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OPINIONS

Cory Booker: “Pointing the finger at gays”

Cory Booker’s column in the April 8, 1992 Stanford Daily.

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, The Stanford Daily will publish an interesting opinions piece from The Daily’s archives.

Cory Booker ’91 M.A. ’92 is currently the Mayor of Newark, N.J. While at Stanford, he was a columnist for The Stanford Daily.

This article was published in Volume 201, Number 33 of The Stanford Daily on Wednesday, April 8, 1992.

I was in my tolerance stage or the “I don’t give a damn if someone is gay, just as long as they don’t bother me” stage. I was well trained in my tolerance. I stopped telling my gay jokes. Fags, flamers and dykes became homosexuals and people of differing sexual orientation and, of course, I had my gay friend.

Yet, while I was highly adroit at maintaining an air of acceptance, I couldn’t betray my feelings. I was disgusted by gays. The thought of two men kissing each other was about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy.

Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past – I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple.

While hate is a four-letter word I never would have admitted to, the sentiment clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals. I sheepishly shook hands with gays or completely shied away from physical contact. I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays as thoughts would flash in my mind, “What sinners I am amongst” or “How unnatural these people are.”

It takes too much energy to hate. Daniel Bao showed me that. He was our gay counselor at The Bridge when I was a freshman. A beautiful man whose eloquent and poignant truths began to move me past tolerance.

I still remember our first real conversation about homosexuality. I had no intention of listening to him; I only sought to argue and debate. Daniel, however, quickly disarmed me with his personal testimony.

Oh, if only I could recount to you the entire conversation. He told me of people who religiously prayed to God to help them become straight. He told me of the years of denial and the pain of always feeling different.

And he told me of the violence – violence from strangers and family, horrible images of beatings, destruction of property and the daily verbal condemnations.

It was chilling to find that so much of the testimony he shared with me was almost identical to stories my grandparents told me about growing up Black. People found it revolting to share a meal with them and often felt it to be their duty to beat them so that they would learn proper living.

Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that the root of my hatred did not lie with gays but with myself. It was my problem. A problem I dealt with by ceasing to tolerate gays and instead seeking to embrace them.

In these efforts I have found another community with which I feel akin and from which I draw strength. The gay people with whom I am close are some of the strongest, most passionate and caring people I know and their demands for justice are no less imperative than those of any other community.

I sometimes pray for the patience that Daniel so artfully maintained with me when I fired questions and condemnations at him – because, in recent years, I have grown increasingly angry at the hypocrisy that surrounds me.

In my columns I have never sought to preach self-righteous psycho-babble – but the temptation here is almost overwhelming. I have seen too many of my male friends – no matter whether they’re on the football field or inside a church – bash gays and then revel in their machismo or piety.

But again, I will never point a finger when the finger is best pointed at me. Alas, occasionally I still find myself acting defensive if someone thinks I am gay or sometimes I remain silent when others slam and slander. These realizations hurt me deeply. I must continue to struggle for personal justice. This is my most important endeavor.

  • Wiz

    I agree entirely with the Mayor. As a Republican, I think that the future of our party is in libertarianism. It just doesn’t align with our ideology of freedom and constitutionalism to deny people rights because they’re viewed as “weird.” I think that this gay issue debate is a generational one, and we are reaching a critical mass at which gay marriage will (in the next 5 years) become legal across the country and the majority of people will support it.

  • Al in SoCal

    “It just doesn’t align with our ideology of freedom and constitutionalism to deny people rights” – are you talking about Libertarians or Republicans? Personally I see your statement more in tune with the Libertarians than with Republicans who just funded over 5 million for congressional lawyers to defend DOMA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jshep924 John Shepard

    i think Wiz meant that the Republican mantra of “small government” is better aligned w/ the Libertarian view than how the Republican party is currently operating when it comes to LGBT rights and women’s reproductive rights, et al.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651502826 Joe Carlin

    “I was against gay marriage until I found out I didn’t have to get one.” -James Carville

  • Colin Kingsley

    “As a Republican, I think that the future of our party is in libertarianism.”

    This is funny to hear,considering that the political left has been much more compatible with libertarianism for a couple decades now. The GOP likes to consider itself the party of personal responsibility and freedom, but it’s actions have been quite opposed to this since the time of the “Moral Majority”. Meanwhile the left has been fighting for equal rights, personal choice, free speech, etc.

    The primary (only?) “libertarian” aspect of the GOP is an aversion to taxes, which I see less as a political principle an more as a childish “but I don’t WANT to pay taxes! Boo Hoo!!”. Even libertarians recognize the need for some taxation to run an effective government; a disagreement about how much taxation is reasonable is all that really distinguishes them from the civil liberty-loving left.

