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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 02/28/2011

What's with African American opposition to gay marriage in Maryland?

By Jonathan Capehart

Now that the Maryland state Senate has passed
a marriage equality bill
, the action shifts to the House of Delegates where support for and against the measure is almost evenly split. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, African American churches and lawmakers are figuring prominently in the opposition. And they are doing so with outdated and backward arguments that put them in the role of latter-day George Wallaces blocking the doors of marriage to committed gay and lesbian couples.

In his blog on the Maryland state senate debate of the bill, The Post's John Wagner wrote:

Sen. Joanne Benson (D-Prince George's) recalled her late father, a minister and "civil rights warrior," in explaining her intention to vote against the bill. Benson said she watched her father marry many people in their home and that she believes marriage should be reserved for people who can have children. "Two people of the same sex cannot produce children," Benson said.

Let me deal with the procreation argument first. As recently as last week, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder knocked down this flimsy excuse when they announced that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and would no longer defend it. See the last paragraph in the "Standard of Review" section of the Holder letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). And I suppose straight marriages involving childless couples are invalid and couples who can't or don't want to have children should be denied marriage licenses.

Then there is Benson's invocation of the Civil Rights movement. As if the fight for dignity, equity and fairness is the sole province of African Americans.

Civil rights hero and Medal of Freedom winner Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has continuously and vocally made the link between the Civil Rights movement and the struggle of gay men and lesbians against inequality, discrimination and second-class citizenship. During the 1996 House debate over the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Lewis gave an impassioned floor speech.

You cannot tell people they cannot fall in love. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to say when people talked about interracial marriage and I quote, `Races do not fall in love and get married. Individuals fall in love and get married.' Why do you not want your fellow men and women, your fellow Americans to be happy? Why do you attack them? Why do you want to destroy the love they hold in their hearts? Why do you want to crush their hopes, their dreams, their longings, their aspirations? We are talking about human beings, people like you, people who want to get married, buy a house, and spend their lives with the one they love. They have done no wrong.

Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP and another front-line soldier in the civil rights movement, is in complete agreement. In a 2008 interview with me for PBS's "In The Life," Bond called the marriage a civil right that should be open to all.

It seems to me the right to be married is a civil right. And I believe civil rights ought to be extended to everybody. Who ought not have these rights? What category of people ought not have these rights? I can't think of one. I've been married twice and I know...what the benefits are.

Rev. Al Sharpton made his support for marriage equality known during his run for president in 2004. He slammed California's Proposition 8 in a powerful sermon in Atlanta in 2009. And he supports the effort now underway to bring marriage equality to New York State.

If these three giants in the black community and in the civil rights movement can be so forceful, clear and impassioned in their support for marriage equality, why can't black lawmakers in Maryland get there?

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 28, 2011; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Mr. Capehart,

What a crock! Al Sharpton a "civil rights leader?" Where is that man's church?

AG Holder is just carrying water for the President. Both of them are cowards.

If you cannot understand why Black Churches and elected officials are not backing this legislation, you need to ask yourself are you Black?

John Mcaluney
Long Beach Ca

Posted by: jmmjr49er | February 28, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart,

What a crock! Al Sharpton a "civil rights leader?" Where is that man's church?

AG Holder is just carrying water for the President. Both of them are cowards.

If you cannot understand why Black Churches and elected officials are not backing this legislation, you need to ask yourself are you Black?

John Mcaluney
Long Beach Ca

Posted by: jmmjr49er | February 28, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

THE DEVIL IS ALSO A GIANT!!!

Posted by: nakiberu | February 28, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

THE DEVIL IS ALSO A GIANT!!!

Posted by: nakiberu | February 28, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Capehart,

What a crock! Al Sharpton a "civil rights leader?" Where is that man's church?

AG Holder is just carrying water for the President. Both of them are cowards.

If you cannot understand why Black Churches and elected officials are not backing this legislation, you need to ask yourself are you Black?

John Mcaluney
Long Beach Ca"

What a backward, ignorant, hostile person you are. "are you black?" What an idiotic, bigoted, narrow minded thing to say. You are both laughable and disturbing at the same time.

Posted by: bugsybun | February 28, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Re your remark: "Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, African American churches and lawmakers are figuring prominently in the opposition. And they are doing so with outdated and backward arguments that put them in the role of latter-day George Wallaces blocking the doors of marriage to committed gay and lesbian couples."

Mr. Capehart, I am saddened, but not surprised, that you would sink to such depths in your fanatic advocacy of sexual deviance. Your smarmy comparison of African American proponents of traditional male-female marriage (which is the only kind we've had in Western Civilization until the recent attempts to undermine it in the public square) to the racist segegrationist Alabama governor in the 1960s is little more than a scurrilous variation on what the political philosopher Leo Strauss scorned as the "reductio ad Hitlerum"--the hasty and facile invocation of Hitler and the Third Reich to denounce the character of one's political enemies.

Your very uncivil, hysterical resort to a "reductio ad Wallacem" gimmick betrays the glaring weakness of your "argument."

If you had any sense of shame, you would issue a retraction and apology to those African Americans in the great state of Maryland whom you have grievously and gratuitously offended. I suspect, however, that you fully intended to inflict such a personal wound.

Posted by: retiredcolonel | February 28, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I live in California, and here the African-American community strongly supported Prop 8. Basically, it's a family thing, and no one buys the idiotic, completely invalid comparison of this pitiful push for the acceptance of the gay lifestyle to the very real struggle of African-Americans for basic Civil Rights, like the right to vote, own property, etc. That was real. This push for so-called "gay rights" is more akin to a two-year old stomping his feet and holding his breath until mom caves in and lets him do whatever he wants, just to shut him up. A vote that succumbs to a "heckler's veto" like this would be unacceptable.

The House of Delegates needs to understand that the voters of Maryland DO NOT want same-sex marriage imposed on them. They also need to get it that there is a very real reason why the voters in every state where they have been allowed to vote on this issue, have said NO to same-sex marriage. There is a deep understanding of the true value and importance to our country and our society of one-man, one-woman marriage and the families they nurture.

The House of Delegates also needs to see what just happened in New Hampshire. After imposing gay marriage on their state, the voters turned their entire legislature from Democrate to Republican. In large part, this was because of the corrupt methods their legislature used to impose gay marriage on them. And they also need to look at what happened in Maine, with their "people's veto" of same-sex marriage, and in Iowa, where they refused to reinstate three of the judges who imposed same-sex marriage on their state.

Clearly, this is just not something the voters want imposed on them. If anything, they want to make this choice for themselves, by their own vote at the ballot box. I hope the Delegates won't make the voters go through the repeal process they way they are in New Hampshire and Iowa, and that they will allow them to put this on a ballot and let the voters make the decision for themselves about the definition of marriage they want the state to adopt.

Posted by: klgrube | February 28, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Maryland deserves praise for moving this initiative thus far...here's hoping the bill becomes LAW

Posted by: fairness3 | February 28, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The whole "gays can't produce kids" is patently false.

One argument against using stem cells from zygotes is that we can use stem cells from adults.

You know what else those *adult* stem cells can become? Sperm and eggs. So now gay couple *can* have kids just as easily as the in vitro fertilization technique allows infertile couples to have children.

Science trumps religion, yet again! (it's not fully developed yet but the science is already proving it is possible)

Posted by: rpixley220 | February 28, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Marriage is good for the citizenry (overall). Two consenting committed adults want to get married, so collect the fee for the marriage license -- congratulations and good luck to you both.

I got married almost 20 years ago in a courthouse--the IRS regards me as married. I imagine there are plenty of religious people who would agree that I am legally married--but have some sort of reservations about it.

Religious trappings are not a necessary component prior to issuing a marriage license to any heterosexual couple, either. It clearly didn't stop the ceremony in my case.

Posted by: Skowronek | February 28, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Maryland deserves praise for moving this initiative thus far...here's hoping the bill becomes LAW

Posted by: fairness3 | February 28, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Whether the opponent is black or not is not terribly relevant, except insofar as it points to certain characteristics of a people marked by faith. I don't get the sense that Mr. Capeheart is very big into that, but I'm afraid that is necessary in order to piece this all together. The Civil Rights struggle, though very secularly named, was not one engaged in strictly secular ways. Indeed, the dominant energy underlying it from the perspective of blacks in America was Christ, and still is essentially Christ. The erosion caused by neglect and the poisons of lexicon notwithstanding, Civil Rights -- to a community that came about them via a faithful perseverance not seen elsewhere in time (save, arguably, in India) -- is as tied to faith as it is to political results. Political results are for an earthly lifetime, at best. They're transient, sadly. But the lifetime of those who love Christ is everlasting. That may be something one scoffs at, it may not be. But it is so for many who feel the spirit of that struggle. Thus, the question for the Christian African-American proponent of Civil Rights isn't one of hatred or repulsion of persons who are different; rather, it is an issue of whether, considering the rather clear message in Paul's letters that homosexuality is not to be abided in the Body of Christ (i.e., the "Church"), one can support it as a matter of one's secular relationships. It is a very, very hard question having nothing to do with invidiousness. And no, it is NOT indistinguishable from the questions involving miscegenation and integration. Nowhere is it stated in the New Testament that blacks are inferior beings. Nowhere does it state that blacks can or can't marry whomever and still be in the Body of Christ. Yet, it is fairly clear that is the case regarding our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. So, if the issue is marriage -- which involves the Body of Christ -- then the Christian probably cannot get his arms around it. If the issue is Civil Union, which can have all the needed ties that bind, then I would think one's Christian commitment is not at issue in signing on.

Mr. Capeheart, please try not to reject this out of hand as yet another unintelligent response about God, sodomites or whatever. It's not. If you could find a responsible way to address this, you might actually open this conversation in real ways. Find a way to address Paul, so Christians don't lose their main post-Christ guide.

Posted by: tcmarcus | February 28, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I would ask some of these so-called "religious" folk what kind of religion do they practice---most of it could be characterized as anything but relgion.

Posted by: fairness3 | February 28, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Not a single person commenting so far who are critical of Capehart's position has or can offer any reasonable rebuttal other than "how dare you"
Your closed minded hatred and bigotry is astounding. Not get your black asses to the back of the bus and stop polluting my water fountains. Pass me a robe and a cross, there's work to be done. Dam uppity blacks, oops, I mean gays.

Posted by: dem4life1 | February 28, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The reason why there has been no "rebuttal" is because Capehart makes no logical argument. He merely says, "look, prominent black say you should support gay marriage, so get in line." So, the responses here are, "look, how dare you tell us to get in line in such a pretentious, self-aggrandizing manner. We will do what our conscience tells us, and that is marriage between one man and one woman." Such an outraged rebuttal is fitting to such an outrageously flimsy argument.

Posted by: jonswitzer | February 28, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart's fatuous reasoning:

Fatuous reasoning number 1:

" And I suppose straight marriages involving childless couples are invalid and couples who can't or don't want to have children should be denied marriage licenses."

The state issues marriage licenses to males and females to marry, because of their procreative potential. The marriage protects the status of the woman and any resulting children. It would be beyond the capacity of the law to invade any couple's privacy to ask about their intent or medical condition. Mr. Capehart knows this but uses this fatuous argument, because he has no other way to attack the heterosexual core of marriage that has never changed.
Fatuous resoning number 2:

"You cannot tell people they cannot fall in love. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to say when people talked about interracial marriage and I quote, `Races do not fall in love and get married. Individuals fall in love and get married.' Why do you not want your fellow men and women, your fellow Americans to be happy?"

Martin Luther King was attacking the use of marriage, as it has been understood throughout history, to reinforce racial segregation in the US. Skin color has nothing to do with marriage. Interracial marriage has been occuring since the beginning of recorded history. Gender differences have been at the core of marriage since the beginning of recorded history.

Fatuous reasoning number 3:

"Rev. Al Sharpton made his support for marriage equality known during his run for president in 2004. He slammed California's Proposition 8 in a powerful sermon in Atlanta in 2009. And he supports the effort now underway to bring marriage equality to New York State."

Anyone who understands Rev. Sharpton's role in the Tawana Brawley case should be ashamed of using him to foster any case at all for same sex marriage. The good Rev. is a proven demagogue.

Come on Mr. Capehart, you can do better than this. You have presented no reasons at all for changing the definition of marriage in MD or anywhere else.


Posted by: captn_ahab | February 28, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I also live in California and post election analysis said that many African Americans did not understand Prop 8, felt they were lied to by Black religious leaders who were paid by the Mormon and Catholic operatives to campaign on behalf of Prop 8. Prop 8 only passed by four percentage points and polls say if it was on the ballot today, it would probably lose. The comedians joke about whether gays really want the right to get married, given the high divorce race and the dysfunction that we have seen with the marriages of Charlie Sheen, Tiger, South Carolina Gov. Stanford and the congressman who just resigned after getting busted sans shirt looking for dates on Craig's List. For every celebrity who gets divorced or have marriage problems, there are 100 average American couples going through the same thing. I don't understand the argument of the "true value and importance to our country and our society of one-man, one-woman marriage and the families they nurture" given the 60% divorce rate and the many problems associated with one-man one woman marriage. Gay relationships, and gay marriage has not created any of the problems with traditional marriage and would not affect traditional marriage. I have no problems with traditional marriage but it is not the solution to the country's social ills, just as gay marriage is not the cause of America's social problems. As they say, if you don't like same sex marriage, don't get married to someone of the same sex, but don't prohibit people who do to get married to someone of the same sex because you don't like it.

