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Posted at 6:40 PM ET, 02/18/2011
LOCAL BLOG NETWORK

Who's demonizing who?

By Robert Nelson, Gaithersburg

When I devoted an entire day to come to Annapolis and engage in a civil debate on the same-sex marriage bill on Feb. 8, I never envisioned receiving such an insensitive and denigrating response from any elected official as the one I received from Sen. James Brochin. Brochin mischaracterized everyone who spoke in opposition to the bill by saying, “witness after witness demonized homosexuals, vilified the gay community, and described gays and lesbians as pedophiles,” a quote The Post has now repeated in its Feb. 17 editorial, “Make Maryland a Free State.”

What I saw, however, were people from various walks of life showing compassion for the children of Maryland and defending the faith tradition of marriage that has built our society. I heard from people who have done extensive research in marriage make convincing arguments that the traditional family is the best environment for nurturing our next generation. I witnessed those in the African American community taking offense at the use of the term “civil rights” in reference to this bill, as they had endured severe oppression that gay men and lesbians have never experienced.

It is unfortunate that The Post has spread inflammatory rhetoric against opponents. This is serving to agitate many Maryland citizens who may already feel that their elected officials are not listening to them. In more than 30 states where there has been a vote on same-sex marriage, the people have consistently rejected it. These Maryland citizens are more than ready to sign a petition to get this issue on the ballot.

By Robert Nelson, Gaithersburg  | February 18, 2011; 6:40 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, same-sex marriage  
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Comments

Gosh, Mr. Nelson. We sure are sorry you felt "demonized" and that your feelings were hurt.

I've had a lifetime of feeling harassed, being physically attacked once, disowned by several members of my family, and now facing the fact that my rights are up for a popular vote.

People like me and Mr. Brochin are hasty to "demonize" people like you, who ONLY want to tell me I can't have the same legal rights and protections straight Americans have.

People like me and Mr. Brochin were SO wrong to "demonize" you, sir, considering that ALL you want to do is not only deter me from loving whom I love, but also tell me I can't enter into a contract with that person, even though I'm a tax payer.

Your feelings will sure be taken into consideration next time, sir, whenever you want to debate whether or not my tax money is as good as yours or not.

Golly gee! Next time I have to lie to my boss about what I did over the weekend because if she found out about who I'm in love with I may be LEGALLY fired, I'll remember to take into consideration YOUR feelings.

Posted by: CorreyLennoxYoungblood | February 18, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Nelson, when you practice discrimination, you must not be surprised that people call you a bigot. When you try to make gay people second-class citizens, you must not be surprised that they resent it. When you attempt to impose your religious views on people who do not share your particular faith, you must not be surprised when those people don't respect your religion.

And, most importantly, you and your fellow-travellers must stop this passive-aggressive attempt to portray your desire to discriminate against other US citizens as somehow neither bigoted nor in and of itself an attack on other people.

If you're going to be a bigot, at least have the courage of your convictions and stop whining when people react to your bigotry in a predictable fashion.

Posted by: pilch62 | February 18, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if you are the same Robert Nelson of Gaithersburg, who donated $10,000 to the Family Research Council Action PAC (http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/robert-nelson.asp?cycle=10).

The Family Research Council Action PAC has - as the Washington Post itself reported earlier - lobbied the Congress against resolution condemning Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill. FRC, the group, to which in all likelihood this author (as he has also appeared in a Protect Marriage MD video on youtube) has donated $10,000, has lobbied against the killing of gay citizens of Uganda. (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/06/family_research_council_lobbie.html)

I wonder how his opinion looks now.

Posted by: olterigo | February 18, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

But of course, Mr. Nelson, that's the tactic of those on the liberal left..single-out, attack, and attempt to marginalize, anyone who disagrees with them..play by the the Saul Alinsky playbook.

Non-conformity used to be applauded in this country. Now it's only applauded if the silly liberal minions support it.

I don't have to agree with anyone's way of life if I don't want to, and neither does Mr. nelson

Posted by: flintston | February 18, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

This guy has gotta be kidding me. Tell the gays who were beaten to death in the 90s they haven't suffered, or the kids who were kicked out of their "parent"'s homes when they were teenagers because they were gay. Tell that to all the gay servicemen and women who lost their jobs for simply saying who they are. The lack of equality in marriage laws is just one more enraging harm of the US against gay people. How can the author be so incredulous to the anger of the gay community and their allies? --particularly when we've been explaining for so long these harms we have to fight?!

Posted by: takinabreak | February 18, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

" as they had endured severe oppression that gay men and lesbians have never experienced."

I'm sorry, but are you forgetting about the executions, the forced castration, the "re-education centers"? Don't tell me what we've "never" experienced. We've experienced plenty at the hands of "fair-minded christians".

Quit calling us pedophiles and stop bad-mouthing our relationships. We don't bad-mouth your marriages. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Posted by: jove4015 | February 18, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Joe Barton is calling for the Matthew Shepard wannabes to apologize.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | February 18, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Simple answer: Why you are, Mr. Nelson. You are.

Each time you say that relationships only matter if breeding is involved...each time you say that gay parents are inferior...each time that you fail to explain exactly how banning gay couples from marriage will stop them from raising their children together...each time you spew back the hollow arguments that can also be applied to many heteroseuxal 'traditional' couples...each time you say that gay black people in the 1800's and 1900's were somehow exempt from violence and hatred from whites AND blacks...

...each time you do these things, kind sir...you demonize a traditionally hated social minioriy.

If you cannot offer a consistently applicable and legally sound rationale for limiting legal marriage based on the genitalia of one spouse, then realize that you have no arguments that are effective. I am a Black man, and it is shameful for the white puppetmasters of the anti-gay forces to draw up false arguments of gay people trying to 'out-do' black people, as if black gay people don't exist. No two struggles are ever 'equal', but who's fault is it that the police are not lynching gays in public today? The gays'? There are smart black people, and there are stupid black people. Smart black people, like myself of course, know that we did not have the first and last 'Civil Rights Movement' in the world.

