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RE: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage

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  • Anthony Venn-Brown
    I think change has happened in pockets...but there is still an enormous amount of work to do. Anthony Moderator
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 25, 2010
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      I think change has happened in pockets…..but there is still an enormous amount of work to do.

       

      Anthony

      Moderator

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay

      My sexual orientation is not a sickness to be healed or a sin to be forgiven. My sexual orientation is a gift from my Creator to be accepted, celebrated, and lived with integrity.

      Freedom 2 B(e)

      Support - Information - Dialogue for GLBTIQ People from Pentecostal/Charismatic Backgrounds go to www.freedom2b.org

       

      From: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Bottomley
      Sent: Sunday, 24 January 2010 11:52 PM
      To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage

       

       

      Dear James,

       

      Hi.  Thanks for your message.  It was thought provoking and powerful.  My own reaction to your statements is that it makes me reflect on how many times I have heard people use derogatory terms like "faggot" and "it's so gay".  We have gay characters on network television, gay shows on cable, people advocating for gay marriage, but I still hear words like the two mentioned above very frequently.  Have we really come that far if I am still hearing those two phrases?!  The only thing that I can object to in your excellent post is that you criticize all the uncertainty going on as to how the gay rights movement should refer to itself.  I think that language is important and it is worth the discussion to come up with a name for the gay rights movement that everyone can feel comfortable with.  This will promote unity and help the gay liberation movement to move forward. 

       

      Thanks for your excellent post.

       

      Mike Bottomley

      On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 3:20 PM, James Prendergast Sullivan <ditmasgreen@...> wrote:

       

      The Gay Civil Rights movement is focusing on one issue of many. We, as a group, should have the God given right to choose. The ERA amendment to the constitution should include all those groups mentioned on forms when you apply for work including sexual orientation. One of the main reasons why this legislation is not passing through is due to financial difficulties we face, especially in NY. The state is bankrupt, and legislators in Albany did not want a whole group of Gay men and women enterring the state, getting married, and going into a lower tax bracket. 

       Personally I have been in litigation for 4 years. In 2002 a non specific medical illness caused me to go to the emergency room about 12 times from 2002 to 2005. I went to my medical database, and discovered I had been diagnosed with epilepsy. The reason why it was not considered is because I was being tested for HIV without any cause, knowledge, consent, or authorization. I went to lambda legal, the Gay City News, Legal, and the GMHC.l.. No one helped. . In the process of depositions, I discovered a lesbian couple was brutalized, a doctor has  been fired, the words,"cock sucking faggot bastard" were only disciplined when referring to a worker with a sensitivity class, and a gay man was crippled. Do you know where this has taken place? In the second largest LGBT neighborhood in Brooklyn, NYC at NY Methodist Hospital. 

       As far as I am concerned there is no Civil rights movement until people come out of the closet, thee greatest danger, create allies and not enemies, focus on the right to choose, and start to realize it is no longer a unified movement. We don't know whether to call ourselves LGBT,GLBT,LGBTQ, OR LGBTQH. 

        There are several non profit groups each with an issue, gay and lesbian teenagers are coming out earlier and facing the same brutality, AIDS is a big problem in the African American community, Hispanic community, and the poor who are LGBT. No one adresses the EEOC, but I  guess when another young man is tied to a fence, beaten to death, and left to die  the Gay Community will react, as they always have instead of a unified movement, unified platform, specific civil rights agenda which in cludes the right to be, one name for all in the movement, and one central organization that no one would dare mess with. The problem lies with the movement and not those who oppose us.

      James Sullivan

       


      From: Rev. Ninure D. Saunders <ninure@...>

      Sent: Fri, January 15, 2010 6:27:05 AM


      Subject: RE: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage


       

      "we" have to keep repeating it....

       

      ===

      Here Comes the Groom:

      A (Conservative) Case For Gay Marriage

      By Andrew Sullivan

       

      First appeared in the New Republic August 28, 1989.

       

      Why does society encourage gay relationships to be "unfaithful, undeveloped, and insecure?" In this early call for gay marriage, Sullivan argues that it should logically appeal to straight conservatives who deplore gay male promiscuity. While domestic 

      partnership poses genuine hazards, especially if its legal definition is left slippery and  undefined, same-sex marriage "is not...a denial of family values. It's an extension of  them."

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

       

      LAST MONTH IN NEW YORK, a court ruled that a gay lover had the right to stay in his deceased partner's rent-control apartment because the lover qualified as a member of the deceased's family. The ruling deftly annoyed almost everybody. Conservatives saw judicial activism in favor of gay rent control: three reasons to be appalled. Chastened liberals (such as the New York Times editorial page), while endorsing the recognition of gay relationships, also worried about the abuse of already-stretched entitlements that the ruling threatened. What neither side quite contemplated is that they both might be right, and that the way to tackle the issue of unconventional relationships in  conventional society is to try something both more radical and more conservative than putting courts in the business of deciding what is and is not a family. That alternative is the legalization of civil gay marriage.