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Capehart,
You are obviously intelligent and well-educated which must be the reason you support 'gay' marriage. As George Orwell said 'There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.'
As a black man, you must realize that there is a difference between being born with dark skin and engaging in 'gay' sex. One is a trait and the other a behavior. There is no reason society need to elevate nor even accept 'gay' sexual behavior. That is not a civil rights issue and has nothing to do with MLK.

Posted by: bruce18 | February 28, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Black or gay? Black or gay? Poor Capehart is torn between two alligiences, which way will he lean?
Answer - gay! What's wrong with those blacks in Maryland? Just "outdated and backward"?

Pity he isn't bothered by President Obama and AG Eric Holder "announcing" that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Guess we can get rid of that pesky Supreme Court.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 28, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@bruce18 wrote:
"There is no reason society need to elevate nor even accept 'gay' sexual behavior. "
.
You're right, there's no need for society to care *at all* about what 2 people do in the privacy of their bedroom. Marriage is not about sex as any married person will surely tell you :)

Posted by: rpixley220 | February 28, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Most of the comments on here AGAINST so called same sex “marriage”, ARE TOO INTELLIGENT AND LOGICAL for the likes of capehart’s, the rest of his homo friends’, and their advocates’ thought processes, that compel them to push the so called same sex “marriage” STUFF on A VERY RELUCTANT populace that has VOTED IN OVER 30 STATES TO KEEP THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE AS BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN!!!

Posted by: nakiberu | February 28, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"The marriage protects the status of the woman and any resulting children."

Watch this: "Marriage protects the status of both spouses and any resulting children."

How easy, how simple, how even-handed.

Posted by: Skowronek | February 28, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

So let's see.

You have your "my religion should be the secular law" argument, which, taken to its logical end, would mean that Hinduism should be banned (the 1st commandment trumping those pesky ol' Constitutional rights) and the state should execute uppity kids and astrologers, as per Yahweh's commands. And as though 1 in 6 Americans isn't particularly religious at all, and for whom the "marriage is the Body of Christ" argument is as relevant as the whims of Zeus.

You have your "my oppression is greater than your oppression argument," as though the fact that African-Americans' great-great-great grandparents were slaves gives them a hammerlock on the civil rights movement. And as though the black rights movement was not only about "the right to vote, the right to own property, etc." but also the rights not be discriminated against in employment and housing, pretty big et ceteras, and rights not ensured to GLBT people by many of these United States. As though there's a difference between being killed by Klansmen and being killed by gangs of gay-bashers.

And you have your paleolithic "you're all a bunch of deviates" argument, one that's been promulgated by such lovely folks as George Rekers, Ted Haggard, and Larry Craig. Anyway, plenty of straight sadomasochists, voyeurs, and fetishists get to marry. Clearly, sexual "normalcy" isn't a requirement for hets to wed.

The fact remains that a disturbing number of African-Americans, while invoking the legacy of King, would like to condemn men like Bayard Rustin, who organized King's march, to second-class citizenship. And then get all shirty when anyone gay - including gay African Americans - complains.

The Big Encouraging Fact is that all polls show that anti-gay attitudes are decreasing, and decreasing quickly. And meanwhile, my boyfriend and I are deliriously happy with each other...and loving well is the best revenge.

Posted by: mishi69 | February 28, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Most of the comments on here AGAINST so called same sex “marriage”, ARE TOO INTELLIGENT AND LOGICAL for the likes of capehart’s, the rest of his homo friends’, and their advocates’ thought processes, that compel them to push the so called same sex “marriage” STUFF on A VERY RELUCTANT populace that has VOTED IN OVER 30 STATES TO KEEP THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE AS BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN!!!

Posted by: nakiberu | February 28, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Not one single state has voted in gay marriage with an actual voter referendum. In every case it has been rejected.
Where it is mandated it has been installed through judicial or legislative fiat.

Calling a gay union a "marriage" is like calling a fish a bird.

Posted by: spamsux1 | February 28, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, now. Capehart never called those Maryland blacks "uppity". He only said they were backwards and outdated.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 28, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, one other thing. The vast preponderance of households show that kids raised by same-sex couples do at least as well as those raised by het couples. So all this "self-evident superiority of hetero families" stuff is just bigoted nonsense posing as common sense. Unless you believe that some 16-year-old who's been forced into marriage because she got knocked up by her second cousin will de facto be a better parent than a person who has gone to a great deal of care and planning to become a mom or pop.

You want to preserve the het nuclear family? Ban divorce. As the Pope will happily tell you, it's right there in your Bible.

Posted by: mishi69 | February 28, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

the difference is: are we a democracy or a theocracy? all of these writers hauling out the tired old arguments about God and the Bible conveniently overlook the institution of slavery - sanctioned in the Bible! and the pro-creation argument? Specious and irrelevant - people in their 70's get married! Finally, the people should vote on it and the majority rules - sigh...if this was the case, women and blacks wouldn't have been able to vote for years, nor would blacks and whites have been able to marry. I yearn for the day when we will fully fund education so that the populace would truly be able to critically and rationally think these things through - but better to have ignorance, i guess, because an uneducated public is easier to manipulate and control!

Posted by: jamiemchugh | February 28, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Dr. King did say that discrimination against one is discrimination against all. Dr. King had more insight of the plight of gays in this country than many people may realize. One of Dr. King's top aides, Baynard Rustin was gay. Rustin was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. King knew Rustin was gay, as a minister had no problem with Rustin's sexuality. King refused to consider Rustin's request to step aside from organizing the March over concerns Rustin had of the chance he might be outed. Dr. King was very ahead of the curve on the civil rights movement in comparison to most Black ministers, who saw King as very radical and did not support King's leadership of the Civil Rights movement. The relationship between King, the pastors who supported him and mainstream Black ministers was so strained that King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as an alternative to the Southern Baptist Convention, the primary Black Baptist organization. Given Dr. King's association with an gay aide in the 1950s, Dr. King probably would not be joining the ministers condemning gay marriage.

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The black church has bigger fish to fry than same sex marriage. Too many of the nations institutions are spending much too much time and effort on fringe issues for the societies real issues/problems. What's the churches solutions for addressing high unemployment and the ever growing drop out right in the black community. I'm tired of all the pointer outers where are the doers around here.

Posted by: snake_taylor | February 28, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1:
Which of your civil rights can we vote on hmm? Referendums also said slavery was good if you check your history.

Posted by: rpixley220 | February 28, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Also here in California in the 1960s voters approved a measure repealing a law outlawing housing discrimination in California. The measure passed by a 2/3 margin but was overturned by the courts. It goes to show that just because the majority, or even supermajority of voters want something doesn't make it right.

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart, Perhaps it's because the Black Community can't be banbozzled by the whole victimhood thing..that poor homosexuals should be encouraged to parade around in their high heels and swish and collect offal. Perhaps it's because they, like the vast majority of Americans everywhere, view this behavior as unnatural, devient, perverse, and destructive.

The President has decided to foist his gay experiment onto the military. What a cop out and what a way to attack an institution he, as a "progressive," hates. But that does not mean the people, state voters, everywhere are going to rubber stamp his declaration that gays are victims, even if he declares himself Qaddafi-like omnipotent and believes, states openly, that he can now rule by decree, US Congress and SCOTUS be damned.

Posted by: wjc1va | February 28, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Civil rights aren't just for black African-Americans. It means women are entitled to their civil rights, persons of all nationalities are entitled to their civil rights, and - yes - gays are entitled to theirs. Civil rights are those you are entitled to simply because you are a human being and, as such, have worth. That's what my church teaches me. If marriage is a civil right, then all persons are tntitled to that same civil right.

Posted by: Ruthiedke | February 28, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

wjc1va wrote "...that poor homosexuals should be encouraged to parade around in their high heels and swish and collect offal. Perhaps it's because they, like the vast majority of Americans everywhere, view this behavior as unnatural, devient, perverse, and destructive."

Mardi Gras and spring break are coming up next weekend, where hetrosexuals will parade around in high heels, swish and collect offal on Bourbon Street, South Beach and Key West. Do the vast majority of Americans everwhere view this behavior as "unnatural, devient, perverse and destructive?"

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm white, live in a majority black neighborhood, and am subject to rudeness and incivility every day because of my color. I do not respond in kind because I believe human beings are too complex for generalizations but no amount of persecution endured by one's particular ethnic group tends to foster sympathy with other embattled minorities. There are ignorant people of every race, color, and creed, just as there are good-hearted humanists of every stripe.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | February 28, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@rpixley220
"Which of your civil rights can we vote on hmm? Referendums also said slavery was good if you check your history."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Then why not polygamy and polyandry? Brother-sister? What about those "civil rights"?

Posted by: spamsux1 | February 28, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The fundamentalist Christian lifesytle is abhorrent, abnormal, disgusting, and completely ammoral.

Therefore, fundamentalist Christian marriage should be outlawed!

Duh.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Great column, Capehart!

Posted by: sbdc2 | February 28, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I marched and fought for African-American rights many, many years ago.

But their desire to spit in my face today as a gay man does not make me regret having done so.

However, they should be aware that they are doing the same thing to gay citizens that was done to them so many years ago ~ the denial of one's humanity.

Posted by: BillJ4321 | February 28, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Opponents of marriage, a civil and contractual matter in the US?

Some folks confuse marriage with their religions and gods..too bad..

Stop being marriage cops guys...

Cheers, Joe Mustich,
CT Justice of the Peace.

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 28, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It is hard for me to belive that us as black people have not learned that we cannot be free unless we all are free. Where did we get the notion that our gay brothers and sisters are not children of GOD !!! Well where ever you got it from you need to give it back.

Posted by: jillrocks2011 | February 28, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

... and "unnatural, devient [sic], perverse, and destructive".

Pardon the omission.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, Mr. Capehart! African-American preachers, bishops, and snake oil soapbox salesmen can now join the ranks of White Churchmen and the founding fathers who had no problem demanding their own freedoms while trampling on the liberties of others. It's backassward, ignorant and bigoted. Every African-American gay person in a church in Maryland that denounces them should stand up on their two legs this Sunday and walk out. Take your money with you and go somewhere that affirms you.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | February 28, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, make it legal so then there is no way you could legally stop them from adopting little boys...for...uh...well...maybe Sharia Law has a point!?!?

Posted by: snowbucks | February 28, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it odd that heterosexual couples don't want to get married but homosexual couples do?

Seems to me we ought to separate the religious aspect from the legal. Call the civil union a "one plus one" so that they have express legal rights as a unit. Shouldn't an 80-y.o. man be allowed to contract with a 25-y.o. woman to share their responsibilities and assets?

Then let the various religious groups define marriage any way they want to.

Remember, what makes people legally married is not the religious ceremony but the signing of the marriage certificate.

Posted by: MrBethesda | February 28, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

John Mcaluney,
It's not your world anymore old man. The new generation is coming and gay marriage will be legal across the nation. Do you really want to be that stubborn old white guy who never let go of the N-word?
The constitution is the document of the land, not the Bible. Everyone under it's protection is entitled to respect and equality. You should learn to live up to that not your Book that tells you who to hate.

Posted by: madest | February 28, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: spamsux1:
"Then why not polygamy and polyandry? Brother-sister? What about those "civil rights"?"

=========

spamsux1,

Yes let's have those debates also but since they are all very different proposals, we should debate them one at a time, each according to their own merits.

Right now we're just discussing the merits of gay marriage. The others will just have to wait their turn!

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

It is not that hard at all to fathom the black community...on the one hand almost 70% of all babies born to black women don't have a father married to their mother...on the other hand over half of all babies conceieved by black women are aborted...and on the third hand ( I know, we run out of hands), the community is strongly anti-gay marriage.

Seems like the Black community is simply against marriage, period! I wouldn't care, but the ones to suffer are the kids. It is always the kids who suffer the most when a society loses its' glue.

Posted by: BridgePerspective | February 28, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

It is not that hard at all to fathom the black community...on the one hand almost 70% of all babies born to black women don't have a father married to their mother...on the other hand over half of all babies conceieved by black women are aborted...and on the third hand ( I know, we run out of hands), the community is strongly anti-gay marriage.

Seems like the Black community is simply against marriage, period! I wouldn't care, but the ones to suffer are the kids. It is always the kids who suffer the most when a society loses its' glue.

Posted by: BridgePerspective | February 28, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan,
African American unemployment exceeds 20% in some area. Proposed budget cuts will disproportionatley hurt African Americans.
The infant mortality rate is twice that of Whites. It would be good to see you and the President spend more time on this issue.
A stronger African American ecomony will make a stronger American economy. It will also help couples stay together.

Regarding gay marriage and have taken the racist assumption that African Americans and only African Americans oppose gay marriage. The truth you have African American for, against, and indifferent about gay marriage. The same goes for every other group. Not all gays want gay marriage to be legalized.

