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"But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my 'gay friend,' she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I am not going to judge people."

Gov. Palin, a choice is between Coke or Pepsi, Cher or Celine, Yuengling or Budweiser, Jimmy Choos or Manolos. Not whether to be gay or straight.

No one would choose to put their careers on the line. "Of our over 5,000 Legal Help Desk calls in 2007, 78 percent (2,778) were sexual orientation discrimination," says Lisa Hardaway, media relations director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. "Of the sexual orientation discrimination issues, 26 percent (730) were workplace-related." According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, about 12,500 people who were serving their nation with honor have been drummed out of the military since 1994 because they were gay under the nonsensical "don't ask don't tell" policy. At least 59 of them were Arabic linguists who are sorely needed in the war on terror.

No one would choose to be part of a marginalized group whose members have to sue their way to basic rights so that their relationships and their families are respected. Rights, such as hospital visitation and inheritance, that heterosexual couples take for granted.

No one would choose to be prey for bigots. Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming ten years ago this month -- October 12, 1998 -- because he was gay. Tony Randolph Hunter died here in Washington last month -- after he was attacked by four men outside a gay bar. His murder has not been classified as a hate crime, but it has sent a chill through the gay community here. Brett A. Parson, acting lieutenant of the Metropolitan Police Department, told me that since January, eleven anti-gay bias reports have been classified as criminal in nature and another eight are considered hate/bias-related incidents.

So, Gov. Palin, while gays and lesbians appreciate your not judging them for their "choices," your judgments are the least of their worries.


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By Jonathan Capehart  | October 1, 2008; 2:17 PM ET
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Comments

What day did Sarah Palin choose to be straight? Surely she can remember such a momentous decision?

Palin has gone on record as being against every single civil right for gays. Everything from gays in the military to health insurance for gay partners. She can say she has 'a gay friend' all she wants, but her policy positions show she feels gays aren't Americans.

As for her position that the partners of Alaskan state workers should be denied health care if they are care, all I can say is....

Who would Jesus deny health care to?

Posted by: HillMan | October 1, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The one tendency I have noticed with Gov. Palin in her interviews with Katie Couric is consistent personalization of policy issues. Frankly, I don't care whether she has "friends who happen to be gay" or not. What I care about is what would her stand be on public policy issues such as "Don't ask, don't tell". She appears to answer questions by giving us her personal opinion/experience, but will not reveal/defend her policy position. I would hope that most would not be taken in by this bait and switch tactic.

Posted by: warren5 | October 1, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

When my partner and I moved to Idaho from DC, we hit em with a double-whammy: he's black, I'm white, and we're both gay. We hear a lot of comments like Palin's, people who feel they are being supportive by supporting our "lifestyle choice." My partner likes to point that he chose to be Gay shortly after choosing to be Black. That sets them back a bit. Having said all that, swe've expereienced zero discrimination here over the past 10 years.

Posted by: acboatman | October 1, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Warren5 has it right. In her Couric interview Palin instinctually went to her own personal beliefs, how she would counsel a friend or stranger, how she would "choose" to live. Regardless of how telling her remarks on sexual orientation are about how she views being gay, the followup question Couric was not bold enough to ask was how her personal views would lead her in policy issues such as selection of a supreme court justice or legislation on various social issues. Palin, as governor, "innocently" violated Alaskan election law when she expressed her opinion against an initiative to bar mining around Bristol Bay. Public officials are not permitted to involve themsleves in intitiative politicking. However, in an interview she said she was "taking off my governor's hat" in order to express her personal opinion! Who knows which hat she will wear in the Oval Office when it comes to issues she views as world defining?

Posted by: gratianus | October 1, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I have no interest in defending Sarah Palin (for whom I have little respect as a national candidate), nor do I have a quarrel with the notion that homosexuality and heterosexuality may, in many cases, be genetic. However, in the interest of honesty, I think Jonathan Capehart needs to reconsider some of his categorical statements, especially: "No one would choose to be part of a marginalized group whose members have to sue their way to basic rights so that their relationships and their families are respected." This statement is patently false. Many people throughout history have done just that, choosing to be a part of a persecuted minority. This is particularly true of religious minorities. Think of the Jews in Europe during the Middle Ages, who were denied citizenship, the right to own land, etc. And were occasionally the target of bloody progroms. Or consider the Christians and Jews in Muslim countries who, though tolerated, were subjected to a special tax and a variety of other discriminatory measures. Or the Muslim minority in China today. Any of these could have chosen to convert and thus avoided persecution. In other words, find another way to prove that homosexuality could not possibly be a choice. The argument from discrimination and suffering does not work and ultimately weakens the case.

Posted by: GH11 | October 1, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

What gets me about her comments is that she's pretending to be tolerant while still pandering to the homophobes with her use of the word "choice." And frighteningly, for so many people, the tactic (or strategy?) will work.

Posted by: ltwd | October 1, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Come on - I am sick and tired of black men commenting on any white woman candidate. Give it a rest - the sexual bigotry and harrassment of black men is getting old.