       

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----- 

       

      " the way to tackle the issue of unconventional relationships in conventional society is to try something both more radical and more conservative. "

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

      The New York rent-control case did not go anywhere near that far, which is the problem. The rent-control regulations merely stipulated that a "family"  member had the right to remain in the apartment. The judge ruled that to all intents and purposes a gay lover is part of his lover's family, inasmuch as a "family" merely means an interwoven social life, emotional commitment, and some level of financial interdependence.

       

      It's a principle now well established around the country. Several cities have "domestic partnership" laws, which allow relationships that do not fit into the category of heterosexual marriage to be registered with the city and qualify for benefits that up till now have been reserved for straight married couples. San Francisco, Berkeley, Madison, and Los Angeles all have legislation, as does the politically correct Washington, D.C., suburb, Takoma Park. In these cities, a variety of interpersonal arrangements qualify for health insurance, bereavement leave, insurance, annuity and pension rights, housing rights (such as rent-control apartments), adoption, and

      inheritance rights.. Eventually, according to gay lobby groups, the aim is to include federal income tax and veterans benefits as well. A recent case even involved the right to use a family member's accumulated frequent-flier points. Gays are not the only 

      beneficiaries; heterosexual "live-togethers" also qualify. 

       

      There's an argument, of course, that the current legal advantages extended to married people unfairly discriminate against people who've shaped their lives in less conventional arrangements. But it doesn't take a genius to see that enshrining in the law a vague principle like "domestic partnership" is an invitation to qualify at little personal cost for a vast array of entitlements otherwise kept crudely under control.

       

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----- 

       

      You either are or are not married; it's not a complex question.

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

      To be sure, potential DPs have to prove financial interdependence, shared living arrangements, and a commitment to mutual caring. But they don't need to have a sexual relationship or even closely mirror old-style marriage. In principle, an elderly woman and her live-in nurse could qualify. A couple of uneuphemistically confirmed bachelors could be DPs. So could two close college students, a pair of seminarians, or a couple of frat buddies. Left as it is, the concept of domestic partnership could open a Pandora's box of litigation and subjective judicial decision-making about who qualifies. You either are or are not married; it's not a complex question. Whether you are in a "domestic partnership" is not so clear.

       

      More important, the concept of domestic partnership chips away at the prestige of traditional relationships and undermines the priority we give them. This priority is not necessarily a product of heterosexism. Consider heterosexual couples. Society has good reason to extend legal advantages to heterosexuals who choose the formal sanction of marriage over simply living together. They make a deeper commitment to one another and to society; in exchange, society extends certain benefits to them. Marriage provides an anchor, if an arbitrary and weak one, in the chaos of sex and relationships to which we are all prone. It provides a mechanism for emotional stability, economic security, and the healthy rearing of the next generation. We rig the law in its favor not because we disparage all forms of relationship other than the nuclear family, but because we recognize that not to promote marriage would be to ask too much of human virtue. In the context of the weakened family's effect upon the poor, it might also invite social disintegration. One of the worst products of the New Right's "family values" campaign is that its extremism and hatred of diversity has disguised this more measured and more convincing case for the importance of the marital bond.

       

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

       But the way to go about it is not to undermine straight marriage; it is to legalize old-style marriage for gays.

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

      The concept of domestic partnership ignores these concerns, indeed directly attacks them. This is a pity, since one of its most important objectives-providin g some civil recognition for gay relationshipsis a noble cause and one completely compatible with the defense of the family. But the way to go about it is not to undermine straight

      marriage; it is to legalize old-style marriage for gays..

       

      The gay movement has ducked this issue primarily out of fear of division. Much of the gay leadership clings to notions of gay life as essentially outsider, anti-bourgeois, radical. Marriage, for them, is co-optation into straight society. For the Stonewall generation, it is hard to see how this vision of conflict will ever fundamentally change. But for many other gaysmy guess, a majoritywhile they don't deny the importance of rebellion twenty years ago and are grateful for what was done, there's now the sense of a new opportunity. A need to rebel has quietly ceded to a desire to belong. To be gay and to be bourgeois no longer seems such an absurd proposition. Certainly since AIDS, to be gay and to be responsible has become a necessity.

       

      Gay marriage squares several circles at the heart of the domestic partnership debate. Unlike domestic partnership, it allows for recognition of gay relationships, while casting no aspersions on traditional marriage. It merely asks that gays be allowed to join in. Unlike domestic partnership, it doesn't open up avenues for heterosexuals to get benefits without the responsibilities of marriage, or a nightmare of definition litigation. And unlike domestic partnership, it harnesses to an already established social convention the yearnings for stability and acceptance among a fast-maturing gay community.