  • Ryan

    HAIR

  • Wiz

    The political left is definitely not Libertarian. There are fundamental differences between the Left and Right in terms of thoughts about the size and role of government. It’s not all about taxes–it’s about spending, government intervention into the free market, and state v. federal power.

    The GOP has not always been socially conservative. It has only become that way since the 1970s (with Nixon’s Southern Strategy) and in the early 2000s with Bush. Republicans will soon realize that promoting religion and moral order won’t win them elections.

    I’m a bit on the fence when it comes to abortion, as I can definitely see it as not being a moral issue but a constitutional issue about protecting the right to life. Ron Paul, the most revered Libertarian, is pro-life. Recently, TIME magazine published an article about how the pro-choice movement has been losing ever since Roe v. Wade. This will be an interesting debate in the future as medical technology, contraception, and the morning after pill reduce the need for abortions.

    The Libertarian party probably won’t gain steam unless the GOP stays socially conservative for really long. Eventually, the GOP will absorb Libertarianism into its ideology.

  • Wiz

    I am more of a Libertarian than a Conservative, but I identify as a Libertarian Republican. I disagree with the Republican establishment on a handful of issues, but I see room for progress for Libertarianism within the GOP. I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that the vast majority of registered Republicans ages 18-29 support gay marriage, and soon this will spill over into the older age groups. What I hear from a lot of my friends here is that they are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. This will be a key voting bloc in 2014, 2016, and beyond.

  • Colin Kingsley

    “The political left is definitely not Libertarian.”

    I agree that on the points you mentioned there are real differences. In broad strokes though, libertarianism and liberalism have been much closer over the past few decades than libertarianism and conservatism.

    This is even more true when you consider the liberalism of most left leaning voters, as opposed to the caricature liberal that conservatives like to invoke. We don’t like more government just for the sake of more government, we don’t “like” taxes just for the fun of taxation, and we don’teat babies.

    It is yet more true when you consider that the GOP is not simply further from libertarianism than is the left, it is in fact quite the opposite of libertarianism. The right wants more control over peoples lives. The left wants less.

    “Eventually, the GOP will absorb Libertarianism into its ideology.”

    Sure, maybe, but then it will be the GOP in name only. For this to happen it would be a different party than it is today, even if it does share the same name.

  • Al in SoCal

    I figured as much, BUT … what I’m thinking is that the establishment GOP will *NOT* change for at least 4 years, perhaps 6 to 10. The core GOP primary voter which almost chose Santorum (still wildly popular with many conservatives) won’t “succumb” to the younger “socially liberal” stances until they are basically forced to, and let’s not kid ourselves the youngest members of the GOP or Dem party tend not to vote in primaries.

    I agree with you about what the GOP needs to do, I just don’t believe they will do it.

  • Wiz

    Fiscal conservatism is the heart of the GOP! Look at the last election: the most important issue was the economy. The GOP has always been about smaller government, and its recent turn to social conservatism is only a passing phase. I think that there is a way to integrate certain aspects of libertarianism into the GOP, as younger Republicans rise to political influence.

    Part of the problem, as you said, is that many socially progressive voters view the GOP as backwards on social issues, science, and religion, and will thus completely rule out voting for a Republican without looking at economic policies. What I’m saying is that the GOP needs to adopt certain aspects of libertarianism so that it can seriously attract people who may be fiscally conservative but socially liberal.

    And I agree, the GOP will be a different party. Not radically different, but different in certain ways that will make it a more viable national party. Political parties have evolved many times over the decades, and the GOP will evolve soon too.

  • Eric in Alameda

    If “the GOP has always been about smaller government,” why are Republicans always the ones increasing the size and scope of government? GWB created the department of homeland security, just to name one of the most egregious examples.

  • Wiz

    Lol Bush was not the greatest of GOP presidents…but at least he kept us safe :P

  • pol_incorrect

    When Roe v Wade came about, the pundits of the time predicted that we would become a pro-choice nation in a few years. The opposite happened. When people realized the evil that results from having 90%+ of all abortions performed for reasons of “convenience” vs reasons that a significant portion of the population would support (rape or danger for the life of the mother), they are turning their backs at abortion. It is clear to me that in this day and age, most people would support a model that criminalizes abortion except in a few cases vs the model that we have today of free lunch abortion. With respect to gay marriage the same will happen. Let’s hope that the SCOTUS does the right thing this time and leaves the matter to the states. But it is clear that once the evilness that results from equating gay marriage to traditional marriage becomes common place in America, people will also turn their backs to it. We have a taste of what’s to come from those states that have had it legalized for several years. Massachusetts for instance forced the Catholic Church to shutdown its century old adoption agency because it could not legally prefer a normal couple in adoption decisions. Once your boy comes from school telling you that his best friend Johnny has two dads and that the teacher told him that it was OK so that he is thinking about marrying Johnny when he grows up, the pro gay marriage KoolAid will stop having any meaningful effect in the minds of regular people. Once your school is sued for teaching that homosexuality (and thus, gay marriage) is morally wrong, things will change. Once we have a significant chunk of children raised by gays (vs the anecdotal cases we have now) becoming dysfunctional members of society, things will change. And so on. So the worst the GOP could do is to abandon its support to traditional values. I can assure you that given the option to vote between two socially liberal parties, I will not vote for either. Most conservatives will do the same. In fact, in the last election, it was Romney’s hiring of Ted Olson that made me leave the presidential section of my ballot blank. Obama didn’t get my vote, but neither did Romney.