Get the black men off the backs of white women - ENOUGH!!

Posted by: mgd1 | October 1, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Someone wrote: "My partner likes to point that he chose to be Gay shortly after choosing to be Black."

Please do not use the my orientation is as genetic as my race argument. Race is determined at conception, orientation IS a choice.

Granted, there may be predisposition, but to follow that is a choice.

Some people are predisposed to having a violent temper, they are predisposed to violence, however not all of them choose to be violent.

You are born male or female. That is your gender. Behaving otherwise, that is a choice.

Posted by: subbob | October 1, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from a woman who thinks cavemen and dinosaurs coexisted? Has anyone asked her if she believes the Earth is flat or round? What about the moon -- cheese or not, Sarah?

Posted by: DogBitez | October 1, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

To GH11: I very seriously doubt that the members of those religious minorities you mention would state that they "chose" to adhere to those beliefs. I'm pretty sure they would be offended by your insinuation that they could have "chosen" to belong to the predominant religion if they wanted. For most people, belief is not a choice made by weighing between belonging to one group or another.

To subbob: A person is gay because they are sexually attracted to the same sex, regardless of whether they act on it. They may choose to live as a straight person, but they'd still be gay. I'm sure no straight person believes that they choose to be attracted to the opposite sex - it is a subconscious urge. To test this, try to be attracted to someone of the same sex. I'm sure that (if you are straight), this will be quite impossible, demonstrating that sexual orientation is not something one can choose. Is sexuality affected by life experience? This is a different question (and one to which I am agnostic), but this in no way makes sexual orientation a "choice."

Posted by: slandry | October 1, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Whether homosexuality is a choice or not is irrelevant; what signifies for fundamentalists is that they NEED it to be seen as such, or all of their positions fall to ash--including, most significantly, those that call for stigmatizing and resisting said "choice".

What gets me is the frequent portrayals of San Francisco and other supposedly licentious coastal towns as Sodom-and-Gomorrah style fleshpots that offer the "homo lifestyle" as a fatal temptation to the unwary.

I live and work with scores of gay men, yet I'm no more "tempted" by their "lifestyle" than a tiger in a cornfield is drawn toward vegetarianism. If your problem in life can be summed up as "resisting the all-powerful allure of gay sex", then you have some serious self-examination to do.

But I suppose it's more fun to blame the godless liberal world for any personal proclivities you find too frightening to confront.

Posted by: youarestillidiots | October 1, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I am an atheist. I do not have a religious (or moral) view of homosexuals.

Homosexuality is not genetic or organic or a biological quirk. Homosexuality is a symptom of emotional illness (usually character-neurosis). It is a “choice” like an hysteric female's becoming a hooker.

All "homosexuality-is-biological" studies have been debunked — studies that "found" gay genes, gay brain cells, “natural” homosexuality in animals... All produced false conclusions from false premises.

In one brain study reported in the Post and in other, like, PC diatribes, the root flaw is a set of BIASES and FALSE premises, among them these FALSEHOODS: (1) Homosexuality is neither (a) a psychic disorder nor (b) symptom of disorder not peculiar to “homosexuals.” (2) If a homosexual has a brain peculiarity, the peculiarity explains her homosexuality, but neither homosexuality nor its neurotic cause explains the brain peculiarity.

Such studies do not compare, CATEGORICALLY, E.G., (a) brains of, e.g., phallic narcissists or hysterics, or other homosexuality-susceptible neurotics with (b) brains of people suffering other, different psychic disorders and (c) brains of people who seem not to suffer homosexual symptoms or any (other) psychic ill.

Until 1968, the APA's (American Psychiatric Association's) “Diagnostic and Statistic Manual” [“DSM”] said homosexuality is a sociopathic personality disturbance. In 1968, after some years of organized pressuring by Gays and Lesbians, the DSM's homosexuality listing changed to a non-sociopathic psychosexual disorder.

In 1973, manipulated sorely, even terrorized, by oft-violent Gay/Lesbian organization mass protests, by Gay/Lesbian stormings of the 1973 APA convention, and by homosexual infiltration of the APA board, the APA changed the DSM's homosexuality listing — so that the DSM said homosexuality is a not a mental disorder but is emotional illness only if it is ego-dystonic (psychically dissatisfying to the homosexual individual), not if it is ego-syntonic (if the individual is internally comfortable with homosexual thoughts and feelings).

Under further escalated Gay/Lesbian organization pressuring, around 1974 the APA amended the DSM's homosexuality listing again — ceased listing homosexuality as a psychic disorder, but gave ego-dystonic homosexuality a reference in a catch-all category of "Other Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified" and described ego-dystonic homosexuality as “Sexual Orientation Disturbance” involving "Persistent and Marked Distress About One's Sexual Orientation."

In 1980, after continued, and heightened, relentless pressuring of Gay/Lesbian organizations and by continued homosexual infiltration of the APA Board, the APA reduced its homosexuality reference to a listing only of “Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality.”

