones belonged to the Honest Sincere Party, I’d probably try to avoid referring to him as “Honest Sincere Senator Jones”. I’d try to find some kind of locution so that I wouldn’t have to give him the benefit of favorable adjectives that he might not deserve.

  202. Craig, the “Democrat” thing is something started by Gingrich back when he was putting together Republican candidate training materials and it was explicitly designed to devalue the Democratic brand. For most Democratic activists it reads as a dog whistle attack. That may not be what you intended, and if so, mea culpa, but you should know that a large portion of the online contingent of the new progressive movement will read it as an attack.

  203. My only quibble is with the idea that the moral quality of the vote changed

    And, again, this ‘quibble’ makes no sense. The moral quality of the vote did change. You blame the court and the opponents of Prop 8 for that. How about blaming the people who, knowing a court challenge was in the works, nonetheless pushed for a ballot measure that would erase existing marriages if it passed.

    I wonder how many people voted in favor of Prop 8 because they opposed an activist judiciary

    Lots of people think “activist judiciary” means “a court ruling I don’t like and don’t understand”, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a factor.

  204. MJK 225: During the 19th century protestants back east decried the practice of polygamy in Utah, claiming it would undermine the institution of marriage if it were legalized. The church’s response back then: It’s absurd to claim that the practices of a relatively small percentage of the population could undermine the practices of the population as a whole.

    I wish someone could show me how the situation now is any different.

    In my opinion the most important difference is that this is the 21st Century, and we really ought to be over this crap by now. I have no problem in principle with polygamy, though I think it certainly should include polyandry as well. But I think you’re pointing out both that the LDS church has been victimized in the past, and that they lost that because it was considered a reasonable argument, AND that the CJCLDS is being hypocritical by using the same argument now.

    Craig 226: First, if I called you Greg Ronapilla, it’s not exactly an insult, but you’d be irritated. The party’s name is the Democratic Party.

    Second, the right is trying to conceal the fact that the Democratic Party is the only major party that actually believes in democracy at all: the Republican Party’s ideals (going by their behavior, not their public lip-service) tend more toward oligarchy if not outright dictatorship. By not using the full name of the Democratic Party, they’re trying to reduce the association (as Porphyrogene points out) between the party and democracy, whereas actually, inadequate as they are, the Democratic Party is the last real defense we have against the complete destruction of democracy in America, because the GOP has been working systematically to undermine it for decades.

    And third, adopting a rhetorical trope used by the right tends to identify you as a member of the right, no matter what it is. If only right-wing people call house sparrows “sparrowbirds,” harmless as that is on the surface, if you use it you’ll be identified with them.

  205. Kelly 232: Aha! I suspected as much, but didn’t know that it was so blatant. Gingrich is a true scumbag, isn’t he?

  206. Xopher: whereas actually, inadequate as they are, the Democratic Party is the last real defense we have against the complete destruction of democracy in America

    Ahhhhhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Good one, Xopher.

    While criticizing one group of serial arsonists, you praise yet another group of serial arsonists.

    Oh wait, what am I doing in this thread?

    (zeeeeeeeeeeeeepooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww)

  207. Just be sure to use lemon juice and a pinch of paprica, dammit!

    If I must be burned in efigy, let it be done for a nice meal.

  208. @ 25 – MJK – It’s also worth noting that the very same rhetoric used by the LDS church in its opposition to Prop 8 was leveled against it during the days when it sanctioned the practice of polygamy.

    Unfair. No one ever ever presented credible proof that same sex marriage activists have an interest in marrying people young girls under the legal age of consent. Mormon polygamists on the other hand, used polygamy as some sort of pedophiles hog heaven, and still do. Also, same sex marriage is not something women need to worry about being locked into. Women in polygamist marriages were and still are subjected to all sorts of abuse, condoned by the church (or splinter sects in the modern day).

    Many of the concerns about Mormon polygamy being dangerous to children were totally justified. Unlike the concerns about same sex marriage.

  209. Being Mormon also gives you heart disease, pancreatic cancer, bad breath, and hair on your palms. Oh, and you grow horns, like Hellboy. I’m constantly having to file mine down. Such a pain.

    Xopher, the flames are dying down. You didn’t use enough gasoline, bro. I can still type!

  210. Xopher #234, responding to Craig #226–

    I almost invariably use “Democratic” myself, but I’m almost always writing. But in speech, or if you’re running a news-ticker sort of thing with all upper-case letters*, I think there’s a legitimate need to distinguish between “Democratic” and “democratic”. The small-D word has lots of positive connotations for most people; there’s no reason why people who disagree with some position of the big-D party should have to make that little verbal genuflection in referring to them.

    Here’s a real-world example of something similar. I strongly disagree with the housing industry, as a consumer of lavish government subsidies and as a rampaging destroyer of wildlife habitat. But in arguing against them, I am severely handicapped if I have to use the word “home”, which they’ve worked into all their official names– US Home, Fairfield Homes, Southern Arizona Home Builders Association… Using their official names makes it sound like I’m arguing against hearth and family and Christmas, rather than against bulldozers and rezonings.

    …the Democratic Party is the only major party that actually believes in democracy at all…

    Yowza. I seem to remember seeing the phrase “as stupid as half of the California electorate” a few posts back. The unpleasant truth is that the majority of Americans almost certainly opposes gay marrage, and supports school prayer, Ten Commandmentses in courthouses, God in the Pledge of Allegiance, and a lot of other things that you and I probably disagree with. Democracy does a lousy job of protecting the rights of the minority, whether it’s the 5% who want to marry someone of the same sex, or the 5% who make $250,000 a year.

    *Note that I do not include people who think it’s too much trouble to use the shift key. These people should be stepped on, not accommodated.

  211. Sub-O, if I’d used gasoline, I wouldn’t have grilled fish over you. And OF COURSE I used lemon juice (and a little lime juice). Give me credit for a little sense!

  212. Was gonna happen sooner or later.

    Just tell my daughter that Daddy loves her. Always.

    (flames rise to engulf me as I scream like a woman…)

  213. Xopher and Sub-Odeon

    Good to see you two playing nice in the yard again.

    Hey, that fish smells great, can I have some. I have a bottle of fair to middlin white wine around here somewhere…

    Now, I’m fully expecting to get slapped with the fish but since it’s already cooked, I’ll just open wide 8D

  214. (…stops screaming like a woman, opens tear-streaked eyes to look at Jeff…)

    Sometimes, humor is all a man has have left.

    If we can’t laugh at ourselves, what are we, anyway?

    (…closes eyes and continues screaming like a woman…)

  215. Xopher @ 234:
    First, if I called you Greg Ronapilla, it’s not exactly an insult, but you’d be irritated. The party’s name is the Democratic Party.