  • pol_incorrect

    When your young friends grow up they will change their minds. You will change your mind too. Those who are 60+ today came of age during the sixties, that decade of free love, heavy drug use, etc. Yet they are not only fiscally conservative but they are socially conservative as well. There is no more committed conservative voter than the neocon, ie, that guy who was a liberal during the sixties until he/she realized that he/she was lied to. If statistics are to be believed, the ranks of those who are older than 50/60 today is full of neocons.

  • Guest

    Right…Bush and Condi kept us reaaaallly safe.

  • http://twitter.com/JimLuvsNewark JimLuvsNewark

    VISUAL: When Cory Booker wrote this article at his earlier age; he was simply afraid to express who he really is. Instead he express the feelings of how most people would react to him ‘Being Gay”. Cory has always suffered with an identity crisis. Here’s a man in his 40’s and have yet to be seen dating ANYONE! If anybody knows Cory from way back; then YOU would know about his year in MOREHOUSE. He joined the Sigma’s and told his brothers that he would NEVER marry? Booker left Morehouse after a year and went to Stanford then Oxford. We seen Cory 2 years ago he came to Washington to have dinner with his frat Brothers. But Cory still says he’s not getting married.

  • http://www.facebook.com/samuelmarcusbrown Samuel Marcus Brown

    Mayor Cory Booker is quoted in this post. Thank You President Obama for Exemplifying Real Christian Values… http://sonofabishop.blogspot.com

  • pol_incorrect

    The real Christian values? There are many reasons why people might be in favor of homosexuality or gay marriage. Alas, Christianity is not one of them. The tradition of the Church as well as the writings of the Church fathers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Fathers , are unequivocal as to the consideration of the practice of homosexuality as sin (let alone gay marriage). The New Testament is full of references condemning homosexuality (see for instance Romans 1:26-27). It is important to notice this because Christianity flourished during its first decades preaching the sin of homosexuality despite the fact that Christians were condemned to death by the Romans. Preaching that homosexuality is a sin was not going to gain them any friends in ancient Rome, where homosexuality was socially accepted. This canard that somehow homosexuality was accepted by early Christianity is a revisionism of history initiated by gay rights advocates during the last century. You know, it’s the same type of people that would like us to believe that the Holocaust didn’t happen or that the Newtown tragedy didn’t happen either (as some lunatic professor in Florida now claims).

  • aggressive_centrist

    No question we become more conservative as we age, though part of that is how ideas that are new and progressive inherently turn into “conservative” values as they become older and more established–e.g. laissez-faire economic policies were the height of liberalism in the early 1900s. But when it comes to gay marriage, if you can tease out the opposition based on animus to gay people, anything which is in favor of two people publicly entering into a state-sponsored, lifetime marriage contract is pretty conservative.

  • pol_incorrect

    The only thing that liberals have going for them in this day and age vs other arguably more convulsive times (like the sixties) is the break up of the traditional family. I forgot the actual number but right now the percentage of babies born to unmarried women is in the high thirties. For women younger than 30, that percentage is above 50%. The broken home is the optimal breeding ground for American liberalism (not to be confused with classical liberalism). That’s the only advantage that liberals have going on for them now versus previous times. There have been many declarations about the establishment of a permanent progressive majority before and that many times these declarations were wrong. It remains to be seen whether the trend will become permanent or whether this is just a temporary thing.

    We also know though that children of broken homes more likely to be poor, criminal, etc (anecdotal evidence like Obama’s case does not disprove this point). So it doesn’t bode well for America. With respect to the contract between gays, I think that few people object to that. That’s not what the battle about gay marriage is about though, as it was made patently clear during the Prop 8 federal proceedings. What the advocates of gay marriage are after is social engineering (as legions of previous liberal activists were before them on a lot of other issues). California already offers said contract (domestic partnership). They want their contract to be declared “equal” to a normal marriage with all the legal repercussions (even though from a pure semantic point of view, a union between two people whose sex makes them biologically capable of procreating, at least in principle, can never be the same as a union between two people where such possibility is nonexistent). Their objective is the destruction of the traditional family.