       

      Gay marriage also places more responsibilities upon gays: it says for the first time that gay relationships are not better or worse than straight relationships, and that the same is expected of them. And it's clear and dignified. There's a legal benefit to a clear, common symbol of commitment. There's also a personal benefit.. One of the ironies of domestic partnership is that it's not only more complicated than marriage, it's more demanding, requiring an elaborate statement of intent to qualify. It amounts to a substantial invasion of privacy. Why, after all, should gays be required to prove commitment before they get married in a way we would never dream of asking of straights?

       

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----- 

       

      Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence..

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

      Legalizing gay marriage would offer homosexuals the same deal society now offers heterosexuals: general social approval and specific legal advantages in exchange for a deeper and harder-to-extract- yourself-from commitment to another human being. Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence. Since there's no reason gays should not be allowed to adopt or be foster parents, it could also help nurture children.. And its introduction would not be some sort of radical break with social custom. As it has become more acceptable for gay people to acknowledge their loves publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and their friends. A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend. It would also, in the wake of AIDS, qualify as a genuine public health measure. Those conservatives who deplore promiscuity among some homosexuals should be among the first to support it. Burke could have written a powerful case for it.

       

      The argument that gay marriage would subtly undermine the unique legitimacy of straight marriage is based upon a fallacy. For heterosexuals, straight marriage would remain the most significant -- and only legal -- social bond. Gay marriage could only delegitimize straight marriage if it were a real alternative to it, and this is clearly not true. To put it bluntly, there's precious little evidence that straights could be persuaded by any law to have sex with -- let alone marry -- someone of their own sex. The only possible effect of this sort would be to persuade gay men and women who force themselves into heterosexual marriage (often at appalling cost to themselves and their families) to find a focus for their family instincts in a more personally positive environment. But this is clearly a plus, not a minus: gay marriage could both avoid a lot of tortured families and create the possibility for many happier ones. It is not, in short, a denial of family values. It's an extension of them.

       

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----- 

       

      Since persecution is not an option in a civilized society, why not coax gays into traditional values rather than rail incoherently against them?

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

      Of course, some would claim that any legal recognition of homosexuality is a de facto attack upon heterosexuality. But even the most hardened conservatives recognize that gays are a permanent minority and aren't likely to go away. Since persecution is not an option in a civilized society, why not coax gays into traditional values rather than rail incoherently against them?

       

      There's a less elaborate argument for gay marriage: it's good for gays. It provides role models for young gay people who, after the exhilaration of coming out, can easily lapse into short-term relationships and insecurity with no tangible goal in sight. My own guess is that most gays would embrace such a goal with as much (if not more) commitment as straights. Even in our society as it is, many lesbian relationships are virtual textbook cases of monogamous commitment. Legal gay marriage could also help bridge the gulf often found between gays and their parents. It could bring the essence of gay lifea gay coupleinto the heart of the traditional straight family in a way the family can most understand  and the gay offspring can most easily acknowledge. It could do as much to heal thegay-straight rift as any amount of gay rights legislation.

       

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----- 

       

      If these arguments sound socially conservative, that's no accident.

       

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

       

      If these arguments sound socially conservative, that's no accident. It's one of the richest ironies of our society's blind spot toward gays that essentially conservative social goals should have the appearance of being so radical. But gay marriage is not a radical step. It avoids the mess of domestic partnership; it is humane; it is conservative in the best sense of the word. It's also practical. Given the fact that we already allow legal gay relationships, what possible social goal is advanced by framing the law to encourage those relationships to be unfaithful, undeveloped, and insecure?

       

      -----------

       


      Pax Christi,
      Ninure Saunders aka Rainbow Christian
      My Blog
      http://blog. myspace.com/ rainbow_christia n
      Be my Friend on MySpace:
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      ============ ========= ======
      "All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident. " -- Arthur Schopenhauer

      People often say with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future, or any future.”
      — Martha Gellhorn, writer/journalist (1908-1998

      Live simply. Love generously.
      Care deeply. Speak kindly.
      Leave the rest to God.

      --- On Fri, 1/15/10, Anthony Venn-Brown <anthony@anthonyvenn brown.com> wrote:


      From: Anthony Venn-Brown <anthony@anthonyvenn brown.com>


      Subject: RE: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage

      To: Exex-gay@yahoogroup s.com


      Date: Friday, January 15, 2010, 3:15 AM

       

      Great article isn’t it.

       

      Anthony Venn-Brown

      An Ambassador for the GLBT Community

      Award winning author of 'A Life of Unlearning - A Journey to Find the Truth'

      Co-convenor of Freedom 2 b[e]

      Honoured to be on the 2007 & 2009 list of the  25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians

      Tel: + 61 (0)2 9699 2448  Mobile: +61 (0)416 015 231

      "The enemy is ignorance"

      "My morality is a choice, my sexual orientation however isn't'

      'When we choose to live authentically, we chip away at others' prisons of pretend'

      Blog: http://alifeofunlea rning.blogspot. com/

      Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook ..com/gayambassad or

      Become a fan of 'A Life of Unlearning' on Facebook

      Follow me on Twitter https://twitter. com/gayambassado r

      My YouTube Channel is here http://www.youtube. com/user/ avb7

       

      From: Exex-gay@yahoogroup s.com [mailto:Exex- gay@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of edward d
      Sent: Friday, 15 January 2010 11:11 AM
      To: Exex-gay@yahoogroup s.com
      Subject: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage

       

       

      This is an abridged version of an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. The full version was from Newsweek.