    And while I’d be a wee bit pissed off at people mis-spelling my name, I don’t think I’d assume anyone who did so was some right-wing glove puppet making an argument in bad faith.

    And, shocking as this might be, “Democrat” has all kinds of warm-fuzzy good connotations to me too. So does “Republican” — which I routinely use as shorthand for the ‘Grand Old Party’. I’m more concerned that the Republicans are on the express train to utter electoral irrelevance, than getting in a pissing match over semantic trivia.

    When talking about British politics, I use “Tory” (despite the negative connotations it has to many) rather than “the Conservative and Unionist Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’.

    And while we’re at it, President-elect Obama may be offended at being constantly referred to as “black” rather than “African-American” or “bi-racial” or some less dated and more accurate racial descriptor. Or not. Perhaps he’s got about a million million more important things to focus on. I certainly do.

  216. And getting back to what I was actually saying — yeah, I would not blame Obama for ringing a few Democratic pundits (feel better?) who attacked him for not being agressive enough, targeting ‘red states’ Democrats hadn’t carried in a presidential race for decades, etc. and saying “fuck you”. But a major reason why Barack Obama will be sworn in as POTUS on January 20th, and I won’t, is that he’s a class act. Me? Not so much — if I had the shit thrown at me Obama has over the last two years, I’d very much be in “two eyes for an eye, your whole freaking jaw for a tooth” mode right now.

  217. Being Mormon also gives you heart disease, pancreatic cancer, bad breath, and hair on your palms. Oh, and you grow horns, like Hellboy.

    Well, that puts you ahead of being gay, which as we all know means you’re doomed to a life of random constant sex (which is not as good as married heterosexual sex, of course), drug use, domestic violence and death from AIDS and/or having your anus explode, likely by age 23.

  218. And, shocking as this might be, “Democrat” has all kinds of warm-fuzzy good connotations to me too. So does “Republican” — which I routinely use as shorthand for the ‘Grand Old Party’. I’m more concerned that the Republicans are on the express train to utter electoral irrelevance, than getting in a pissing match over semantic trivia.
    When talking about British politics, I use “Tory” (despite the negative connotations it has to many) rather than “the Conservative and Unionist Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’.

    Given that the proper name of the GOP is “The Republican Party”, I’m not sure why you see it as a shorthand.

    And the proper name for Tories is “The Conservative Party”. They’re not affiliated with the Ulster Unionist Party.

  219. Wintermute @ 251:

    Sorry for being a pedant, but the “proper” name for the Conservatives is the Conservative and Unionist Party, which was adopted in 1912, after the Conservative’s merger with the Liberal Unionists, which split from the Liberals in 1886 over the question of Irish Home Rule.

    Nothing to do with the current Ulster Unionist Party which is, as you point out, completely independent from the Tories though historically there have been close links.

  220. Craig: Huh. Wikipedia agrees with you, so you must be right.

    I’d never heard that before, despite having actually worked for the Tory Party…

  221. Josh Jasper @ 239: I raised the point to illustrate the hypocrisy, not to draw any direct comparisons between polygamy and same-sex marriage (although the historical 19th century practice and the modern splinter groups out in the deserts of Southern Utah are two entirely different animals).

    The question I would like answered is how the LDS church can assert the “dangers” posed in legalizing same-sex marriage when they already know the answer. It’s the one they used to defend themselves when the rest of the world took issue with their multiple wives. I realize no one here has that answer, so I guess I’m just expressing my frustration more than anything else.

  222. SubOdean@236: While criticizing one group of serial arsonists, you praise yet another group of serial arsonists.

    Ah. I see. Well, having just invoked the “Republicans and Democrats are Tweedledee and Tweedledum”, you just fell into my “as fucked up as Ralph-Fucking-Nader” category.

    It’s a very deep bin and the sides are vertical, smooth polished marble, that gets oiled every night by one of my street urchins lowered down on a rope and gondola by another of my street urchins.

    It’s possible that you might get out of the bin, but you’d have to come up with some seriously astute observations on politics or some such shit.

    Until then…

    It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again…

  223. Wintermute@253: Wikipedia agrees with you, so you must be right.

    Buurnnnn! :) I only know that because, after majoring in poli sci at university, I’ve read more British political history than any sane person really should. I think it fell out of use pretty quickly because it hardly trips off the tongue, and The Borg don’t give the assimilated naming rights. :)

  224. Sorry, the Tories are “the Conservative Party of Canada (Parti conservateur du Canada)”. Parts of which were formerly, and very briefly, known as the Canadian Conservative and Reform Alliance (Party). Some of us still refer to the Tories as CCRAP.

    Oh, you mean the Old Country? Sorry.

  225. Unless mythago (or another lawyer) weighs in, I’m afraid you’re out of luck for an answer to c, d, and e. I think it’s definitely snark, but as to the legality of it I cannot speak.

  226. Anyone care to comment on this?

    Elton John: You may be surprised with Elton John’s reaction to California’s proposition 8. He says he does not see why gays need to be married and that to him civil partnerships seem adequate. “We’re not married. Let’s get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage,” he said. John went on to say, “I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.”

  227. Sub-Odeon #264–

    Reg Dwight is OK with a civil partnership instead of a real official marriage.

    Warren Buffet thinks that the inheritance tax should be increased, since he wasn’t planning to leave his money to his kids anyhow.

    Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on upper-income people, even though his own taxes would go up in consequence.

    If Barack and Warren want to sell all that they have and give to the poor, that should be their prerogative. If Reg is willing to put up with an arrangement that, at least in name, is less than what Levi ‘n Bristol can get just by popping down to the courthouse, he should have that option.

    But the fact that some people are willing to have their rights restricted doesn’t mean that others should meekly accept those restrictions.

  228. OK, the irony fucking boggles my mind sometimes…

    http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2008/11/10/daily40.html?jst=pn_pn_lk

    Scott Eckern resigned his post as artistic director of the California Musical Theatre when it became public that he had donated a thousand dollars to support proposition 8 and people in the national arts community were calling for a boycott of that theater because of his donation.

    Eckern said in the article, and I quote:

    “I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most.”

    Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, you hypocritical asshole. You vote to revoke rights from people, and now you’re whining about how you can’t do what you want to do???

  229. Anyone care to comment on this?

    The word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off.

    Yeah, sounds like an old african american person saying “we don’t need ‘civil rights’, we don’t have slavery anymore. Why rock the boat?”

  230. Hey, Greg,
    Re: hypocrisy (266), here’s another fine example. Beetlebabee is calling for a boycott of the LA Times for providing an online search tool for Yes on Prop 8 donations. In a post directly above the one where she calls the people who threatened to boycott El Coyote “vigilantes.” (And thugs, but that’s in the comments.)