  • Kara1980

    Wow, you need to change your name from “Pol Incorrect” to just “Incorrect”. What compelling evidence do you have that denying civil marriage for citizens who wish to build committed familial relationships is damaging to society, on the basis of the gender of their partner? You can’t merely cite your own personal “moral” or religious convictions. If this were the case, we’d also need to deny all people’s rights to eat beef, eat pork, drink alcohol, dance, take man-made medicines, etc. because all of these are considered by certain moral/religious groups to be immoral. Unlike abortion, which involves the ending of a potential life, the issue of same sex marriage, is an issue of equality and liberty, of conferring the same benefits, those of civil marriage, to all citizens who wish to enter into the civil contract. The reason the momentum for marriage equality continues to grow is that it is not a zero-sum game. Granting two males the freedom to marry does not impede or prevent a male and female from marrying or thriving in their own marriage. Withholding liberty to all people on the basis of an arbitrarily defined morality is suspect at best. You only need look at the history of slavery, inter-racial marriage, voting rights for blacks and women, etc., to realize that we have *never* conferred equality of civil rights to any minority or oppressed group in this country, and later “changed our minds”. You could not be more “Incorrect”.

  • pol_incorrect

    You raise several points but don’t worry, I have time to address them,

    1- What made people turn their backs to abortion several years after the general population was for it is that they realized that they were lied to. Agreeing to abortion in the cases of rape or danger of the life of the mother (which is the type of abortion the pro choice zealots sold and the type of abortion most accepted by the general population) is agreeing to ending a potential human life. People believed that abortion on demand would make abortion rare and only in said cases. After 4 decades of abortion on demand, we have that 90% of abortions are performed for reasons of convenience. I am not even getting into the matter that the Roe v Wade decision has been the poster child of what the SCOTUS should not do. As recently as 2012 Ginsburg was on record expressing her discontent with it. That is not guarantee that she will agree to let Prop 8 stand (because the word of a liberal is worthless), but she would need to agree to a similar judicial overreach to conclude that gay marriage is a legal right guaranteed by the 14th amendment.

    2- As I said, we have a taste of what’s coming from the Massachusetts experience. When adoption agencies will begin to be shutdown for preferring a normal marriage to a gay marriage and when boys across the nation come home telling their parents that when they grow up they want to marry their best friend Johnny because Johnny has two dads, many people driven by political correctness and by a desire of not being perceived as bigots will change their minds. It will be backslash similar to that that followed the ramming through of abortion.

    3- All this can be avoided if the matter is left to the states. Those who want to engage in the social experiment of equating gay marriage with normal marriage should be free to do so so the people who don’t like it, could move to states which determine otherwise.

    4- Legally speaking the only relevant case is the 1972 Baker case. Under mandatory review (which is different from cercioraty), the SCOTUS said that denying a marriage license to a gay couple did not involve a substantial federal matter. The SCOTUS will have to reverse itself (and do a ruling a la Roe v Wade) if it were to find a constitutional right for gay marriage.

    5- In case you didn’t notice, a gay marriage and a normal marriage are two different beasts. It should be a no brainier for any thinking person, but just in case you need help. Across the US there are restrictions to incestuous marriages which make perfect sense in the context of a normal marriage. Washington state even forbids marriage between first cousins. These restrictions have been upheld constitutionally speaking. If the SCOTUS says that gay marriage is equal to normal marriage, then these restrictions should stay in place. However, forbidding a gay marriage between siblings, consenting parents/children doesn’t make any sense. Let alone between first cousins as Washington state does. So a ruling in favor of gay marriage either needs to declare unconstitutional incest restrictions (which most people would oppose) or say that said restrictions are only lifted in gay marriages. The latter being in contradiction with a finding that, from a constitutional point of view, gay marriage is the same thing a normal marriage.

    I am optimistic about a future in which gay marriage will be as ostracized as abortion is right now. KoolAid drinking can only take a people so far. Once people begin to see the evilness of gay marriage being a reality, they will turn their backs to it.

  • Kara1980

    Your entire argument requires acceptance of your premise that there is an inherent “evilness” to gay marriage, and the existence of a concept of “normal marriage” (which you conveniently don’t define) but ostensibly means that marriage institution which doesn’t include same-sex marriage. Regardless, for the growing number of people that don’t buy the premise that same sex marriage is evil, the “dire” consequences you describe (Johnny wanting to marry his best friend) are not only irrelevant, but are a positive step (unless you believe that children should be stigmatized and bullied for expressing who they are).

    The matter of same sex marriage, thus far, has been left to the states, currently with approximately 20% allowing it. The primary question being debated in the country is not whether same sex marriage should be allowed (it already is), but whether the federal government’s conferment of 1000+ benefits that come with legal marriage (joint taxes, transfer of property between spouses, hospital visitation rights, immigration sponsorship rights, etc.) can be denied to some legally-married couples and not others on the basis of gender. Unless you’re still living in some kind of Romney’s-gonna-win bubble, it’s pretty clear to most legal scholars that cases like U.S v. Windsor that challenge this premise have solid constitutional merit.