      Both Web-links are provided:

      Newsweek: http://www.newsweek .com/id/229957/ output/print

      Sydney Morning Herald:
      http://www.smh. com.au/opinion/ politics/ conservatives- should-celebrate -samesex- union-not- lament-it- 20100114- ma07.html

      The author, Theodore Olson is the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs in Perry v Schwarzenegger, now being heard in a federal court in San Francisco. This is an edited extract of an essay that first appeared in Newsweek.

      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -

      Conservatives should celebrate same-sex union, not lament it

      THEODORE OLSON
      January 15, 2010

      My involvement in a case to invalidate Proposition 8 - California's voter-approved measure to overturn the right to marry a person of the same sex - has generated a certain degree of consternation among conservatives. How could a lifelong Republican, a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George Bush jnr administrations, challenge the ''traditional' ' definition of marriage?

      Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility towards gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. At its best, marriage is a stable bond between two people who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make provide benefits to themselves, their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It establishes a formal investment in the wellbeing of society. The fact individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.

      The dream that became America began with words that are among the most noble and elegant ever written: ''We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.''

      It has taken a long time to live up to the promise of equality. In 1857, the Supreme Court held that an African-American could not be a citizen. After the ensuing Civil War, to make the elusive promise of equality a reality, the 14th amendment to the constitution added the command that ''no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person the equal protection of the laws.''

      What better way to make this national aspiration complete than to apply the same protection to men and women who differ from others only on the basis of their sexual orientation? I cannot think of one reason - and have not heard one since I undertook this venture - for continued discrimination against decent, hardworking members of our society on that basis.

      Marriage is an expression of our desire to create a partnership, to live and share life's joys and burdens with the person we love, and to form a lasting bond and a social identity. The right to marry helps us to define ourselves and our place in a community. Without it, there can be no true equality under the law.

      Traditionally, it has been regarded as a relationship exclusively between a man and a woman, but the underlying rights and liberties that marriage embodies are not in any way confined to heterosexuals. Marriage is a civil bond as well as, in some cases, a religious sacrament. It is a relationship recognised by governments as providing a privileged and respected status, entitled to the state's support and benefits.

      What, then, are the justifications for California's decision to withdraw access to the institution of marriage for some citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation? The reasons I have heard are not very persuasive.

      The explanation mentioned most often is tradition. But just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that it must always remain that way. Otherwise we would still have segregated schools and debtors' prisons.

      The second argument I often hear is that traditional marriage furthers the state's interest in procreation- and that opening marriage to same-sex couples would dilute, diminish, and devalue this goal.

      But preventing lesbians and gays from marrying does not cause more heterosexuals to marry and conceive more children. It will not discourage heterosexuals from marrying a person of the opposite sex. We do not inquire whether heterosexual couples intend to bear children before allowing them to marry. And we would surely not accept a ban on marriage to discourage procreation. Tellingly, when the judge in our case asked our opponent to identify the ways in which same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual marriage, to his credit he answered honestly: he could not think of any.
      There is no good reason to deny marriage to same-sex partners, but many reasons to formally recognise these relationships.

      No matter what you think of homosexuality, gays and lesbians are members of our families, clubs, and workplaces. They are our doctors, our teachers, our soldiers (whether we admit it or not), and our friends. They yearn for acceptance, stable relationships, and success in their lives, just like the rest of us.

      When we refuse to accord this status to gays and lesbians, we discourage them from forming the same relationships we encourage for others. And we are also saying that their relationships are less worthy, less legitimate, less permanent, and less valued. I cannot imagine how that benefits society. And I take strong exception to those who argue that same-sex relationships should be discouraged by society and law. Science has taught us, even if history has not, that gays and lesbians do not choose to be homosexual any more than the rest of us choose to be heterosexual.

      Reactions to our lawsuit have reinforced for me these essential truths. I have certainly heard anger, resentment, and hostility, and words like ''betrayal'' and other pointedly graphic criticism.
      But mostly I have been overwhelmed by expressions of gratitude and goodwill from persons in all walks of life. I have no doubt that we are on the right side of this battle, the right side of the law, and the right side of history.

      Some have suggested that we have brought this case too soon, and that neither the country nor the courts are ''ready'' to tackle this issue and remove this stigma. Citizens who have been denied equality are invariably told to ''wait their turn'' and to ''be patient.'' Yet veterans of past civil rights battles found that it was the act of insisting on equal rights that ultimately sped acceptance of those rights.