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/

  231. You stay classy, GLBT community

    Uh, nice hasty generalization, there SO. Someone beat up LDS’s door, so anyone who fights for gay rights is a vandal. Someone sends white powder to a LDS church, so anyone who fights for gay rights is a terrorist.

    You’re coming across as the sort of guy who’d be right up there with the FBI investigating Marin Luther King Jr back in the day.

    You stay fascist, Sub-Odean.

  232. SO, I have to agree with Greg. Eric Rudolph shot abortion doctors and blew up clinics. Would “You stay classy, Christian community” be a reasonable thing to say?

    By the way, Elton John is a—well, the terms I know are all from the civil rights struggle and are now considered offensive to African-Americans. He’s a gay man who has identified with the oppressor, and supports the oppressor’s position on issues that affect the gay community in order to escape the normal consequences of being queer.

    He performed with Eminem so that Eminem could claim “see, I performed with a gay man. Obviously I can’t be a homophobe.” I’m still amazed that some people appeared to buy this. Eminem’s distaste for “faggots” is legendary, however; he must have needed half a bottle of Dramamine™ to get through that.

    He’s also filthy rich, and thus immune from the economic consequences of marriage inequality. In other words, he’s a selfish asshole wimp, and to the extent that any gay person owes anything to “the gay community” (a proposition I’m personally rather dubious about) a traitor to that community. At the very least, he’s not someone who relevantly speaks for gay people, or even a substantial portion thereof.

  233. Argh. ‘He’ in my final paragraph refers to Elton John, not Eminem. I added the middle paragraph and forgot to check my references.

  234. Xopher & Greg,

    Rudolph is widely regarded as a prime example of a “Christian terrorist”, even though Rudolph has tried to distance himself from American Christendom while in prison. I have also heard many argue that Rudolph might not have turned to terror had he not been incited by all the anti-abortion rhetoric comparing abortion to murder and calling on conscientious Christians and other “believers” to end abortion; through violence if necessary. “You stay classy, Christians!” is precisely the reaction many pro-abortion Americans had, to Rudolph’s acts.

    Currently there is a lot of very angry rhetoric against the LDS church, flowing around the internet. There have been calls for vandalism and arson. Someone is answering those calls. Is it enough to simply isolate the perps, and absolve those who call for crime in the first place?

    I’m not saying I know the answer on this one, because it’s an old dilemma: holding individuals responsible for their own actions, versus holding the “inspirers” responsible, even though they may have never done a single thing to hurt anyone in their lives; beyond calling for other people to do what they are unable or unwilling to do themselves.

    I will say that if the response by certain gays or gay activists, to Prop. 8, is to commit vandalism and arson (or worse) it will widen the gap between pro and con, not close it. LDS in particular have had so much of this sort of thing directed at them over the years — ask any missionary who ever got roughed up, or had their property defaced or destroyed, or soda and beer sprayed on them, etc. — that it has become a rite of passage. It strengthens surety in the faith. LDS men swap missionary “war” stories — who got beat up, spit on, treated badly, etc, in which parts of the world — and everyone nods and says, yes, of course this sort of thing happens. It’s the lot of those who side with the Christ in the Latter Days.

    I don’t expect non-LDS to understand that. But that’s the internal dialogue among members, and I am not sure the people doing these things against LDS chapels and members understand how easily the LDS slip into “bunker mentality” and consider it a badge of faith to have been targeted and attacked in such a fashion.

    One suspects the perps simply wanted to blow off steam or fuck with the LDS church. I personally would like to see the vandals and the white powder mailers caught and given jail time. Especially the white powder people. I would also like to see the collective voice of the gay community turn against these perps — current and future — because whatever people think of the LDS church, no church leader has ever called for violence or vandalism against gays, nor would you ever find any LDS leader willing to stand up for or excuse any vandalism or violence against anyone, even if they’d been particularly nasty to the LDS church.

    This is why the church chose to tackle the gay marriage debate through the peaceful conduit of democracy, not street brawls. Using crime to get what it wants is anathema to LDS doctrine, and proscribed specifically in the Articles of Faith.

    And yes, assuming gay marriage finds wide legal acceptance at some point in the future, the LDS church would continue to tackle the issue through peaceful, legal means. Whether it had any chance of winning the case, or not.

  235. Regarding Sir Elton,

    That’s fascinating, Xopher. Truly.

    So he’s basically a Gay Uncle Tom? Is this a widely-held view among gays that you know, or is it just your view?

  236. Borderline terrorism? My college room mate was forced into a mental institution, drugged against her will, and kept there for over a year by the Mormon church and her Mormon parents.

    Amazingly, no one went to jail for that, and no Mormons seem to think it’s a crime that needed investigation. EVERY gay person I’ve talked to has roundly condemned the idea of mailing white powder, even if it’s sugar of flour. If I knew who it was, I’d turn them in myself.

    But they’re not an organized movement, like what the church did (and still does for all I know) to teenagers who happen to be gay.

    So you tell me, Sub-Odeon, which did more real damage, the extensive history of Mormons terrorizing gay teens, or one hoax over white powder that might well have been sent by anyone, and some angry rhetoric on the internet.

    Your pity party about how Mormons are oh so persecuted is pretty lame when you’re talking to members of a group your church has been actually persecuting since you guys existed, and not just writing upsetting things on the internet. Mormons have had a long history of destructive acts against LGBT people. Children have been forcibly institutionalize, people fired form jobs, students expelled form schools, and not too long ago in the previous century, adult citizens were not even legally permitted to have sex if it was with someone o the same gender. That one was overturned by judicial activists. If it were up to Mormons, gay sex would still be a crime.

    When Mormons went door to door in CA tying to get people who probably didn’t know their history to vote yes on 8, they tried to portray themselves as not being anti-gay. That was a lie. The Mormon Church (not all individual Mormons, but a majority of the church) are viciously anti-gay.

  237. Josh,

    I went through this scenario with Xopher.

    Sounds like your friend has grounds for a civil suit, at the very least. If it’s true she was held against her will, teen or no teen, in a facility that forcibly drugged her without her consent, then it’s a matter for law enforcement.

    Really, these anecdotes about “LDS terrorism against gay teens” need to be taken to a lawyer. No church leader at the level of the 70 or the 12 would condone or defend the actions you describe. And any LDS members found to be practicing such acts would probably be excommunicated upon being remanded to the police.

    I have little doubt that any teen who identifies as gay, is gonna go through a lot of emotional pain separating from and getting out of a strict LDS family. But then, I think all of us who “fall away” as teens — in whatever fashion — have a rough time. Certainly I’d not describe my teen relationship with the church or my parents as copacetic. And I know lots of other people who would say the same.