    150 years ago a marriage between two black people in this country was not considered “normal”. Even 50 years ago, marriage between a black person and a white person were not considered “normal” and certainly riled the mystics about what is evil: “If God wanted the races to mix, he wouldn’t have put blacks and whites on separate continents!” Using your argument, do you believe government-funded adoption agencies should have the right to discriminate against a black married couple or black/white married couple because such a marriage is abnormal or evil? Our society has evolved over time, and thankfully continues to do so. Your opinion is systematically being relegated to the nursing home crowd and side-show revivalist church ministers.

  • pol_incorrect

    Again, your appealing to interracial marriage is irrelevant, for “marriage” was understood as a union between a man and a woman. The Loving (1967) case was all about normal marriages between people of different ethnicity, not about denying the definition of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. All SCOTUS case law on marriage matters has the implicit understanding (explicit in the Baker case) that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. And yes, that’s what I consider normal marriage. And yes, I stand by my premise that equating normal marriage to gay marriage is evil. The Johnny story makes sense because 5 years old should not be indoctrinated with the idea the Johnny can marry Steve or that there is nothing special in a normal marriage. What the evil gay marriage advocates are after is this indoctrination and social engineering of society, probably as a way to increase the pool of Johnnies that old depraved gay men can then sexually manipulate. You know the average gay male has hundreds of different sexual partners in his life (I can provide you with the actual studies to back that up). I also mentioned the case of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts, which was pushed out of business for refusing to equate a normal marriage with a gay marriage.
    One of the two cases in the SCOTUS is about what you mention. The other, the one more relevant to California, is not. The latter is about whether the states have the right to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. And I hope the SCOTUS does the right thing this time. If they don’t, they will keep the fight against gay marriage alive for another 40 years as they did with Roe v Wade.
    Your (liberal) legal scholars are the same that predicted that the SCOTUS would never take the prop 8 case in the first place because they were “too afraid” or something. Ted Olson will not be able to bully Anthony Kennedy the same way he bullied the conservative justice (I forgot his name) that was in the 9th circuit panel during the March oral hearings. He knows it and that’s why he urged the SCOTUS not to take the case. Even if gay marriage is rammed through us as abortion was, we will continue to fight its evilness.

  • pol_incorrect

    And something else. In case you want to come with this other idiotic idea that somehow Anthony Kennedy is a closeted gay rights activist or something because the way he voted on the Texas case in 2003, you should stop drinking the KoolAid. Kennedy is basically a libertarian, so it is not surprising that he voted in favor of striking down laws that criminalize sodomy. However that’s one thing, quite another to assume that he will prevent states from defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Kennedy was also in the majority of the case that allowed the Boy Scouts of America to deny membership to openly gay members. He was also in the majority that declared constitutional the federal ban on partial birth abortion. In Kennedy Ted Olson has a way more formidable opponent than in the previous two federal trials. He knows it, and that’s why he did his best to avoid the SCOTUS fight.

  • Andre

    Cite studies? You know people can cite studies that the Aryan race is supreme as
    well. Funny how some studies work like they can conveniently support whatever
    certain groups desire.

    “What the evil gay marriage advocates are after is this indoctrination and social engineering of society, probably as a way to increase the pool of Johnnies that old depraved gay men can then sexually manipulate.”

    You just left all credibility at the door. This idea that gay men are mostly predators that go for young boys is fear mongering that only idiots suck to them like a sponge. I known someone for over 11 years that worked at a place called Herstedvester (look it up) before they moved. That facility deals with people suffering from sexual deviances such as pedophilia and the like. What you are describing? Is overwhelmingly happening on a male predator to female victim rotation. Same thing goes for every sort of sexual crime and also physical crime between heaven and earth.

    Maybe it is time to restrict the rights of hetero males? They are overwhelmingly responsible for most sexual assaults, physical and mental abuse cases, torture, murder of people of all ages including the killing of infants and children, pedophilia, and overall violent crimes. But despite of most hard crimes originating within one gender group with a certain sexual orientation, we do not do that. Likely because besides historical reasons which aided in putting certain systems into place, we recognize hetero males as people that can be wildly different and don’t paint them all with the same brush. We still give
    them what we consider basic human rights because that is what they are. “Normal marriage”… the thing that has changed already many times because often the people in power defined those things throughout history, which were influence by the socio-economic and current cultural and religious status quo.

    Marriage involves a lot of benefits. It makes no sense to restrict it on a gender basis. Debasing marriage as being solely about person A: must have this between their legs and person B: must have that between their legs hardly creates something sacred and normal. The sheer notion is preposterous.