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    • wwwreporter45
      THIS CASE IS TOTALLY WRONG. I KNOW I USED TO BE DITMASGREEN@AOL.COM. THE DOCTOR, WHO WAS CALLED A COCK SUCKING FAGGOT AT NY METHODIST LIED IN THE LAST
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 7, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        THIS CASE IS TOTALLY WRONG. I KNOW I USED TO BE DITMASGREEN@.... THE DOCTOR, WHO WAS CALLED A COCK SUCKING FAGGOT AT NY METHODIST LIED IN THE LAST DEPOSITION. HE STATED THERE WAS NO DISCRIMINATION AND THERE WAS NONE. THE DOCTOR WHO WAS FIRED SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED. HE KNEW THIR WAS A REPORT FOR EPILEPSY BECAUSE HE MADE THE DIAGNOSIS. NY METHODIST WAS NOT GUILTY OF ANYTHING. THERE WAS NO ILLEGAL TESTING. WHAT I DISCOVERED IS THE DOCTOR, WHO WAS FIRED USED HIS EXUAL ORIENTATION TO KEEP HIS JOB, AND THAT HE DID FOR 4 YEARS. NY METHODIST HOSPITAL DID NOTHING HOMOPHOBIC. IN PARK SLOPE BROOKLYN EXCEPT NOT REPORT AN EPILEPSY DIAGNOSIS, AND AS DAR AS GAY MARRIAGE;IF YOU STOPPED CALLING YOURSELVES LGBT,GLBT OR QUESTIONING THEN MAYBE SOMEONE WOULD TAKE IT SERIOUSLY OR GAY DOCTORS WHO NEVER COME OUT OF THE CLOSET AND HURT GAY PATIENTS.
        JAMES SULLIVAN