    I think what you’re complaining about is the notorious codependence of LDS families, wherein the parents live in fear of the choices and actions of the children, because the parents a) cannot accept their kids straying too far from the gospel because b) it’s a black mark on the parents themselves. That’s not actually gospel, but enough LDS parents (especially in Utah) treat it as such, that many LDS kids — when they leave the church or become inactive or otherwise do things contra to the teachings of the church — go through hell with their families as a result.

    This is entirely the fault of the parents and has nothing to do with any sort of organized plot by church leaders. I suspect “terror against gay teens” falls into this category, and again, if your person in your anecdote was truly locked up and drugged against her will, it’s a matter for the police and a lawyer. If it was systematic at a named facility, then it could even be a class action suit, assuming enough people can be gathered to corroborate the abuse.

    I won’t pretend anything I write here will change your mind about my religion, because it sounds like your mind got made up long ago, and the activities surrounding Prop. 8 have only cemented your view that the LDS church is a very mean, nasty organization which persecutes innocents.

    But really, when are all these abuse victims going to stand up in a court of law and have justice done? Anecdotes related on a message board are cheap. The problem won’t go away unless those suffering the abuse network, gather evidence, and take it to the police. There is no law that will protect any LDS member from the kind of punishment it sounds like these “gay teen torturers” warrant. Not if it can be proven.

    So why aren’t there any lawsuits and why isn’t this shit being blown wide open? And no, it’s not good enough to say, “She was a teen victim and can’t bear to go through it all over again.” If she knows for a fact that systemic abuse is occuring, she is obligated to stop it before other teens get sent through the same wringer.

    Unless, of course, her story is hyperbolic.

    Like I said, lots of LDS teens — not even the gay ones — go through all kinds of shit with their parents. Even the ones who stay in the church.

  238. S-O: So why aren’t there any lawsuits and why isn’t this shit being blown wide open?

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/lawsuits-hit-a-romney-money-man-2007-06-20.html

    In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, 133 plaintiffs have alleged that Robert Lichfield, co-chairman of Romney’s Utah finance committee owned or operated residential boarding schools for troubled teenagers where students were “subjected to physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.”

    http://www.isaccorp.org/wwasps.asp

    Facilities Affiliated with WWASPS/Teen Help (and/or persons known to be involved with WWASPS/Teen Help) that Have Closed
    * Bethel Girls Academy, Mississippi – closed following an investigation into abuse in February 2005.
    * Casa by the Sea, Ensenada, Mexico – raided and closed on September 10, 2004. Dace Goulding was the Director. Goulding was also employed at Paradise Cove.
    * Dundee Ranch Academy, Costa Rica – raided and closed on May 22, 2003 after authorities confirmed child abuse. Director Narvin Lichfield and his wife were arrested. Many of the children were transferred to Tranquility Bay.
    * Brightway Hospital, Utah – closed by authorities in 2002 for providing inadequate care and abuse of teenagers. To the best of our knowledge, children “evaluated” at Brightway were placed ONLY at WWASPS/Teen Help facilities.
    * Morava Academy, Czech Republic – closed in 1998 after authorities confirmed abuse and arrested the directors Glenda (aka Glenn) and Steve Roach. Many of the children were transferred to Carolina Springs Academy in South Carolina. Was owned by J. Ralph Atkin.
    * Sunrise Beach, Cancun Mexico – closed in 1996 after authorities alleged abuse. Glenda (aka Glenn) and Steve Roach were directors.
    * High Impact, Mexico – closed after an investigation into abuse. Mexican police videotaped children being held in dog cages. The facility housed children who would not comply at Casa by the Sea.
    * Paradise Cove, Samoa – closed after an investigation into abuse. Many children were transferred to Cross Creek Manor/Center/Academy.
    * Bell Academy, California – closed after state officials demanded that it comply with state laws. Although WWASPS claims this facility was not “theirs,” children were transferred to Midwest Academy and Academy at Ivy Ridge. Owners were Karr Farnsworth, Dace Goulding and Jade Robinson. Bell Academy was also discussed on the private WWASPS message board. The phone number for the “school” was identical to that of Casa by the Sea.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/121088.html

    The suit alleges that teens were locked in outdoor dog cages, exercised to exhaustion, deprived of food and sleep, exposed to extreme temperatures without adequate clothing or water, severely beaten, emotionally brutalized, and sexually abused and humiliated. Some were even made to eat their own vomit.

    But the link to teen abuse goes far higher up in the Romney campaign. Romney’s national finance co-chair is a man named Mel Sembler. A long time friend of the Bushes, Sembler was campaign finance chair for the Republican party during the first election of George W. Bush, and a major fundraiser for his father.

    Like Lichfield, Sembler also founded a nationwide network of treatment programs for troubled youth. Known as Straight Inc., from 1976 to 1993, it variously operated nine programs in seven states. At all of Straight’s facilities, state investigators and/or civil lawsuits documented scores of abuses including teens being beaten, deprived of food and sleep for days, restrained by fellow youth for hours, bound, sexually humiliated, abused and spat upon.

    According to the L.A. Times, California investigators said that at Straight teens were “subjected to unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threats, mental abuse… and interference with daily living functions such as eating, sleeping and toileting.”

  239. Good. Sounds like people are on top of things, at least where Lichfeld is concerned.

    Although the details of these offenses seem to indicate a “problem youth” program totally out of control, not a plot to target gay youth specifically. Seems like gay youth were simply rolled in with all the other “problem youth” and suffered along with the rest.

    I hope all responsible, spend a lot of time in jail.

    No excuse for it. None. Despicable!

  240. Well, the point is that gay youth are not problem youth just because they are gay, and to relate them to drug abusers and other scofflaws makes them feel like they are ‘wrong” or “bad”. Suicide rates are rather high in the gay youth category – telling them they can’t marry on top of all the other shit they have to put up with just makes it worse.

  241. so@273: I would also like to see the collective voice of the gay community turn against these perps

    What is your problem? How is it you get to make up the rule that if people don’t come out and condemn every single instance of vigilante violence against their enemy that they’re instead actively agitating for violence?

    Seriously, who died and made you Elvis?
    This is why the church chose to tackle the gay marriage debate through the peaceful conduit of democracy, not street brawls.

    Clearly, you worship the process. Whatever process we agreed to use to pass laws and such, that is the end-all-be-all of morality and if that process happens to take away people’s rights, well, fuck them. As long as we do it politely and follow the process, we could just as well make people slaves, right? I mean, there is no other measure of morality and rights other than what the process produces, right?

    whatever people think of the LDS church, no church leader has ever called for violence or vandalism against gays, … nor would you ever find any LDS leader willing to stand up for or excuse any vandalism or violence against anyone

    Have you heard any gay-rights leaders calling for violence against LDS or excusing any violence against LDS?