    If I am not mistaken, there are several countries that have marriage for same sex or something that afford them the same rights alongside with adoption. Those societies seem to be doing just fine. No increased pedophilia despite what you insinuate. No tearing up the fabric of social reality or families in deep
    despair because Johnny might have a crush on Steve who is a sweet kid instead of Stephanie. Yet none of those apparently count as evidence to you. You seem very selective despite having other countries as examples from which to draw information from.

    The idea of extending the same rights and the symbolism that comes with marriage to two people of the same gender causes huge negative effects on society is just bullshit. 99% of any issues that would arise would stem from people who have issues with this, not the actual people in question. I am tired of selectively giving rights to human beings based on such premises such as race, gender and sexual orientation. None of those matters when it truly comes to being a decent human being that will treat others with respect and (hopefully) kindness. By creating hierarchies we create a ton of unnecessary
    problems that we then use time on instead of other issues. Such as despite lower population in the States, we still got India beat by a long shot in the amount rape and sexual abuse that takes place in our country. Quite a feat.

  • Kara1980

    The problem is that you are trying to present what you believe is a legitimate argument but you repeatedly intersperse it with your personal beliefs, value judgments, non-facts, and statements without any sound legal basis. For example, it doesn’t matter what marriage is “understood” to be; what matters is legal definition. If same sex marriage is not addressed in the law, it is open to judicial interpretation until it is expressly prohibited in the laws. No laws were passed excluding same sex marriage unions until 1996, so at the time of Loving v. Virginia, there was no legal definition that marriage was between a man and a woman. Whether or not it was “understood” (as you suggest) one way or the other is irrelevant. By 1996, same sex marriage had reached critical mass and it was no longer sufficient to try to construe a judicial interpretation out of a legal framework that was essentially silent on the issue. As a consequence legislation was written that legally defined and limited marriage to opposite sex partners (DOMA, and some state laws/ constitutional bans went into place as well.

    Of course seventeen years have passed, and the legal status of same sex marriage (the only status that actually matters) is still a problem. You can legally marry a same sex partner in 20% of states, but not in the remaining 80%. A legally married same sex couple can travel across the country and have the recognition of their legal marriage status change repeatedly from state to state. Perhaps most glaring of all – legally married same sex couples are recognized as legally married at the state level but not at the federal level. The contradictions and legal problems that result from these types of incongruities between and amongst federal and state laws are precisely the types of cases that SCOTUS seeks to intervene in and resolve. Many legal scholars believe the Supreme Court will resolve the Federal/State conflict by upholding Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional, since marriage law has traditionally been left to the states. The state/state conflict (i.e. Prop 8) is a little harder for scholars to agree upon, but certainly in the precedent with Loving v. Virginia, SCOTUS was not satisfied to allow interracial marriage legality to vary from state to state. These legal questions will all be resolved in a matter of months, but you can be certain that your beliefs about what you personally feel is “normal”, “evil”, etc. will not form the basis of any of those decisions.

    I should also point out that your reference to studies that “the average gay male” has 100’s of sexual partners is laughable for a few reasons… and yes, please cite and link references to any current (i.e. last 5 years) such studies. You have to remember that homosexuality is not necessarily an externally distinguishable trait and relies upon self-admission. Such a “study” will always be flawed by having an oversampling of those males willing to reveal their (homo)sexuality outwardly, and an undersampling of males who have never revealed their identity to anyone and may never have had any homosexual contact at all. Secondly, I’m sure there are also polls (google it) that also show that the more important characteristic regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity is gender, not sexual orientation: males given access to a willing partner will always be more promiscuous than females, irrespective of orientation .. I would agree that gay males probably do have access to more willing partners than straight males and thus end up having more actual partners, but again this is on the basis of the *gender* willingness, not orientation.

    Ironically however, if we DO take your premise at face value and presume that gay males
    have more sexual partners than straight males, and we even go so far to say
    that this is “evil” and “not normal”, then you effectively are providing the compelling argument to legalize same sex marriage for gay males: to allow them a legal and societal
    reinforcing vehicle to avoid a destructive promiscuous lifestyle and enter into
    and remain in stable committed monogamous marital relationships.