        --- I
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Rev. Ninure D. Saunders <ninure@...>
        > To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Fri, January 15, 2010 6:27:05 AM
        > Subject: RE: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage
        >
        >
        > "we" have to keep repeating it....
        >
        > ===
        > Here Comes the Groom:
        > A (Conservative) Case For Gay Marriage
        > By Andrew Sullivan
        >
        > First appeared in the New Republic August 28, 1989.
        >
        > Why does society encourage gay relationships to be "unfaithful, undeveloped, and insecure?" In this early call for gay marriage, Sullivan argues that it should logically appeal to straight conservatives who deplore gay male promiscuity. While domestic
        > partnership poses genuine hazards, especially if its legal definition is left slippery and undefined, same-sex marriage "is not...a denial of family values. It's an extension of them."
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        >
        > LAST MONTH IN NEW YORK, a court ruled that a gay lover had the right to stay in his deceased partner's rent-control apartment because the lover qualified as a member of the deceased's family. The ruling deftly annoyed almost everybody. Conservatives saw judicial activism in favor of gay rent control: three reasons to be appalled. Chastened liberals (such as the New York Times editorial page), while endorsing the recognition of gay relationships, also worried about the abuse of already-stretched entitlements that the ruling threatened. What neither side quite contemplated is that they both might be right, and that the way to tackle the issue of unconventional relationships in conventional society is to try something both more radical and more conservative than putting courts in the business of deciding what is and is not a family. That alternative is the legalization of civil gay marriage.
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > " the way to tackle the issue of unconventional relationships in conventional society is to try something both more radical and more conservative. "
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > The New York rent-control case did not go anywhere near that far, which is the problem. The rent-control regulations merely stipulated that a "family" member had the right to remain in the apartment. The judge ruled that to all intents and purposes a gay lover is part of his lover's family, inasmuch as a "family" merely means an interwoven social life, emotional commitment, and some level of financial interdependence.
        >
        > It's a principle now well established around the country. Several cities have "domestic partnership" laws, which allow relationships that do not fit into the category of heterosexual marriage to be registered with the city and qualify for benefits that up till now have been reserved for straight married couples. San Francisco, Berkeley, Madison, and Los Angeles all have legislation, as does the politically correct Washington, D.C., suburb, Takoma Park. In these cities, a variety of interpersonal arrangements qualify for health insurance, bereavement leave, insurance, annuity and pension rights, housing rights (such as rent-control apartments), adoption, and
        > inheritance rights. Eventually, according to gay lobby groups, the aim is to include federal income tax and veterans benefits as well. A recent case even involved the right to use a family member's accumulated frequent-flier points. Gays are not the only
        > beneficiaries; heterosexual "live-togethers" also qualify.
        >
        > There's an argument, of course, that the current legal advantages extended to married people unfairly discriminate against people who've shaped their lives in less conventional arrangements. But it doesn't take a genius to see that enshrining in the law a vague principle like "domestic partnership" is an invitation to qualify at little personal cost for a vast array of entitlements otherwise kept crudely under control.
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > You either are or are not married; it's not a complex question.
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > To be sure, potential DPs have to prove financial interdependence, shared living arrangements, and a commitment to mutual caring. But they don't need to have a sexual relationship or even closely mirror old-style marriage. In principle, an elderly woman and her live-in nurse could qualify. A couple of uneuphemistically confirmed bachelors could be DPs. So could two close college students, a pair of seminarians, or a couple of frat buddies. Left as it is, the concept of domestic partnership could open a Pandora's box of litigation and subjective judicial decision-making about who qualifies. You either are or are not married; it's not a complex question. Whether you are in a "domestic partnership" is not so clear.
        >
        > More important, the concept of domestic partnership chips away at the prestige of traditional relationships and undermines the priority we give them. This priority is not necessarily a product of heterosexism. Consider heterosexual couples. Society has good reason to extend legal advantages to heterosexuals who choose the formal sanction of marriage over simply living together. They make a deeper commitment to one another and to society; in exchange, society extends certain benefits to them. Marriage provides an anchor, if an arbitrary and weak one, in the chaos of sex and relationships to which we are all prone. It provides a mechanism for emotional stability, economic security, and the healthy rearing of the next generation. We rig the law in its favor not because we disparage all forms of relationship other than the nuclear family, but because we recognize that not to promote marriage would be to ask too much of human virtue. In the context of the
        > weakened family's effect upon the poor, it might also invite social disintegration. One of the worst products of the New Right's "family values" campaign is that its extremism and hatred of diversity has disguised this more measured and more convincing case for the importance of the marital bond.
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > But the way to go about it is not to undermine straight marriage; it is to legalize old-style marriage for gays.
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > The concept of domestic partnership ignores these concerns, indeed directly attacks them. This is a pity, since one of its most important objectives-providin g some civil recognition for gay relationshipsis a noble cause and one completely compatible with the defense of the family. But the way to go about it is not to undermine straight
        > marriage; it is to legalize old-style marriage for gays.
        >
        > The gay movement has ducked this issue primarily out of fear of division. Much of the gay leadership clings to notions of gay life as essentially outsider, anti-bourgeois, radical. Marriage, for them, is co-optation into straight society. For the Stonewall generation, it is hard to see how this vision of conflict will ever fundamentally change. But for many other gaysmy guess, a majoritywhile they don't deny the importance of rebellion twenty years ago and are grateful for what was done, there's now the sense of a new opportunity. A need to rebel has quietly ceded to a desire to belong. To be gay and to be bourgeois no longer seems such an absurd proposition. Certainly since AIDS, to be gay and to be responsible has become a necessity.
        >
        > Gay marriage squares several circles at the heart of the domestic partnership debate. Unlike domestic partnership, it allows for recognition of gay relationships, while casting no aspersions on traditional marriage. It merely asks that gays be allowed to join in. Unlike domestic partnership, it doesn't open up avenues for heterosexuals to get benefits without the responsibilities of marriage, or a nightmare of definition litigation. And unlike domestic partnership, it harnesses to an already established social convention the yearnings for stability and acceptance among a fast-maturing gay community.