Posted by: Morpheus1919 | February 18, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Morpheus1919, jove4015, takinabreak, pilch62, + CorreyLennoxYoungblood!!! White males got to decide whether or not women and blacks could vote, and now heterosexuals get to decide whether or not homosexuals can legally marry: what's wrong with this picture? No law in our society should exist solely on the basis of religion.
United States District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker's Repeal of Proposition 8 states unequivocally that "Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples. FF 76, 79-80; Romer, 517 US at 634 (“[L]aws of the kind now before us raise the inevitable inference that the disadvantage imposed is born of animosity toward the class of persons affected.”). Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians without any rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
CONCLUSION
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in
singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling it and constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

The pdf document is available on line at http://www.scribd.com/doc/35374462/California-Prop-8-Ruling-August-2010

Posted by: lduke3 | February 18, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the contents of the anti-normal person responses here it's no wonder why most people wish gays would simply dry up and blow away. The word "pestilence" always comes to mind when I read the hateful, self-serving, and insensitive barbs they hurl, while at the same time demanding compassion, sensitivity, and understanding. Go figure. I hope the uppity gay people of whom I speak enjoy residing in the dank hole they are digging for themselves. They can hang their phony "marriage" certificates on the dirt walls.

Posted by: realist2 | February 18, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

BRAVO, Mr. Nelson the homos and their liberal so called "progressive" advocates ARE THE MOST BIGOTED AND INTOLERANT people to work this earth. THEY WANT TO STRIP AWAY THE RIGHTS OF TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANS, MOSLEMS, JEWS, HINDUS, SEIKHS, BUDDISTS, THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS WHO DON'T WANT THEIR CHILDREN TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOL THAT ABNORMAL AND UN-NATURAL HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE IS NORMAL AND NATURAL, FIGHT ON MR. NELSON WE AER BEHIND YOU THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS AND NOT UN-NATURAL DISORDER AND CHAOS.

Posted by: nakiberu | February 18, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

1 of 2

For proponents of same-sex marriage, it's all feeling with no fact, the exact wrong reason for passing laws. For example, proponents argue that two people of the same gender, who want to form a union, should have all the rights of heterosexuals, including the right to marry. Offering anything less, proponents say, denies homosexuals their "civil rights" and, thus, makes them "second-class" citizens, like in an earlier era, when African-Americans were treated as such or couples of mixed race were denied marriage. Consequently, those who oppose same-sex marriage must be “bigots,” they claim, because there simply can’t be any other reason for opposing it.

However, just like all “feeling-based” arguments, it’s a poorly woven and shoddily made garment. Filled with missed weaves and frayed ends, pulling a loose string causes the whole structure to fall apart. Of these, the most obvious one to pull is the race or gender analogy. For these two traits, the science is irrefutable. They’re both due to genetics and nothing more. Consequently, white people cannot will themselves to become black or some variation in between. Neither can men become women nor women men, even if medical science can alter some of their physical features.

In comparison, behavioral urges – the manifestation of which is behavior – are more complex and not nearly as clear cut. There is a genetic component but it’s not determinant like it is for race and gender. Rather, it imparts a potential for, but not a guarantee of, the urge. Other factors have to be present too, such as biological and cultural/social. The result is a mix of components, in which the prevalence of each varies among individuals with the particular behavioral urge, (1)

Of these three, our focus has always been on the cultural/social one. Yet, even though this approach largely ignores the more "hardwired" components of genetics and biology, laws and advertising to affect the cultural/social component have met with considerable success. A consistent target of laws, taxes, and negative advertising, smoking has declined well below what it once was. To some degree, excessive drinking has too in response to the same influences, even though it, like smoking, includes a varying mix of the "hardwired" components. (1)

Cont'd..

Posted by: semyon_suslov | February 19, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

BRAVO, Mr. Nelson the homos and their liberal so called "progressive" advocates ARE THE MOST BIGOTED AND INTOLERANT people to walk this earth. THEY WANT TO STRIP AWAY THE RIGHTS OF TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANS, MOSLEMS, JEWS, HINDUS, SEIKHS, BUDDISTS, THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS WHO DON'T WANT THEIR CHILDREN TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOL THAT ABNORMAL AND UN-NATURAL HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE IS NORMAL AND NATURAL, FIGHT ON MR. NELSON WE AER BEHIND YOU THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS AND NOT UN-NATURAL DISORDER AND CHAOS.

Posted by: nakiberu | February 19, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

1 of 2

For proponents of same-sex marriage, it's all feeling with no fact, the exact wrong reason for passing laws. For example, proponents argue that two people of the same gender, who want to form a union, should have all the rights of heterosexuals, including the right to marry. Offering anything less, proponents say, denies homosexuals their "civil rights" and, thus, makes them "second-class" citizens, like in an earlier era, when African-Americans were treated as such or couples of mixed race were denied marriage. Consequently, those who oppose same-sex marriage must be “bigots,” they claim, because there simply can’t be any other reason for opposing it.

However, just like all “feeling-based” arguments, it’s a poorly woven and shoddily made garment. Filled with missed weaves and frayed ends, pulling a loose string causes the whole structure to fall apart. Of these, the most obvious one to pull is the race or gender analogy. For these two traits, the science is irrefutable. They’re both due to genetics and nothing more. Consequently, white people cannot will themselves to become black or some variation in between. Neither can men become women nor women men, even if medical science can alter some of their physical features.