  • pol_incorrect

    Several issues. On the legal analysis, we might not be as far as you might think. I think that we can both agree that the US constitution is silent about the issue. In these cases you have the two traditional sides of the legal profession disagreeing, the “living constitution” crowd which thinks that the constitution is a useless piece of paper that can be adapted to any purpose that fits the liberal agenda as it happened in Roe v Wade and the “originalists” who think that original intent matters and that silence means that the SCOTUS should not rule. In other words, it will come down to the political ideology of the judges. And at the end of the day, on this matter, it will come down to what Anthony Kennedy thinks. My feeling is that there will be a split decision with the DOMA case decided along your lines while the Prop 8 case will be decided along my lines. The Lovely case again is different than the Prop 8 case because it involves the reach of the 14th amendment. So long as marriage is implicitly understood as a union between a man and a woman, you can use 14th amendment backing strike down interracial marriages. However, using the same rationale for same sex marriages is impossible because it opens the door to the intersection incest/marriage. Bans on incestuous marriages, for instance between first cousins, which have withstood constitutional scrutiny before, do not make any sense whatsoever in the case of gay marriage.

    On the promiscuity of gay males. Since I am sure that you are aware of the studies that show it, I am going to spare you from that. But there is also another fact in case you are not convinced, it’s the HIV infections. In this day and age in the United States, 50% of all HIV infections happen between gay males even though they account for only 2% of the population. Promiscuity is a big part of that (the other part is the higher efficiency of HIV transmission via anal sex).

    Finally, as your non sequitur that the solution to gay male promiscuity is allowing gay marriage, that’s complete nonsense. The reason gay males are more promiscuous is that there is no pregnancy risk whatsoever involved in gay sex. Gay marriage will change none of that. You will still have gay promiscuity plus a long series of problems that will impact everybody else like the Johnny thing or what happened in Massachusetts with the Catholic Church.

  • Kara1980

    A couple of thoughts here. Not sure why you believe the incest angle will have a bearing on the Prop 8 case. For one, it has not been a part of the Prop 8 defense thus far, and I don’t see any reason they’ll introduce it now (the defense has been pretty non-existent as I’m sure you already know). Two, incest does not distinguish the gender of the participants in any state’s legal definition that I am aware of. Sex between son and pops is incest as is sex between son and mom. As far as whether that makes “sense” (I suspect you mean that male-female incest has the additional potential for genetically-problematic pregnancy), this in itself does not alleviate the problems of the societal taboos of incest as well as the resulting familial/societal problems of pops having sex with his son. At any rate, your idea is novel and interesting, but I doubt it is the make/break consideration relative to THIS case.

    On the HIV/promiscuity connection… If you want to make that connection, it actually helps make MY case that promiscuity is much more closely tied to gender than it is to sexual orientation. Why? If HIV is correlated to promiscuity, the fact is that lesbian couples have almost no incidence of HIV, (significantly lower than heterosexual couples, by the way). Still if you compare the high HIV rate of homosexual males with the low rate of homosexual females, the sexual orientation factor is moot in predicting HIV rate, whereas the gender factor is all important.

    Finally, if you’re going to present comments like “THE reason gay males are more promiscuous is that there is no pregnancy risk” as fact, you’re going to need to give me some kind of empirical data to back it up. I think you’ll have better success finding evidence to prove the assertion that “Males are more promiscuous than females simply because males – ALL males – really really like sex.” Still, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the societal benefits of allowing and encouraging same sex couples to enter into committed marriages and rewarding them as opposite sex couples. The only concrete definable difference between the two unions is that a same sex couple cannot produce offspring (without external help). Yet many of the major rights/privileges that come with marriage do not even involve offspring: filing joint tax returns, passing estate between spouses, hospital visitation rights, spousal immigration sponsorship, etc. Corporations spend millions on employees of same sex couples today to try to compensate the inequities built into the current tax and benefits code as a result of unequal treatment under the law. As far as benefit to society, what is the case to be made to prevent same sex couples from forming monogamous stable familial building blocks within their communities? Is encouraging promiscuity and familial instability the better alternative?

  • pol_incorrect

    On the incest angle and as to why it hasn’t been introduced until now in the prop 8 case, the answer is simple. The first two rounds in the federal system were a sham. The first round was a gay judge who had already reached a verdict before the trial. Not to mention that said judge intimidated witnesses of the prop 8 side who, understandably so after what happened in Nov 2008, refused to testify if they were videotaped. The SCOTUS rejected the gay judge arguments, but late in the game. The second was another mockery and the decision of the first round was altered by the most liberal judge in the whole 9-th circuit (with a record of reversals at the SCOTUS level) as a love letter to Anthony Kennedy. Such is the delusion in which liberal judges live.The SCOTUS round is the first time Prop 8 is going to have fair trial, so expect a lot more substance than during the first two rounds. All the work done by the Prop 8 side was to lay the path to the SCOTUS because they knew in advance that they had no hope in the 9-th circuit. In fact, the most likely reason the SCOTUS agreed to take the case is that the legal rationale in the first two rounds not only was different but also nonsensical. The incest angle is an important point because it underscores that gay marriage is a complete different beast from normal marriage. It should be a no–brainer, but for those deluded gar marriage zealots, it is obvious that restrictions that make sense in a normal marriage for incestuous marriages, because of biology, do not make any sense in a gay marriage. The only reason for forbidding a normal incestuous marriage, particularly between first degree cousins as it happens in Washington state, is biology not societal norms. So it cannot be the case that a finding that the 14th amendment implies a universal right to normal marriage, as it was the case in the Loving case, implies an automatic right to normal marriage.