The good news is that if you want to get married no one is going to arrest you can get married toning. Some churches allow gays to get married in church, or you can get married outside church. Invite the family and friends. You can live where you want.

Posted by: uniteusnow | February 28, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

To those opposing gay marriage and disagreeing with Capehart's argument: how does it hurt you?

Will you have to get divorced as a result? Surely you don't think the only reason your spouse stays with you is because he/she can't marry someone of the same sex.

If gays can marry, has your religion been somehow disproved? Surely your faith is stronger than that.

Legalizing gay marriage will improve the lives of many Americans while harming none. It embraces the conservative principle that married couples are better for society than promiscuous daters and that married parents are better for children than single parents.

What harm do you expect to endure? There must be something--look at all the energy spent by opponents of same sex marriage--but I can't figure it out.

Posted by: nicholasgrossman | February 28, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The black community will never progress in this country if they continue to be used and abused by the religious right.
It is simply lack of education and ignorance.
As everyone knows, gays have suffered just as much if not more than blacks so to compare them is logical and just.
Gays were killed in WW2 by the thousands just for being gay. How many blacks were kileld fo rbeing black? None.
Gays are denied righst based on religion-same way blacks were denied rights by religious reasoning.
No one believes gays chosoe to be gay-if that were true, there would be no gays.
All "ex" gays attest that they NEVER lose same sex attraction-they just suppress it-further proof that orientation is innate.
Stop hating, black bigots-you cant win and you only destroy yourself. You do knwo that if majority voted on interracial marriage, it would be illegal in most states up until 1993!
Hate destroys. God is fo rthe gays-He asdvances equality eveyr day.
With or without you, bigots-join equality for all or perish-up to you.

Posted by: Amalgamate | February 28, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

The black community will never progress in this country if they continue to be used and abused by the religious right.
It is simply lack of education and ignorance.
As everyone knows, gays have suffered just as much if not more than blacks so to compare them is logical and just.
Gays were killed in WW2 by the thousands just for being gay. How many blacks were killed for being black? None.
Gays are denied rights based on religion-same way blacks were denied rights by religious reasoning.
No one believes gays chosoe to be gay-if that were true, there would be no gays.
All "ex" gays attest that they NEVER lose same sex attraction-they just suppress it-further proof that orientation is innate.
Stop hating, black bigots-you cant win and you only destroy yourself. You do know that if majority voted on interracial marriage, it would be illegal in most states up until 1993!
Hate destroys. God is for the gays-He asdvances equality every day.
With or without you, bigots-join equality for all or perish-up to you.

Posted by: Amalgamate | February 28, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@ wjc1va "Perhaps it's because they, like the vast majority of Americans everywhere, view this behavior as unnatural, devient, perverse, and destructive."

Actually, I hate to bust your bigoted little bubble, but a majority of Americans, growing "vaster" all the time, are OK with gay relationships, gays in the military, and a sizable and growing number approve of same-sex marriage. Turn off Fox for a second and check the Gallup polls if you don't believe me. You can stamp your little feet and hold your breath till you turn blue, but that won't make your pinched little hate-filled worldview one little bit less pathetic.

Better luck next life.

Posted by: mishi69 | February 28, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"What harm do you expect to endure? There must be something--look at all the energy spent by opponents of same sex marriage--but I can't figure it out."
___________________________


First, there was no fault divorce. How was that going to affect your marriage if you didn't want to get divorced? However,it did affect marriage,... and divorce.

Then there was a general social acceptance of just living together without getting married. How was that going to affect your marriage? However, it did affect marriage.

Then there was the social acceptance of out of wedlock births by single women. How was that going to affect your marriage? However, it did affect marriage.

Now we are going to change the fundamental definition of marriage? How would that affect your marriage? However,....

We don't live as isolated islands. We are all part of an inter-related society. Changing the definiton of a fundamental social insitution affects everyone.

Posted by: captn_ahab | February 28, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"We don't live as isolated islands. We are all part of an inter-related society. Changing the definiton of a fundamental social insitution affects everyone." -captn_ahab

How?

Posted by: nicholasgrossman | February 28, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@ captn_ahab

I can't quite follow your reasoning. You're saying that because you heteros have made such a botch out of what you guys keep saying is a wonderful, natural, god-given institution, gays shouldn't be allowed to marry?

Sure, Cap, changes in divorce laws made it easier to get unhitched, and perhaps people would be better off if more of them were trapped in loveless, emotionally unfulfilling relationships. (The way Herman Melville and his wife were.) But there's a difference between "your marriage" and "marriage as an institution." Assuming you're married, how would my marriage change YOURS (as you implied)? Please, by all means, be specific. Are we to take it that, should it be legal, you'd dump the wifie, go find Queequeg, get hitched, and run off to some tropical isle together?

Posted by: mishi69 | February 28, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"We don't live as isolated islands. We are all part of an inter-related society. Changing the definiton of a fundamental social insitution affects everyone." -captn_ahab

How?

____________________

1. It says that procreation and the mother father relationship with children is not the primary focus of marriage.

2. It suggests that the primary function of marriage is not to bring the opposite sexes together to form a basic family unit.

3. It further reinforces the idea that the primary focus of marriage is exclusively the romantic/sexual attraction between any two consenting adults. This further weakens the responsibility of married men and women to their children.

3. Changing the definiton of gender complementarity within marriage suggests that the definition of marriage could be changed again to accomodate other romantic relationships between adults, e.g. polygamy, polyandry etc.

Posted by: captn_ahab | February 28, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

capt_ahab,

Seems like all of those examples would be affected positively by expanding the definition of marriage to include gays and lesbians.

Still you failed to explain exactly how changing the legal definition of marriage will affect marriage? Expanding access to marriage might actually strengthen the institution?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I guess two gay guys marrying is a bigger threat to marriage than 70% of African-American children being born out of wedlock.

One source estimates that 70% of African-American children are born out of wedlock and, according to the 2010 Census, the percentage of African-American children living with both parents is 38%.

I would think that the leaders of black churches would be more concerned with decreasing those statistics - and forcing men to marry the women they impregnate - than to use so much time, energy and money to block the ability of two people who actually want to marry to do so.

Very odd priorities.

Posted by: jeffdc1 | February 28, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@ captn-ahab "1. It says that procreation and the mother father relationship with children is not the primary focus of marriage."

For many married couples who are childless by choice that's already true. I'm not sure how that's harmful, however, unless you view breeding as a good in and of itself.

And as far as the ol' straw dog polygamy goes...hey, Bible-thumpers, if it was good enough for anointed-by-Yahweh King Solomon, what's the problemo? Not to mention that "gender complementarity" and strict gender roles are precisely what you'll find in most polygamous societies, like Strict Muslim countries, renegade Mormon outposts, etc., where male supremacy is a founding tenet.

Seems to me that if you're worried about the good of the children, providing good health care, enough to eat, and incomes high enough so both parents aren't forced to work are a lot more vital than making divorces tougher. But hey, I'm gay - what do I know?

Posted by: mishi69 | February 28, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1 wrote:
"Then why not polygamy and polyandry? Brother-sister? What about those "civil rights"?"
.
Any idea why polygamy is illegal? oh yeah, religious zealotry made it illegal. Sounds sorta familiar doesn't it? Incest has actual physically damaging properties related to procreation; it's bad for genetics and hence has been discouraged throughout eternity.
.
One of the arguments against gay marriage is that it's always been man and woman, polygamy is just as old as 'traditional' marriage if not older.
.
There's a *huge* difference comparing a 2 parent household and a 3+ parent household. I'm not saying we shouldn't allow 3+ parent households, but there's oodles of data to suggest that a 2 parent system is optimal. Heck even the religious zealots say that single parents aren't as good as 2. Does that mean they feel 3 would be better?

Posted by: rpixley220 | February 28, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

The captain needs to be keelhauled.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 28, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Why can't black legislators support gay marriage?

First, just because you are a minority of color doesn't mean you are a minority on sex. Men are men and women are women. Anyone who is the subject of discrimination on one point can, in turn, discriminate against others on another point.

Second, the black community, in general, cannot properly deal with the issue of sex. This is not something I understand (I'm white), except that religion plays a fundamental role in how sexual issues are discussed and handled.

I think whites, in general, are more likely to be diverse on the point of religion (to include atheism) and are more likely to be progressive on various social issues that normally have ties to a very conservative religion. For blacks, the church is a source of identity and support in the community and it is difficult to for blacks to express dissent from their church leaders and brethren.

From what I have witnessed in my 40 years on the planet, religion restricts (often in an attempt to prohibit) intellectual and social development and progress. Since blacks are far more tied to their churches than whites, it seems obvious to me why blacks have a difficult time breaking from the bonds of the fundamentalist religious teachings that they have consumed for the past 200 years.

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

"Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, African American churches and lawmakers are figuring prominently in the opposition. And they are doing so with outdated and backward arguments that put them in the role of latter-day George Wallaces blocking the doors of marriage to committed gay and lesbian couples."
***************************************
Outdated arguments? You show your bias and stupidity too easily. Since the recorded history of the human race, marriage has been between a man and a woman because only a man and a woman can procreate in a stable environment suitable for raising and developing children.

Oh, I forgot, Rev Sharpton knows more than thousands of years of wisdom. BTW, when was Eric Holder appointed to the Supreme Court? I must have missed that. DOMA is the law of the land, and Holder took an oath to defend the law, not to pick and choose only those he likes.

Posted by: delusional1 | February 28, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@cornetmustich and nicholasgrossman: YAY! I like your posts.
@ captn_ahab: You still have not explained how your three points will HURT YOU PERSONALLY OR YOUR MARRIAGE.
1. I am married, have no children. The function of marriage was to join two people together and form a family.
2. I don't see how allowing two people of the same sex to marry weakens the responsibility of ANY adult to their children. One has nothing to do with the other...there are PLENTY of married adults who are not responsible parents.
3. Are they asking YOU to join their orgy?

Posted by: CTwildheart | February 28, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

captn_ahab, thank you for responding. Unfortunately, you haven't answered my original question about how you or I would be personally harmed by gay marriage. You offered a number of abstractions, but did not connect them to any actual benefit or harm.

How would legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex, who can already legally raise children and legally have sex in private, harm me? How does it harm you? I'm looking over your list of potential implications of changing the definition of marriage, and trying to figure out how any of that affects me in any way. If gays are allowed to marry, do you intend to shirk your responsibilities to your spouse or children? Based on the importance you place on familial responsibility, I think you probably wouldn't, so perhaps you could clarify how you or I would be directly affected.

Posted by: nicholasgrossman | February 28, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's address your claims.

1. "It says that procreation and the mother father relationship with children is not the primary focus of marriage."

No it doesn't. It just expands that purpose to include gays and lesbians who can also procreate and be mothers and fathers to their children.

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

2. "It suggests that the primary function of marriage is not to bring the opposite sexes together to form a basic family unit."

No it doesn't. It just expands the primary function to include gay and lesbian families also. Besides, the vast majority of marriages will still conform to the old standard, (i.e. bringing the opposite sexes together to form a basic family unit).

-----------

3. "It further reinforces the idea that the primary focus of marriage is exclusively the romantic/sexual attraction between any two consenting adults. This further weakens the responsibility of married men and women to their children."

No it doesn't. It's still just a legal contract between two consenting adults. Married men and women still have all the same responsibilities to their children.

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

4. "Changing the definition of gender complementarity within marriage suggests that the definition of marriage could be changed again to accommodate other romantic relationships between adults, e.g. polygamy, polyandry etc."

Yes. You're right on that one. Just like Loving v. Virginia "suggested" that the legal definition of marriage could be expanded to include more citizens 40 years ago ... but look how long it took for us to get from Loving to legalized gay marriage in what, 6-8 States so far. Likewise, we can debate those other ideas on their own merits as well, each in their own time.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

You know what? Nevermind. This problem will fix itself.

On that note, Madest: Here here.

To the next generation, this one, the one with relevance: Hey man, I see a great wedge issue that Republicans can use to break off a big ol' chunk of that not-so-monolithic-anymore black voter bloc. Hooray for that, huh? If not that, well then you'll just have to deal with gays AND democrats for the time being.

Posted by: ashtar377 | February 28, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Observer691, captn_ahab was kind enough to respond to my question politely, which is all too rare in discussions on this topic.

Any chance there's another opponent of legalizing gay marriage on here who can help him out by telling me how I would be harmed?

For example, an argument against higher taxes is that I, or someone I am close to, might lose their job or have more difficulty getting a job as a result. I'm not interested in debating taxes and employment here, but would really appreciate it if an opponent of same sex marriage could offer a similar statement explaining how I would be harmed if gay couples have weddings.

Posted by: nicholasgrossman | February 28, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"... but would really appreciate it if an opponent of same sex marriage could offer a similar statement explaining how I would be harmed if gay couples have weddings."

----------

nicholasgrossman,

You are harmed, albeit indirectly, when civilization is harmed. Ahab claims same-sex marriage harms the institution of marriage which harms society which harms civilization which in turn harms you and I.