In comparison, behavioral urges – the manifestation of which is behavior – are more complex and not nearly as clear cut. There is a genetic component but it’s not determinant like it is for race and gender. Rather, it imparts a potential for, but not a guarantee of, the urge. Other factors have to be present too, such as biological and cultural/social. The result is a mix of components, in which the prevalence of each varies among individuals with the particular behavioral urge, (1)

Of these three, our focus has always been on the cultural/social one. Yet, even though this approach largely ignores the more "hardwired" components of genetics and biology, laws and advertising to affect the cultural/social component have met with considerable success. A consistent target of laws, taxes, and negative advertising, smoking has declined well below what it once was. To some degree, excessive drinking has too in response to the same influences, even though it, like smoking, includes a varying mix of the "hardwired" components. (1)

Cont'd..

Posted by: semyon_suslov | February 19, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

2 of 2

Why then would government or society want to do the exact opposite for another problematic behavior - same-sex behavior - and encourage it through marriage or other forms of recognition or incentives? For just like smoking and drinking, same-sex behavior has its own set of very serious consequences, which far exceed those of heterosexuals on a per person basis, even if they have multiple partners. Among these serious maladies are HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, certain cancers, syphillis, gonorrrhea, and ailments caused by bacteria in the intestinal tract. They also include bodily damage and an elevated risk of emotional and mental illness, which is consistent, even in countries, like the Netherlands, where same-sex behavior enjoys far more acceptance than here or in other countries. (1)

The source for some of these maladies is twofold. First its because same-sex behavior involves physiology that's neither designed nor intended for same-sex interaction. Second it' because of the frequency at which these interactions occur. Homosexuals, primarily men, are notoriously promiscuous, even in marriage, where the number of outside encounters drops considerably but still persists, well above some of the most adulterous heterosexuals. (1)

So, again, we return to the original question. Why do we want to same-sex marriage, when it would only encourage a problematic behavior and trigger homosexuality in those, whose genetic and/biological background make them prone to it? The answer lies in the definition of the word "bigot" which proponents of same-sex marriage so frequently and cavalierly hurl at their critics. According to the Webster's Online Dictionary, it's one, "...who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices…” In other words, it’s a person, who won’t change their mind, no matter what the facts say. Given the facts summarized herein, the term "bigot" ironically applies to the proponents of same-sex marriage - not the opponents – and their argument, which is now nothing more than a pile of string, instead of the garment it once was. (1)

(1) – The peer-reviewed studies upon which this post is based are summarized and cited in the essay “The Case For Limiting Government Recognition to Traditional Relationships,” located on Yahool Pulse at

http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTB4W4CSYDBWN6R2D5ESTASCUQ/blog/articles/270046?listPage=index.

(2) – “Genetic basis of tobacco smoking: strong association of a specific major histocompatibility complex haplotype on chromosome 6 with smoking behavior.”


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15339882

Association between Serotonin Transporter Gene Polymorphism and Smoking among Japanese Males

http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/8/9/831.full

Posted by: semyon_suslov | February 19, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Jeez Mr. Nelson,
A few things:
1) A lot of different types of families have helped build our society--would you go on to denigrate every child of a non-traditional family by suggesting that they are somehow incapable of being just as good and productive a citizen as anyone else? Are you calling for all other family types to be outlawed? If indeed, as you suggest, gay families are inherently inferior, then shouldn't they receive more help from the government instead of being discriminated against? Or should the government discriminate against them just to prove the point of the divisive, hurtful research that you present?
2) How dare you support the lie that gay and lesbian persons have never experienced severe oppression! Because that is indeed what you are suggesting. Read your words.
It's no use to get into an argument about who's suffering over the years has been worse, but for you to deny the hundreds, if not thousands, of LGBT people who have been put to death and tortured in the most excruciating ways at the hands of the Christian church in Western society is to commit such a crime of historical inaccuracy that you should not indeed be allowed to speak until you A) stop trying to prove whose oppression was worse and B) stop denying the severe oppression that LGBT persons have faced over the years due to the same anti-LGBT bigotry that you demonstrate with your obstinate and insolent opposition to any legislation that seeks to treat LGBT peoples as equals in our society.

Posted by: adastraperapathy | February 19, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

semyon_suslov: YOUR POST IS TOO INTELLIGENT, EDUCATED AND ENLIGTENED FOR THE LIKES OF THE BIGOTED, MILITANT AND INTOLERANT homos and their liberal and so called "progressive" advocates.HOWEVER FOR THE REST OF US WHO ARE EQUALLY INTELLIGENT, EDUCATED AND ENLIGTENED, WE HEAR YOU, WE UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING AND WE SUPPORT IT!!!!

Posted by: nakiberu | February 19, 2011 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Nelson--

And I'm not really a Radical Faerie, just a boy in a dress.

Love *

Posted by: Jokiex | February 19, 2011 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
***.gaychristian101.com/
***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

Posted by: shadow_man | February 19, 2011 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

(Change *** to www)
***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ
***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. "Nurture" may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.


And it should also be noted that:
"It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association."

Posted by: shadow_man | February 19, 2011 5:19 AM | Report abuse

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

Posted by: shadow_man | February 19, 2011 5:20 AM | Report abuse

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

Posted by: shadow_man | February 19, 2011 5:22 AM | Report abuse

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:

"There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage."

(Change *** to www)
***.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.

(Change *** to www)
***.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

(Change *** to www)
***.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx

Posted by: shadow_man | February 19, 2011 5:23 AM | Report abuse

Marriage is primarily a civil and contractual matter in America, as licenses are issued by and recorded in town halls, not church halls, or mosques or temples.

If you want to add your religion, or gods, great,but stop acting like the marriage police, it's the 21st century.

Onward, Joe Mustich
CT Justice of the Peace,
Washington Green, CT USA

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 19, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

PS:
And NO you dont get to vote on the civil rights of people, and you dont get to SHOVE your religion or gods, AKA "faith traditions" down our throats in the 21st century...

My church, the UCC, certainly doesn't do that to my neighbors...

In CT, we passed a civil union law in 2005, and a marriage equality law in 2008, and life went forward...