Later, after still more Gay/Lesbian pressuring and homosexual insider lobbying and because previous DSM listing-changes had altered public perception of homosexuality, the APA reversed the DSM's homosexuality-characterization utterly: It de-pathologized homosexuality completely — ceased labeling homosexuality a psychological or emotional disturbance of any kind.

But the APA changed, then reversed, the DSM position ONLY because Gay/Lesbian political pressure and homosexual insider manipulation — NOT for scientific reasons. The APA's stated "reasons" were blatantly illogical, even looney: (1) We cannot cure it; so it must not be a disease. (2) Homosexuals are ego-syntonic concerning their sexuality (do not perceive they suffer a psychic problem, but only a political one, like embarrassment caused extrinsically, by “homophobia”); therefore homosexuality is not a disease.

If (1) were true, then Lou Gehrig's disease and multiple sclerosis and AIDS are not diseases. If (2) were true, then most badly-impaired schizophrenics and alcoholics would not be sick.

In 1973, when the APA altered homosexuality's DSM listing from psychosexual disorder to emotional illness only if ego-dystonic. a very eminent psychiatrist Chaired the APA Committee that oversaw DSM revisions, voted for the reversal, and took to the APA Board the then very controversial proposal that the DSM cease listing homosexuality at all. But, in 2001, that SAME psychiatrist, Robert Spitzer, M.D., announced that he and the APA Board had been wrong: Homosexuality IS a curable psychic disorder. See, E.G., http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/36/13/20

Before and after the DSM reversal, COMPETENT psychotherapists HAVE cured homosexuality. They recognized that the trouble was not homosexuality itself (which is just a symptom), but a wider, deeper disorder. Homosexual behaviors derive from other psychic warpages (like, but not only, those involving strong components of phallic narcisism, hysteria, or anal retentiveness). If the therapist can identify the underlying condition and cure or diminish it substantially, the patient will be freed from homosexual symptoms.

The APA's membership tended not to be able to cure homosexuality because (a) too few psychiatrists (or other psychotherapists) understood that homosexuality is a symptom of another, underlying, emotional illness and (b) too few were competent psychotherapists and many too many were pill-pushers (and the same continues to be today, as it will tomorrow).

If the APA and law promote "gay rights," society and law ought to promote a schizophrenic's "right" of having hallucinations or a psychopath's "right" of being psychopathological. If the APA and law treat homosexuality as a "sexual orientation" and if law legalizes homosexual “marriage” and allows homosexual partners to "parent" children (whose psyches will suffer gender confusion or other serious ills), then (A) homosexuals will not have access to the chance of obtaining healthy, happy heterosexual lives and (B) many others (especially helpless children) will suffer injury.

I hope for passage of the California initiative that would amend California's constitution so that it will disallow same-sex marriage. I hope other states amend their constitutions similarly. Both society and homosexuality sufferers need reversal of the growing, dangerously misguided trend of legal and pseudo-scientific “validation” of the APA's erroneous de-pathologizing of homosexuality.

I regret that if the California initiative passes, the reason will be much the sick and judgmental activism of the religious political right. But compare chemotherapy and radiation therapy — both toxic yet often able to undo malignant tumors.

Palin is wrong. But not because homosexuality is not a “choice.” She is wrong because she does not apprehend the depth and complexity of the character warpages that cause homosexual symptoms — character warpages that prayer cannot touch (and that all but few psychotherapists cannot reach).

Posted by: ljaffee | October 1, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

For those who, being straight, have trouble understanding the idea that sexual orientation is not a choice, an old nursing axiom may help: "Pain is what the patient says it is." The least we can do, when gay people tell us "it was not a choice" is to believe them.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 1, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

I'm not going to attack Palin, but she simply is an Idiot and as such is not qualified to be VP. The fact that McCain would make such a dumb choice simply says all we need to know about his judgement.

I happen to agree with Palin on Lesbian women "choosing" to be gay. The sex drive of women is NOT like that of men. Women can in fact CHOOSE whether or not to be gay while men have no choice in the matter due to our Sex Drive's being biological.

TKCAL

Posted by: Realbrother0003 | October 1, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Face it, liberals will hammer ANYTHING Palin says about homosexuality because they don't like that she is a conservative. She in fact does support legal rights for gay/lesbian partners. But, Katie doesn't ask her about that. Liberal reporters who are in the tank for Obama won't ask a conservative their policy position, they'll try to get them to sound like an extreme zeolot.

The fact of the matter is that Christianity teaches in the bible (and NOT just the Old Testament...you Christians out there need to read St. Paul's epistles which explicitly condemn homosexuality) that a homosexual union is a sin because it does not provide for procreation. This is why, for example, the Catholic Church does not allow homosexual marriage. Now, some people feel that by giving them legal rights, that by default legitimizes their behavior. In some cases, it's prejudicial, but in many cases, it's a concern that acknowledging the union in a civil sense diminishes your being against in a spiritual sense.

