Gay Marriage Makes Financial Sense

The U.S. should make gay marriage legal in every state to simplify tax, inheritance, and other legal matters for same-sex couples. Pro or con?

Pro: Same-Sex Marriage Deserves Federal Legalization

Most people in this country take for granted the financial safety net marriage creates for the couples who enter into it. Being denied marriage and its associated legal and financial protections affects same-sex couples and their families at every stage of life. It’s not only unfair; it’s not good business sense.

Corporate America is ahead of the federal government in recognizing the value of treating all families equally. More than half of Fortune 500 companies, in every industry and every region, provide health insurance and other benefits to same-sex partners of their employees. They know that this is good business—so why doesn’t the federal government?

Same-sex partners are taxed on employer-provided benefits, while their different-sex married counterparts are not. And the federal government, otherwise a standard-bearer in employee benefits, does not provide benefits to these families at all. This means it can’t compete with companies such as Raytheon (RTN), IBM (IBM), and Deloitte for the top talent, which means taxpayers lose out.

Several states recognize same-sex couples, including Massachusetts, which has full marriage rights. Nonetheless, because gay marriage isn’t recognized nationally, families in these states are forced to calculate their incomes separately for federal and state tax purposes, and file as individuals with the IRS. Gay couples pay equally into Social Security but are excluded from spousal and survivor benefits. These partners are also subject to state inheritance taxes, which have a lower threshold than the federal estate tax and can result in funds being transferred from investments to the government, homes being sold off, and leaving aging individuals with fewer resources of their own.

It’s time for the law to catch up with demographics—same-sex couples live in 99% of U.S. counties—and with good business practice. Every right, protection, and obligation of marriage should be open to same-sex couples. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the right way to do business.

Con: Preserve Marriage Rights for a Man and Woman

While some see same-sex couples as the “victims” of policies preserving marriage between a man and a woman, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Human Rights Campaign and other lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual (LGBT) groups constitute powerful political organizations. They are not politically disenfranchised or economically deprived. And homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic (tens of thousands of former homosexuals have left the lifestyle). This is why no state Supreme Court in America has found “sexual orientation” equal to the civil-rights and protected-class status of race, which is obviously unchangeable.

Similarly, no homosexuals are being told to go to the back of the bus or to use a different drinking fountain. They’re not being victimized. Rather, political LGBT activists are victimizing marriage and children. Boys and girls are best served by having a married father and mother under the same roof. Same-sex households confuse children about essential gender differences.

In all 50 states, any two persons—homosexual or heterosexual—can gain access to a panoply of contractual rights that serve their financial interests. Medical decisions, property ownership, wills and trusts, and much more are available. Americans, unmarried or not, can make private agreements using their full breadth of power-of-attorney privileges. Gay activists don’t need marriage rights to get what they clamor for.

The beautiful and special institution of marriage is only for a man and a woman. It’s self-evident, natural, and sexually and reproductively true. It follows that marriage rights and benefits bequeathed by states to bond husbands and wives together as one in the eyes of the law are also only for a man and a woman.

If marriage rights go to the unmarried, counterfeit marriages are created and real marriage is emptied of its exclusive value. Just as counterfeit $100 bills harm local economies, counterfeit marriages render natural marriage legally indistinct, confusing the next generation.

Inheritance, property, medical decisions, and even insurance issues, can be achieved through private arrangements between two persons or between employee and employer. But marriage rights—preserve them for husbands and wives.

Opinions and conclusions expressed in the BusinessWeek.com Debate Room do not necessarily reflect the views of BusinessWeek, BusinessWeek.com, or The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Reader Comments

Dante

Gays are an evolutionary dead end--they don't reproduce. It's simple basic science. Having tax codes or social mores changed to accommodate them will be nothing less than social suicide. Any anthropologist will tell you that customs and beliefs are mechanisms used by a society to ensure the long-term survival of a society. And changing to accommodate dead ends will lead society to a dead end. I know some gays will point out that not all male/female marriages reproduce, but the vast majority will, versus 100% certainty that gays won't.

Jonathan

As an MBA student at Wharton, I am facing these issues in choosing a post-MBA job. Even with higher marginal tax rates, I will pay less tax if I accept a position in London or Toronto vs. the U.S., because unlike the U.S., they will recognize my same-sex marriage of four years and treat my partner and me as a couple for tax purposes. In a global market for top management talent, the U.S. economy is going to lose if it continues to discriminate.