Cheers, Joe Mustich,
CT Justice of the Peace,
Washington Green, CT USA

Retire the marriage police now...

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 19, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The world would be a better place if all of the straight people would focus on cleaning up thier acts, reducing the divorce rate, reducing the number of abused and abandoned children as well as those many who struggle everyday with rotten parenting and let gay people manage thier own lives, marry whom they please and carry for some of these desperately needy children you all have created.

Posted by: withersb | February 19, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Mr. Nelson. You don't get to deny people basic civil rights and then cry when people call you on it. You are not a victim here. This battle doesn't affect you.

Posted by: DCCharles | February 19, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Believe what you like about what marriages are real. Catholics are free to believe that remarried divorcees aren't really married. Religious folks are free to believe that atheist marriages aren't real. And yes, you are free to believe that gay people's marriages aren't real, because marriage is more about two genitals getting together to breed in your eyes than it is about love and commitment.

But when you try to stop people from getting married and having the same rights to make their own decisions in their own lives that you have, then you stop being "good-faith."

"What I saw, however, were people from various walks of life showing compassion for the children of Maryland"

Except for the children of Maryland's LGBT folks, who apparently do not deserve secure, legally protected families with married parents.

"and defending the faith tradition of marriage that has built our society."

Because atheists and members of faiths that welcome gay folks have had NO part in building our society, nor are their marriages valid?
Gay people are not asking you to alter your faith's tradition of marriage. Your religion is still free to adhere to the idea that it is virtuous to define marriage primarily by genitals, and to demean and insult loving commitments if the participants have the wrong body parts. All gay folks are asking for is access to CIVIL, LEGAL, SECULAR marriage, a civil contract which ought not to be forced to adhere to any religion's dogma.

"I heard from people who have done extensive research in marriage make convincing arguments that the traditional family is the best environment for nurturing our next generation."

"Convincing arguments" do not deny the evidence that gay people's kids are just as happy and healthy as straight folks.
Nor do those arguments explain how banning same-sex marriage gets one more kid a "traditional family" who wouldn't already have one - it just makes kids in non-traditional families even less secure, and attacks the stability and family structure they do have.
Nor do you explain why you want gay marriage barred to "protect the children" from *gasp* loving married gay parents, but aren't doing anything at all to ban alcoholics, drug addicts, violent felons, the dangerously insane, or even convicted child molesters, abusers, and murderers from marrying at will. Surely loving, married gay parents are better than murderous, abusive ones? But as long as they're hetero, let 'em wed!

Posted by: Catken1 | February 19, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"I witnessed those in the African American community taking offense at the use of the term “civil rights” in reference to this bill, as they had endured severe oppression that gay men and lesbians have never experienced."

Because of course, "You haven't suffered the SAME oppression as me" is justification for attacking someone else's rights to live their life as they please, hurting their family, and denying their children the same basic security and legal protections for their families that all children deserve.

Shame on those African Americans. They have been hurt, yes, and that hurt was WRONG. But that is not an excuse to say that inflicting lesser hurts on other people is OK. (If it is, in fact, only a "minor hurt" to be turned away from a dying loved one's bedside, to have been denied the same access to spousal health insurance that other spouses receive, which might have saved their life, to lose custody of your beloved children after your spouse's death and see them given to in-laws who hate you and will teach your children to hate you or will abuse them if they seem to be like you....and 1001 other hurts that range from minor annoyances to heartbreaking anguish.)

Hurting other people is NOT MADE MORE ACCEPTABLE because you have suffered worse pain yourself.

Posted by: Catken1 | February 19, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Robert Nelson says, "I heard from people who have done extensive research in marriage make convincing arguments that the traditional family is the best environment for nurturing our next generation."

And how exactly is allowing Gay couples to marry going to affect that? It won't.

The issue of marriage equality for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples has nothing to do with religion, because the United States is not a theocracy. It has nothing to do with parenting, because one does not need a marriage license to have children, nor is the ability or even desire to have children a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license.

Of course, from a purely Constitutional standpoint there is simply no justification for denying Gay couples the exact same legal benefits that Straight couples have always taken for granted, since the only difference between Gay and Straight couples is the gender of the two people in the relationship.

Let me reassure Mr. Nelson: Most people are Straight (i.e. heterosexual), always have been, always will be ... and for them, absolutely NOTHING is changing. Straight couples will continue to date, get engaged, marry, and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will be affected after Gay couples are allowed to do the same.

Posted by: PolishBear1 | February 19, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Nelson, relocate to Congo/Ghana/Uganda--wherever. They won't demonize you, as a matter of fact they might treat you like a saint, your words will be taken as gospel. If your aiming is good, you can throw stones at the homosexuals.
I'm amazed that there are people like Mr. Nelson living in Maryland. One of the red states--I can understand.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | February 19, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

You know, not every married couple has kids. Even if your child-rearing arguments were true, they're beside the point.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | February 19, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

semyon_suslov - I have read your blog post and checked your citations, and I have to say, your "research" is inaccurate at best. Typing "gay" or "homosexual" into a database search engine and then picking quotes from the abstracts of scholarly articles is not a rational basis for your conclusions. If you had actually READ the articles you quote, you would realize that you are either A) misrepresenting the findings or B) fooled by the statistics used in the studies. Or perhaps you do know this, and do not care. Either way, your methods are substandard and your conclusions suspect. But feel free to try again.

Posted by: Biblioprincess | February 19, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

When Mr. Nelson wrote that gays and lesbians have never faced "severe oppression" I just had to wonder what planet he's from. I can't speak for all gays and lesbians, but I know (from personal experience) that many of us have faced the loss of jobs, friends and family and even our LIVES simply because of who we happen to love. If that's not "severe oppresion" I don't know what is...

Posted by: anglovesmusic | February 19, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"This is serving to agitate many Maryland citizens who may already feel that their elected officials are not listening to them."

