[In]tolerance

July 23rd, 2010

Dr J updates Todd’s listeners at Issues, Etc. on the progress of NOM’s Summer Marriage Tour–especially the intolerance they experienced in Providence, Rhode Island when a well-organized group of same-sex “marriage” supporters tried to shout them down (as well as intimidating and threatening the listeners).  They also discuss a settlement in Mississippi, where a school student wants to bring a same-sex date to prom.

[In]tolerance

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  1. Heidi
    July 23rd, 2010 at 18:33 | #1

    With all due respect, it always strikes me as disingenuous when those who are intolerant of those begging for tolerance and equality complain about the intolerance of the latter group. In other words, if you are intolerant of homosexuals and reject the equality of your fellow citizen, you have no grounds to complain about the intolerance directed at you by those against whom you discriminate. Because yes, I am intolerant of discrimination. Yes, I am intolerant of inequality. Yes, I am intolerant of injustice. And yes, I am intolerant of those who would deny me my civil rights and my equality under the law.

  2. Leo
    July 24th, 2010 at 08:07 | #2

    Rights, properly considered, are universal rights, not tribal rights. That is what equality is about. Otherwise any minority or majority can define something as their right and demand its acceptance. Dr. J. is asserting a universal right to peaceful assembly, a right recognized and guaranteed by our constitution. Heidi seems to deny that right, which would be a very dangerous path for America or any country to take.

    Heidi is asserting a universal right to—let me see—shout down anyone who disagrees with her? Abolish gender in the eyes of the law? Redefine marriage so that any two people, but not, say, any three people can marry? Well, not exactly any two people, as I don’t think she would really go that far. I am not exactly sure what universal right Heidi is advocating. In any event, I don’t think most Americans would agree that whatever Heidi is asserting is more important than the right is peaceful assembly. I am not sure why civil unions wouldn’t fulfill whatever concerns she has. I am sure that if we abolished the right to peaceful assembly, eventually all rights would become weakened, if not eventually meaningless. So who is being disingenuous or confused about universal and equal rights, Heidi or Dr. J?

  3. Marty
    July 25th, 2010 at 09:34 | #3

    I’m not intolerant of homosexuals Heidi — I simply do not agree that separate is equal. Your bias against the opposite sex doesn’t change anything.

  4. Heidi
    July 25th, 2010 at 17:26 | #4

    Leo, kindly refrain from putting words in my mouth please. I never suggested that I would deny the right to peaceful assembly, nor did I say anything about shouting down anyone, although I would add that one of the clear risks of free speech is the free speech of someone else in the marketplace of ideas who does not agree with the first speaker! Instead, I said that those who are intolerant and advocate for such a position have no right to complain about the alleged intolerance of those who are seeking tolerance. Can you not see the logical inconsistency with such a claim? Perhaps not, because you support the position that you do.

    In any event, I wasn’t in Rhode Island and I wasn’t shouting at anyone, so again, don’t put words into my mouth that I haven’t spoken. “Abolish gender in the eyes of the law?” Umm…not sure what in the world you are talking about with that statement. Please, educate yourself on the constitutional issues presented here. Start by reading the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision recognizing that it is unconstitutional under the Iowa constitution to deprive LGBT persons of the universal right to marriage, a right that the United States Supreme Court has declared to be “fundamental.” Please, ask yourself how a right can be fundamental if an entire class of citizens (yes, we are American citizens too!) can be denied that right.

    The institution of marriage and the meaning of the word is not reducible to the body parts of its participants. How foolish. How demeaning to marriage to claim that it is all about gender! As for civil unions, well, let’s put it this way. I am perfectly satisfied with the idea of civil unions, if that is the status that is available to ALL Americans, not just the ones you don’t like. In other words, if heterosexual couples also receive a civil union license, then that’s fine with me. So long as we are EQUAL under the law! The “concern” is equal. I do believe that the Supreme Court has already explained that separate is not equal.

    Of course, even if we left “marriage” to the religious institutions, and the state granted civil unions, that wouldn’t stop me or anyone else from calling my union a marriage. It wouldn’t stop my church from calling my union a marriage. It wouldn’t stop my friends, family, co-workers, children and others from calling my union a marriage. Because, with all due respect, you don’t own a word. But we will not settle for anything less than equality, and we will not settle for a separate status that enshrines further discrimination into the law. The very fact of creating a separate institution for same-sex couples suggests that we are not equal. And that is unacceptable.

