As far as I know none of the nine Republican candidates for President have produced any campaign adds (or made any campaign speeches) about “gay marriage”. The media have asked them “gotcha” questions about this (and other such topics) but that is about it.
Sorry Paul, but you have provoked a rant here.
Now, I beg to disagree on several points here. Either my eyes deceived me or I saw on my 32″ HD Samsung a Republican shindig with a banner behind some of the candidates stating the bizarre arithmetic that “Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman”. Michelle Bachmann’s husband (who doesn’t exactly look a straight arrow to me anyway) runs clinics specialising in the absolute snake-oil of “Praying away the Gay”. The amazing thing about such “treatments” is that they do sort of work. In the ’60s and ’70s they did similar with a Rube Goldberg type contraption that measured erections when the subject was shown images of naked chicks and lads and delivered a shock if tumescence was prompted by the “wrong” gender. It worked – for about a month. I don’t know whether they played Beethoven’s ninth in the background but they might as well have done. So God knows about the new form but it would appear that certain portions of US society have advanced from Heath-Robinson style “science” to good old hellfire. A positive I feel.
And herein lies the rub. “Certain portions”. The most zealous anti-gay (well he’s basically anti-everything else) American is the reprehensible Fred Phelps who is absolutely completely nucking futz and his “church” is only really attended by his family (the vast majority of “ordinary” Americans are vastly more homopilic than you might think – I have spent quite a lot of time over the pond you know). I first heard of Phelps many years ago. So bizarred was I by his “godhatesfags.com” website I emailed the local paper in Topeka, KS. I received a very nice reply that Fred Phelps was alas very real – I thought it a spoof. This was before Phelps got the wonderous URL “godhatesamerica.com” which I have only now discovered is superseded by “godhatestheworld.com”. Talk about winning friends and influencing people!
This is what Phelps has to say about my country. Charming isn’t it? Especially in its complete inability to use an apostrophe or understand the UK constitution. By Phelp’s metric a “fag-enabler” is pretty much anyone who isn’t rolling the cattle-trucks or making pink triangles.
I’m not comparing Paul’s comment to utter Phelpsian insanity but…
Over my life-time (and I do know the USA quite well having spent several months in total there and having had a long-term relationship with an American) both here and in the USA probably the most remarkable transformation of social attitudes I have witnessed is that towards homosexuality. Being anti-gay is just not an electoral asset. Indeed of the folks who might support something like the FDMA you will alienate vastly more over the fact it is deeply unconstitutional. Americans are married under state law, not federal law. I suspect a lot of US right-wingers who might be expected to care about such a matters will draw their horns in over the constitutional issue. Frankly on the “morals” front the likes of Bachmann Perry Overdrive are preaching to a mythical “middle America” that probably never even existed in 1955. It certainly doesn’t in 2011.
And it’s not the BBC, or the Washington Post or the schools and universities “brainwashing” or some such – it’s just life’s rich tapestry. I’ve got to say this to you Paul. Got to. Every time you go on about brainwashing I feel stupidly belittled. It reminds me every single time of a quote from Bertrand Russell. Russell stated that he’d rather have his philosophical opinions reported by his “Worst enemy in philosophy” than by someone ignorant of the discipline. I agree. I can filter as much as that old goat could. It is a disservice to suppose otherwise. And perhaps as much to the point I was never indoctrinated. I learned electromagnetism and quantum mechanics and general relativity and stuff. If I’d wanted to learn sociology I could have traded my Nikes for a pair of socks and sandals, grown a pondering beard and given-up any hope of sexual congress – like ever.
But Paul, I haven’t even come to my major point.
Anyway what is there to “argue” about on this matter? What ceremonies groups of homosexuals conduct on their own property is no one’s business but their own – as long as no is forced to “recognise” such “marriages” by “anti discrimination laws” and so on.
God knows about the use of scare quotes but there is a lot to argue (or “argue”) here. The whole point and conception of marriage (at least in English law – and I doubt US laws are much different) is that it is intrinsically public – when they liberalised the civil marriage laws here to include hotels and such public access was and remains an issue. Indeed in the USA which of course has different marriage laws across the states because it is a state issue and not a federal one there is a long-standing “gentleman’s agreement” to recognise out of state marriages. Marriage means nothing if it is not generally accepted. It is essentially a contract between two people which has to be recognised by the wider community in order to mean anything.