    If not, you seriously need think about what you’re saying right there, cause you’re coming across as pretty high and mighty that your precious LDS leaders don’t excuse violence against gays, but those damn gay-rights leaders are excusing it, agitating it, and issuing fatwa’s for it.

    And since I haven’t seen any gay-rights organization leaders issuing fatwas, I think you just stepped over the line. And whether you think you did it “politely” or not doesn’t matter one iota.

  242. Gee Greg, seems to me every single LDS person is being held responsible for Prop. 8, whether they live in California or not, whether they supported Prop. 8 or not. None of us get to have a choice anymore, apparently. Membership = culpability, compliance, collaboration.

    Or have I misread the angry words and actions of the GLBT crowd, strewn across the internet these past ten days? How else to explain calls to boycott the entire fucking state of Utah? Gays and gay activists are aware that SLC is no longer majority Mormon, right? Apparently living in Utah is even too much, so let’s punish everyone in fucking Utah for what some LDS in California did.

    Brilliant.

    And you’re gottdamned right I worship the fucking process. Without democracy and the vote, we’re nothing, as a nation. Democracy and the vote is how you conduct a civilization. My church respects democracy and the vote. It has urged its members to serve in the armies of this democracy and die fighting to protect and preserve that process.

    Or would you prefer a leaner, meaner way of doing business, where one side gets to cudgel the other into silence? Through force of will?

    If gays and gay rights activists think Prop. 8 sucks, they are free to use the democratic process to reverse Prop. 8 and secure gay marriage in California. All they need to do is convince enough voters, such that the court rulings won’t be overturned. My church will not try to use violence, vandalism, or any other form of indimidation to cow the other side. My church will respect the law and the rule of law.

    I expect GLBT leaders to do likewise. If that makes me Elvis, well then by golly, where is my white jumpsuit and my sideburns? Baaaybaaaaaay…..

  243. My church will not try to use violence, vandalism, or any other form of indimidation to cow the other side. My church will respect the law and the rule of law.

    No, they’ll just lie through their teeth and use slander and fear as their primary tactics, and then act surprised when the people they attacked get upset.

  244. Gee Greg, seems to me every single LDS person is being held responsible for Prop. 8,

    Gee, subodean, seems like you just avoided my question to maintain your false equivalence. I will try once more:

    Have you heard any gay-rights leaders calling for violence against LDS or excusing any violence against LDS?

    IF NOT, THEN THE ENTIRE PREMISE OF YOUR POST @273 (“no church leader has ever called for violence or vandalism against gays”) IS UTTER CRAP.

    Or have I misread the angry words and actions of the GLBT crowd, strewn across the internet these past ten days? How else to explain calls to boycott the entire fucking state of Utah?

    Wow. I just asked you if you could cite A SINGLE CASE of a gay-rights organization leader calling for VIOLENCE against LDS, and you whine about a BOYCOTT as if its the same thing as Rudolph murdering abortion doctors.

    You’re post @273 is nothing but propaganda. You tell a minor truth (no LDS leader called for violence against gays) while omitting another truth (no gay rights leader called for violence against LDS), and you then let the assumption carry that gays are issuing fatwas.

    When asked directly for gay-fatwas, you cite boycotts. As if they’re the same? Or as if you can’t answer the question without your propaganda imploding on itself? I’m not sure which one you’re operating off of, but either one is a break from reality.

    I am asking you for a flat out citation of a gay-rights organization leader calling for violence against LDS. If you have none, then you ought to consider retracting your statement at 273.

    And you’re gottdamned right I worship the fucking process.

    Congratulations, your worship just condoned “I was just following orders” as a legitimate defense to any action.

    If gays and gay rights activists think Prop. 8 sucks, they are free to use the democratic process

    Oh grow up. Civil rights got it’s biggest push because Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus which sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

    When the democratic process excludes certain people, then demanding that people do nothing but use that process to redress their issues is a bullshit way to game the process in your favor.

    People don’t have to be blind to politics when they make economic decisions. Some people don’t want their 401k’s to invest in WalMart because they disagree with WalMart’s actions. Are you going to say that people must restrict their political notions to nothing but the political process? Are you saying that someone choosing to not buy walmart stock to pressure them to change is the same thing as violence? Are you saying economic boycotts are off limits when it comes to exerting political pressure?

    My church will not try to use violence, vandalism, or any other form of indimidation to cow the other side. My church will respect the law and the rule of law. I expect GLBT leaders to do likewise.

    All right. That tears it.

    Once again, you forward this propaganda that says LDS won’t resort to violence, but GLBT leaders DO.

    If you can cite an example of one of the head honchos of the GLBT organizations issuing fatwas against LDS, I would love to hear it.

    If not, shut your lying pie hole.

  245. S-O, you have a distinct misunderstanding of the process.

    The process is that voters get to put something on the ballot that can “add” something to the Constitution that did not hitherto exist. They get to vote on it.

    Or, they try to get something on the ballot that will “revise” something already in the Constitution. Then the government decides with a 2/3 majority whether or not it can be voted on.

    Prop 8 is a distinct revision to the Constitution. It revises a right the judicial branch already ruled on twice, and then again this year, that the government cannot discriminate against an individual because of sexual orientation.

    The Prop 8 supporters tried an end run around the judicial branch by getting a proposition on the ballot that is a revision without getting the legislative branch to approve it.

    At least two of the lawsuits fighting Prop 8 are fighting it on this basis, that the proposition was not presented correctly, and if it was it would not be on the ballot.

    They brought this suit prior to the election, but the court wanted to stay out of it if they could: i.e. if it didn’t pass. Since it did they are now being forced to hear the suit.

    So, if you are so keen on process, you should be very happy that Prop 8 may very well be ruled invalid based upon this, and you should be the loudest chicken in the coop. You know, since you believe so much in process and this was a cheat from the word go.

  246. Sub-Odeon 273: I personally would like to see the vandals and the white powder mailers caught and given jail time. Especially the white powder people.

    So would I. There’s no excuse for such things.

    However, as Josh points out, I’d also like to see the people in Evergreen International who tortured my friend (about 10 years ago) jailed. Even though he was supposedly there “voluntarily,” he was a minor, and they should go to jail. [And since I wrote this paragraph you have shown that we're in agreement about this.]

    I utterly denounce anyone who calls for violence against Mormons, vandalism of their churches, or terrorist hoaxes against them. Is that good enough for you? But as been pointed out elsewhere, you have no right to “call on the gay community to widely denounce” such activities. We have more important things to think about.