Problem is, ahab can't seem to explain exactly how same-sex marriage actually harms civilization? If this so-called harm is so obvious, he could very easily cite some specific examples from places where same-sex marriage is already legal, like Iowa or Mass. but the harms ahab claims will most certainly follow appear to be wholly absent in places where same-sex marriage is already the law of the land?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@delusional1...your views are outdated because the concept of traditional marriage was forced on by past society rules and stigmas that said that people must be married by a certain age, that only married people could create and raise children (single people couldn't adopt) and that once married that person must stay married for life. In the 21st century society does not demand that people get married to be a respectable member of society, there is little stigma for an unmarried couple, or a single woman to have a child, and single people can adopt children. it's not hard for a person to end their marriage. Also a century ago it was taboo, and against the law in many states, to marry someone outside of one's race, religion or nationality. Just as many laws based on religious books have been repealed or banned in this country, such as "an eye for an eye punishment" prohibiting divorce, requiring stores to close on Sunday, stoning and allowing men to be married to more than one woman, should we allow the religious ban on gay relationships impact U.S. law on whether gays can marry, since U.S. laws are not supposed to be influenced by a particular religious point of view?

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I feel sorta bad for all the liberal folks in here trying to speak their brand of reason (which I absolutely agree with) to those who oppose marriage equality. Liberal friends, if these folks got so far as to post here stating that this black, gay reporter must oppose LGBT issues either because of being black (which sounds pretty offensive, given Capehart's identity) or because of inherent other-ness or wrong-ness of being gay, do you really think you can use logic? Just smile, nod, and let their generation die off. Polling shows young Americans favor equality more than our generations.

Posted by: SeanRConner | February 28, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll answer the question if no one else will. How does gay marriage harm society?

First and fundamentally, men and women are different in how they interact with children. It is more than their individual attention to a child that is important; it is their differences. Their combined influence as a couple is ALWAYS greater than their individual influence. So, depriving a child of both a mother AND father fundamentally harms society becauuse it harms our children. We should not be intentionally legislating that kind of deprivation. We have enough assaults on the traditional family as it is.

Second, gay marriage is sooooo little about marriage itself, it's not funny; those who advocate same-sex marriage fundamentally intend to destroy all religious objections to gay behavior, using "hate crime" or "discrimination" laws to silence all opposition. It's also all about indoctrinating children with the concept that only bigots and haters think that defining marriage as beng between one man and one woman in our laws is best for our country and our society. It's about forcing them to make choices about their sexuality even as little kids, rather than just letting them grow up before they make those kinds of choices. It's about telling kids that mothers and fathers are irrelevant though we KNOW that's not true. And, it's about creating a protected class of individuals based on their choice of sexual lifestyle, which we have NEVER done in this country, rather than creating such a class based on a truly immutable characteristic like the color of your skin, your gender (though they would have you think you can change that at will too), your age, a disability, etc.

We should NEVER allow our laws to be created or changed by a "heckler's veto," which these gay activist groups are trying to do. Nor do we base our laws on polls. We base them on votes.

Clearly, attitudes toward gay marriage are not changing. Young people actually do grow up. In thirty-one states, the voters have voted to define marriage as the union of one-man and one-woman in their state laws, and there are laws in fourteen other states that similarly define marriage. In two of the states where legislatures or courts have imposed same-sex marriage on their state (Iowa and New Hampshire) they are working on repealing those laws. The point is that the only poll that counts is the one at the ballot box, and I'd say the voters' repudiation of the president's social agenda in the last election was a pretty loud statement.

Basically, what I'm saying is that the push for same-sex "marriage" never has been about real civil rights. It has always been about a tiny minority trying to force the rest of us to accept their lifestyle. And to that, we are saying a loud NO with our votes.

Posted by: klgrube | February 28, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, attitudes toward gay marriage are not changing. Young people actually do grow up. In thirty-one states, the voters have voted to define marriage as the union of one-man and one-woman in their state laws, and there are laws in fourteen other states that similarly define marriage. In two of the states where legislatures or courts have imposed same-sex marriage on their state (Iowa and New Hampshire) they are working on repealing those laws. The point is that the only poll that counts is the one at the ballot box, and I'd say the voters' repudiation of the president's social agenda in the last election was a pretty loud statement.

Basically, what I'm saying is that the push for same-sex "marriage" never has been about real civil rights. It has always been about a tiny minority trying to force the rest of us to accept their lifestyle. And to that, we are saying a loud NO with our votes.
--------------
The homos and their advocates DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT SOCIETIES ALL THROUGH HUMAN HISTORY HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED THE ABNORMAL AND UN-NATURAL homo LIFESTYLE, OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE VERY COMMON ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT IT'S NOT!!

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

klgrube-you're alluding to the notion that the voting booth is the appropriate place to decide rights and moral aspects of the law. If the voting booth is, as you say the only poll that matters, then would the United States have repealed discrmination laws if it was up to a popular vote of the states, particularly in the South? Luckly deep Southern states do not have the initiative and referendum process, so they had no say on civil rights laws. If the initiative process existed in those states, there would have been ballot measures in those states seeking to repeal or circumvent laws banning discrimination. It happened in California in the 1960s where an initiative passed repealing laws banning racial housing discrimination. This measure passed by a 2/3rd supermajority, thus the vote truely represented the "will of the people." The ballot measure was tossed by the Supreme Court. Just because the people vote for something doesn't necessarily make it right.

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

klgrube wrote:
"So, depriving a child of both a mother AND father fundamentally harms society becauuse it harms our children. We should not be intentionally legislating that kind of deprivation. We have enough assaults on the traditional family as it is."

-----

Legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't deprive children of anything they wouldn't be deprived of anyway but prohibiting same-sex marriage does deprive them of the legal protections that marriage offers.

Why would you advocate depriving children of the legal protections of marriage when they aren't going have both a mother AND a father either way?

That doesn't make any sense unless you just like to punish children for no reason at all.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

klgrube wrote:
"So, depriving a child of both a mother AND father fundamentally harms society becauuse it harms our children. We should not be intentionally legislating that kind of deprivation. We have enough assaults on the traditional family as it is."

-----

Legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't deprive children of anything they wouldn't be deprived of anyway but prohibiting same-sex marriage does deprive them of the legal protections that marriage offers.

Why would you advocate depriving children of the legal protections of marriage when they aren't going have both a mother AND a father either way?

That doesn't make any sense unless you just like to punish children for no reason at all.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Oops1...are you saying that that the practice of polygamy and arranged marriages, which are accepted marriage practices in half of the world, is OK because it's very common in many parts of the world?

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"Find a way to address Paul, so Christians don't lose their main post-Christ guide."

How about: "Christians are certainly welcome to follow Paul. However, they are not free to use the civil law to impose Pauline law on non-Christians (or on Christians who disagree about Paul's meaning, about Paul's correctness, or about the value of defining marriage as a union of genitals as opposed to a union of people). And by the way, if they need to use government to impose Pauline law, it must not be either convincing enough, moral enough, or persuasive enough for people to choose to follow on their own, in which case it does not deserve to be enforced by government."

Posted by: Catken1 | February 28, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

Hate to break it to ya but homosexuality is quite common throughout the world. In fact, I'm willing to wager that there are homosexuals in every single country on the face of the planet.

And same-sex marriage is the legal norm in the vast majority of western countries so if commonality is your standard, you should probably re-think your conclusions because they are flat out wrong!

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"defining marriage as a union of genitals"

--------
Catken1,

I don't care who you are, that's just plain funny!

... a union of genitals! Oh my. :)

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Oops1...are you saying that that the practice of polygamy and arranged marriages, which are accepted marriage practices in half of the world, is OK because it's very common in many parts of the world?
-----------
POLYGAMY AND ARRANGED MARRIAGE ARE ACCEPTABLE IN SOME CULTURES IN THE WORLD, AND THAT IS OK, BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE HAVE AGREED AS A SOCIETY TO HAVE POLYGAMY AND ARRANGED MARRIAGES. IN ANY CASE, POLYGAMY AND ARRANGED MARRIAGES ARE BETWEEN A MAN AND MANY WOMEN, AND A MAN AND A WOMEN RESPECTIVELY. CLEARLY SO CALLED gay "marriage" IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE IN AMERICAN CULTURE, OTHERWISE MORE THAN 30 STATES WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED THEIR CONSTITUTIONS TO KEEP THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, SOMETHING homos and their advocates CONVENIENTLY FORGET.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"1. It says that procreation and the mother father relationship with children is not the primary focus of marriage."

It's not. The primary focus of CIVIL marriage is a CIVIL contract between two individuals. When I married in VA, I was not asked ONE SINGLE question about my ability or willingness to procreate, or about my potential relationship to children. As for mother-father relationships, neither feminine nor masculine characteristics are restricted exclusively to the appropriate gender. Individual women are not all "feminine" alike, nor are all individual men alike in their "masculinity". Sometimes, a same-sex couple has a better mix of traits generally thought to be gender-specific than an opposite-sex couple does.
What's next, barring couples from marriage if you think the woman is too "masculine" or the man too "feminine?"

"2. It suggests that the primary function of marriage is not to bring the opposite sexes together to form a basic family unit."

I fail to see how substituting "two people" for "the opposite sexes" there hurts any hetero marriage, or indeed marriage in general. We no longer base our lives on strict adherence to gender roles - we no longer tell people that they must be X or Y because they have the right dangly bits for it.

"3. It further reinforces the idea that the primary focus of marriage is exclusively the romantic/sexual attraction between any two consenting adults. This further weakens the responsibility of married men and women to their children."

Saying that "procreation is not necessary for marriage" is not equivalent to saying that "parents don't need to be married." Marriage has many purposes, and if some people choose to marry for one purpose, it doesn't weaken the desire of others to marry for another. And the responsibility of men and women- married or not - to their children comes with the birth of the kids themselves, not with their marriage.

Besides, is it really superior morally to get married JUST because you want to have kids, and have selected the other person as an appropriate stud/brood mare, than because you really love the other person and want to spend the rest of your life in a relationship of mutual support and caring with them?

"3. Changing the definiton of gender complementarity within marriage suggests that the definition of marriage could be changed again to accomodate other romantic relationships between adults, e.g. polygamy, polyandry etc."

If there's no other reason to bar polymarriage than "it's traditional," and any change to tradition means we have to allow those things, then yes, maybe we should. Is that your opinion?

If there are real reasons to bar polymarriage, then those wouldn't be affected by "changing the definition of gender complementarity within marriage" (which, btw, we've already done legally - there's no gender difference in the rights and responsibilities granted by civil marriage anymore).

Posted by: Catken1 | February 28, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

Hate to break it to ya but homosexuality is quite common throughout the world. In fact, I'm willing to wager that there are homosexuals in every single country on the face of the planet.

And same-sex marriage is the legal norm in the vast majority of western countries so if commonality is your standard, you should probably re-think your conclusions because they are flat out wrong!
---------
GAY MARRIAGE IS NOT COMMON, THAT IS QUITE EVIDENT, BUT THEN homes and their advocates DON'T LIKE LIVING IN REALITY. ONLY A HANDFUL OF STATES IN THE US ALLOW SO CALLED gay "marriage", AND THOSE STATES THAT ALLOWED GAY MARRIAGE THROUGH STATE LEGISLATURE AND THE COURTS ARE REVERSING THAT DECISION. I AM SURE IF MA AND WASHINGTON DC ALLOWED THE VOTERS TO VOTE ON WHETHER THEY WANT SO CALLED gay "marriage" in their state and district respectively, the VOTERS WOULD VOTE AGAINST IT, JUST LIKE OTHERS HAVE.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"Catken1,

I don't care who you are, that's just plain funny!

... a union of genitals! Oh my. :)"

Well? Isn't that what we do when we preach that having the right sort of genitals is necessary to marry, is indeed the primary definition of marriage? Isn't that what we do when we preach that roles within marriage NEED to be assigned on the basis of who has what dangly bits, rather than on talents and inclination? Isn't that what we do when we say that the same civil relationship, with the same rights and responsibilities, must be treated differently because one set of partners has different genitals and another set has the same?

Basically, what the anti-gay folks are saying is that your body, your body parts, and your ability to breed mean more to your marriage than your heart, your mind, your love, your commitment, indeed, EVERYTHING else you do. They reduce marriage to a physical, animalistic matter of "Insert tab A into slot B to make child C". And they treat all men as interchangeable tabs, and all women as interchangeable slots - as though we were all alike, all defined by our genders, not individuals who loved each other but body bits that happened to fit together "properly."

It's insulting. It's demeaning. It hurts the institution of marriage. And they have the gall to claim to be defending mine! It's awful.

Posted by: Catken1 | February 28, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

Hate to break it to ya but homosexuality is quite common throughout the world. In fact, I'm willing to wager that there are homosexuals in every single country on the face of the planet.