Dead End

So, Dante, my wife and I cannot have children, so using your logic we should forgo any of our marriage benefits. There are many gay couples who adopt, use artificial insemination, or have children from prior heterosexual relationships. Right now, we're in a heterosexual married relationship, but over the upcoming couple of years I will be transitioning into a female, and we will lose a lot of those built-in marriage rights.

Tim

Randy, will you please write about something you actually understand? Those gays who "leave the lifestyle" simply choose celibacy and denial; that doesn't make them straight.

And if the only purpose of marriage is to procreate, what are we to do with the millions of childless couples in the U.S.? Deny them legal rights? As usual these arguments make no sense and just deny some Americans equality and dignity.

Dante

To "Dead End," reading is not fundamental with gays? Read my last paragraph. And it's about the propagation of species. Artificial insemination doesn't do that too well--and bypasses the natural selection process.

I know gays are confused as to which sex they are. I just didn't know they were too confused to read, too.

Dale

Dante: Yeah, right, a dwindling population is a real crisis facing the world today. The newspaper this morning said humans are almost extinct. Boy, bigots like you never stop coming up with new heights of ridiculousness to hide your prejudices. Gays always have been and always will be; it's just a matter of how we treat them. People like you want to treat them as less than equal. You are wrong.

Ruarie

Anyone consider that a child raised by truly loving gay parents might be better off than a child raised by dysfunctional heterosexual parents? Much of the crime in our society can be traced to childhood experiences (in families with heterosexual parents).

Dante, not everyone is gay, so how can allowing gays to marry lead society to an evolutionary dead end? You are illogical.

By the way, I am not gay.

Dead End

Dante, just because you write something doesn't make it true. There are many more functions to society than simple procreation. In our modern society, you need people of many talents and skills. Judging by our population, procreation is not a problem. We could apparently use a few more educators to shore up some of the ignorance that abounds in this country.

For the record, most gay folks are not confused about what sex they are. A person's sex and sexuality are two totally different things. A transgender person like me has the additional complication of having a physical sex that doesn't match his or her mental gender, but again that has nothing to do with whom I choose to sleep with.


Joe Brummer

Dante writes: "Gays are an evolutionary dead end--they don't reproduce. It's simple basic science."

Joe replies: If you believe that a lack of reproduction is the reason gays are part of evolution, then you have clearly demonstrated your lack of knowledge about natural selection. Homosexuality could be a byproduct of a gene that does aid in reproduction. It isn't basic science, but it is genetics either way, something you seem to have failed in school.

Dante

So far, all you gays are dancing around the basic scientific fact: no species propagation. One tries to say it's better for no child to be born as the world is overpopulated--conveniently not understanding that a social group needs future populations to continue. And all the others try to say gay parenting is as good as natural parenting. I don't know; nor is it relevant. Parenting is a different issue from species/genetic survival. And of course, lacking basic scientific insights, you automatically start calling everyone who disagrees with you "ignorant." Would you confused sexuals please stop trying to confuse the scientific facts? It just makes your side of the debate look like lies that can't stand the light of examination.

Stephen

"Gays are an evolutionary dead end--they don't reproduce. It's simple basic science."

Oh right, that's why they all died off so long ago. Oh wait...

"Any anthropologist will tell you that customs and beliefs are mechanisms used by a society to ensure the long-term survival of a society."

Nope. You're stupid if you think that's true. Ask any anthropologist.

"100% certainty that gays won't [reproduce]."

Tell that to all of the homosexuals out there with children. You are the threat to the continuation of the species. You are an example of natural selection. Let's see how many kids you have that survive to adulthood. It's not much fun reproducing with that one-toothed 300-pound hairy trailer trash of a wife you've got there.

Kith

Actually, if you think of homosexuality as an evolutionary dead end and you truly wish to get rid of it all together, all you have to do is allow and encourage homosexuals to be with homosexuals, and marriage sounds like a great tool for this. Since they can't "naturally" or "accidentally" reproduce, their numbers would slowly dwindle, and there would be no more homosexuals.

On the other hand, if you force them into the closet or, worse, into heterosexual marriages, you are keeping those traits in the gene pool, thus ensuring that homosexuality will be preserved for the duration of mankind's existence.

Just a thought. Also, Dante, do you wish to imply that heterosexuals are too stupid to breed and engage in genetically diverse methods without big daddy government to show them the way?

Ummm

Dante is obviously gay.

John

All of this is beside the point of the original question. If you make civil unions legal and uniform in every state, you accomplish the goal of equality. We, as a society, should leave the question of marriage to the churches as it is historically a religious ceremony. If certain churches wish to marry homosexuals and others don't, so be it. A number of countries (such as France and Brazil) have civil unions for everyone and leave the marriage concept to the various churches.