    The universal right is marriage. Marriage means a union of two non-related consenting adults who pledge to remain committed to one another for life. The ability to marry does not depend on whether the couple can or does have children. The ability to marry does not depend on how well the couple conforms to outdated stereotypes about gender. And the ability to marry belongs to every citizen in this country, regardless of sexual orientation. It is only a matter of time before marriage equality is the law of the land. And I have a very good feeling that it will happen sooner rather than later. It may make you feel superior to ascribe false statements or positions to me and others like me. It may enrich the coffers to scare old people with lies about gay people, and to foment fear about incest, polygamy, and other issues that are irrelevant to this question. But none of it matters. All that does matter is that the new day of equality is dawning…and no longer will people like you be allowed to shut us out of the American Dream or deny our rights to be treated as equal citizens under the law.

    So, keep spewing your foolishness. Your side is losing more and more every day.

  5. Heidi
    July 25th, 2010 at 21:05 | #5

    Marty, I have no bias against the opposite sex. I spent quite a number of years in a long-term heterosexual relationship with my daughter’s father. It didn’t work out in the end, since we were both teenagers when we met and we grew into two different people with different plans and desires for our lives, but we have successfully co-parented our daughter together and we remain very close friends to this day. I will always love and respect him as the father of our child. I adore his wife (she is a much better match for him than I ever was) and their two daughters, and both he and his wife love and respect both me and my partner. Nope, I am not biased at all against the opposite sex, and I’m not really sure why you would think that I am just because I’m involved in a relationship with a woman. That’s really weird to me. Both my partner and I have many male friends, and we love the men in our respective families. But my partner is a lesbian. This means that while she may love and respect many men, she is just not sexually attracted to them! This does not make her biased against men, nor does it mean that she hates them. How bizarre of you to think that LGBT people are biased against the opposite sex!

    I am bisexual, which means that I am compatible with either sex and capable of having a love relationship with either gender. I have almost always exclusively dated men. I just happened to fall in love with an amazing woman! I actually never expected my soul mate to come in female form, but hey, the Lord works in mysterious ways. I have never been happier. Really, Marty, you don’t make any sense when you confuse a person’s intrinsic sexual orientation for a bias against the opposite sex. That is like saying that a person born white has a bias against black people. It’s just plain dumb.

  6. Heidi
    July 25th, 2010 at 21:11 | #6

    And Marty, if you would deny your fellow citizen the same rights that you enjoy, then YES you are intolerant, whether you choose to admit it or not. Having been in both a heterosexual relationship and same-sex relationship, I can very honestly tell you that there is nothing different whatsoever or “separate” about LOVE. Tell me, how is it that I had a fundamental constitutional right to marry when I was dating a man, but I somehow lost that right when I fell in love with a woman? What kind of a fundamental right is that if one can lose it just by falling in love with someone who is not in the “approved” class of persons?

    Equality is coming…can you feel it yet? I can.

  7. Marty
    July 26th, 2010 at 05:28 | #7

    You already have the same rights that I enjoy Heidi. But you’re asking for something different now… something separate… yet supposedly “equal”.

    And you can stop pretending that you have no control over who you fall in love with. It’s childish.

  8. Leo
    July 26th, 2010 at 08:55 | #8

    Heidi,

    If you support the right of the NOM to peaceful assembly, then I applaud that. The context of your harsh reply to a request for tolerance in the face of legal demonstrators being shouted down would have suggested otherwise. If you don’t want people putting words in your mouth, then you should think about the context of your remarks.

    Do you feel your fellow demonstrators who did try to shout down the NOM’s legal demonstration were wrong to do so? If so, then are you saying so on their web sites or are you content to merely criticize Dr. J.? If so, then I question your sincerity in your support of peaceful assembly and the market place of ideas.

    You charged Dr. J. with being disingenuous. I believe that charge is false and don’t believe you have proven it. I believe your pleading is special pleading, not the pleading for a universal right. I don’t believe Dr. J. is intolerant, and I don’t believe you have proven your charge against her. Unless, of course, you believe that ipso facto, those who disagree with you are intolerant or uneducated I believe many in the homosexual community do believe that any disagreement with them is intolerance and any speech against them is “hate speech” and that if they get power then individuals such as Dr. Howell, recently dismissed from his teaching position at the University of Illinois, will be denied their constitutional rights and politically correct speech codes will replace the market place of ideas. Do you support the firing of Dr. Howell?

