“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
–Boy Scouts of America, excerpt of proposed resolution
Wow! That sounds pretty damn compelling, right? Finally! No more unfair and unfounded criticism for this piece of Americana organization which is a fine and upstanding part of our community and never does anything wrong. This will finally shut up those annoying critics.
Alas, as the rest of the internet has noticed, the proposal only applies to “youth.” Homosexuals are still prohibited from serving as scoutmasters and den mothers.
However, something else about the line of text caught my eye. Do you see it, too? I may very well be the only son of a bitch in the universe to have caught on. Aren’t you lucky to know me? Membership has its privileges.
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When I saw the headline that Mitt Romney had refused to sign a “marriage vow” it immediately got my attention. Did this mean he was going to actually support gay marriage, or if not (and more likely) at least not stand opposed?
A group called “The Family Leader” produced and circulated a document called “The Marriage Vow” that they hoped presidential candidates would sign. In addition to many other things, it asks candidates to support a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman throughout the United States.
Mitt Romney declined to sign the vow. So far, so has Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, and Jon Huntsman.
So who did sign? Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.
Perhaps if the document was limited solely to dealing with marriage issues more would have signed it.
Weirdly, it introduces the issue of race and slavery into the mix. As you might expect, that has created a shitstorm of controversy. What could slavery possibly have to do with a discussion about the definition of “marriage” here in the year 2011?
The original version of the document is quick to point out (in the very first bullet point) that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent-household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”
One thing seems certain, at least to me. Some people sure seem to sit around and think a lot about race. An awful lot.
So, what’s their point? That has been the subject of much speculation since this document was released. (Note: The group has since published the “final” version of The Marriage Vow and the bullet point pertaining to slavery has mysteriously disappeared.)
Their factoid about slavery and 1860 may be true, but even if it is, what relevance does that have to a discussion about the definition of marriage in the here and now? It’s not like going back in time to 1860 is possible, right?
Also, it is intellectually dishonest to cherry-pick a single fact to prove that something was better than it is now. Only a complete viewpoint can do that. We have to ask ourselves: Were children born as slaves in 1860 better off than children born to unwed parents since 2008? If anyone answers “yes” to that question, I think it is fair to ask, just what in the name of hell are they advocating.
The fight against gay marriage can sure take some weird twists and turns.
You may not have heard about it in the major news outlets, but earlier this week there was another skirmish in the battle to “defend” marriage.
On December 6, 2010, an “open letter” was signed by 26 religious “leaders.” But let us not divert from the discussion to consider the pompous sanctimony of “open letters.” Perhaps another day.
The letter was entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment” and is significant because of the broad spectrum of religious beliefs held by the signers. A press release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sang the praises of the diversity of the signers that represented “Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States.”
As I read the letter, I couldn’t help but wonder: Who out there watches over us atheists? Where is the leader of my flock?
Here’s the text of the letter:
Marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman. As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family. Marriage is an institution fundamental to the well-being of all of society, not just religious communities.
As religious leaders across different faith communities, we join together and affirm our shared commitment to promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We honor the unique love between husbands and wives; the indispensible place of fathers and mothers; and the corresponding rights and dignity of all children.
Marriage thus defined is a great good in itself, and it also serves the good of others and society in innumerable ways. The preservation of the unique meaning of marriage is not a special or limited interest but serves the good of all. Therefore, we invite and encourage all people, both within and beyond our faith communities, to stand with us in promoting and protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The press release talks about the “unique meaning” of marriage and the letter speaks of the “unique love” between husbands and wives. Logically speaking, what does “uniqueness” prove? Absolutely nothing.
The letter says that marriage is something “permanent.” Ever heard of a little something called the divorce rate? Have we ever seen such a concerted effort to “defend” marriage against that?
The letter says that marriage is the “natural” basis of a family. How is that statement, beyond religious beliefs, proven in any way?
Let’s say you have a family consisting of one man, one woman, and two children. Now, let’s say one of the parents dies. So sorry, family. According to our nation’s religious leaders your family is no longer “natural.”
Personally I think the letter is an insult to anyone who ever grew up in a family without one or both of the “natural” biological parents, or one where the “permanent” marriage was ripped apart by divorce, and let us not forget everyone who was ever adopted. If we accept the argument that the act of procreation is what makes marriage “natural” then by logical extension anyone not raised by their biological parents is in an unnatural family.
Not too long ago there was a person on craigslist in the “politics” section. He was making reasoned arguments that homosexuals were “shit eaters” and “pedophiles” during the act of defending marriage. He even posted appalling pictures of scatological sexual activity (between two men) as his “proof.” How he came into possession of the image one can only wonder.
I don’t normally engage on craigslist, but I decided to take a shot. I knew it would be waste of time, though, especially for one anyone who expressed such illogical thoughts. Call it an “open letter” of my own, if you will. Here’s what I wrote:
There is a person trolling here using homosexual bashing as bait. If you can’t recognize the pure unabashed trolling for what it is then perhaps you have a problem as well. Trolls are best ignored.
Sexual orientation is NOT the act of having sex or engaging in a particular type of sexual activity. The picture of scatological sex that was posted recently falls into the category of deviant behavior, i.e., it violates our society’s cultural norms. It would be equally deviant if it was two men, two women, or a mixed-gender couple. Therefore you can’t simply show the same picture where one of the participants is female and declare, “See! Heterosexuality is sick!” It doesn’t work that way.
You can have a sexual relationship between two gay men that doesn’t involve anal sex. That doesn’t mean the men are straight.
You can have a sexual relationship between a mixed-gender couple that does involve anal sex. That doesn’t mean the people involved are homosexual.
Orientation is what you are. It is a preference. It is how you feel and what you are attracted to. It is not what you do. Or don’t do.
Naturally my post was flagged down and removed from craigslist in record time. Luckily, as the author, I was able to preserve a copy.
I had a friend named Klaus. One time he expressed this thought: “I don’t believe you can find love in another man’s hairy asshole.” Yes, Klaus was an eloquent fellow. And that opinion fit his worldview and beliefs. But I think it’s safe to say that the opinion is not universally shared. And that’s what makes freedom so special. We each get to make up our own minds.
To me, the big travesty here is a simple one. It is the fact that so many spend so much time and effort try to legally control and quarantine the actions of other people. Adults engaged in mutually consensual behavior should leave each other the fuck alone.
If you leave faith and religion out of the equation, what proof remains that supports the “defense” of marriage?
Here in the abyss, our committment to you, the reader, is to present interesting news of the day with our our special stylings and flair.
This week, Neal Horsley, an anti-abortion activist and gubernatorial candidate for the Creator’s Rights Party in the great state of Georgia was arrested for threatening the life of recording artist Sir Elton John.
The chain of events went a little something like this:
- Elton John announced he is a homosexual. (You heard it here first.) Note: This may have happened quite some time ago.
- In an interview with US Magazine Elton John said that Jesus Christ was a homosexual. The BBC reported the quote as: Jesus was a “super-intelligent gay man.”
- Cue the nutjob: In response, Horsley published a missive on the internet entitled, “Why Elton John Must Die.” A video was also posted on YouTube showing Horsley holding a sign that read “Elton John Must Die” outside of a condominium owned by Elton John. Source.
Praise the Lord that Horsley has since been arrested and charged with terroristic threats, criminal defamation and using the Internet to disseminate threats. Bail has been set at $40,000 and Horsley remains in custody at this time.
Stick an iron fork in him because he’s done.
Click here for the audio soundtrack to this post: I Hope You Die.