Ron

The same kind of idiots who opposed minority rights and women's rights now scream about homosexuality being wrong. It is just a natural progression of an open society that we pretend/aspire to have. Closing our eyes to these realities is not going to make them go away or increase them. For those who do not understand, homosexuality is not a disease and legalizing it would only make it easier for some of our fellow humans.

Dale

John, you are 100% on the money. Cheers to you. And to "Ummm," I think you are right, too. No one gets more testy about the evil of gays than a latent homosexual.

Dude

Amen, John. I think the government should not be concerned with sex. I am not gay, but if I were, I would file joint federal income taxes with my partner. Will the government annul my last marriage because she turned lesbian?

warcwulf

This is for all those people who try to simplify the reasons for their bigotry behind an apparently simple phrase like "propagation of species." Gays can't do it naturally, so they shouldn't be allowed to marry each other. Why would propagation matter? Well, it matters because children are born from it and need to be cared for and protected by society. One way this can be done is through marriage of the child's parents. There are legal and financial protections that benefit the child. Being a parent is a role one assumes by caring and nurturing a child. Just breeding a child is something anyone who's not sterile can do; a parent is not just some sperm donor or egg donor--it's an active role taken in a child's life. So marriage's central role is as a protective structure for children, not as an empty structure for the propagation of the species. So is it OK in America to disenfranchise the children of gays? Is it OK that those children are not afforded legal and financial protections that other children get because their parent can marry and or legally adopt them? It shouldn't matter if some adult doesn't like it that gays can marry; it should matter that innocent children who have gay parents are protected by society, and that protection is given when the child's parents are allowed to marry.

Remington

Dante, if you have a problem with my homosexuality, then please address the matter with my heterosexual parents. Please do not assume that only gay people have gay children or that only straight parents raise straight children. Gay people have been around forever, and we aren't going anywhere.

Dante

Ok. Now you gays are really blowing it. When you have to lie and distort the truth, you have to start reconsidering your position. Is it worth defending? And if it is, why lie about it?

One of you pretends to know anthropology, but is obviously clueless. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality (hint, take a look in the "Evolutionary Perspectives" section). And then the rest of you just call people who disagree with you "stupid" or "obviously gay" or try to bring religion into it. Religion doesn't apply unless it's in the context of morals and ethical behavior maintained for the survival of the social structure.

One of you even tries to do a convoluted "logic" on genetic diversity. How can gays be genetically diverse? Again, an obvious lack of understanding for the basic sciences.

I don't hate gays. Just don't need to see resources redirected to them, as it suits no survival strategy. If I hated gays, I would definitely encourage them to marry. This way, they won't be forced into sham marriages and actually spawn to cover up their gayness.

But here's something gays like to hear: Gays are not freaks. Nature produces gays in every species. Random mutations happen; this is how genetic diversity and evolution come into being. It's just that in every species, gays' genes die off with them, and don't contribute to the future of the species.

Eric

I wonder what all of the florists, event planners, convention sites, hoteliers, marriage counselors, and honeymoon location people think right now, especially in the midst of a recession--gay marriage is good for business.

Sarah

What a joke. I read this expecting Businessweek might hold its contributors to some level of quality. I was sorely disappointed. Randy Thomasson's absurd "con" arguments could easily be picked off, point-for-point, by an average high schooler. Is this really indicative of the standards Businessweek has for its magazine? How sad.

random

The pro and con arguments illustrate the real nature of the debate. It's the side of "They're here, they're queer, and what are we going to do about it in a financial and legal sense?" vs. "Those filthy God hating posers are trying to destroy our society." It's not a debate on an equal level because the first side is trying to develop a logical train of thought and the other side is using nothing but emotion and a few supposed "facts" that either completely ignore scientific knowledge or come from think tanks that have ultra-traditionalist (if not homophobic) leanings. Hence, the con argument contains phrases like this,

"And homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic (tens of thousands of former homosexuals have left the lifestyle)."

Actually, scientists are pretty certain that some genetic traits passed on by the mother result in a different response to the same sex, ending up in homosexuality developing as the child hits puberty.

See http://tinyurl.com/3w55ul (redirects to LiveScience.com).