    The California Supreme Court and most other jurists that have ruled on the (re)definition of marriage do not recognize the change in the definition of marriage made by the Iowa Supreme Court. In any event, that decision does not apply in Rhode Island or any other state. It is all about definitions. Let me make or change the definitions, and I can win any case. This will clearly go to the U.S. Supreme Court. I believe the people should have the right to define marriage, and I believe the Roberts court will uphold that right.

    Do you believe an entire class of citizens (yes, they are American citizens) can be denied the legal right to multiple marriage partners? Do you think their love is any less than yours or less deserving of equal recognition under the law? Is the universal right you are advocating that any relationship that claims to be a marriage (since no one owns the word) must be legally recognized as a marriage by all the states? If so, then please say so clearly. If not, then what, if any, restrictions would you place on it?

    I believe that had the people voted differently than they did in Maine, the homosexual lobby would have endlessly repeated, “what sensible people those Mainers are” and “as Maine goes, so goes the nation.” The people did speak in Maine as elsewhere on what the legal definition of marriage should be, and I do believe they are sensible people who are generally representative of the country. That is why I am concerned about this issue. Whom you love and how is not my business. It becomes my business when your pursuit of love impacts this country’s commitment to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and democracy, commitments which should only be not only technically, but also deeply and sincerely upheld by all citizens.

  9. Heidi
    July 27th, 2010 at 10:19 | #9

    Marty, I DO NOT have the same rights that you enjoy. I do not have the right to marry the person that I choose, the one that I love with all of my heart.

    “And you can stop pretending that you have no control over who you fall in love with. It’s childish.”

    Wow, Marty. How unromantic. How sad. Believe it or not, I didn’t have any control. It just happened. I felt like I had known her all of my life, and yet she was still a beautiful mystery. I wrestled with my beliefs, with my fears, with my own internalized homophobia, but in the end, love won out. And regardless of what happens in the legal fight for equality, I will never regret the day that I chose to say yes to love. I’m really sorry for you that you don’t see or understand the power of love. It really makes me sad for you. Call me childish, but if being childish means free of cynicism and holding strong to a belief in the all-encompassing power of love, I will gladly own that label.

    “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Mark 10:15 (NASB)

    Leo,

    I do not believe that it is appropriate to shout down any speaker. I think that a more powerful counter-demonstration would have been a silent one. But please understand, we are only human beings, and it is difficult to remain silent in the face of such animosity. It is difficult not to be angry at those who would deprive you of fundamental human rights. It is difficult to listen to those who call you evil, demented, sick, harmful to children, etc.

    I stand by my comment that is in indeed disingenous to cry intolerance when you are the ones promoting an attitude of intolerance for your fellow citizens. Because in the end, this issue is not about YOU. Your churches will not be forced to solemnize our marriages. You will still be entitled to harbor your discriminatory beliefs. That is what First Amendment protections are all about.

    As for polygamy, I have repeatedly and painstakingly explained the difference on this site as it applies to constitutional rights and an equal protection analysis. If you willingly choose to ignore those comments, and the explanations of others that are available to you (including the Iowa decision), that is your issue. Suffice it to say that the government may make any classification of citizens that it wishes, so long as the classification is based on a legitimate government purpose and the classification is rationally related to that legitimate purpose. Religious disapproval and bigotry are not legitimate government purposes, and excluding same-sex couples from marriage based on the claim that it “protects the children” is not rationally related to any legitimate government purpose because children are already being raised by same-sex parents and there is no parental fitness litumus test that we give people before they are allowed to marry! Heck, we don’t even ask if the couple plans to have kids! However, there ARE legitimate and non-discriminatory purposes for excluding polygamous relationships from marriage. If you cannot understand the constitutional distinction, then by all means, educate yourself!

    Finally, fundamental rights should NEVER be subject to majority vote. That is exactly what our Constitution was intended to protect against. Because next time, YOU could be in the minority and the majority could be deciding YOUR fundamental rights! Be careful what you wish for…perhaps one of these days, people will decide that since religion is a choice, it shouldn’t be deserving of constitutional protection (or tax-exempt status for that matter).

  10. Heidi
    July 27th, 2010 at 10:37 | #10

    Oops, should be “litmus,” not “litumus.” See what happens when I type too fast?

