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FW: Spam (Message score):[ANTHRO-L] gay marriage

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: Anthro-L [mailto:Anthro-l@listserv.buffalo.edu] On Behalf Of Stephanie Brown Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 8:00 PM To: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2004
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Anthro-L [mailto:Anthro-l@...] On Behalf Of
      Stephanie Brown
      Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 8:00 PM
      To: ANTHRO-L@...
      Subject: Spam (Message score):[ANTHRO-L] gay marriage

      From The San Francisco Chronicle
      SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A19
      HEADLINE: Scientists counter Bush view;
      BYLINE: Charles Burress

      The primary organization representing American anthropologists
      criticized President Bush's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex
      marriage Thursday and gave a failing grade to the president's
      understanding of human cultures.

      "The results of more than a century of anthropological research on
      households, kinship relationships and families, across cultures and
      through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either
      civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an
      exclusively heterosexual institution," said the executive board of the
      11,000-member American Anthropological Association.

      Bush has cast the union between male and female as the only proper form
      of marriage, or what he called in his State of the Union address "one of
      the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization."

      American anthropologists say he's wrong.

      "Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast
      array of family types, including families built upon same-sex
      partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies," the
      association's statement said, adding that the executive board "strongly
      opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual

      The statement was proposed by Dan Segal, a professor of anthropology and
      history from Pitzer College in Claremont (Los Angeles County), who
      called Bush's conception of the history of marriage "patently false."

      "If he were to take even the first semester of anthropology, he would
      know that's not true," said Segal, a member of the anthropological
      association's Executive Committee.

      Ghita Levine, communications director for the association, said the
      issue struck a nerve in the profession.

      "They feel strongly about it because they are the people who study the
      culture through time and across the world," she said. "They are the
      people who know what cultures consist of."

      Segal pointed to "sanctified same-sex unions in the fourth century in
      Christianity" and to the Greeks and Romans applying the concept of
      marriage to same-sex couples, not to mention the Native American
      berdache tradition in which males married males.

      UC Berkeley anthropologist Laura Nader, an expert in anthropology and
      the law who played no role in drawing up the association's statement,
      called it a "correct assessment."

      Nader, who is an association member, said Bush's proposal "serves the
      views of the religious right, and that has to do with getting votes."

      Stephanie Brown
      Assistant Professor
      Human Development Program
      California State University, Long Beach
      1250 Bellflower Boulevard
      Long Beach, California 90840
      (562) 985-5914

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