As for the idea of homosexuality just being a "lifestyle" one can enter or leave at will, making such a statement is not only scientifically wrong as many active genes are almost impossible to mute, but it also blatantly borrows from the grab bag of arch-conservative think tanks who equate putting someone back in the closet by shame and ridicule to a person's making a conscious choice to stop being gay. There has never been any verifiable, repeatable scientific study that shows homosexuality is a choice. In fact, studies have found that it's part of a person's genetic makeup. That also renders the claim that homosexuals are a total evolutionary dead end highly improbable. Clearly this gene has been preserved for thousands and thousands of years, and it must be getting passed.

"Boys and girls are best served by having a married father and mother under the same roof. Same-sex households confuse children about essential gender differences."

The same goes for this statement. There has been no proof behind the claim, originally made by Dobson's Evangelical group Focus on the Family. The idea here sounds somewhat plausible, because we're still taught the Freud model of gender development in psychology classes, and so this bit of pop psych sounds familiar. Boys learn how to be boys from Dad and girls learn how to be girls from Mom. But Freud's model is incomplete, and it was a starting point for psychologists, not the final word.

In reality, boys learn how to be boys not just from their fathers but also from other boys just like girls also learn by modeling other girls. Older siblings, relatives, all the people with whom children will come in contact will play some part in helping them develop their gender identity. The genetics will take care of their sexual orientation, and about 96% will be heterosexual.

Finally, Mr. Thomasson borrows from the ye olde ye stereotype that all gay men are effeminate, hair-frosting drama queens with a love for Broadway shows, and all gay women are butch, wear plaid shirts and jeans, and act like burly truckers. I don't know if Mr. Thomasson has met any real gay people. It certainly doesn't seem so. This is why he says that children in same-sex homes would be confused about gender differences. But research hasn't proven that to be the case, and he ignores all the complexities in the formation of a gender identity I outlined above. I highly doubt that a child with two moms or two dads could be totally confused about what makes a man or a woman while observing heterosexual relatives, siblings, friends, parents of their friends, and in no small part, the media, which enforces heterosexual stereotypes of males and females 24/7/365. Maybe if they lived in an isolated compound with no contact to the outside world.

Last, let's note the emphasis on "married mother and father." See, not just a male and a female parental figure. No, they also have to be married because it's the legal document proclaiming them husband and wife that makes for a nurturing, loving home for a child rather than the actual relationship between the parental figures and their relationships with the children. Isn't it amazing just how much is wrong, missed, or glossed over with just one little phrase Mr. Thomasson has used as a truism?

And speaking of truisms, here we have another shining example of one:

"The beautiful and special institution of marriage is only for a man and a woman. It’s self-evident, natural, and sexually and reproductively true."

Marriage was a legal binding between two families for the transition of wealth, status, and name. It wasn't considered to be beautiful or special until about the time of the Renaissance when Christian culture gave it a new meaning, and the Church began to emphasize the holiness and sanctity of marriage. Until then, marriage was a legal process and the Church as the supreme law making body of the land simply officiated the proceedings. Just because it was declared to be wonderful and beautiful and natural doesn't make it so.

As for Mr. Thomasson's continual abuse of stereotypes and arch-traditionalist think tank quips, the idea that nature and reproduction are somehow involved in making a marriage valid invites so many potential invalidations of heterosexual marriages, it's scary. By the same idea, an infertile couple should have its marriage annulled. So should older couples because they can no longer bear children. And by invoking nature, we must wonder that if something is present in the natural world and has been persistently present for at least the last 10,000 years, how can it be unnatural?

We could say that skyscrapers are also unnatural. But wait, they're made of natural materials by natural beings. So they exist; they exist because something happened to make them exist and thus, they're a naturally occurring phenomenon. We, as a force of nature, create them.

In short, Mr. Thomasson didn't write a con essay. He wrote out a string of trite, redundant words that are woefully lacking in factual backing, and then pronounced his expected conclusion. Personally, I consider rehashing stereotypes and willfully ignorant drive-by punditry in an expert essay to be lazy.

Oh, and just a final thought. Mr. Thomasson's campaign is named Save America. He's out to save America from about 3% of the population that doesn't want to mate with the opposite sex. Is it just me or is someone a wee bit overreacting and maybe needs a little fresh air and a sense of perspective? If we legalize gay marriage, a whole of 3 million people might choose to do something different while about 297 million will keep on doing what they've been doing. Yeah, real threat from gay marriage there. If there was ever a Quixotic quest, battling against gay marriage is it.

random

"One of you pretends to know anthropology, but is obviously clueless. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality (hint, take a look in the "Evolutionary Perspectives" section)."