        >
        > Gay marriage also places more responsibilities upon gays: it says for the first time that gay relationships are not better or worse than straight relationships, and that the same is expected of them. And it's clear and dignified. There's a legal benefit to a clear, common symbol of commitment. There's also a personal benefit. One of the ironies of domestic partnership is that it's not only more complicated than marriage, it's more demanding, requiring an elaborate statement of intent to qualify. It amounts to a substantial invasion of privacy. Why, after all, should gays be required to prove commitment before they get married in a way we would never dream of asking of straights?
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence.
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > Legalizing gay marriage would offer homosexuals the same deal society now offers heterosexuals: general social approval and specific legal advantages in exchange for a deeper and harder-to-extract- yourself-from commitment to another human being. Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence. Since there's no reason gays should not be allowed to adopt or be foster parents, it could also help nurture children. And its introduction would not be some sort of radical break with social custom. As it has become more acceptable for gay people to acknowledge their loves publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and their friends. A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend. It would also, in the wake of AIDS, qualify as a genuine public health measure. Those conservatives who deplore promiscuity among some
        > homosexuals should be among the first to support it. Burke could have written a powerful case for it.
        >
        > The argument that gay marriage would subtly undermine the unique legitimacy of straight marriage is based upon a fallacy. For heterosexuals, straight marriage would remain the most significant -- and only legal -- social bond. Gay marriage could only delegitimize straight marriage if it were a real alternative to it, and this is clearly not true. To put it bluntly, there's precious little evidence that straights could be persuaded by any law to have sex with -- let alone marry -- someone of their own sex. The only possible effect of this sort would be to persuade gay men and women who force themselves into heterosexual marriage (often at appalling cost to themselves and their families) to find a focus for their family instincts in a more personally positive environment. But this is clearly a plus, not a minus: gay marriage could both avoid a lot of tortured families and create the possibility for many happier ones. It is not, in short, a denial of family
        > values. It's an extension of them.
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > Since persecution is not an option in a civilized society, why not coax gays into traditional values rather than rail incoherently against them?
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > Of course, some would claim that any legal recognition of homosexuality is a de facto attack upon heterosexuality. But even the most hardened conservatives recognize that gays are a permanent minority and aren't likely to go away. Since persecution is not an option in a civilized society, why not coax gays into traditional values rather than rail incoherently against them?
        >
        > There's a less elaborate argument for gay marriage: it's good for gays. It provides role models for young gay people who, after the exhilaration of coming out, can easily lapse into short-term relationships and insecurity with no tangible goal in sight. My own guess is that most gays would embrace such a goal with as much (if not more) commitment as straights.. Even in our society as it is, many lesbian relationships are virtual textbook cases of monogamous commitment. Legal gay marriage could also help bridge the gulf often found between gays and their parents. It could bring the essence of gay lifea gay coupleinto the heart of the traditional straight family in a way the family can most understand and the gay offspring can most easily acknowledge. It could do as much to heal thegay-straight rift as any amount of gay rights legislation.
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > If these arguments sound socially conservative, that's no accident.
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
        >
        > If these arguments sound socially conservative, that's no accident.. It's one of the richest ironies of our society's blind spot toward gays that essentially conservative social goals should have the appearance of being so radical. But gay marriage is not a radical step. It avoids the mess of domestic partnership; it is humane; it is conservative in the best sense of the word. It's also practical. Given the fact that we already allow legal gay relationships, what possible social goal is advanced by framing the law to encourage those relationships to be unfaithful, undeveloped, and insecure?
        >
        > -----------
        >
        > Pax Christi,
        > Ninure Saunders aka Rainbow Christian
        > My Blog
        > http://blog. myspace.com/ rainbow_christia n
        > Be my Friend on MySpace:
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        > ============ ========= ======
        > "All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident. " -- Arthur Schopenhauer
        >
        > People often say with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future, or any future.”
        > â€" Martha Gellhorn, writer/journalist (1908-1998
        >
        > Live simply. Love generously.
        > Care deeply. Speak kindly.
        > Leave the rest to God.
        >
        > --- On Fri, 1/15/10, Anthony Venn-Brown <anthony@anthonyvenn brown.com> wrote:
        >
        >
        > >From: Anthony Venn-Brown <anthony@anthonyvenn brown.com>
        > >Subject: RE: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage
        > >To: Exex-gay@yahoogroup s.com
        > >Date: Friday, January 15, 2010, 3:15 AM
        > >
        > >
        > >>
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >>
        > >
        > >>
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >>
        > >Great article isn’t it.
        > >
        > >>
        > >Anthony Venn-Brown
        > >An Ambassador for the GLBT
        > >Community
        > >Award winning author of 'A
        > >Life of Unlearning - A Journey to Find the Truth'
        > >Co-convenor ofFreedom 2 b[e]
        > >Honoured
        > >to be on the 2007 & 2009 list of the 25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian
        > >Australians
        > >Tel: + 61
        > >(0)2 9699 2448 Mobile: +61 (0)416 015 231
        > >"The enemy is
        > >ignorance"
        > >"My morality is a
        > >choice, my sexual orientation however isn't'
        > >'When we choose to live
        > >authentically, we chip away at others' prisons of pretend'
        > >Blog:http://alifeofunlea rning.blogspot. com/
        > >Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook .com/gayambassad or
        > >Become a fan of 'A Life of Unlearning' on Facebook
        > >Follow me on Twitterhttps://twitter. com/gayambassado r
        > >My YouTube Channel ishere http://www.youtube. com/user/ avb7
        > >
        > >>
        > >>
        > >From:Exex-gay@yahoogroup s.com
        > >[mailto:Exex- gay@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of edward d
        > >Sent: Friday, 15 January 2010 11:11 AM
        > >To: Exex-gay@yahoogroup s.com
        > >Subject: [Exex-gay] A Conservative Argument FOR Gay Marriage
        > >
        > >
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >This is an abridged version of an article that
        > >appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. The full version was from Newsweek.
        > >
        > >>Both Web-links are provided:
        > >