    With respect to your analysis on the HIV connection, I said that there are two factors. Promiscuity of gay males is one of them, the other is the higher efficiency of male gay sex transmission vs other types of transmission. Both are higher than in the case of normal males. The higher efficiency of anal sex alone does not explain why the HIV prevalence in gay males is 60 times higher than in normal males. The higher efficiency of anal sex transmission (regardless of whether both are male or one is male and the other is female) vs vaginal sex has been estimated at somewhere between 2 and 10 times. So even being generous with your side, it comes down to gay males being 6 times more promiscuous than normal males. Gay marriage will not change that.

    Finally, your argument about the financial aspects of marriage is nonsensical. There is already in California an institution that provides that, it’s the Registered Domestic Partnership. And few people that I know, including myself, opposes the existence of a something like that for gays. But as I said in one of my earliest interventions, that is not enough for they gay marriage zealots. They want to legally eliminate any distinctions between a normal marriage and a gay marriage to socially engineer society. And the evil that results from that, as I said, is well known from the experience that we have in other American states or other countries that have gay marriage. If gay old farts want to increase the supply of Johnnies by way of indoctrination in public schools, at least they should have the honesty to say so. Honest gay old fart… It’s an oxymoron, really.

  • pol_incorrect

    Want to make sure that you get this extra edit to the first paragraph of my response ” But it gets better, if we give you that the reason we forbid incestuous marriages is
    societal, well, here we have a reason for forbidding gay marriages as
    well: societal norms. So no matter how much you try to spin the matter,
    equating gay marriages with normal marriages leads to logical
    contradictions when incest is introduced as part of the analysis”

  • Kara1980

    Awww, your previous response was so rational and logical, but now you’ve gone fringe on us again, talking about “evil” marriages and “normal” marriages, recruitment of “Johnnies” etc. Well, I’ve really made the points I care to make regarding the SCOTUS cases, and look forward to seeing how it all plays out. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that I disagree with the premises of your most recent response, but if it makes you feel better, I’m sure you’d disagree with my counterpoints. So I’ll leave it at that; thanks for the discourse and stay away from those Johnny recruiters!

  • pol_incorrect

    Sure, let’s leave at that and see how things go. Hope you at least got a taste of the rational opposition to gay marriage. We are not bigots, we just have wider concerns than the egoistical instincts of those Johnny recruiters :D. And sure enough I stay as away as I can from these recruiters.

  • EnlightenOne

    Bravo!

  • nzchicago

    I know quite a number of elderly people who have become more accepting of gay people and more socially liberal in general as they have aged. There are lots of people who actually let go of some of their rigid ideas as they get older, feeling that they just don’t care about conforming so much any more. Also, the longer people live, the more likely that they will know someone who is gay, and especially these days as more and more gay people come out, things are quite different from what they were like when today’s older generation was growing up.

  • RonnieJ25

    Why wouldn’t gay marriage reduce gay promiscuity? You asserted that conclusory statement without any argument.

  • bartleby

    Nursing homes are places where care is provided to those who can no longer care for themselves. They represent a fairly universal, existential condition, not a political ideology.

  • Guest

    You can have your opinion, my friend, but you don’t get to create your own facts.
    62% of Americans support abortion rights. THAT is a fact. To say that “most people would support a model that criminalizes abortion except in a few cases…” is delusional. Much like your faith, sorry to say. Delusional. Let me repeat that: delusional. Mentally unstable. Delusional… is any of this getting through?

  • Dan

    Your anger and vitriol betray an unstable temperament. Civil marriage is what the civilian authority says it is. That’s why it’s called “civil” marriage. Period. Your gods and superstitions -they have no power here! Your bigoted soul and church are free to discriminate against blacks and gays and whomever your hate-target of-the-month is. You should be sanguine about the freedoms you have to hate and ostracize, you seem to love it so! But soo unlike Jesus, don’t you think?

    The greatest success in human history is the triumph of the western world over religious rule. After the Age of Reason, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age…. western societies learned that citizens of their countries were much better off when civilian -rather than religious- laws controlled their societies. They slowly chipped away at the power of the churches to the point where churches now are just tangential and peripheral places of soft power -without any real power. Thank goodness for that. The parts of the world that are still primitive and incapable of reason are the ones where religion has actual political power. Pits of repression –that sounds like the kind of place you might want to live in, but I suppose, only if you have the power in such a society… only if you can oppress others would it appeal to you.