    Among which is to oppose Mormonism and its offensive, bigoted doctrines through peaceful, legal means, whether we have any chance of winning the case or not. Protests, demonstrations, and boycotts are all peaceful, legal means. So is corrupting your youth whenever possible. So is openly ridiculing the Book of Mormon, which is easy and fun.

    I’m going to start watching for Mormon missionaries, buying them hot meals (they’re usually going hungry, and I am not without compassion), and explaining to them that Joseph Smith was a racist con man, that the BOM is utter nonsense, and that their church is a hate group.

  247. Sub Odeon – I went through this scenario with Xopher.

    Sounds like your friend has grounds for a civil suit, at the very least.

    Against parents? Nice. That’d require being in the same room as them for more than five minutes. But that’s not the problem. the problem was, those parent’s went to a church where it was decided that the acceptable thing to do to gay kids was to institutionalize them to make them straight.

    Really, these anecdotes about “LDS terrorism against gay teens” need to be taken to a lawyer. No church leader at the level of the 70 or the 12 would condone or defend the actions you describe.

    Sorry. That’s just not true. While there’s never “official” groups performing “reparative therapy”, organizations like Evergreen International are involved in misguided therapy of gay teens.

    Again, while there was no official link to the church, Journalist Lynn Duff was “treated” at the Rivendell Psychiatric Center (now known as the Copper Hills Center”) against her will in Utah. It wasn’t run by the church, but she got visits from missionaries seeking to convert her, and it was pretty clearly the intent of the institution to encourage that.

    Check out the well documented Wikipedia article on her.

    I think what you’re complaining about is the notorious codependence of LDS families, wherein the parents live in fear of the choices and actions of the children

    No, actually, I’ve got a deep problem with any religion that does what the LDS church does when it’s able to in terms of “therapy” for gay teens. Your church acts like it’s run by monsters.

    But really, when are all these abuse victims going to stand up in a court of law and have justice done?

    Perhaps if it didn’t involve suing one’s parent’s. Are you really naive enough to think that it’s an easy thing? The parents themselves are convinced that they’re doing the right thing. It’s groups like you church that convinced them of that.

    So why aren’t there any lawsuits and why isn’t this shit being blown wide open? And no, it’s not good enough to say, “She was a teen victim and can’t bear to go through it all over again.”

    How about “she held out some hope of eventual speaking to her family again”. Or “She couldn’t find a lawyer while homeless” or any number of other valid reasons.

    But really, that decision was hers. Her trauma as enough to suffer through without having to prove anything to me, an certainly not to people like you, who could obviously care less.

    If she knows for a fact that systemic abuse is occuring, she is obligated to stop it before other teens get sent through the same wringer.

    Unless, of course, her story is hyperbolic.

    And…. now you’re accusing her of exaggerating? Good gravy that’s an incredibly insensitive and nasty thing to do. I blame your church. They fail to instill anything resembling compassion for fellow human beings.

  248. Dear Mr. Scalzi,
    Please never close comments on this post. Please. As a social experiment? I’m begging you. Well no, I’m simply asking as nicely as I can. It’s much more entertaining than anything else in my life right now, watching S-O build a house of cards, then Greg, Corby, Xopher and Josh demolish it, then S-O usually just builds a completely different house (although sometimes, he attempts to just prop back up one or two of the old ones, which just delays the move)….lather, rinse, repeat. It’s like…whac-a-Mormon argument. Or bowling, except the pins are faulty logic or outright bad assertions and the ball could be a whiffle ball and still knock them all down because superior logic (and dare I say morality?) are acting like those bumpers they let the kids use.
    Okay, so I suck at metaphors. Please don’t hold it against me. I really am begging now: please leave these open until/unless the thread dies out naturally. Please.

  249. Josh@287: Perhaps if it didn’t involve suing one’s parent’s. Are you really naive enough to think that it’s an easy thing?

    Since subo has shown a tendancy to not answer direct questions, rather than have you wait for an eternity and slog through an endless stream of non-answers, I’ll just point you to this:

    so@282: you’re gottdamned right I worship the fucking process.

    It wasn’t in the exact same context as your question, but clearly subo thinks that whatever process the US currently has, it’s good enough to worship. Like an infallible, all-knowing, all-powerful God that one might worship, so too is the US legal process. Apparently.

    Had it been any descriptor that didn’t invoke “worship” or other deity-like status, I think it might be a bit of a stretch, but subo seems pretty clear on this: he worships the legal process.

    Suggest to him that the process might produce evil results, and he’ll immediately do a “slippery slope” argument on you and ask if you’re suggesting that folks just “cudgel” each other. Either we accept the process that we have right now, or we immediately devolve into a gunnysack full of rabid badgers. With cudgels.

  250. We’re practicing for when we’re at the dinner table with the poor hungry Mormon boys. We have to not totally lose our tempers with S-O, and can’t lose patience with him either. It’s a training exercise for when we’re talking to the brainwash victims and trying to deprogram (that is, “corrupt”) them!

  251. We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because we are progressives We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong… Because were are progressive We are –SCCRRRRRRCHHHHHHHHH!

    Oh, sorry, there was this annoying record that kept skipping over and over and I thought I’d do everyone a favor and… Oh, what? It wasn’t a record?

    Sorry. Here, I will put the needle back on.

    KLICKSCRCHLICKC — Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway Mormons are bad people, and everything they say is a bigoted lie. We know this because we never liked Mormons anyway ….

  252. Greg, just for you:

    The police supervisor, Paul Bishop, said some of the 2,500 protesters at the LDS Temple bore signs reading “Separation of Church and Hate” and “Mormon haters.” Some signs were left on the temple walls, according to CNA. “The late local news showed scenes of several Hispanic females in tears outside the temple trying to remove the signs desecrating the walls and fences surrounding the temple,” said Bishop. “As these individuals – who according to a temple spokesperson were not church members – removed the hate-filled signs, the mob exploded and began beating the individuals to the ground. Police intervened and arrests were made, but the fact this was allowed to happen at all was appalling.”

    Doubtless, the 2,500+ mob held not a single “leader” in the local GLBT community. It just spontaneously assembled itself, without anyone doing any organizing, or making a call to action, or rallying the crowds.

    I am sure nobody posting calls to vandalism (and worse) on the internet is a “leader” either?

    Xopher lays the violence and sadism inflicted on his gay teen friend at the feet of the LDS church, regardless of whether the church had any official involvement.

    I’m just playing the game by the Xopher Rules.