And same-sex marriage is the legal norm in the vast majority of western countries so if commonality is your standard, you should probably re-think your conclusions because they are flat out wrong!
---------
GAY MARRIAGE IS NOT COMMON, THAT IS QUITE EVIDENT, BUT THEN homos and their advocates DON'T LIKE LIVING IN REALITY. ONLY A HANDFUL OF STATES IN THE US ALLOW SO CALLED gay "marriage", AND THOSE STATES THAT ALLOWED GAY MARRIAGE THROUGH STATE LEGISLATURE AND THE COURTS ARE REVERSING THAT DECISION. I AM SURE IF MA AND WASHINGTON DC ALLOWED THE VOTERS TO VOTE ON WHETHER THEY WANT SO CALLED gay "marriage" in their state and district respectively, the VOTERS WOULD VOTE AGAINST IT, JUST LIKE OTHERS HAVE.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you stop forcing this gay agenda down the throats of citizens of all races who oppose this offensive measure?

Most support civil unions providing equal protection for same gender couples, however when you seek to denigrate the institution of marriage to further a hare-brained liberal cause, expect to get push back from the populace. This is one of the few issues where there is opposition from people of all political persuasions and races.

It is you and your fading "activists: who are on the wrong side of the issue and will soon be relegated to the dust bin of politic hacks of yesteryear.

Posted by: fisher1949 | February 28, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you stop forcing this gay agenda down the throats of citizens of all races who oppose this offensive measure?

Most support civil unions providing equal protection for same gender couples, however when you seek to denigrate the institution of marriage to further a hare-brained liberal cause, expect to get push back from the populace. This is one of the few issues where there is opposition from people of all political persuasions and races.

It is you and your fading "activists: who are on the wrong side of the issue and will soon be relegated to the dust bin of politic hacks of yesteryear.

Posted by: fisher1949 | February 28, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Basically, what the anti-gay folks are saying is that your body, your body parts, and your ability to breed mean more to your marriage than your heart, your mind, your love, your commitment, indeed, EVERYTHING else you do. They reduce marriage to a physical, animalistic matter of "Insert tab A into slot B to make child C". And they treat all men as interchangeable tabs, and all women as interchangeable slots - as though we were all alike, all defined by our genders, not individuals who loved each other but body bits that happened to fit together "properly."

It's insulting. It's demeaning. It hurts the institution of marriage. And they have the gall to claim to be defending mine! It's awful.
-----------
DUH SEX AND GENITALS ARE ALSO AN IMPORTANT PART OF MARRIAGE, OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN'T EXIST WOULD?? THANK YOU DAD FOR HIS GENITALS, AND THANK YOUR MOM FOR HER GENITALS. I SHOULD ALSO ASK THANK YOUR DAD FOR HIS SPERM, AND THANK YOUR MOM FOR HER EGG. EVEN HOMOS WHO GET SURROGATE MOTHERS FOR THEIR "CHILDREN" SHOULD THANK THAT WOMAN FOR HER EGG AND WOMB, AND TWO LESBOS WHO GO FOR ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION SHOULD THANK THE UNKNOWN DONOR FOR HIS SPERM, DUH!!

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Basically, what the anti-gay folks are saying is that your body, your body parts, and your ability to breed mean more to your marriage than your heart, your mind, your love, your commitment, indeed, EVERYTHING else you do. They reduce marriage to a physical, animalistic matter of "Insert tab A into slot B to make child C". And they treat all men as interchangeable tabs, and all women as interchangeable slots - as though we were all alike, all defined by our genders, not individuals who loved each other but body bits that happened to fit together "properly."

It's insulting. It's demeaning. It hurts the institution of marriage. And they have the gall to claim to be defending mine! It's awful.
-----------
DUH, SEX AND GENITALS ARE ALSO AN IMPORTANT PART OF MARRIAGE, OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN'T EXIST WOULD YOU?? THANK YOUR DAD FOR HIS GENITALS, AND THANK YOUR MOM FOR HER GENITALS. I SHOULD ALSO ASK YOU TO THANK YOUR DAD FOR HIS SPERM, AND ASK YOU TO THANK YOUR MOM FOR HER EGG. EVEN HOMOS WHO GET SURROGATE MOTHERS FOR THEIR "CHILDREN" SHOULD THANK THAT WOMAN FOR HER EGG AND WOMB, AND TWO LESBOS WHO GO FOR ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION SHOULD THANK THE UNKNOWN DONOR FOR HIS SPERM, DUH!!
--------------

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

RE: GAY MARRIAGE IS NOT COMMON,

Oops1,

Gay marriage is legal in almost every single western democracy, including several States in the U.S. That makes it fairly "common" in the west, no?

Or are you suggesting our laws should instead be more like those in Iran or Communist China?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

fisher1949,

If civil unions offer all the same legal protections and benefits as civil marriages, why should the law use a different term for what you yourself said would be completely equal treatment?

Aren't civil marriages just civil unions by another name?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

OOPS1 wrote "THAT SOCIETIES ALL THROUGH HUMAN HISTORY HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED THE ABNORMAL AND UN-NATURAL homo LIFESTYLE, OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE VERY COMMON ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT IT'S NOT!!

I wrote that arranged marriages and polygamy are common in many countries around the world and you responded that it is OK if a society supports such policies. Culturally nothing prohibits people living in this country to carry on the tradition of arranged marriages if the families and the bride/groom agree; or polygamy if more than one woman wants to be a defact wife, but legally, the law says that no adult can be forced to marry anyone and that the state will only issue one marriage certificate. So you would agree that what is culturally acceptable, such as religious rules that say mandate male-female marriage, should not be a factor in the U.S. laws regarding marriage?

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart,

What a crock! Al Sharpton a "civil rights leader?" Where is that man's church?

AG Holder is just carrying water for the President. Both of them are cowards.

If you cannot understand why Black Churches and elected officials are not backing this legislation, you need to ask yourself are you Black?

John Mcaluney
Long Beach Ca
==========================================
OK, I asked myself, just to be sure, and I AM black.

I cannot imagine why my African origins and extra melanin in my skin compel me to support bigotry and deny other people the same rights that I find precious. I would turn your comment around and suggest that any African American who supports denying Americans rights based on who they are needs to ask that very same question.

Posted by: carlaclaws | February 28, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

RE: GAY MARRIAGE IS NOT COMMON,

Oops1,

Gay marriage is legal in almost every single western democracy, including several States in the U.S. That makes it fairly "common" in the west, no?

Or are you suggesting our laws should instead be more like those in Iran or Communist China?
-----------
NOT EVERY WESTERN DEMOCRACY HAS SO CALLED gay "marriage", they have CIVIL UNIONS NOT EVEN BRITAIN ALLOWS SO CALLED gay "marriage". IN FACT THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY SAID THAT NO HOMOS WOULD GET MARRIED IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, WHICH WAS SEEN MORE LIBERAL AND OPEN TO THIS SO CALLED gay "marriage" STUFF, THAN THE SO CALLED "backward" and "outdated" Roman Catholic church -

Gay weddings will never take place in church buildings, vows Dr Rowan Williams

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361142/Gay-weddings-place-church-buildings-vows-Dr-Rowan-Williams.html#ixzz1FIu1gEj8

AND YES, THE EMPHASIS, SHOULD BE ON THE WORD HANDFUL OF US STATES, OVER 30 STATES OVER 60% HAVE CHANGED THEIR STATE CONSTITUTIONS TO KEEP THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, BUT the homos and their advocates CAN'T LET THAT SINK IN!!

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

fisher1949 wrote: "Why don't you stop forcing this gay agenda down the throats of citizens of all races who oppose this offensive measure?
"
===========================================
Oh, wow - is someone trying to force you into a same sex marriage? Hold on tight, buddy, I'm there, along with the ACLU. Same sex marriage is supposed to be about choice and freedom for all Americans, not coercion.

Posted by: carlaclaws | February 28, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I AM SURE IF MA AND WASHINGTON DC ALLOWED THE VOTERS TO VOTE ON WHETHER THEY WANT SO CALLED gay "marriage" in their state and district respectively, the VOTERS WOULD VOTE AGAINST IT, JUST LIKE OTHERS HAVE.

=========

Oops1,

If the voters were allowed to prohibit inter-racial marriage or inter-religious marriage, many states would surely vote to do so. I guess that makes prohibiting those marriages okay with you too?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to address one point raised in these comments, that of putting "civil rights" up to a popular vote.

First of all, we ALWAYS vote on "civil rights" by a popular vote whenever we cast a vote for any city, state, or federal representative. We elect them generally because we trust them to represent our stand on particular issues, or because we simply trust them to not ignore us or try to silence us when we disagree with them. Fundamentally, EVERY vote is a vote for or against our rights, because our elected officials are the ones who write and enact those laws. That's just our system. And when we don't like how they do their job, we vote them out. I hope Mike Gronstal is listening to that.

So, to say that civil rights shouldn't be up to a popular vote would be wrong. They always are. And the voters of Iowa said how they felt about what is laughingly called this "civil right" to same-sex marriage in the last election. The voters elected representatives who should actually be listening to them this time and let them vote on this issue the way they have said they want.

Posted by: klgrube | February 28, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

OOPS1 wrote "THAT SOCIETIES ALL THROUGH HUMAN HISTORY HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED THE ABNORMAL AND UN-NATURAL homo LIFESTYLE, OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE VERY COMMON ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT IT'S NOT!!

I wrote that arranged marriages and polygamy are common in many countries around the world and you responded that it is OK if a society supports such policies. Culturally nothing prohibits people living in this country to carry on the tradition of arranged marriages if the families and the bride/groom agree; or polygamy if more than one woman wants to be a defact wife, but legally, the law says that no adult can be forced to marry anyone and that the state will only issue one marriage certificate. So you would agree that what is culturally acceptable, such as religious rules that say mandate male-female marriage, should not be a factor in the U.S. laws regarding marriage
------------
WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME ALONE?? WHY DON'T YOU ASK THOSE VOTERS IN THE OVER 30 STATES THAT VOTED TO HAVE THEIR STATE CONSTITUTIONS DEFINE MARRIAGE AS BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN?? CHANGING MARRIAGE FROM IT'S HISTORICAL MEANING AND PURPOSE IS WHY THERE IS PUSH BACK FROM THE POPULACE, AND THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PUSH BACK FROM SOCIETIES ALL THROUGH OUT HUMAN HISTORY THAT IS WHY THIS SO CALLED gay "marriage" push IS JUST A RECENT THING, NOT EVEN 10 YEARS OLD. LONG TIME AGO HUMAN SOCIETIES DECIDED THAT HUMAN SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS WILL BE HETEROSEXUALS WHETHER THEY ARE POLYGAMOUS, ARRANGED OR JUST BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to address one point raised in these comments, that of putting "civil rights" up to a popular vote.

First of all, we ALWAYS vote on "civil rights" by a popular vote whenever we cast a vote for any city, state, or federal representative. We elect them generally because we trust them to represent our stand on particular issues, or because we simply trust them to not ignore us or try to silence us when we disagree with them. Fundamentally, EVERY vote is a vote for or against our rights, because our elected officials are the ones who write and enact those laws. That's just our system. And when we don't like how they do their job, we vote them out.

So, to say that civil rights shouldn't be up to a popular vote would be wrong. They always are. And the voters said how they felt about what is laughingly called this "civil right" to same-sex marriage in the last election. The voters elected representatives who should actually be listening to them this time and let them vote on this issue the way they have said they want.

Posted by: klgrube | February 28, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

One other question about the gay marriage issue. What are gays to do if they want to be legally married? I've had several lady friends who have been emotionally destroyed because they've married men who turned out to be gay. These men got married to women because of the legal and financial benefits of being in a married relationship. For folks who oppose gay marriage...are you saying that everyone, including gays, should be in hetrosexual marriages? Allowing gays to marry will allow those gays to realize the benefits of marriage without having to marry someone of the opposite sex.

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I AM SURE IF MA AND WASHINGTON DC ALLOWED THE VOTERS TO VOTE ON WHETHER THEY WANT SO CALLED gay "marriage" in their state and district respectively, the VOTERS WOULD VOTE AGAINST IT, JUST LIKE OTHERS HAVE.