I'm confused. Are they upset because their desire to deny other people a fundamental right - which, if gained by the gay community, would affect these same anti-gay marriage people not one iota - is going unheeded?

This is a problem...why?

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | February 19, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Awwww, it's always kinda cute when someone doing the hating is accusing others of being haters. It reminds me of the KKK, who pretend that the white race is under attack... I can understand why people like Mr. Nelson are unhappy when their hate is uncovered and exposed for precisely what it is: and judging from the comments following this blogpost there is still a deep-seated homophobia in the USA, formerly known as "The Land of the Free." It quite frankly boggles my mind as to how one can demonize gay families, their relationships, their friends and children and at the same time complain that those who are hurt by these comments and behavior fight back.

I mean, what is exactly Mr. Nelson expecting? For the LGBT community to stand back and do nothing? To simply sit down, hands crossed, while they take away our civil rights and take every single possible step they can to insure we remain as 2nd rate citizens? I don't know in what kind of world he's living but it's high time the gay community FINALLY wakes up and does JUST THAT: exposing your hateful speech for what it is, denigrating and, at the VERY least, insensitive towards the LGBT community.

Perhaps just a few things here:
1- We HAVE been equated with pedophiles and individuals practising bestiality.
2- Our houses get burned down.
3- We can lose our job with no recourse when our employer learns we are gay or lesbian.
3- Gay kids get bullied, leading to some to take their lives. Worse: adults, who should be showing the way, do everything they can to make sure schools remain unsafe for LGBT youths (Annoka-Hennepin high-school district).
4- People show up at rallies with signs calling for the murder of married gay couples (National Organization for Marriage, Indianapolis, Summer 2010.
5- Some of us are attacked and killed simply for being who we are.
6- We cannot enjoy the benefits that heterosexual married couples take for granted.
7- We cannot adopt children.
8- We have to endure the hateful speech of hate groups such as Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, American For Truth About Homosexuality, among a few. Such groups propagate lies about who we are which is why they are hate groups.

So, what exactly is your problem, Mr. Nelson? And why should we accept being treated the way you treat us? Gays and lesbians are the group most targeted for hate crimes in the US. Until you STOP. HARASSING. US. we will not stop calling people like you haters. Kudos to Sen. Brochin for stating the truth and exposing your so-called "concerns" for family and kids (that is, only straight kids, living in straight families: if you're a gay kid or a kid living in a same-sex household you're out of luck...) as in fact a fully-fledged attack on our children and our families. We will not stay silent and we will not let you demonize us.

Posted by: Skulander | February 19, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I just saw this: Christian schools are still brainwashing their kids with the hateful rhetoric of Paul Cameron: http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/2011/02/medical-consequences-of-what-homosexuals-do-come-on-really/
This is PRECISELY what I mean when I talked about lies and hateful Christian propaganda being passed around. And this is one example among many, MANY others. I want to be VERY very clear on this: none of this has even the slightest proven scientific fact about homosexuals and homosexuality. The SOLE purpose of Mr. Cameron's propaganda is to demonize and vilify 10% of the American population, nothing else.

It's a shame. Americans should be ashamed. They should be ashamed of the hate Christians are propagating left and right and IT IS URGENT, I repeat here, IT IS URGENT that we stand up to that hate. It is urgent that we denounce people like Scott Lively and Lou Engle who export their homophobia to African countries like Uganda, and help draft bills that would kill us.

Yes. That wold KILL. US. And they, the anti-gay lobby, has absolutely no shame in doing so. The example of Uganda, among others, show us that in fact gays and lesbians cannot afford NOT to fight for their rights.

So, Mr. Nelson: I'm afraid I really can't be concerned about your own feelings right now. And I must confess I have no desire to comply with your wishes to make you warm and fuzzy inside, to make you comfortable with your own hate and homophobia. And I couldn't be less concerned, either, with what the black community thinks of our use of the term "civil rights" in our struggle for what remains, actually, our civil rights.

Posted by: Skulander | February 19, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Gays are having basic rights taken away, and it's not the other way around. They are defending their rights, not people like you who are arguing to remove rights from others (and have no risk of those rights being removed from yourself). Are gays trying to ban hetero rights? Christian marriage? Absolutely not!! And guess who IS being attributed with pedos, criminals, etc. In public or worse? Gays. They are so demonised by you people that the youth kill themselves in droves in desperation.

This isn't one iota more about "protecting heteros / Christians / whatever" as your fellow supremacists of the past were just "protecting whites." This is singled, directed persecution of a minority and nothing else.


PS: And they didn't suffer troubles in the past? How about prison, death sentences, lynching, forced castration, institutionalisation? How about the few who survived the Nazi concentration camps being thrown back in camps by the US military after it was found out they were gay? And how about just now? Kids being abandoned (half of homeless kids are gay) by their parents just to be abused by employers, clergy, politicians, public schools? The complete lack of familial rights and marriage in most places (the very FIRST thing the slaves fought for BTW)? No work, housing, etc. protections?

Yea ... It's the GAYS "demonising" people just because they won't sit back and let others operas them.

Posted by: bEEarCUB | February 19, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The graceful solution here is for the federal government and the State of Maryland simply to withdraw from the marriage business. Equality for everyone, including single people and couples without government marriage licenses, including heterosexuals and homosexuals.

Life would go on. Couples would still fall in love, have beautiful weddings, live in committed relationships, raise families, have stable homes and do all the wonderful things we associate with the "marriage". Government is not necessary in such personal relationships.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 19, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@nakiberu

How exactly are gays being "bigoted" or "intolerant?" Try and name a single thing, outside of some claimed 'right' for the government to single out and oppress gays, that gays are trying to take away. In what way are they trying to harm others instead of just fighting for their own rights? Are they trying to take away your marriage, kids, protections, job? Heck no! The other way around is certainly true though.