So essentially secret homosexual trysts up in the hills (assuming they own them) don’t really cover it. The entire move towards gay marriage has not been about setting-up a secret society of “supergay-friends” but towards the union being generally recognised.
And I shall re-iterate my point. There are a number of religious organisations in this country who are currently conducting “sham” gay marriages. They are doing it because their theology has no problem with homosexuality and would like to marry gay couples on the same basis (and on land they own) in the same way they do straight couples. These are essentially (there may be others) the Quakers, some Jewish organisations and the Methodists. Why the sham (and then there has to be some sort of “civil partnership” ‘do’ as well to make it legal)? Why? Don’t get me wrong here. I have no problem with the various other religious groups who don’t want to conduct same sex marriages. The entire thing is for whatever faith to decide by whatever means. Fine m- their perogative. But the current law means the religious building I am warden of cannot celebrate homosexual marriages (though it is one that can do heterosexual – I know because I clean the place good and proper for the dealie – I mean it’s their big day right?) But no gay marriages despite (a) this religion has no issue contra homosexuality and (b) a number of our regulars are in homosexual relationships. How is that fair?
If as a libertarian then surely you must allow faith groups who have no issue contra homosexuality to be allowed to conduct marriages as they see fit. Surely Paul! That is the issue. I know a lesbian couple quite well who cannot legally be married here despite the fact that this religious organisation doesn’t actually see their relationship as wrong in any sense whatsoever. In a very real sense this is not even about gay rights (I would personally regard it as about fundamental human rights) but religious rights. Now, fine for assorted religious sorts to be anti-gay or lesbian. They can knock themselves out on it. They don’t force anyone to worship there do they? No they don’t so fine. But why extend that ban to other faith groups that don’t think the same? C’mon Paul, you’re a libertarian so you believe in freedom and freedom of religion has to be be way up there. You might not like what the Quakers, the Methodists and Reformed Judaism wants but nobody beats you into a meeting house, a chapel or synagogue.
This is exactly the same point that whilst some Muslim women might cover their hair it’s not a general legal requirement in this country (it’s debatable whether it’s even a Qu’ranic requirement). It is in Iran (but the Ayatollahs are fucking mental) and they also hang gays in Iran don’t they? If we’re not way better than Iran then I pity us. But we are. And we ought to be proud of this. Because quite simply this is what seperates us from goat-buggery.
You might not like gay marriage (why does it matter to you?) and fair play to you but if it is going to happen it (like any other marriage) has to be generally recognized otherwise it is utterly meaningless. Yet it isn’t is it? It is clearly very meaningful to the primary parties involved. Or let’s put it another way. I got married (to a woman) five years ago without any plans for offspring so what is so fundamentally different? Is my marriage wrong too?
Or yet another way. One of the drives for gay marriage happens in ICU. You may have lived with and loved someone for 40 years but you still don’t have the legal right to turn-off the life-support. Marriage (gay, straight or whatever) is pretty much the only chance anyone has to choose their designated driver. I personally think that matters and I personally think that matters more than the genital configuration of the other party to the deal. Allegedly under Iranian law it is legal to fuck a goat if you subsequently slaughter and sell it in a different village to where you gave it the full 7″s. I have been to many places on roughly three continents but that is just dark-age fucking barbarism.
I’m OK with even ugly people having sex but goats – Jeebus of Nazareth that is where I draw the line. I mean if you have to lift a tail to enter into congress then I draw a line in the sand that must never be crossed. Oh, I don’t know! OK, I guess (as long as no animal cruelty is involved) but don’t expect me at the stag night. Well, not if it involves fucking one up the Arras.
And on that bizarre point I’ll leave it. Except I don’t honestly see why Paul is contra gay marriage. Let me go fully 20mm Hispano-Suiza on it. For me to believe Paul has a point here he would have to sincerely believe (and convince me) my marriage (he doesn’t have one and I’ve just had my fifth marriage anniversary) is as utterly worthless as a gay or lesbian one. This I don’t believe. I have done questionable things. Sometimes against city walls. I also got married to the person I love. That was my call and hers and it had nothing to do with being straight. Anyway who said we were both straight? I never did. We did some moderately interesting things as well.
Well, why not?
More fun than being a Republican. Apart from Gary Johnson.