This is why I totally think there is middle ground on this. Because on the other side of the coin of Christianity is the notion of loving the sinner (but hating the sin) and treating the sinner with respect.

So, from a legal standpoint, I think laws could grant homosexual unions similar legal benefits of being married without necessarily allowing homosexuals to marry civilly.

I personally believe that homosexual unions are sinful and i would not want laws to acknowledge those unions at the SAME level as marriage. Those unions are not fruitful for society (I mean fruitful in the reproductive sense, not the figurative sense), therefore they should not have the same "clout" that marital relationships do. However, if partners want to be able to leave money to each other or have health care rights for the other person or be elligible for the other person's benefits while alive or upon death, that's fine.

Also, while there may be a genetic predisposition, it absolutely is a choice. Capeheart is completely off base.

Posted by: jsypal | October 1, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

To slandry: You might be right that at least some members of religious minorities might say that their religion is not a choice. That does not change the fact that empirically religious affiliation IS a choice, albeit a choice that is intricately intertwined with a variety of cultural and social factors. I say this not to suggest that sexual orientation is a similar kind of choice but to suggest that this line of argument - that no one would choose to be part of a marginalized group - is fundamentally weak and demonstrably false. If one wishes to maintain, as Capehart does, that calling sexual orientation a choice is irrational and worthy of contempt, one needs to present a more compelling case, perhaps one that presents scientific evidence for the genetic basis of homosexuality. I know that such studies have been ongoing for some time, though I am not sure of the results.

And finally, to Jonathan Capehart once again, it seems to me that there are more than enough topics on which to find fault with Sarah Palin. Her off-hand choice of words, so to speak, seems like a rather minor issue next to the many more serious issues that her candidacy raises.

Posted by: GH11 | October 1, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

mgd1, your blatant racism is disgusting.

subbob: "Please do not use the my orientation is as genetic as my race argument. Race is determined at conception, orientation IS a choice."

Um. Actually, if you knew anything about race studies, you would understand there is nothing "genetic" about race. Race is, as gender, a socially constructed category. There is, believe it or not, no "Black" gene. Yes, there are genes for pigmentation of skin, but what is race? Is it simply skin *color*? (No is the resounding answer from all spheres of academic life).

As for gender and sexual orientation, they have "constructed" characters, as well as biological. There is nothing Purely Biological or Purely Socially Constructed. But because it is socially constructed (i.e., comes into being from interaction with social factors), it does not mean it is not *natural*, or that it is a independent choice.

Posted by: isarosepetal | October 1, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

A choice is involved in homosexuality. You are either male or female, and were physically designed to mesh with someone of the opposite sex. Can someone have desires that are of the same sex? Absolutely. But if they decide to give in to those desires, that is a choice. Case closed.

Posted by: Gibson17K | October 2, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Real Brother writes: "I happen to agree with Palin on Lesbian women "choosing" to be gay. The sex drive of women is NOT like that of men. Women can in fact CHOOSE whether or not to be gay while men have no choice in the matter due to our Sex Drive's being biological."

I must comment on this. I agree with much of what you say in this and other blogs, RealBrother. But you can't have it both ways
on this issue. Women have a biological sex drive, too. Believe it or not.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 2, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Trust me, to be gay is not 'chosen,' any more than to be straight is 'chosen.' My husband and I raised five equally beloved children to adulthood -- four straight, one gay. Same parents, same loving environment, same cherishing for each unique and precious child, same nurturing, same family. Four went on to marry their opposite sex love; one went on to wear a wedding band along with his life partner's wearing of his, since marriage for GLBT wasn't yet 'allowed.' Such a condescending word, this 'allowed!

The reality that four of our kids could marry and one couldn't -- because society's rules deem this 'right'-- was and is unacceptable to us as parents.Why on earth *many more* parents, grandparents, siblings, family members in general, heterosexual friends, don't speak up and out for total equality for their loved ones, including and especially marriage, is mind-boggling. Stand up and be counted for equality, people!

Posted by: equalitygal | October 2, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

GH11 makes a valid point in referring to minorities who have chosen to hold to their convictions in the face of discrimination. However, the point was made too categorically.

Many Jews in Medieval and Renaissance Europe converted to Christianity, either to avoid persecution or to mainstream their families socially and economically. Many others held to their Jewish traditions. Both groups exercised a choice, because religious affiliation is learned, not genetic. It is also instructive in light of the present debate to remind ourselves of the many European Jews who believed that they would be safe from Nazi persecution because they or their parents had been baptized as Christians. When persecution is motivated by a conviction that a defect is rooted deep within the nature of the offending person, no amount of rational defensive action can avert destruction.

Homosexuality, being an intrinsic element in a person's make-up, cannot be chosen: it can only be expressed or hidden. It has also been reviled and marginalized by all of the cultures whose religious roots lay in the early Middle East--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The same societies have, to varying degrees, been tolerant in other cases (race, for example).