=========

Oops1,

If the voters were allowed to prohibit inter-racial marriage or inter-religious marriage, many states would surely vote to do so. I guess that makes prohibiting those marriages okay with you too?
--------
WELL NO THAT IS THE KICKER, homos and their advocates, like to use the INTER-RACIAL MARRIAGE ARGUMENT, WHICH IS VERY FEEBLE INDEED!!! COMPARING INTER-RACIAL MARRIAGE TO SO CALLED gay "marriage" IS COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES, BUT THEN AGAIN homos and their advocates DON'T LIKE LIVING IN REALITY. RACE IS A GENETIC TRAIT, SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS NOT. THERE IS NO WHERE IN ANY PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC PAPER THAT CONCLUDES IN ALL FINALITY THAT homosexuality is genetic. ACCREDITED AND LICENSED MEDICAL DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS SAYS homosexuality IS CAUSED BY A VARIETY OF FACTORS AND IT IS NOT ALL PURELY GENETIC. AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LEFT THE homosexual LIFESTYLE CHOICE BEHIND.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

You claimed gay marriage wasn't very common and I showed you that it absolutely is. Even in the U.S., gay marriage is legal in our two most populous states (CA & NY) and is growing more common every day (DC & MD very soon). And since it is in fact very common in the west, what is your objection now?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

HOWEVER I HAVE NEVER KNOW ANYONE TO LEAVE THEIR RACE (A GENETIC TRAIT, AS OPPOSED TO homosexual behavior), BEHIND, WELL, UNLESS YOU ARE MICHAEL JACKSON, WHICH IS ANOTHER STORY ALL TOGETHER.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

Okay but what about inter-religious marriages? Should the voters be allowed to prohibit those also? After all religion is just a choice.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

OOPS1...as I've mentioned, we would not have repealed racial discrimination laws if it was up to a vote of the people. California voted overwhelmingly against repealing segeration, could you imagine the outcome if Mississippi and Alabama have a vote on whether to desegerate? Marriage has changed in the last 100 years; it was once limited to people of the same religion, race and nationality, and city hall or church was the only place you could get married. Today people get married in airplanes, skydiving, underwater, in casinos, at the football game and just about anyplace else you can think of...and just as the marriage ceremony has changed, is same sex marriage a reflection of another, radical change in marriage? Just as our great grandparents would not think of allowing a couple to get married on a roller coaster with the vows administered by Donald Trump, many people are unwilling to embrace the change represented by same sex marriage, in that it does nothing to hurt people who are in traditional marriage.

Posted by: oorfenegro | February 28, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

You claimed gay marriage wasn't very common and I showed you that it absolutely is. Even in the U.S., gay marriage is legal in our two most populous states (CA & NY) and is growing more common every day (DC & MD very soon). And since it is in fact very common in the west, what is your objection now?
-------------
DID YOU FORGET TO TAKE YOUR MEDS TODAY?? ARE YOU SCHIZOPHRENIC, I.E. NOT BEING ABLE TO LIVE IN REALITY. YOU MUST BE SCHIZOPHRENIC, OR YOU ARE JUST BAD AT MATH. DIVIDE 30 OVER 50, (I THINK IT'S ACTUALLY HEADING TO 32 OVER 50), AND GET THE PERCENTAGE OF HOW MANY STATES HAVE CHANGED THEIR CONSTITUTIONS TO STATE THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, ANYWAY, ENOUGH OF THE DEBATE, I CAN'T WASTE MY TIME DEBATING SCHIZOPHRENICS WHO HAVEN'T TAKEN THEIR DAILY MEDS, OR THOSE WHO ARE SO BAD AT MATH, THEY CAN'T DIVIDE 30 OVER 50 OR 32 OVER 50 TO GET A SIMPLE PERCENTAGE. I GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH MY TIME.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

And since religion is just a "lifestyle choice", why shouldn't the voters be allowed to enact laws that discriminate against people based on their religion also?

Just trying to follow your logic on which rights we should be able to vote away by majority rule ...

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

Okay but what about inter-religious marriages? Should the voters be allowed to prohibit those also? After all religion is just a choice.
------------
USE YOUR BRAIN WHAT DO YOU DEDUCE FROM THIS POST? I AM NOT GOING TO REPEAT MYSELF LIKE A STUCK RECORD:

Oops1,

If the voters were allowed to prohibit inter-racial marriage or inter-religious marriage, many states would surely vote to do so. I guess that makes prohibiting those marriages okay with you too?
--------
WELL NO THAT IS THE KICKER, homos and their advocates, like to use the INTER-RACIAL MARRIAGE ARGUMENT, WHICH IS VERY FEEBLE INDEED!!! COMPARING INTER-RACIAL MARRIAGE TO SO CALLED gay "marriage" IS COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES, BUT THEN AGAIN homos and their advocates DON'T LIKE LIVING IN REALITY. RACE IS A GENETIC TRAIT, SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS NOT. THERE IS NO WHERE IN ANY PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC PAPER THAT CONCLUDES IN ALL FINALITY THAT homosexuality is genetic. ACCREDITED AND LICENSED MEDICAL DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS SAYS homosexuality IS CAUSED BY A VARIETY OF FACTORS AND IT IS NOT ALL PURELY GENETIC. AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LEFT THE homosexual LIFESTYLE CHOICE BEHIND.

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

You claimed gay marriage wasn't very common and I showed you that it absolutely is. Even in the U.S., gay marriage is legal in our two most populous states (CA & NY) and is growing more common every day (DC & MD very soon). And since it is in fact very common in the west, what is your objection now?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse
------
FREESTINKER YOU ARE INDEED A SCHIZOPHRENIC, I.E. NOT BEING ABLE TO LIVE IN REALITY WHO FORGET TO TAKE HIS OR HER MEDS TODAY, EVERYONE KNOWS SO CALLED same sex "marriage" IS NOT LEGAL IN NEITHER CA OR NY. DUH!! GOTTA GO, GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO!!

Posted by: Oops1 | February 28, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Oops1,

Look it up for yourself. Most western countries allow same-sex marriage, including the U.S. Not a majority of U.S. States just yet, but take your own advice and add up the populations of the 6 or 8 states that allow same sex marriage and you will see it is actually quite common.

I wonder if you would support legalizing same-sex marriage even if a majority of people voted for it?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I understand that libertarian positions are uncommon here at WaPo, but I oppose any policy that harms me or my family and otherwise support the freedom of Americans to do as they choose.

The main arguments presented here against legalizing gay marriage are:
1) It is unnatural (i.e. cannot possibly be for procreation)
2) It goes against tradition and current practices around the world
3) Majorities of Americans have voted against it in states that have held a referendum.

I don't wish to debate these issues, or whether allowing homosexual couples to wed will cause some abstract harm to society (Freestinker), because none of them affect me. I'm happily married to someone of the opposite sex, and can't see how my relationship to my family would be change if the definition of the word "marriage" were changed.

Can someone (Oops1? klgrube? anyone?) tell me how legalizing gay marriage would harm me? Or do you really muster all this energy in opposition even though you see no actual harm to yourselves?

Posted by: nicholasgrossman | February 28, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay but what about inter-religious marriages? Should the voters be allowed to prohibit those also? After all religion is just a choice.
------------
USE YOUR BRAIN WHAT DO YOU DEDUCE FROM THIS POST? I AM NOT GOING TO REPEAT MYSELF LIKE A STUCK RECORD:

=========

Oops1,

You don't want to answer that one because it blows a gigantic hole in your so-called logic, now doesn't it?

If we can vote away the rights of others based on their "lifestyle choices", why can't we vote away people's rights based on their lifestyle choice of religion?

Hint: We can't. It was just a rhetorical question! :)

Thanks for playing. Please try again soon.

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Can someone (Oops1? klgrube? anyone?) tell me how legalizing gay marriage would harm me?

==========

nicholasgrossman,

I don't know about you but it harms me because it is disgusting! I can't go around feeling disgusted every single day, so gay marriage must be prohibited.

In other words, the law must discriminate against gays and deny them equal rights because otherwise my feelings will be seriously hurt.

My personal feelings are much more important than other people's equal rights. What is so hard to understand about that?

Posted by: Freestinker | February 28, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"...she believes marriage should be reserved for people who can have children..."

I hear this argument all the time from America's Taliban contingent. I guess what they're saying is that as soon as married women hit menopause, or if perhaps their husbands are found to be infertile by a fertility clinic, THEIR MARRIAGES SHOULD IMMEDIATELY BE ANNULLED. No word yet on whether married male-female couples would be subjected to random fertility tests in order to enforce this "Natural Law", but I'm sure the Taliban will fill us in as soon as they iron out the details. They are so helpful in controlling our lives in so many ways, I'm sure they won't let us down on this one.

Allahu Akbar! God is greatest!

Posted by: B2O2 | February 28, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Holder did not "announce" the DOM Act "unconstitutional." The issue has to do with particular challenges in particular circuit courts where very specific and important precedents used to uphold the DOM Act do not hold.

That's all. The law will be fully enforced by the DOJ, but the DOJ won't defend it in court. They'll weigh in, but not defend it. That's all.

People. Headlines on these issues sell newspapers - but they do NOT accurately describe the specific and detailed nature of what is actually happening in our world.

Posted by: Summermute | February 28, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Catken1 wrote:

"They reduce marriage to a physical, animalistic matter of "Insert tab A into slot B to make child C". And they treat all men as interchangeable tabs, and all women as interchangeable slots - as though we were all alike, all defined by our genders, not individuals who loved each other but body bits that happened to fit together "properly."

It's insulting. It's demeaning. It hurts the institution of marriage. And they have the gall to claim to be defending mine! It's awful."
________________________________________-

It's not insulting or demeaning at all.

It's wonderful.

It's the way the vast majority of the world works.

Fitting tab A into slot B and the drive to do that is really the very beginning of sexual attraction, that leads to romantic love, marriage,.. and the next generation.

It is the long term committed love that grows out of fitting tab A into slot B that leads to long term committed mothers and fathers.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!!!!

Posted by: captn_ahab | February 28, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"If we allow gay marriage, we might as well allow polygamy." Polygamy should remain outlawed because of the imbalance it creates. It does cause societal harm.

Regardless of the exact percentage of homosexuals vs. heterosexuals, there is about the same percentage of gay men vs. gay women. Say 6% of the population is gay, so out of 100 people, you'd have 47 men and 47 women available for heterosexual marriage. If polygamy was allowed, let's say only 10 of those 47 men have multiple wives, averaging 3 wives per polygamist. That means 10 men with 30 wives, leaving the other 37 eligible men with only 17 women available.

Want to know what happens with that sort of imbalance? Just look at countries that practice female infanticide because they feel males are more valuable, in some places creating a ratio of 120 men for every 100 women (and climbing.) There's a lot more unrest in those areas. On top of that rape, sexual slavery and kidnapping of women to force them to be wives are becoming common as there aren't enough women to be matched up with men.

In the U.S. there are polygamist sects at the Arizona-Utah border who believe that each man must have at least 3 wives to enter heaven. In order to keep the 1 man : 3 women (or more) ratio, they routinely cast out the boys for every offense imaginable, some as young as 14. (Offenses include talking back to an elder, listening to the wrong music, etc.) Not only are these boys lacking the skills and resources to survive the outside world, but they're convinced they're going to he-- because they won't have enough wives to enter heaven. Their lives are ruined just to let some 45 year old get his 3rd (8th, 15th) 16 year old wife. Older men who are already married can wind up excommunicated and their families assigned to other men if they don't do exactly what they're told. Girls are forcibly married off to whoever needs an additional wife, sometimes below the age of consent.

Yes, this happens in the U.S. despite being illegal. Now imagine how bad it would get if polygamy were legalized.

On the other hand, allowing two people of the same sex to get married does NOT cause societal harm. Sorry, but some people getting the ickies imagining what goes on behind closed doors does NOT equal societal harm. If it did, then we'd have to outlaw marriage between people over a certain age (70? 50?) as well as marriage between less attractive people.

Posted by: lgdean | February 28, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Thankfully not all African Americans are willing to sell their souls to gain the approbation of the homosexual agenda. African Americans are the most "churched" race in the US and therefore has the tendency to leverage their faith correctly. The fact that we disagree with same sex marriage doesn't mean we hate gays. In fact it's quite the opposite. Christians know to love the person but hate the sin (the sin is homosexuality). Its not natural nor is it blessed by God.

Posted by: tonycbrook | February 28, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Amen Mr. Capehart. AMEN!

Posted by: jayhuck | February 28, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm always amazed when Christians post such hateful things about other people who disagree with them. It's like they want the whole world to see how unhappy, judgmental and vicious they can be. One wonders what they'll say to Jesus when he asks them why they spent their time promoting hatred in his name. Pity.

Posted by: Jimcracky | February 28, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Teh black community has been targeted by those "anything but" christians who always need someone to demonize to sell their love.

1. Black men were called boy, and in the past often castrated as well as lynched. this ties in well with the homophobes who try to castigate gays men as feminine. Blacks, still culturally recoiling from being considered less then men, suck up to this kidn of hatred.

2. the haters have done well to cast two minority groups against each other. Keeps a lot of people from understanding that they have a common bond.

3. the great lie that gay is a choice is also ties in well with skin color not being a choice, as a way to divide and conquer any gay -- black relationship

4. Can you immagine being within the black community and being gay - You become the new "boy". Welcome to the closet on steroids.

And at the MD hearings there was a black man whose T shirt said gays, third sex, and lesbians....

And ended with "worse then animals"

And he would proudly flash his Tshirt in front of groups of kids who came to the state house for other reasons.

Forgetting that his own people were treated like animals, their families split up and sold for whatever the traffic would bear.

Welcome to conservative religion. Its as bad as the USA getting in bed with the Taliban.

The black community so forget

Posted by: SJames6621 | March 1, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I also might add - think of the screaming of the black community if we went back to the old days...........

When 30+ states banned inter-racial marriage until 1967, and black - black marriage was prohibited until 1867.

Of course, the animus against gays by blacks is a perfect example of people who forget their own history.

BTW its not a large majority of blakcs btw - about 57% of blacks supported Prop Hate in CA.

Thanks to some of their churches who seem to be in a race to the bottom.

forgetting that the anything but christians who drive this hatefull black against gay agaenda are the same people who hate Obama - the white southern evangelicals - to whom Obama is their nightmare come true. A highly intelligent black man has become president of a country filled with a lot of ignorant KKK white wannabees.