  253. Xopher,

    Good luck with your “mission” to pry the boys (and girls) out of their brainwashing. I hope you give it 110%. You will be great fodder for missionary “war” stories: the older gay dude who buys missionaries food and then calmly tells them their church is a bigoted lie, their prophet was a horrible man, and that they’ve been brainwashed into thinking otherwise.

    When they break down in tears, demolished by your awesome argumentative powers, be sure to snag their badges off their jackets. You can start a “scorecard” in your place of residence: one badge pinned on the cork board for every young LDS life you derailed with your vasty intellectual prowess.

    Xopher = Ahab, to the LDS Moby Dick!

    Damn ye Mormon whale!

  254. We are progressives, therefore we are never wrong…

    I… I… I don’t even know where that came from.

    I assume it was yet another smoke screen attempt to cover up the fact that you’ve accused GBLT organization leaders of issuing fatwas against LDS people, and that poor innocent LDS leaders would never do such a thing.

    You see, subo, it isn’t that anyone here is saying anything like “we are progressives therefore we’re never wrong”. In fact it is you who have multiple times and in several different ways played the LDS church as the polite, law abiding, peaceful citizens, and said, implied, or suggested that every single person who is in favor of gay rights is a violent, irresponsible, menace to that polite society.

    I’ve called you on this several times, asking you to either (1) show proof of some gay rights organizational leader issuing said fatwa or (2) retract your outlandish, irresponsible, propagandish, and impolite statement.

    And this is what you do instead: regress to a completely childish strawman of what folks here are saying and reduce our position to a childish temper tantrum.

    We are progressives and we are never wrong???
    Mormons are bad people and everything they say is a lie???

    Because I accuse you of a specific lie, that gay rights leaders are inciting people to commit violence against LDS, you think I”m saying all mormons are bad and all mormons are liars?

    This is yet another specific lie on your part. No one here said either of those things. You just lied. You just rendered our positions into childish strawman temper tantrums. And yet you will refuse to address the fact that these statements of yours are out and out lies. All the while claiming that you’re with the “polite” people.

    Tell me, subo, can you say anything you want, to the point of lying about what GBLT leaders have done, to the point of lying about what anyone here has specifically said, and still claim the title of being “polite”?

    Here is the simple question for you: Can you show me one of the main leaders of a GBLT organization asking people to commit violence against LDS?

    If not, can you let your accusation stand that they asked people to commit such violence?

    You said LDS leaders haven’t been violent and that you expect GBLT leaders to do the same. Regardless of your expectations, can you simply report the facts of the matter here? Did GBLT leaders incite violence against LDS or not?

    If they did, a URL with a quote would be appreciated.
    If they did not, do you think maybe you’re portrayal of LDS leaders vs GBLT leaders might be a little skewed from reality?

    show me one of the main leaders of a GBLT organization asking people to commit violence against LDS. That’s all I’m looking for. A fatwa from one of the main GBLT leaders. You say you expect them to not use violence, vandalism, or any other form of indimidation. I’m asking for any proof that says they failed to meet your expectation.

    All I’m reading from you is accusations. When anyone asks for actual, real-world based evidence to support the accusations, you go and change the subject.

  255. subo, You’ve provided zero proof. You’ve not even provided a single example of evidence. You’ve simply committed yet another red herring, another logical fallacy, another smoke screen.

    your entire post at 294 can be reduced to this

  256. subo: Xopher lays the violence and sadism inflicted on his gay teen friend at the feet of the LDS church, regardless of whether the church had any official involvement.

    I don’t even know what you’re talking about here.

    Xopher said I’d also like to see the people in Evergreen International who tortured my friend (about 10 years ago) jailed.

    Is “Evergreen International” a pseudonym for “LDS”?

  257. S-O, I am sorry, I didn’t realize you were actually 6 years old.

    From now on my arguments will be limited to as many single syllable words as possible, and I will refer to you as “Poopyhead”.

  258. Milk and cookies kept you awake, Greg?

    Me too.

    This entire thread has been chock full of guilt-by-association.

    Apparently the LDS church [i]et al[/i] is responsible when Evergreen (or any facility like it) abuses a gay teen.

    Re-read Xopher’s latest:

    No, actually, I’ve got a deep problem with any religion that does what the LDS church does when it’s able to in terms of “therapy” for gay teens. Your church acts like it’s run by monsters.

    Roger that. LDS church. Run by monsters. Because an LDS man (not a leader mind you, but that’s just a nagging detail to Xopher) ran a shitty reform center for “wayward youth”. Xopher doesn’t bother to connect the dots or tie Evergreen back to an LDS church official, but again, this seems to be a bothersome detail.

    What matters to Xopher is that Evergreen has become symbolic of everything he hates and loathes about the LDS church and its members. There is now precious little, beyond an actual act of God, that will ever recover Xopher’s opinion of the LDS church or its members, because for him, the behavior of the few has merely become “tip of the iceberg evidence” for the mentality and mindset of the many.

    Yet, if I get cheeky and apply the same logic to the vandals and the would-be arsonists calling for “action” against LDS chapels, temples, members… I am decried for “lying.”

    What gives? Why can Xopher play the guilt-by-association game, and I can’t?

    I know, I know, I was an idiot for coming back in here and thinking I could discuss anything related to “gay” and “Mormon” without it becoming a giant shit-dump on the LDS church. Wrong thread. Wrong blog.

    When the white powder envelopes showed up, I remembered Scalzi’s comment about snark being a “weapon” against bigotry, and I just couldn’t let the thread alone.

    Stupid, stupid me.

  259. Corby,

    I shall bear the poopyhead designation as a badge of honor. Thank you for confering it on one so undeserving as I. I shall cherish it. Always.

  260. Sub-odeon – This entire thread has been chock full of guilt-by-association.

    Apparently the LDS church [i]et al[/i] is responsible when Evergreen (or any facility like it) abuses a gay teen.

    Sort of like how, if auto manufacturers are responsible if they build a car that causes an accident, yes. Not everyone working for them company is, but the company as a whole certainly is.

    Evergreen is part of your church’s policy towards GLBT people. Them, an Exodus International, and other similar groups. All supported by your church.

    Roger that. LDS church. Run by monsters. Because an LDS man (not a leader mind you, but that’s just a nagging detail to Xopher) ran a shitty reform center for “wayward youth”.

    Think your church’s leadership had nothing to do with them? Who do you think makes up the bulk of the referrals to Evergreen or Exodus international? Your church’s leadership does. It was founded by Mormons for Mormons, with the support of the Church.

    You can’t say any such thing about acts of vandalism against churches in protest of Prop 8.

    I know, I know, I was an idiot for coming back in here and thinking I could discuss anything related to “gay” and “Mormon” without it becoming a giant shit-dump on the LDS church. Wrong thread. Wrong blog.

    Yes well, perhaps an echo chamber would be safer.