Considering the vehemence with which many religious zealots express--in statements and in policies--their bigotry toward gays and lesbians, there is no reason to believe that bland expressions of tolerance like those of Mrs. Palin are anything but tactical in nature.

Posted by: canto1951 | October 2, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I do not know whether homosexuality is a choice, or something genetic. I know it exists in human society and also in the animal kingdom, where the members may not be able to claim the freedom to choose.

I also believe that there is a relevant reference in the Bible to homosexuality in the Bible, in Matthew 19: when Jesus replied to his disciples on the issue of "divorcement". The word used was not homosexual, it was "eunuch". Christ was speaking about those who had been joined together by God (there was no Christian Church then, and therefore no Christian marriage) but he said that not all men could receive the message because some were born eunuchs from their mother's wombs. and some were made eunuchs of men and still others became eunuchs in the service of the Lord. I suspect this was a reference to homosexuality, which would suggest perhaps a choice or by force of other men, and also something genetic.

One other reference in the Bible to homosexuality that may be of interest is found in Romans1: 21 - 28.

Posted by: CalP | October 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

To jsypal:
Palin doesn't support gay partner benefits, she supports the authority of the state supreme court to establish constitutionality. When the state court ruled in favor of state employees demanding benefits, the state legislature passed a bill to deny those rights. When it came to her for signature, she basically said that, given the court's decision, the law was unconstitutional so she couldn't sign it. She did say, however, that she would welcome an attempt to change the state constitution so that she *could* sign a bill denying benefits to same-sex partners. While I admire her adherence to the authority of the different branches of government (I wish more elected leaders gave it the same attention), not signing that bill (and her follow-up comment) was in no way supportive of gay rights.

And, to be honest, I don't see what all the fuss is about her comment. It sounds like she *has* made a choice to be straight and puts that decision on equal footing with her friend's choice to be gay. It may not be the respect you want, but it is respect.

Posted by: rickcho | October 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

In using the word "chose" regarding her gay friend, Sarah Palin has exhibited her low IQ. All it requires is to just sit back & reason out why homosexuals are what they are.
I am not an endocrinologist, but reasoned it out long ago. When the little boy & the little girl attain puberty, the respective hormones make them attracted to the other sex. If that does not happen or happens differently, it just means that some thing has gone wrong/different with the person's hormone system above and beyond that person's control. So he/she is otherwise a normal, law abiding, tax paying, peace loving person. It is the animal instict in the homophobs that makes them ill treat what is not like them.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | October 2, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

i'm gay. i struggled for forty years to be straight, got married and divorced becuase i chose to be straight. for some people it is not too hard to "choose" their sexual orientation, like some blacks or brown chose to be one. unfortunately, for palin, she can be excused for being dumb because it is not a choice.

Posted by: psdentist | October 2, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a gay man. I chose for many years to disbelieve it and even talked myself into believing that I could choose to be straight. There's a recipe for abject misery if ever there was one. Here's what I believe: there may be different degrees of genetic gayness on the famous Kinsey scale, but make no mistake, there is a defining and, I am certain, an insurmountable genetic component to being gay. I also know this: if anyone who thought it was a choice could be me and be in my head for a day, no, an hour, even five minutes, she would blush for shame that she ever thought I had a choice in the matter.

Posted by: deanrishel | October 2, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

CalP:

Another reference would be Leviticus 18:22,
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination" - King James version of the Bible.

Posted by: southeas | October 2, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

people are people. i think this whole marriage between a man and woman issue is really just a scare tactic. i've never known being gay to infect other people. let it go.

Posted by: deaunahale | October 2, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan Capehart mentions the 59 Arab linguists who, despite being crucial to our war efforts, were tossed out of the military like so much bad rubbish simply because they were gay. I know one of these linguists personally. He is brilliant and used to be devoted to his duty in the military. He always wanted to serve his country in some important, crucial way. It's absurd beyond belief that such a dedicated and brilliant young soldier, doing the crucial work we needed, should be drummed out of the military as if he were a criminal. Goofy attitudes and prejudices have held back this country many times in our history. Conservatives who pride themselves on "Country First" need to take a long look in the mirror when they ask why Iraq was so poorly managed. Country First is the hypocrisy in this case. That Sarah Palin cannot even speak intelligently about this crucial issue -- of national importance -- is enough to keep her out of office. She sounds immensely naive.

Posted by: cturtle1 | October 2, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

When did Sarah Palin choose to be stupid?

Posted by: Attucks | October 2, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think you need to read this post more carefully subbob, I highly doubt people choose to be gay. There is more and more evidence mounting that it is a predisposition. I have not met one person who chooses to be abused by their society, so I fundamentally disagree with your ridiculous and narrow-minded argument. Very sad you have to say such negative things.

Posted by: Lauren2 | October 2, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

ljaffee, thank you for demonstrating as clearly as anyone ever could, that a bigot with lots of letters after their name, is still a bigot, no more, no less. And reminding us that education does not necessarily make anyone smarter.