  11. Chairm
    July 28th, 2010 at 12:32 | #11

    Heidi claimed: “As for polygamy, I have repeatedly and painstakingly explained the difference on this site as it applies to constitutional rights and an equal protection analysis. If you willingly choose to ignore those comments, and the explanations of others that are available to you (including the Iowa decision), that is your issue.”

    Please provide the link to what you claimed to have done regarding polygamy in the comment sections of this blogsite.

    Your analysis, Heidi, not someone else’s. Providing the link is your issue. Defending your claimed analysis , that too is your issue, especially in light of your own SSM argumentation.

    It is highly doubtful that you’ve reconciled the profound contadictions and double-standards of SSM argumentation when it comes to polygamy. Others have tried and failed. Those whose comments have been intellectually honest on this point have also been forthright about admitting it.

    However, the core meaning of the social institution of marriage supplies the legitimate basis for line-drawing around marriage; in your many comments on this blogiste, you’ve rejected that basis and have supplied an anemic substitute that does not even stand up to your own rules of argumentation.

    Live by the sword, so to speak, die by the sword, Heidi. Your SSM argumentation turns its own sword against itself.

  12. Heidi
    July 28th, 2010 at 13:31 | #12

    Chairm,

    I am truly sorry if you are incapable of understanding the constitutional distinction. Maybe a first-year class in constitutional law would help, with an emphasis on how federal courts consider equal protection clause challenges? Maybe a consideration of the legitimate and non-discriminatory government purposes for disfavoring polygamy as contrasted against the illegitimate and discriminatory alleged reasons for disfavoring marriage equality for same-sex couples? Of course, the very basic understanding of marriage as “forsaking all others” could have something to do with it, but I won’t resort to the circular logic of definitional arguments that your side so frequently relies upon to make its case for government discrimination against fellow citizens.

    Chairm, I am not going to do your homework for you. The information is readily available, both in my comments on this site and elsewhere. I didn’t need anyone else to think or figure it out for me because once you have learned how courts analyze equal protection challenges, the answers become readily understandable. I’m sorry if you still doubt, but those who seek shall find! In any event, I get tired of repeating myself ad nauseum for those who have already decided not to listen anyway.

  13. Chairm
    July 28th, 2010 at 20:26 | #13

    Heidi, plainly state the distinction as you see it, please.

    * * *

    Forsaking all others? You acknowledge that your odd retort is circular thinking and yet there you are, pivoting around your predrawn conclusion. As predicted.

    I asked you to please provide the link to the detailed analysis you claimed to have written recently in comments here. That is not asking for you to do my homework, Heidi, but rather asking you to provide the very thing you insist is so very significant to your own conclusion.

    I did a search. Nothing has come up. I asked you for the link.

    You failed to provide that link.

    So you point to a court opinion. I asked you specifically about that opinion — one which we could discuss forthrightly — but you are running away from that. Now you say you won’t depend on that court opinion but on your own analysis.

    Readers can draw their own conclusions about how you have handled this.

  14. Leo
    July 28th, 2010 at 22:05 | #14

    Heidi,

    My experience has been that pro-traditional marriage meetings have taken great pains to ask for respect for our opponents and that our opponents do not take the same care. Rather they define disagreement as bigotry and hate speech and compare the endorsement of traditional marriage to the endorsement of slavery. This attitude poisons any discussion at the onset.

    I have seen frequently extremely insulting remarks (“filth” comes to mind as a recent clean one) from gay blogs about traditional marriage advocates than are in stark contrast to Dr. J.

    I have seen vandalism and retaliation against churches, and I have seen politicians so intimidated by the gay lobby that they will ignore it or even support it.

    So, I am more inclined to trust the genuine sincerely of Dr. J. in support of tolerance and have real concerns about the “tolerance” of those who impose politically correct speech codes, shout down their opponents, and hijack venerable institutions by redefining them.

    As for polygamy, how would you answer a woman in a Moslem family with multiple wives who asks for the equal protection of the law (by changing the law)…especially when your own marriage would not be affected in the least? Would you deny her civil rights and the make her life and the life of her children harder? Would you relegate her to second class citizenship? Would you criminalize her conduct? If there is a fundamental and universal right to marry someone you love, would you deny her that right? How would you answer when she says “thanks a bunch for the second-class citizenship?” How would you answer her if she says that all your arguments are just bigotry? How would you answer when she asserts that her rights should NEVER be subject to the majority vote, because she is, after all, in the minority?

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