Posted by: SJames6621 | March 1, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Dear Sir,

Thank you for answering my letter on Same Sex Marriage in Maryland. In you letter you stated that do to "I have always believed that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman." I can accept your belief, however, I voted for you because I believe in your standing up for me the voter. If they would have stood behind Religion during the Civil Rights Movement, then I would still be the 4 year old little girl in Detroit, MI, who could not use the Public Restrooms because of Jim Crow Laws, or my children would have been bored into slavery. So Senator Mike Miller your reply on this issue truly disappointed me. I have left many of churches because of the same reason, discrimination is just that discrimination. So when I voted for my leaders I vote because I belief in the individual I voted for not on your religious belief. You see I love history, I love the history of America but I also believe that as representatives the separation of Church and State is what is needed to make a better country. Equal Rights are just that every individual should have the same rights. I feel and believe that the way God made a person is who he or she is, maybe it's because I believe that we are who God put us on the earth to be, and we have very little control over that, my God loves all his children and he do not use his religion to deny other their rights.

You see my skin is black and I can't control that, my children are Gay and they have no control over that, however, they are still discriminated against. My great-grandfather was a slave, and he couldn't do anything about that either. But you know what? We; you and I can make a different today for equal rights for all men and woman.

Sincerely,

Posted by: mlj4584 | March 1, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I noted a couple other comments............

Being gay is a choice. Sorry, not so according to the American medical, pediatric, psychological, psychoanalytical , and psychiatric associations.

Of course there are a couple false front groups eg the american college of pediatricians, with about 200 members, compared to the american pediatric association with 60,000 members. Its just so easy these days to find a few fakes and put up a website and claim you are an authority.

BTW almost every single westernized country has gay marriage or civil union arrangements for gay people. In w. Europe only Italy, dominated by the catholic church of endless hidden molestation does not have have marriage type rights for gays. Even the Greek orthodox church is about to change.

All in all, about 15 countries with gay marriage and another 20 with civil unions

If you want to live in an area where they dont have these laws try our friends of 9-11, eg Saudi Arabia, where they will prob murder you for selling a christian bible, or become a good communist and join the old soviet union empire remnants.

And lets not babble about procreation - think we are running out of oil - you haven't seen nothing yet. - we are running out of fresh water for home purposes and growing food.

Gays may well be the long term solution to saving civilization from itself.

As well as their being willing to adopt unwanted children who might well other wise be aborted

Posted by: SJames6621 | March 1, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Kudos Mr Capehart!

You make many fine connections with compassion and understanding. I applaud you. As a gay white youth in the late 60s and early 70s I went to bat for the civil rights movement -- no strings attached and ready to go to jail. Did so in defence of civll rights. Would again this minute. It's refreshing to hear all the brilliant Black voices sticking up for lesbian and gay kids today. Perhaps they do so because so many who suffer are their children. We all rise together. It seems that anti-gay bigotry is becoming as scorned and dismissed as the evil hatred expressed by Jim Crow enforcers and KKKers decades ago. Praise the civil rights movement for the example of freedom and rights it inspired in so many other sufferers.

Marcel Hatch

Posted by: marcelhatch | March 1, 2011 2:33 AM | Report abuse

having read many of the religion minded persons justification for their discrimination, reminds me why I no longer go to the church in which I was brought up.
I remember love thy neighbour, forgive their sins, and he who is without sin cast the first stone. I have been stably married for nearly forty years and can see no reason why any two committed people should not have the same status and opportunity for happiness or unhappiness for that matter as myself. Opposition to gays rights is pure selfishness, and knowing what went on in the church when I attended pure hipocrisy. Get back to Christ's words rather than old testament lightning and thunder and let anyone who want to live in love do so. The answer is very simply and I forget who said it first, if you dont like gay marraige then dont have one, and move on.

Posted by: walrondrock | March 1, 2011 4:45 AM | Report abuse

having read many of the religion minded persons justification for their discrimination, reminds me why I no longer go to the church in which I was brought up.
I remember love thy neighbour, forgive their sins, and he who is without sin cast the first stone. I have been stably married for nearly forty years and can see no reason why any two committed people should not have the same status and opportunity for happiness, or unhappiness for that matter, as myself. Opposition to gays rights is pure selfishness, and knowing what went on in the church when I attended pure hipocrisy. Get back to Christ's words rather than old testament thunder and lightning and let anyone who wants to live in love do so. The answer is very simple, and I forget who said it first, if you dont like gay marraige then dont have one, and move on.

Posted by: walrondrock | March 1, 2011 4:50 AM | Report abuse

rpixley220 wrote: "You're right, there's no need for society to care *at all* about what 2 people do in the privacy of their bedroom. Marriage is not about sex as any married person will surely tell you."
------------------------------------------------
Marriage is a social contract and that's not what 2 people do in the privacy of their bedroom. No one is interfering with what 2 people do in the privacy of their bedroom. Nor is anyone stopping them from being with the person they love.

Posted by: Boomerang1 | March 1, 2011 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Nobody cares if homosexuals "fall in love" with each other?? Just do not call their union a marriage. It is a mockery of true marriage and everyone knows it.

The Omamites are trying to ram another one through before an enraged America gives them the bum's rush in 2012.

They are despicable, anti-Democratic despots. They deserve to be voted into oblivion.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 1, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama has set a precedence that the liberals may regret.

Future, Republican presidents may decide to NOT enforce some of the liberals' favorite laws.

How about the "hate law" that liberals love so much?

How about the abortion law?

I think these can be ignored for starters.

What about the "civil rights" laws that are really SPECIAL rights laws for favored minorities?

Ignore them all!

It can now be done.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 1, 2011 6:28 AM | Report abuse

battleground51 wrote: "Nobody cares if homosexuals "fall in love" with each other?? Just do not call their union a marriage. It is a mockery of true marriage and everyone knows it."

A mockery of true marriage? You mean like Tiger Wood's marriage, or Charlie Sheen's marriage orthe marriage of S.C. governor Sanford? Hetrosexuals make a mockery of true marriage on their own without any help from gays wanting to get married.

Posted by: oorfenegro | March 1, 2011 7:16 AM | Report abuse

battleground51:
You seem to misunderstand the difference between legislation and court orders. The examples you cited; hate laws, abortion, civil rights have been adjudicated by the courts where there has been specific orders by a court, and in the cases you cited, the US Supreme Court on these issues. Presidents are bound to follow the orders of the courts and all have; even Nixon complied with the orders of the court in the Pentagon Papers and the Saturday Night Massacure. Presidents have broad leeway in enforcing laws where no direct court order has been issued. Examples include the FCC rules on obsencity. Clinton pretty much ignored obsencity on the radio, issuing minor fines to Howard Stern when he said something obscene on the air...However the Bush FCC cracked down hard on obsencity to the point of forcing Stern off of conventional radio because of the Bush FCC aggressive enforcement of FCC obsencity laws. I could cite many other examples, from both political parties, of how an administration allocated few resources to enforcing a law it didn't like. Also you have had no court order demanding the White House to enforce the provisions of the DOMA; in fact you have had several judges question the legality of the DOMA, and more legal questions will be raised if Judge Walker's decision overturning the ban on same sex marriage is upheld in California. Because the law is in ligitation, the White House can say it's suspending enforcement of the law until a definitive ruling is made from the courts.

Posted by: oorfenegro | March 1, 2011 7:37 AM | Report abuse

It should be noted that there are eight African-American senators in Maryland. Senator Benson was joined by two colleagues from Prince George's County, Senators Muse (a minister) and Currie.

There were FIVE African-American senators who voted for the Marriage Protection Act. Gladden (vice-chair of the Judiciary committee), Conway, Kelley, McFadden and Pugh. While Senator Benson gets press for her statements, we haven't heard the words of Senator Delores Kelley's powerful statement about judgmental ism--as well as her comparisons to the earlier civil rights struggle.

During the debate, one also felt the presence of a former senator, Gwen Britt, to whom two of the senators gave tributes. Senator Britt was the Maryland Senate's civil rights leader. As a young woman she had led the efforts to integrate Glen Echo Park. Later as a Freedom Rider, she was jailed for 40 days. Senator Britt was to have been the original sponsor of the bill when it was first introduced in 2008. Unfortunately, she died a few days before the bill was introduced.

Posted by: TerrenceDoyle | March 1, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Because It's wrong.Whats up with perverts trying to change nature?Up with polygamy.and my dog.

Posted by: bcomber38 | March 1, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

That Obama and Holder have decided not to defend DOMA because in their view it is unconstitutional is contrary to their oath of office. Under the constitution, their obligation is to enforce the rule of law. they have every right to try to change the law, but they have no right to ignore the law. Nor do they have the authority to determine the constitutionality of DOMA.

Imagine if a Republican president were to declare that, for example, children born in the United States to illegal aliens are not citizens of the United States, and that they will all be immediately deported. The logic is pretty sound. That the parents have flouted immigration laws and as a result obtain US citizenship for the child is ludicrous on its face. But I can hear the hue and cry and see the legal challenges if the US Attorney General refused to consider the "citizenship" of the child.

Jonathan Capehart may think that marriage is the answer for gay couples. It is not. It will not make them happier, and it is a charade. If there is one thing we can all be certain of, the founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they thought someone would be argiung that the constitution guarantees the right to same sex marriage. It would be a laugh were it not so absurd.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | March 1, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Capehart, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I find it disturbing that so many African-American lawmakers in Maryland are so obtuse when it comes to this issue. I don't think you understand civil rights if you are denying the dignity and humanity of gay and lesbian citizens. The civil rights movement was about the state recognizing the humanity of everyone and their access to the institutions of our great nation. It's very sad to hear folks essentially say, I've got mine, you get yours on your own.

Posted by: darrell5551 | March 1, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

buggerianpaisley1

You apparently did not read my post...your example is in direct violation of a consitutional amendment that has been ruled on by the Supreme Court. Another example; Kennedy didn't want to piss off the racist Southern Dixiecrats by ordering them to follow a federal court order allowing Blacks into southern universities. Kennedy told the George Wallace and other governors that they would have to deal with the consequenses of ignoring a federal court order. However the judge said it was the federal government, not the state government responsibility to carry out his order so Kennedy ordered federal troops to escort the Black students to class. The president can put on hold a law that is currently in ligitation as is the case with gay marriage.
Finally why wouldn't gays who want to get married be happy. The founders did not envision many things that would upset many of them today, such as women being allowed to vote, the direct election of senators, presidential term limit, interracial and inter religious marriage. The consitution reflected the mores of the late 18th century and provided no guarantees or protections to women or non-whites. It would be just as absurb in 1879 to think that a woman ran for president, in an election where a man of Black-Asian heritage could became president of the United States by defeating a candidate whose running mate was a woman.

Posted by: oorfenegro | March 1, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The fact that blacks don't like gays underscores the vulnerability of the Democrat Party -- a coalition of mutually antagonistic groups united only by their sense of victimhood and resentment against straight white males.

Blacks don't like gays, or latinos, or Jews or asians. Latinos don't like blacks or Jews or gays. Blacks and Latinos don't care about the environment.

As long as straight, Christian whites were the The Establishment, this coalition worked. But now that straight, Christian whites are no longer in control, what will unite the Democrat Party?

Posted by: pmendez | March 1, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The more you diminish the social fiber of this country the better you are?
In choosing only to detemine if African American's back gay marriage or not there has to be the realization that African Americans are Conservative in their values. They as a whole recognize that the term "union" is a valid one for members of the gay and lesbian communities but the well honored term of "marriage" is reserved to those unions comprised of one man and a woman. Not a sheep and a guy, not a guy and a guy, a female and female, etc., etc. Values, this country has lost the morality and values taught at school when children, where is the Civil values of this society? out the window. Mr. Capehart wants by this article to stick all African Americans into a stereotype, as if church going black members of our society are so confused by sexuality to not be able to determine what their hearts tell them is true. Marriage is between a man and a woman. As for this statement I must now congratulate my parents, raise my hand and offer a toast on their 61st. Anniversary...Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Posted by: minuramsey | March 1, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Since Proposition 22 passed in California in 2000 – defining marriage as between one man and one woman – people have attacked the voters’ decision from all sides. They say that this definition of marriage is unconstitutional and backward thinking.

Here’s what we know:
God ordained marriage is between one man and one woman.
The history of this country was built upon the foundation of marriage and Biblical principles.
The traditional institution of marriage is the best institution for raising children.

I do not pretend to know the genesis of same sex attraction,
but I consider it ultimately irrelevant to this debate.
On this point, I agree with same sex marriage advocate Professor
John Corvino:
The fact is that there are plenty of genetically influenced
traits that are nevertheless undesirable. Alcoholism may
have a genetic basis, but it doesn’t follow that alcoholics
ought to drink excessively. Some people may have a genetic
predisposition to violence, but they have no more right to attack
their neighbors than anyone else. Persons with such
tendencies cannot say, “God made me this way” as an excuse
for acting on their dispositions!
"It's downright frightening to hear U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggest that moral disapproval of homosexual 'marriages' is somehow unconstitutional. What's next, federal lawsuits against states with man-woman marriage laws and federal investigations of individuals who believe marriage is only for a man and a woman?"