Funny you forgot the other conclusions that you COMPETENT psychoanalysts came to, before those pesky liberals politicized the profession:

Victims of abuse are mostly just hysterics lost in their fantasies;

most of us secretly wish to seduce one parent and kill the other;

women and other "lesser" races suffer hopelessly from chronic mental illness; basically, the only members of the species who have it together are (surprise surprise!) white men;

y'all didn't know all that? You can write your letter of thanks for those gems of wisdom to the American Psychoanalytic Association, and wish them well in their struggle against "liberal activist analysts" trying to prevent our return to the golden old days of white male supremacy.

Posted by: donpersons | October 2, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I take issue with her comment on global warming. "It does not matter what the cause is, we have to find a solution" ... That's a basic problem right there. Finding a solution without understanding the cause is short-sighted, and does not solve anything over the long term. It's like saying "Oh, I have a drip from the roof, so let me not see why it's happening, let me just put a bucket here to collect the water".

A candidate's thought process is what determines the decisions they make in running the country, and I don't see that.

Posted by: galmeida | October 2, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

It takes thought. Thinking about what we can discern of "gayness", talking to gay men and women, keeping our minds open to the meaning of what we see and hear gives rise to understanding what it means to be gay. One thing that it is clearly not is "lifestyle choice." It is discouraging to hear that term used by politicians and by people at large, because it denies the evidence before us. And this denial denies our fellow humans their dignity and our respect.

For ages, in a similar way, the popular belief about people with disabilities denied dignity and respect. We have come some way from those times in our society. I have asked myself and others if we can imagine a United States 100 years from now in which all loving couples are not allowed to marry. Given the ideals on which this republic was founded, I find that an impossible concept. The happiness of others has never diminished the lives of the rest of us. We should seek to do what is right, to dignify, to respect, to live up to the calling of our founding documents have sent out to all freedom loving people.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | October 2, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

My previous comment was: ljaffee | October 1, 2008 9:37 PM

After reading the subsequent comments of others, including one addressed specifically to mine, I find myself adding this postscript.

Most Gay/Lesbian rights supporters and near-all homosexuality-sufferers, themselves, treat homosexuality rather as Sarah Palin and Creationists and Intelligent Design believers treat evolution. (Sarah Palin said publically, twice, that she knows humans walked the Earth when dinosaurs did.)

I sympathize with those who want not to hurt homosexuals for their homosexuality and who empathize with homosexuals (most of whom have no choice because they will not or cannot find one of the very few psychotherapists capable of helping patients free themselves from homosexuality). But in the dross spewed in many or most comments here, I see the sorry effects of the kind of mass self-delusion one sees in the tripe of political correctness.

Except in some, but not all, very, very rare instances of physical anomaly (like hermaphroditism or a similar condition), homosexuality is neither a genetic predisposition nor a psychiatric disorder. But homosexuality IS a pathological symptom of a psychic illness. Homosexuality is not often a conscious choice, but it IS an unconscious (some would say subconscious) choice a warped character-structure makes.

For the rest, see my earlier post: ljaffee | October 1, 2008 9:37 PM .

Posted by: ljaffee | October 2, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Ijaffee:

You are dangerous. I hope you are no longer practising.
You come from an era that believed in the torture of electro shock therapy.

Scoff as much as you like. The fact is that there is no "choice" or "lifestyle choice". There is just acknowledging who you are or denying it. The latter is what leads to so many mental disabilities.

Statements like the one you make perpetuate mental illness.

Like the way she makes her views on "prolife" known Sarah Palin shows a lack of being able to put herself in the shoes of another mentally. That is empathy.

If Sarah Palin did that she would be on the barricades fighting for gay marriage. This would be because agree or not rights come first. In exactly the same way that one must defend the Irish Catholic if one is a Protestant or a Muslim. You may disagree but your claim to be a civilised society that protects its citizens must rise above disagreements.

Posted by: guytaur1 | October 2, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

TO: guytaur1 | October 2, 2008 7:22 PM

You would benefit from learning to read. Take a remedial reading course. Learn to pay attention to the details of actual statements. Read logically.

READ (rather than disregard or interpolate as your bias designs).

Had you READ my posts, you would know I abhor pill-pushers. So, too, you ought to infer that I abhor torturous and mind-numbing, emotion-flattening "remedies" like electroshock "therapy" -- any "treatment" other than deep, emotionally resonant psychotherapy (especially Orgonomy, but, if the practitioner is excellent, psychoanalysis).

You make assertions. But offer no reason or authority, certainly no evidentiary proof. Near-all your assertions are irrelevant to my points and position.

Then, you could not offer proof, because no valid material supports your view of homosexuality.

Her belly dreamt
that stiffening her limbs
could make her fly.

Copyright © 2007, ljaffee

Posted by: ljaffee | October 2, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

ljaffee:

I stated you come from an era of ECT Therapy. That remains the case.

As for the rest you are using outdated reasons to justify your bigotry and they speak for themselves so need no addressing from me.