PS: Someone else getting married is not oppression against you, even if you don't approve. Your believe or not in it is irrelevant. It's none of your business and not your right in a free society to make these decisions for others (especially when they are not even thinking of making them for you). You know, FREEDOM.

Posted by: bEEarCUB | February 19, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@bEEarCUB: they are fighting for the right to discriminate against us, openly and publicly. That is the right they are fighting so hard to retain and now they are upset because we won't let them.

Posted by: Skulander | February 19, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Gays have never had marriage rights in America, therefore the only thing they're being denied is the illusion that homosexual love is the same as hetero. And of course, none of that has anything to do with people, family or otherwise, refusing to accept behavior they consider wrong, getting beat up for doing what they do, or being disowned. Someone may be born gay but it's their behavior, what they DO, that's earned them the opprobrium.

Posted by: ronjaboy | February 19, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

ronjaboy: ah, so I assume you are an expert on the difference between homosexual and heterosexual love? Love is love, it doesn't matter if it's between 2 persons of the same sex or the opposite sex. Call it an "illusion" as you wish it doesn't change this fact.

And there wasn't a "right" to interracial couples to marry, either. But it was quite clear that the ban on interracial marriages was unfair and discriminatory. Just like the ban on gay marriage is unfair and discriminatory.

And whether marriage (gay or straigbt) is a "right" or not, there still remain the whole question of WHY gays and lesbians must be banned from enjoying the benefits of marriage. There is simply no reason why stable, loving gay couples shouldn't have their relationships recognized, and homophobia is not a sufficient justification for the ban.

Posted by: Skulander | February 19, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The graceful solution here is for the federal government and the State of Maryland simply to withdraw from the marriage business. Equality for everyone, including single people and couples without government marriage licenses, including heterosexuals and homosexuals.

Life would go on. Couples would still fall in love, have beautiful weddings, live in committed relationships, raise families, have stable homes and do all the wonderful things we associate with the "marriage". Government is not necessary in such personal relationships.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 19, 2011 3:01 PM
__________________________

Your suggestion is a good one on its surface if romantic love, weddings, and happily ever after were at the heart of the matter of marriage.

The only problem with your solution is that when heterosexuals "fall in love" and have intimate sexual relations, babies can most often result.

Society has decided, over a long period of time, that the best way to protect child bearing women and the babies that result from their sexual activity, is for the government to register those relationships as legal marriages.

Thus, the fathers of those babies are legally established, and the responsibitly for the results of their sexual actvity in the marriage is maintained even should the emotional love die, as it often does, gay or str8.

The special benefits of marriage might also act to entice men to maintain their long term sexual activity within marriage, which is in the best interests of society as a whole because of the baby making potential of str8 sex.

Posted by: captn_ahab | February 19, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

captn_ahab: I hear your point but how is allowing same-sex couples to marry going to change anything for heterosexual couples?

I personally don't think the state should stop being involved with marriage, so I agree with you there. But I DO think the state SHOULD recognize these unions, as based on the same principles as straight ones (love, committment, children, family) and with the same obligations.

Allowing same-sex couples STRENGHTEN marriage, it does not weaken it. And it does not change anythin to straight couples that decide to marry, their kids (for those couples, gay OR straight, who DO procreate, bearing in mind that not every couples does) are still granted the same benefits. So yes, because marriage is a worthwhile institution, the state should/could remain involved in it. I have no problem with that. What I DO have a problem with is the state denying gays and lesbians their rights.

Posted by: Skulander | February 19, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

captn_ahab says, "Society has decided, over a long period of time, that the best way to protect child bearing women and the babies that result from their sexual activity, is for the government to register those relationships as legal marriages."

I question that the government has much influence over the sexual activity of its citizens. People can legally have sex without a government marriage license. People with marriage licenses are not obligated to have sex. Couples without marriage licenses can procreate. These biological parents are still legally responsible for the welfare of the child they produced. Having a marriage license is not about to reform a deadbeat father.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 19, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Skulander writes: "I DO think the state SHOULD recognize these unions, as based on the same principles as straight ones (love, committment, children, family) and with the same obligations."

Look at a marriage license application. There is nothing about "love, committment, children or family". There are no vows required. The couple does not even have say they like each other. Consider Britney Spears Las Vegas marriage.

Currently, any adult couple, with or without a marriage license, can do anything a couple with a marriage license can do. They are free to characterize their relationship with any word they please including "marriage". People will consider them married if they act married. No one hangs a marriage license on the wall.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 19, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Aw, everyone feel sorry for the poor little bigot who didn't get fawned over like a prince when he went up to Annapolis to try to make sure that I can't even be buried next to my partner when we die.

Posted by: uh_huhh | February 19, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ captn_ahab.

Still hilariously trying to pretend that marriage is only about procreation, while all those infertile straight couples keep getting married.

I wonder how letting a 65-year-old woman get married protects her child-bearing capacity and the baby that won't result from her sex.

Oh, wait, it's just homophobic bigotry; it doesn't have to make sense.

Posted by: uh_huhh | February 19, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Society has decided, over a long period of time, that the best way to protect child bearing women and the babies that result from their sexual activity, is for the government to register those relationships as legal marriages."

How does allowing gay couples to marry interfere with the "protection" of childbearing women through marriage? If the gay couple down the street marry, does that take anything away from me or my child?

(And government does NOT register all heterosexual relationships, not even all childbearing ones, as marriages. Government protects childbearing women and children (and custodial fathers with potentially deadbeat moms) through child support arrangements, not marriage.

Nor is protecting children and custodial parents the ONLY reason for marriage. It also encourages fidelity, commitment, and mutual support, decreases the incidence of STDs and other ill effects of promiscuity, and married couples are encouraged to provide care for each other (such as health insurance coverage, say, or life insurance) that offers protection in case of catastrophic incident, thus lessening the need for government welfare. Plus, it increases the sum of human happiness, which is no small consideration.