  261. so: This entire thread has been chock full of guilt-by-association.

    So, are you saying that your statement about GBLT organization leaders calling for violence against LDS was nothing more than guilt by association? Are you saying you were wrong?

    Are you retracting your statement?

    Or are you holding onto it and defending it on the grounds that you think(*) since even one person on this thread used some form of guilt by association, that it’s OK, polite, and accurate to use guilt by association yourself?

    It’s either one or the other. Either you believe guilt by association is wrong and you retract your own guilt by association statement. Or you think guilt by association is OK and you agree with any guilt-by-association statements made about LDS and their associations.

    Which is it?

    Do you retract your guilt-by-assocation about GBLT leaders and apologize for using guilt-by-assocaition to tarnish their reputation, or do you say that guilt-by-association is legitimate evidence condemning GBLT leaders and therefore you accept any and all guilt-by-assocation condemnations about LDS, all of its leaders, and all of its members?

    Because so far, you’ve been crying foul one moment and then using the exact same tactic yourself a few posts later.

    (*) Oh, the fact that you think Xopher is doing guilt-by-association doesn’t mean he is. Whether he is or not has nothing to do with whether or not you yourself are going to stand by your statements that use guilt-by-association tactics. Personally, I don’t think he is. But again, that’s a separate question. The question I keep asking you over and over again is whether or not YOU are going to stand by your guilt-by-association comments about GBLT leaders issuing calls for violence against LDS because some individual was violent against LDS. Whether or not YOU are going to stand by your guilt by association comments that since someone in the protest march was violent, that everyone involved in the march, from the organizers down to the 90 year old grandmother, are all guilty-by-association of whatever vandalism or violence even one individual did during that march.

    If you do, then any guilt-by-associaiton comments about what LDS members, even fringe-members who aren’t part of the leadeship, any actions by any LDS associated individual condemns the entire LDS organization and all its members.

    So, which is it? Pick one or the other.

    Becuase right now, you’re using guilt-by-association to condemn GBLT but then you cry foul when you think someone is doing guilt-by-association about LDS.

    If you want to have it both ways, then you will avoid giving any sort of direct answer to this question, you will give a non-answer, you will give yet another smoke screen, yet another diversion.

    Do you stand by your guilt by association comments about GBLT leaders and therefore accept any guilt-by-association comments about LDS?

    Or do you categorically refute any guilt-by-association comments, do you call all guilt-by-association comments illegitmate, and therefore you retract and apologize for your own guilt-by-association comments about GBLT leaders?

    I guess there is a third alternative: Is something OK depending on who does it? Is it OK for you to invoke guilt by association, but not OK if anyone does against LDS? That’s the only other option left. And as it happens, that’s what you’ve been doing so far.

  262. I feel the need to clarify a few things here: number one, I am not by any stretch of the imagination a leader of the LGBT community. (Hell, I’m barely a leader in my own house. But such is parenting a 6 year old and 3 year old.) Second, my earlier attempts at metaphor/analogy should not in any way be construed as a fatwa for violence against Mormons. I meant for the whac-a-mole allusion to refer to the ARGUMENTS that keep getting beaten down, much like the cards in the house or the pins in the bowling alley. I apologize if anyone thought I was advocating or promoting beating Mormons with a foam mallet or throwing child-size bowling balls at them.
    So: no encouragement, no leadership, no fatwa. Are we clear?

  263. I apologize if anyone thought I was advocating or promoting beating Mormons with a foam mallet

    I thought it was abundantly clear that you were snarking mormons, not advocating violence. I also thought the whack-a-mole thing was fricken hilarious.

    Just so you know.

    :)

  264. …and here I thought it was clear for whom I intended that little waiver, LOL

    That was for S-O, Greg. But thanks for laughing at the whac-a-mole. It’s nice to amuse someone besides myself occasionally.

  265. So I’m winding up to unload another lengthy diatribe, and my sane half walks in and sees me on-line. She knows what the Scalzi blog looks like by now, and her expression works itself into the most absolute mixture of disgust and incomprehension.

    She says, “Are you on that stupid blog again, arguing with people?”

    Ummmm… Sorta.

    “Why do you do it?? Why do you even care what any of these people think? You don’t know them, they don’t know you, you will never meet them, they don’t matter…!”

    Well, honey, see, it’s like this, I –

    “Spare me! You’re such a hopeless geek! Everyone on that blog is a geek! You all need to get off the damn computer and get lives! Just turn the damn thing off and go *LIVE* instead of arguing with faceless dorks on the internet! DORK!”

    Well, what can I say to that? As per usual, my sane half is correct.

    It’s a nice Sunday. I ought to be enjoying it, instead of getting pissed off on a blog thread.

  266. Well, I’m not a geek. I am, in fact, MADE OF AWESOME. Please inform your wife.

    I would agree, however, that the substance in this particular thread has been thoroughly masticated by all parties, and now it’s mostly just going around in circles. I would suggest (but will not require) that everyone still hanging around in this thread sort of give it a break. Same-sex marriage is not exactly something I’ll never write about again here, you know. Plenty of opportunities in the future to argue about this again.

    But hey: Do what you want.

  267. Sub-Odeon 295: Xopher = Ahab, to the LDS Moby Dick!

    Sub-O, there is a dick in this conversation, but it’s not me.

    My plans for the missionaries don’t involve being unkind to them in any way. Well, except that I hope to plant doubts within them that will lead to some trouble…but getting street kids out of gangs causes them trouble, too. They’re better off in the long run.

    _____ 300: Re-read Xopher’s latest

    You’re getting sloppy. That was Josh, not me.

    [Rest of comment deleted prior to posting, because I think John is right at 308.]

  268. waltz@306, yeah, I know you were talking to subo, but the whack-a-mormon thing was pretty fricken funny. It’s making me all warm and chuckly on the inside right now just thinking about it.

    ;)

  269. shorter sub@307: “My wife says you’re all faceless dorks.”

    Am I the only one who is hearing some kid from when they were in third grade yell “My dad can beat up your dad!” ?

    Just wondering.

  270. I just can’t let it die yet. (It’s a sickness, I know. It’s not my fault this is blog crack for which there is no methadone.) But for further proof that they really didn’t think through the end game as O Wise One states in this post, please see:

    http://busywithconviction.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/civil-protest-vs-harassment/

    I especially like the “Stop it!!! Stop it!!!” part.

    Disclaimer: Obviously, actual criminal activity on the part of any of the Anti-Prop 8 team is not to be condoned. However, given that this post seems disturbed by authorities and newscasts that do not side with the Yes on 8 team, I think we can assume any incidents being ignored by police are not, in fact, criminal.

Comments are closed.