You are the one trying to purport that the current policy of the American Pyschology Association is "politically motivated" Thus you have to argue it in the forums provided for that. I would assume that you have done this in the past. You did not win said arguments which is why the policy has changed.

This policy change came about with a recognition that it was causing more medically recognised mental health issues than it was solving. Since then more evidence has come to light and the whole "homosexuality is a mental disease" thing went the way of the "black man is better at physical activity but is not smart" theory. Both were a case of bigotry. If that is a Liberal Political Construct bring it on.

Homosexuality is not a "choice or even "lifestyle choice". Yes I repeat this but I think maybe some repetition might let it penetrate through your bigotry.

As has been pointed out above opposition to gay marriage comes from the Churches. Thus religion is being thrust into secular law. That could actaully be unconstitutional. The churches can refuse to be party to doing the marrying but they do not have an exclusive hold on marriage.

By the way I see no sign that the world is coming to an end in California, Spain or Britain with their gay marriages.

Remember your statement has been thoroughly repudiated by the American Pyschology Association.

Posted by: guytaur1 | October 2, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Choice v. Genetics is a red herring and not relevant to the question of whether a government of all people should provide the same rights to each and every one of them - for the good of all of them. Despite the current environment, we really do all fail or succeed together, and when we neglect the least amongst us or deny rights to those who are different, we will fail.

I can choose to be a member of a radical religious sect preaching the religious glory in the crime of murdering gay American citizens and still (1) expect to not be discriminated at work for those views, (2) expect to have my right to free speech protected and (3) expect to collect social security benefits paid in part by those gay citizens for a spouse I have have married a day ago, while gay citizens cannot expect the same protection for their partners of 10, 20, 30 , 40 or even 50 years.

Let's just assume being gay is choice. Do we deny an American citizen who makes that choice who has never preached in a crowd that murder is moral, who has paid taxes, social security taxes, and probably into a pension fund that supports the person who preaches for his murder the same rights because of that choice?

This is how we fail as a country.

I know for a fact that heterosexuality is a choice that gay people (whatever made them that way) have made because of hatred and social stigma. I know for a fact that that choice is corrosive and painful and often leads to mental illness.

Should we search out and deny these fake heterosexuals the special governmental rights provided by marriage?

If these fake (or real) heterosexuals choose to not produce more people should the special rights they have been granted as heterosexual people producers be rescinded?

Hopefully it is easy to understand the dangerous slippery slope of these rhetorical questions.

Personal feelings and religion have no place in the question of whether we as a civil society provide equal rights to all of our citizens so that they can all contribute equally to our success.

I personally believe and I think the science shows that some people are really gay or straight based on a genetic disposition, and that some people are gay or straight because they suffer from a psychological illness or trauma. It goes both ways. People are infinitely complex and fascinating and beautiful because of that complexity.

But my feelings or our inability as a society to sort out that complexity should never be used to deny anyone equal rights.

Copyright C. Toth 2008

Posted by: lionpost8 | October 2, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

TO: guytaur1 | October 2, 2008 8:12 PM

YOu do not coprehend the meaning of fact. YOur facts are false, some just false, others because they disregard or alter facts -- FACTS -- my posts present. You do not READ. You have no logic. Your posts try to dispute mine, but your posts bear nothing relevant to the propositions or facts my posts put. You do not understand presumptions or burdens of proof. YOu do not present reasoned, properly supported arguments. You blather empirically empty assertions.

I shall not answer you again. The effort would wase my time.

Posted by: ljaffee | October 2, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

TO: lionpost8 | October 2, 2008 9:41 PM

Your post is sensible, and sensitive, and empathic. But it bears a few flaws.

One flaw is its misconception of "right." No one has a "right" except law give it. No "right" exists a priori. And if a homosexual is given a legal right (really a privilege) of entering a same-sex marriage, he is given a right (really privilege) that is NOT equal to (but logically and factually different from) a heterosexual's right (privilege) of marrying a person of opposite sex.

Another flaw is that your first hypothetical is, now in the U.S., not possible. If a person advocates murder, the first amendment does not protect him. He could be prosecuted in one or another state. Also, the matter has no bearing on social security entitlement. And an employer could fire, with impunity, anyone who advocated such violence in the workplace or to fellow employees who complained against the advocacy.

Psychological complexity is not a sound premise either of giving or denying rights or privileges. No one understands, fully or very much, the mind of a psychopath, a very complex mind. But that obscurity and complexity do not pertain, themselves, to the matter of whether a psychopath is entitled to tender an insanity defense if he is tried for murder.

Posted by: ljaffee | October 2, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Governor Palin would understand gays better if she knew what it feels like to be gay. Why doesn't she choose to be gay for a day or two and find out what it's like? If she didn't enjoy being gay, she could always choose to change back.

Posted by: Alexis3 | October 2, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

TO: ljaffee

Thank you for your compliments.