"The special benefits of marriage might also act to entice men to maintain their long term sexual activity within marriage, which is in the best interests of society as a whole because of the baby making potential of str8 sex."

Does that for women, too, actually - or in your world, are women frigid Victorian ladies who never, EVER want to have sex except when they have to clench their teeth and submit in order to have babies? Let me tell you, as a happily married and sexually active woman, that's a bit of a myth. Just a bit. *rolls eyes*

Encouraging fidelity also increases mutual support and commitment, and lowers the risk of STDs. Tell me again why we don't want to encourage gay people to be faithful to their partners? Especially those gay people who are in fact raising children, and will not stop raising children because you don't acknowledge the existence or worth of any child who wasn't conceived and borne by the couple who then raise him or her to adulthood without the intervention of death, divorce, catastrophic illness, or other family-changing event?

Posted by: Catken1 | February 19, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

This is all a waste if time. Half the people I know that are married wish they weren't. Civil unions are the answer. This issue is like abortion and gun control. Always brought up to distract and divide when other more important issues are not being dealt with.

Posted by: mgcrhcp | February 19, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Catken makes the point, "It [government marriage laws] also encourages fidelity, commitment, and mutual support, decreases the incidence of STDs and other ill effects of promiscuity..."

Please explain how the federal and/or state governments encourage these virtues.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 19, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Christians and African-Americans should understand best the perils of allowing the majority to vote on the civil rights of minorities. Is the author not aware of the fate of many early Christians, or Christians in many non-Western countries today? Do the author and leaders of black churches in Maryland not remember the days of segregation and anti-miscegenation laws? This history is why their hypocrisy is so galling when it comes to others' rights, whether they agree with them or not.

If the people get to vote on others' rights, then I want to vote on measures banning the practice of Christianity (on pain of being fed to lions) and the reintroduction of segregation and laws preventing race-mixing. Fair's fair.

I have yet to hear an argument against two people of the same gender being legally bound together in the same manner as a man and woman currently, as all arguments are centered around various fairy tales from someone's Bible, maintaining "tradition," false aspersions of untoward interest in minor children or pure bigotry. If there are legitimate arguments not based in some way on one of these points, I'm all ears.

If the proposed law in Maryland would not force any religious institution to perform such a legal binding for two persons of the same sex (aka, "marriage") then why should such persons not be able to go to city hall for a marriage? This is already the case: various religions have rules about who can marry whom (divorce(e)s, converts, those born out of wedlock, etc). What harm does opening a purely legal institution of joining people together cause others?

Posted by: padnactap92 | February 20, 2011 1:35 AM | Report abuse

@padnactaop92: you wrote: "If the proposed law in Maryland would not force any religious institution to perform such a legal binding for two persons of the same sex (aka, "marriage") then why should such persons not be able to go to city hall for a marriage? This is already the case: various religions have rules about who can marry whom (divorce(e)s, converts, those born out of wedlock, etc). What harm does opening a purely legal institution of joining people together cause others?"

Thank you for making this point! As it is clear, religions are not hurt by gay marriage, at the secular, state level. Religions retain the right to define marriage they way they see it fit, and it's fair game, it's freedom of religion.

But freedom of religion does not mean freedom to discriminate, freedom to deny others of their rights. What has become VERY clear to me is this: religions, under false pretenses (caring for the family, American values, the insitution of marriage, etc., all of which are in no way threatened or hurt by gay marriage) are currently asking, FIGHTING FOR, the right to discriminate against us, publicly and openly, on religious grounds. And then the far-religious right complain when we expose their hate and discrimination for what it is.

I find very interesting the reason that Sen. Brochin has given as to WHY he supports gay marriage: he is disgusted by anti-gays demonizing gay families, he is shocked and appalled at seeing the hurt and harm done to our families, kids, relationships, relatives, etc., and he has said he will NOT support this.

Posted by: Skulander | February 20, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing "good faith" about your opposition to gay marriage. You're a heterosexual fascist, nothing more. Every American citizen should have the same rights as any other.

Posted by: rbmurals | February 20, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
***.gaychristian101.com/
***.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
***.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
***.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
***.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

Posted by: shadow_man | February 20, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

(Change *** to www)
***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ
***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. "Nurture" may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.


And it should also be noted that:
"It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association."

Posted by: shadow_man | February 20, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

Posted by: shadow_man | February 20, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

Posted by: shadow_man | February 20, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:

"There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage."

(Change *** to www)
***.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.

(Change *** to www)
***.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

(Change *** to www)
***.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx

Posted by: shadow_man | February 20, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

shadow_man, Your story is heart-wrenching, but it is not an argument for the government to issue marriage licenses, to heterosexual or homosexual couples. This poor man should have had a written will. If you care about what happens to your body or your assets upon death you should have a will rather than relying on the default provisions of marriage law. Also marriage laws can be changed by government at any time.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 20, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

As the mom of a gay son, I don't think anyone should be able to vote on this issue unless they know 5 gay people by name who aren't in the media. And by know, I mean, enough to know if they are in a partnership, have kids etc. Until then, you are only deciding based on media stereotypes. My 85 year old mom said, when told my son was gay, "Well if he's gay, then I'll have to rethink everything I've thought about homosexuals, won't I?" Once I did a PFLAG table at a street fair. We gave a prize for a contest to see who could name the most gay or lesbian people. Funny, after Ellen, Rosie, & Elton John, most all heterosexuals drew a blank. Few could name a friend. And they should be able to decide if my son can get married, why? My parents were married 65 years, my grandparents also made it to 65. I'm at 41 years happily married. Why wouldn't all four of our children aspire to be married? They all grew up in the same home with the same morality and role modeling. That one is gay is beside the point. I used to tell my kids, "no sex until marriage". But that flew out the window when I realized one could not legally marry. Is that the message we really want to convey to our children? Shouldn't we be encouraging all our children to find a stable loving relationship? And if you are one of those heterosexuals who know no gay people, it is probably because they don't feel comfortable telling you. I wear a gay friendly button on my coat. I have people coming out to me all the time, thanking me for my support. A green grocer, nurse, clerk, stranger at the mall all appreciate knowing I'm someone safe to tell. Put on a little rainbow ribbon and learn who in your life is gay. You may just find out it is someone you love.