        > >>Newsweek: http://www.newsweek .com/id/229957/ output/print
        > >
        > >>Sydney Morning Herald:
        > >http://www.smh. com.au/opinion/ politics/ conservatives- should-celebrate -samesex- union-not- lament-it- 20100114- ma07.html
        > >
        > >>The author, Theodore Olson is the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs in Perry v
        > >Schwarzenegger, now being heard in a federal court in San Francisco. This is an
        > >edited extract of an essay that first appeared in Newsweek.
        > >
        > >>------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
        > >
        > >>Conservatives should celebrate same-sex union, not lament it
        > >
        > >>THEODORE OLSON
        > >>January 15, 2010
        > >
        > >>My involvement in a case to invalidate Proposition 8 - California's
        > >voter-approved measure to overturn the right to marry a person of the same sex
        > >- has generated a certain degree of consternation among conservatives. How
        > >could a lifelong Republican, a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George Bush jnr
        > >administrations, challenge the ''traditional' ' definition of marriage?
        > >
        > >>Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility towards gay
        > >marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values
        > >conservatives prize. At its best, marriage is a stable bond between two people
        > >who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We
        > >encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make provide benefits
        > >to themselves, their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking
        > >beyond one's own needs. It establishes a formal investment in the wellbeing of
        > >society. The fact individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this social
        > >institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance.
        > >Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.
        > >
        > >>The dream that became America began with words that are among the most noble
        > >and elegant ever written: ''We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
        > >men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain
        > >unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of
        > >happiness.''
        > >
        > >>It has taken a long time to live up to the promise of equality. In 1857, the
        > >Supreme Court held that an African-American could not be a citizen. After the
        > >ensuing Civil War, to make the elusive promise of equality a reality, the 14th
        > >amendment to the constitution added the command that ''no state shall deprive
        > >any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to
        > >any person the equal protection of the laws.''
        > >
        > >>What better way to make this national aspiration complete than to apply the
        > >same protection to men and women who differ from others only on the basis of
        > >their sexual orientation? I cannot think of one reason - and have not heard one
        > >since I undertook this venture - for continued discrimination against decent,
        > >hardworking members of our society on that basis.
        > >
        > >>Marriage is an expression of our desire to create a partnership, to live and
        > >share life's joys and burdens with the person we love, and to form a lasting
        > >bond and a social identity. The right to marry helps us to define ourselves and
        > >our place in a community. Without it, there can be no true equality under the
        > >law.
        > >
        > >>Traditionally, it has been regarded as a relationship exclusively between a man
        > >and a woman, but the underlying rights and liberties that marriage embodies are
        > >not in any way confined to heterosexuals. Marriage is a civil bond as well as,
        > >in some cases, a religious sacrament. It is a relationship recognised by
        > >governments as providing a privileged and respected status, entitled to the
        > >state's support and benefits.
        > >
        > >>What, then, are the justifications for California's decision to withdraw access
        > >to the institution of marriage for some citizens on the basis of their sexual
        > >orientation? The reasons I have heard are not very persuasive.
        > >
        > >>The explanation mentioned most often is tradition. But just because something
        > >has always been done a certain way does not mean that it must always remain
        > >that way. Otherwise we would still have segregated schools and debtors'
        > >prisons.
        > >
        > >>The second argument I often hear is that traditional marriage furthers the
        > >state's interest in procreation- and that opening marriage to same-sex couples
        > >would dilute, diminish, and devalue this goal.
        > >
        > >>But preventing lesbians and gays from marrying does not cause more
        > >heterosexuals to marry and conceive more children. It will not discourage
        > >heterosexuals from marrying a person of the opposite sex. We do not inquire
        > >whether heterosexual couples intend to bear children before allowing them to
        > >marry. And we would surely not accept a ban on marriage to discourage
        > >procreation. Tellingly, when the judge in our case asked our opponent to
        > >identify the ways in which same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual marriage,
        > >to his credit he answered honestly: he could not think of any.
        > >>There is no good reason to deny marriage to same-sex partners, but many reasons
        > >to formally recognise these relationships.
        > >
        > >>No matter what you think of homosexuality, gays and lesbians are members of our
        > >families, clubs, and workplaces. They are our doctors, our teachers, our
        > >soldiers (whether we admit it or not), and our friends. They yearn for
        > >acceptance, stable relationships, and success in their lives, just like the
        > >rest of us.
        > >
        > >>When we refuse to accord this status to gays and lesbians, we discourage them
        > >from forming the same relationships we encourage for others. And we are also
        > >saying that their relationships are less worthy, less legitimate, less
        > >permanent, and less valued. I cannot imagine how that benefits society. And I
        > >take strong exception to those who argue that same-sex relationships should be
        > >discouraged by society and law. Science has taught us, even if history has not,
        > >that gays and lesbians do not choose to be homosexual any more than the rest of
        > >us choose to be heterosexual.
        > >
        > >>Reactions to our lawsuit have reinforced for me these essential truths. I have
        > >certainly heard anger, resentment, and hostility, and words like ''betrayal''
        > >and other pointedly graphic criticism.
        > >>But mostly I have been overwhelmed by expressions of gratitude and goodwill
        > >from persons in all walks of life. I have no doubt that we are on the right
        > >side of this battle, the right side of the law, and the right side of history.
        > >
        > >>Some have suggested that we have brought this case too soon, and that neither
        > >the country nor the courts are ''ready'' to tackle this issue and remove this
        > >stigma. Citizens who have been denied equality are invariably told to ''wait
        > >their turn'' and to ''be patient.'' Yet veterans of past civil rights battles
        > >found that it was the act of insisting on equal rights that ultimately sped
        > >acceptance of those rights.
        > >>
        > >No virus
        > >found in this incoming message.
        > >>Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
        > >>Version: 8.5.432 / Virus Database: 270.14..138/2618 - Release Date: 01/14/10
        > >19:35:00
        >
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