I do not pretend to be an expert in psychology and I would expect the same from a fellow professional who is not a legal expert.

Your post is interally inconsistent in the area of your expertise and your legal analysis is not flawed it's just wrong.

You completely missed the nuance of my post and made connections that I was not attemting to make which have nothing to do with my point.

Obviously rights exist because they are codified through our legislative processes. What does this have to do with my point that such governmentally granted rights must, under the Constitution, be granted equally?

Your opinion that gay and straight marriage are logically and factually different, though you provide none of these facts or logic, is not responsive to anything I wrote.

Factual differences exist between many marriages. A marriage between a woman and man who choose to have children and between and man and a woman who chose to not have children are logically and factually different yet these factually disparate couples are granted the exact same rights.

In order to deny rights based on those differences there has to be a compelling state interest. Gender has been held in several states to not provide that compelling interest in the case of marriage. As logic and facts become more important than religious beliefs or imperfect science, this trend will continue.

On the other hand I can see making the case for denying marriage to certain straight people based on the following facts and logic.

A day old marriage between a man in jail who has divorced several women and been convicted of beating his children into murderous homophobic pshychopaths, is logically and facually different than a 17 year marriage between two women who have never been divorced and have adopted several special needs children and raised them to be lovely citizens are logically and factually different.

The monster in the former gets the rights, his day-old wife takes social security benefis from the responsible citizens who struggle because they are not granted the same financial protections, among many, many other rights.

Perhaps we need to reonsider just who we grant these special privileges to based on facts and logic and not on hatred and prejudice.

I apologize for being so harsh but you are just plain wrong on the state of First Amendment and Anti-Discrimination law in America. Pastors in churches across this country preach that homosexuals are evil and encourage violence. I have not seen the arrest reports or convictions.

These people sue employers for the right to engage in promoting these religious beliefs in the workplace. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. You are correct that the law offers some protections, and this is getting better every day, but you are completely wrong when you say these things cannot happen. They do. Legal protection is very, very difficult to access and the case law is all over the map so accessing legal protections is a hit or miss proposition depending on the jurisdiction.

I also did not say that rights should be granted based on psychological complexity. I said just the opposite.

You missed the point completely. I agree with you when you say that this should not be the basis for granting or denying rights but disagree with you when you say that it should in the case of gay citizens. My point was crystal clear and consistent so either you are purposefully missing the point or not reading very carefully.

You feel confident that you have psychological complexity all figured out when it comes to gay people but not the psychopath? Why not? You seem to base denying rights to gay citizens on your opinion that, having made the final determination on psychological complexity, they are mentally ill.

I'm a banking attorney so this in not my area of expertise but the last time I checked being mentally ill was not a basis for denying citizens rights unless they are dangerous.

Finally, while it has nothing to do with my post, psychological complexity and expert testimony from your colleagues who claim to have the key to understanding that complexity, is the absolutely a significant basis upon which and insanity defense can be taken.

I would have been interested in your points on my opinions concerning psychological complexity as this is your area of expertise, but at this point I am sure our dialogue will not advance anyone's understanding of this issue. It would appear that it will be more of the same... so with apologies to the readers I won't take the time to respond in the future to factual distortions and incorrect legal opinions.

Copyright 2008


Posted by: lionpost8 | October 3, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

To: lionpost8 | October 3, 2008 1:07 PM

I cannot discern surely whether you think I am a psychotherapist, a lawyer, or both. Your language suffers sloppy ambiguity. Also, your text misreads the texts of both your earlier post that was the subject of my earlier comment and also my earlier post that commented on yours.

I cannot spare the time and energy I would need to venture to present a detailed criticism of your post that is this comment's subject. So, I will out an easy way.

I am not a psychotherapist, though I have published in psychology and read much of the field, even all of Freud's work. I underwent a successful Orgonomic psychotherapy (the therapist world famous and the psychiatrist of many notable people who fly thousands of miles to receive his therapy), and my personal psychotherapeutic experience and many psychoanalytic and Orgonomic publications, together, showed me that homosexuality is what I described in the first two comments I posted here, in this thread.

I was a widely published and internationally respected law professor 26 years. Then I was a legal consultant of law firms that hired me freelance to solve problems that stymied their imaginations. My fiction and poetry are published, and my fiction has won awards.

Now, with those credentials as PART — PART — of my premise, I observe:

(1) Your law is woefully incorrect.

(2) Your legal analysis is immensely wanting.

(3) Your thought is sloppy as your language is.

(4) If your were my law student and presented a paper of the quality of your comment, I would flunk you.

(4) Therefore, I can offer you only one spare grace: Your heart bears some empathic sensitivity (but maybe because you, yourself, need much of the same from others). Am I inadequately empathic? No. Empathy is negative much as positive. (If I sense, empathically, the experience of a brutal psychopath, I cringe and hope his destruction.) Also, if I put myself (MY self) in your position, I feel desire that I receive a beneficial shaking up like the effect this message ought to bear you.

Posted by: ljaffee | October 3, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

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