Posted by: pflagmom | February 20, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

As the mom of a gay son, I don't think anyone should be able to vote on this issue unless they know 5 gay people by name who aren't in the media. And by know, I mean, enough to know if they are in a partnership, have kids etc. Until then, you are only deciding based on media stereotypes. My 85 year old mom said, when told my son was gay, "Well if he's gay, then I'll have to rethink everything I've thought about homosexuals, won't I?" Once I did a PFLAG table at a street fair. We gave a prize for a contest to see who could name the most gay or lesbian people. Funny, after Ellen, Rosie, & Elton John, most all heterosexuals drew a blank. Few could name a friend. And they should be able to decide if my son can get married, why? My parents were married 65 years, my grandparents also made it to 65. I'm at 41 years happily married. Why wouldn't all four of our children aspire to be married? They all grew up in the same home with the same morality and role modeling. That one is gay is beside the point. I used to tell my kids, "no sex until marriage". But that flew out the window when I realized one could not legally marry. Is that the message we really want to convey to our children? Shouldn't we be encouraging all our children to find a stable loving relationship? And if you are one of those heterosexuals who know no gay people, it is probably because they don't feel comfortable telling you. I wear a gay friendly button on my coat. I have people coming out to me all the time, thanking me for my support. A green grocer, nurse, clerk, stranger at the mall all appreciate knowing I'm someone safe to tell. Put on a little rainbow ribbon and learn who in your life is gay. You may just find out it is someone you love.

Posted by: pflagmom | February 20, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry that you feel bruised that these people are telling you that your arguments don't add up. Now maybe you feel the same way as the people who you are constently telling that their love 'doesn't add up'.

Posted by: davidofhumans | February 20, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry that you feel bruised that these people are telling you that your arguments don't add up. Now maybe you feel the same way as the people who you are constently telling that their love 'doesn't add up'.

Posted by: davidofhumans | February 20, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Bigots should be "demonized". Join the 21st century.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 21, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

After a decade of paying a lot of attention to this debate, I'm still struck by just how blind opponents of marriage equality can be when attempting to validate their position. Mr.Nelson's letter is a perfect example. The whole point of his letter is that it's the supporters of equality, not their opponents, who are doing the demonizing. Yet, in his second paragraph he characterizes marriage opponents as "showing compassion for the children", implying that gay people are harmful to children. Good job Mr.Nelson, you just proved that the criticism aimed at you and those of a similar mindset is well deserved. And on the question of whether gay rights are civil rights, Desmond Tutu, Coretta Scott King and Mildred Loving, just to name a few, have agreed that they are. I know nothing about your background or experience but I'm willing to bet that their opinions on the subject carry a bit more weight than yours.

Posted by: BOSTONTIM | February 21, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

christian: Sorry, but even if he wrote a will, because of lack of marriage equality in that state, the same result would of happened. And that exactly is why we need to end discrimination.

Posted by: shadow_man | February 21, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

christian: Sorry, but even if he wrote a will, because of lack of marriage equality in that state, the same result would of happened. And that exactly is why we need to end discrimination.

Posted by: shadow_man | February 21, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

shadow_man said, "Sorry, but even if he wrote a will, because of lack of marriage equality in that state, the same result would of happened." I don't think so, but I would be interested to know of specific case where a valid written will was invalidated.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 21, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The simple fact that the post above has even have been written is a disquieting sign of how much gays and lesbians have let themselves be intimidated, harassed and bullied. Somehow, our community is ok with that: it's time we stand up against hate.

So: Mr. Nelson, YOU ARE A HATER. I'm sorry if the truth offends you but we will not let ourselves be intimidated anymore. We will not let you take away our rights, harm our families, children, relationships.

Hate remains hate, Mr. Nelson. Stop hating. Then we will stop saying you hate.

Posted by: Skulander | February 21, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

christiansmiller: In states where gays are not allowed to get married, things like that happens because only those rights apply to a man and a woman being married. Which clearly proves my point why gay marriage needs to be legalized :)

Posted by: shadow_man | February 22, 2011 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Nelson,

Are you claiming that multiple witnesses did NOT use vicious language and lies?

As you are probably aware, the opposition to same-sex marriage comes from some religious groups, primarily from men who ostensibly have no personal knowledge of married life, indeed who have rejected for themselves sexual relations other than statutory rape of children and teenagers entrusted to them. Would you go along with having their religious views determine whether divorced people of other faith could have CIVIL remarriages? If so, there are an awful lot of Republican politicians, such as Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Senator and Senator Dole, who would be barred.

To the best of my knowledge, in years of argumentation, NO ONE opposed to same-sex marriage has EVER explained how it affects their own personal marriages. If you don't believe in same-sex marriage, don't marry someone of the same sex.

Posted by: edallan | February 22, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Robert,
You support creating separate rules for separate groups of citizens. Creating separate institutions for separate groups of people.
Well, we have a word for that in this country: segregation.
It's fine if you want to support that. But be upfront. You are supporting segregation.

I'm sorry you feel that people are demonizing you. If you don't want to be demonized for your support of segregation, get in a Delorean and return to 1953.


Posted by: esimon94 | February 22, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

shadow_man, Again please point me to a specific case where a valid written will was invalidated.

Posted by: christiansmiller | February 22, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

christiansmiller: Every gay person that cannot legally get married will suffer the same thing, among thousands of other rights they are denied due to the lack of gay marriage :)

Posted by: shadow_man | February 23, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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