And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:4-6 NKJV

Posted by: lyn3 | March 1, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Might want to take a current day survey of voters in the South, not much has changed amoung majority white voters since 1964 - Sad then and ever more sad now. "why do the gentiles rage"
________
"why the voters in every state where they have been allowed to vote on this issue, have said NO to same-sex marriage"

Posted by: klgrube | February 28, 2011 1:51 PM |

Posted by: LeastOfThese | March 1, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

lyn3 wrote:
"God ordained marriage is between one man and one woman. The history of this country was built upon the foundation of marriage and Biblical principles. The traditional institution of marriage is the best institution for raising children."

First of all what if you are athiest? Should the religious rules of marriage apply to non-believers in the United States? Second many people in this country were compelled to follow religious practices that included marriage, otherwise you were burned at the stake like early Americans in places like Salem Mass. Non mainstream religious groups like the Mormons were ostracized and forced to form their own communities. Folks who did not want to be treated like the Mormons, or the ladies in Salem towed the moral bottom line. Third, how do children benefit in failed marriages, which represent 60% of people who get married? Would Elin Nordegren have been better off as a single mother rather than deal with the pain she and her kids have gone through because of her divorce from Tiger?

Finally regarding your quote of Matthew 19:4-6...why isn't there a drive to outlaw divorce on the same level to outlaw gay marriage given that from a bibical point of view, as you point out, gay marriage is just as bad as divorce?

Posted by: oorfenegro | March 1, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Statistics in those places (states) where gay marriages have been conducted show startling number of divorces among the unions. Why not just accept that many "states" will recognize unions and grant you just about all the rights you are demanding. Problem is when you leave the state because the economy stinks and there is a good job offer. move to another state and your fruity marriage, no matter how happy is not recognized for tax purposes, for insurance purposes etc., etc. The so called "president" has created a moral dilemma... he will not defend this DOMA in court anymore but...he will not legally grant equal rights under the law to gay couples... Me thinks you are all being exploited for votes... how about you?

Posted by: minuramsey | March 1, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

minuramsey...I think your point proves that gays are just like everybody else and should have the right to be unhappy in marriage like the 60 percent of Americans who wind up getting divorced. The president is waiting for a definitive court ruling on this issue. The issue is currently in the court system right now. And tell me where there's an elected official who does not try to exploit various groups for maximum number of votes?

Posted by: oorfenegro | March 1, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

To those who favor civil unions for gay couples,

Which legal protections or benefits would be different from civil marriages?

And if they are exactly the same, why should the law call them by different names?

Posted by: Freestinker | March 1, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"...parade around in their high heels and swish and collect offal."

~Posted by: wjc1va

Dang. I just *knew* I forgot something today. Managed to bring down Western civilization yet again, but I never to remember to wear the heels. I'm such a bad gay.

Posted by: jdblue | March 1, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

For hundreds of years, religious elites and common people have used their own religious interpretation (and passed down interpretation) to oppress based on gender, sexual orientation, religion and ethnicity. We have come to know of the atrocities that were all tied to religion such as the Holocaust, African-American enslavement, and the persecution of Jews.

In his book, “Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness,” James A. Haught chronicles a thousand years of religious hate ranging from the witch hunts, to the numerous crusades, to the Holy Inquisition, to the religious anti-Semitic influence that later fueled the Holocaust.

Haught says, “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of the coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.”

Furthermore, theologian Richard Rubenstein wrote that the Nazis “did not invent a new villain…they took over the 2,000-year-old Christian tradition of the Jew as a villain. The roots of the death camps must be sought in the mythic structure of Christianity.”

Throughout history numerous religious leaders and common people have pointed to specific passages in the Bible that have been used to validate slavery. One insightful book, “Noah’s Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery,” by Stephen R. Haynes, further shows how just “one” biblical passage fueled anti-African-American sentiment over the course of hundreds of years.

The biblical passage, “A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” reads Noah’s curse on Ham. Ham is later identified as the ancestor of black Africans, and this particular biblical passage is just one that has been used historically to justify African-American slavery. Also many Christian clergymen throughout history were pro-slavery.

Historian Larry Hise says in his book, “Pro Slavery,” that ministers “wrote almost half of all defenses of slavery published in America.” He also lists more than 250 religious men who used the BIBLE TO PROVE WHITE PEOPLE WERE ENTITLED TO OWN BLACK PEOPLE!

Similarly, Hitler and other anti-Semitic leaders throughout history have used biblical passages to validate the persecution of Jews. Here is just one passage that fueled anti-Semitism: “You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. >>>>


<<<< They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

Posted by: latinsa06 | March 2, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a historical pardon at St. Peter’s Basilica regarding the Catholic Church’s prime role in the persecution of Jews for the past 1,000 years. In addition, they also released a document that named (and officially validated) other multiple “sins” on their part including the Holocaust, Inquisition, Crusades and other religious acts.

Not surprisingly, comparable negative sentiment that existed hundreds of years ago against African-Americans and Jews, continues on even today for non heterosexuals. True, much progress has been made, but even today, when discussing bisexuality or homosexuality, some people are quick to (just as in history) point to biblical passages that condemn anyone who is not heterosexual.

A few of years ago, we witnessed a progressive change in history as gay and bisexual men and women married in California before Proposition 8 was passed. With the right time to pass, it will not be long when equal marriage rights under the law will be given to non-heterosexuals; similar to the way the bans on interracial marriage were outlawed and ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court DESPITE 72% of the MAJORITY of Americans IN FAVOR of interracial marriage bans at the time.

Still, some do not consider gay rights a “civil rights” issue. However, Coretta Scott King, wife of the late Martin Luther King Jr., disagrees with them. In 1998, on the 30th anniversary of her husband’s assassination she commented: “I still hear people say that I should… stick to the issue of racial justice, >>>>


<<<< but I hasten to remind them Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ ” I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother-and-sisterhood for lesbian (bisexual) and gay people.”

Clearly, religion has also been used against women throughout history. One such biblical passage has been used to prohibit women from being ministers: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak.” (I Corinthians I 4:34). This helped fuel misogynistic beliefs at the time, viewing women as merely second-class citizens.

Yes, it is true more people have died in the name of God throughout our history than any other way. So it behooves us today to not forget our history, for we may be doomed to repeat it. As we have seen through hundreds of years, indeed it has been repeated. I do believe in God very much and always will; there is a higher Creator, and I believe that our higher Creator would want us to most definitely learn from our horrid history, so that we will never repeat it again. ONWARD TO FULL SAME SEX MARRIAGE EQUALITY RIGHTS!

Posted by: latinsa06 | March 2, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

HOW MANY HETEROSEXUALS CHEAT IN MARRIAGE? HOW MANY HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN HAVE ABORTIONS? HOW MANY HETEROSEXUALS HAVE SEVERAL MARRIAGES IN THEIR LIFE? HOW MANY HETEROSEXUALS MARRY FOR MONEY OR OPPORTUNITY? .....Sorry Bible Thumpers! Marriage is NOT "sacred" !!!!! IF HETEROSEXUALS can destory, ruin, and pillage the SANCITITY OF HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE....Why not same sex couples?

Marriage is not sacred you bible-thumping half-wits. HALF OF ALL MARRIAGES BY HETEROSEXUALS END IN DIVORCE. What's so sacred about that? Also, IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, I don't see "no same sex marriages allowed" but I DO SEE "THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY." IF HETEROSEXUALS can destory, ruin, and pillage the SANCITITY OF STRAIGHT MARRIAGE....Why not non-heterosexuals?

RELIGION HAS NO BASIS OR FOUNDATION FOR DENYING A GROUP THEIR RIGHTS. WE ARE A COUNTRY FOUNDED ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!! Any bible thumpers who say differently, are stupid, uneducated, and continue their hatred and homophobia inside their hearts. They will live a sad life of exclusion when they fail to see LOVE KNOWS NO GENDER. LOVE IS LOVE NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHO YOU LOVE!

DANIEL HERNANDEZ, THE GAY LATINO INTERN WHO SAVED GABBY GIFFORDS LIFE is a man of exemplary character! What a shame Republicans/conservatives overwhelmingly don't want him to be able to one day marry the man that he wants, and to have protections against being discriminated in the workplace. Republicans: you only want to take our country backwards. We; however, want to move forward to full marriage equality rights for everyone! Bravo to Daniel Hernandez and not because he's gay, not because he's Latino, but because he is a MAN OF FINE CHARACTER!

TO HOMOPHOBIC AFRICAN AMERICANS who are NOT citizens of my country and who have "ethnic" foreign names: Stay away from the USA. And if you're already here...America doesn't need intolerant homophobic foreign nationals like you in my country.... PEOPLE like YOU are the reason why people don't like illegal aliens like you who enter our country and then get arrogant and think you are BETTER or OVER Gay/bisexual Americans who fight for MY FREEDOM in the military. Hell no! You foreign nationals from Africa brought over your DISGUSTING HOMOPHOBIA, HATRED AND CLOSEMINDED BELIEFS which were perpetuated by YOUR African government. THIS IS AMERICA. Go back to Africa where your leaders "happily" sentence non-heterosexuals to DEATH in that country.

TO THE RELIGIOUS HOMOPHOBIC WACKOS: Go move to the country of Jehovah/God/Jesus (whatever you want to call your creator). This is America where we have the FREEDOM to practice religion OR not. For the record, I believe in God; we are a country founded on RELIGIOUS FREEDOM to live our lives and to worship WHO WE PLEASE or to NOT worship at all! You religious wackos need to study what it means to have RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. That's what makes America great! Stop pushing your religion and crap on others! LOOK UP: SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE! Onward to Marr

Posted by: latinsa06 | March 2, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, your article is very insightful, and I appreciate you wanting to address the relationship between LGBT and the Black church. However, this is not a Black Church issue, as you pointed out that someone said "the most dangerous place for a LBGT person is in the black church." If the church is preaching the gospel of Christ, then that would be true for a heterosexual person, a person who steals, lie, slander, abuse men, women, and children. I know are also aware that if you were making this statement 50 years ago, it would not be in reference to the LGBT, but people of color, but it would not be a reference to the black church. I only mention that because, this should not be said of any group, with regards to them being in danger by being in church.

Apostle Paul said he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believe, he added that therein is righteousness of God. When the gospel is preached it addresses the sinful nature, and condition, and activity of people. So if anyone is speaking cruel towards anyone, the gospel of Christ discourage that type of preaching, because we are to preach the truth in love. To that end, anyone committing acts of sin, which the Bible teaches is the transgression of God's law, and that all unrighteousness is sin, will find themselves uncomfortable in any Church where the gospel is being preached.

Therefore, if any LGBT person is feeling uncomfortable in a "Black Church", join the croud, because the purpose of the gospel is meant to convict and convert, meaning to convict us of sin, and convert us to a life of righteousness. This is not meant to be mean, but to be supportive of us who need encouragement to live a life that pleases God. Also, if the church is apologizing, then it is admitting that the gospel is not true.

Finally, the person is not the problem it's the activity in which we engage in, whether homosexual or heterosexual, it's called in the Bible fornication. The person is loved by God even if that person has a bent towards people of the same or opposite sex. And the church is trully the hospital for those of us who fall short of God's glory, and all are welcomed into the church, but when we engage in activities that violate God's laws and principles, that's when the problem is created.

I appreciate you writing about this important issue, and would love to have a civil conversation about this important matter.

dlford

Posted by: dlford1 | March 5, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@dlford1

You seem well-versed in Biblical matters, so I must ask you a few questions. Have you stoned your neighbor yet? You know the one I'm talking about. I hear he works on the Sabbath, and we all know that the penalty for that is death. Perhaps you were waiting for the police to do it, which is understandable.

Will you join me on Friday to picket the abomination that is Popeye's? They serve unclean meat (shellfish) and that is clearly forbidden by Scripture. Or how about Safeway? Or even just McDonalds? You do keep to all the Levitical restrictions regarding food, right?

Another thing. Paul says that women mustn't speak and must always cover their heads when in church, but neglects to clearly outline a punishment for when they inevitably break these rules. What do you think a fair punishment is for all those hatless women and women preachers? Stoning? Or should this be a lesser offense and only entitle us to sell them into slavery?

Speaking of slavery, I hear there's some good advice in the Old Testament on what price to ask when you sell your daughters into slavery. How should I advise my uncle on this matter? His has a post-graduate degree in geology, so I should think she would command a higher price.

Another thing. Is it okay to set fire to Sears? They sell clothing of mixed fibers, which is clearly forbidden by Leviticus. For that matter, a ways down the road from my cabin, there's a farmer who has corn and soybeans side-by-side in his field. Leviticus calls that an abomination. After I stone him to death, can I eat the crops, or at least sell them to a heathen? Or must I burn the fields too?

These are all pressing matters, and since clearly we Christians are in the business of forcing our Biblical views into secular law, I eagerly await your reply.

Posted by: jdblue | March 5, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

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