If you're getting your anthropology and evolutionary science from Wikipedia, you probably need to stop by your local bookstore for a much longer and expert peer reviewed list of literature. People have tried to cram evolutionary theory into morality and society for a century now, but they all face the same problem. Their understanding of evolution is not all that great, thanks in no small part to the low quality of science education in schools.

This lack shows in your comments, especially when you waved off artificial insemination as "going around the natural selection process." Unless the donor sperm will never mutate or merge with the genes of an egg, the genome created during fertilization will be just as subject to evolution as any living thing. For this genome to go around natural selection, it would have to be designed by scientists from scratch and the organism with this genome artificially kept alive. A sperm is getting to the egg. The only artificial part is that the sperm is implanted by a mechanical device. Its genes will change and merge, and the resulting child will be just as subject to evolution as those of us born the old fashioned way.

Same goes for your comment that "gays' genes die off with them." Well, gays get their genetic makeup from their parents who will be heterosexual about 96% of the time. (The gay population is about 3% of the total) This means that heterosexual parents are carriers for the gene which allows a child to be homosexual. But as his or her heterosexual parents continue to reproduce and give birth to heterosexual children, those children will carry on these genes and down the line, their ancestors will give birth to another homosexual child.

This is exactly what scientists found in their studies. See my previous example of http://tinyurl.com/3w55ul. So if heterosexual parents carry genes for homosexuality in rare instances, there will always be homosexuals and their genes will never die off.

Last, viewing what resources gays should and should not be allowed to have through a lens of Social Darwinism (a rejected pseudo-science of the late 1800s created to make blue bloods and old money magnates feel better about themselves), ignores that humans are useful beyond reproduction. A homosexual scientist who might have a cure for Stage 3 lung cancer can contribute to humanity in other ways than having lots of kids. We're no longer an agrarian species who needs merely to perpetuate its numbers to survive. We're industrial and information driven. Someone who's genes might give him or her an edge in creating something is certainly worth the consumed resources regardless of sexual orientation and number of kids.

By your logic, we should deny resources to anyone who doesn't have children by choice or by disease as well. And that smacks an awful lot like a light form of eugenics.

So I'm just wondering, who needs to brush up on basic sciences again?

Robert Laughing

Dante is not only likely to be gay but also a Republican Neo-Con, aspiring to political office, by appointment. This is such a stupid topic. Why shouldn't people enjoy partner benefits? The real issue is that 50% to 60% of corporations don't pay taxes in this country--they pay the Republican and Democratic Parties for loopholes, tax rebates, and tax holidays, and to protect the CEO's obscene greed and incompetence. Now this is an issue you all should be fighting. Flush the political toilet and send the incumbents where they really belong--the unemployment office.

Gimme a BREAK

We see nothing in heterosexual marriage that proves a man and a woman makes the best parents. Considering the divorce rate of 50% to 60%, (to say nothing of the Liz Taylors of the world with five, six, or seven husbands or Trump-like males with trophy wives) and reading about all the single moms or dads with two, three, four, or five or more kids, allow me to state categorically that the vast majority of "couples" shouldn't be permitted to have a dog or cat, let alone cloning the moronic buffoons reproducing like rodents. My wife and I made the decision years ago to forgo kids--it has been and is great. Gay legal rights to partnership? Yes.

Dale

Ha, Dante, you are the true random mutation. You might as well slither back into your cave, because you're digging yourself in deeper with every desperate, ignorant posting.

econguy

I'm sure the Dems have this in their big fat policy playbook that will not be revealed until the day after the election. The practice of don't ask and don't tell on hidden policy priorities has never been breached, and the media never even get close. It takes a slip like Obama's bitter remarks to even get a glimpse of what is behind the curtain.

RR

Gay people help the economy by not causing accidental or irresponsible pregnancies that taxpayers end up paying for.

Chris

If this is the best argument against gay marriage, we should have legalized gay marriage long ago. Dante's somewhat bizarre obsession with species propagation seems beside the point. Humans are not an endangered species, and marriage was not intended to prevent us from becoming one. Marriage and the laws that benefit those who marry are designed to strengthen a family, even if that family has no children. It reflects the idea that we are stronger when we have committed partners, rather than alone. Many gay people do have children from prior relationships, artificially, or through adoption. There are no reasons those children should be deprived of the legal benefits we provide children of straight parents. The real problem this country has when it comes to species propagation is not a shortage of children, but a shortage of loving homes for all the children who deserve one. If a gay couple agrees to bring a child into a loving home, they should receive all the same legal protection to do so as any straight couple.

Catch424

A shirt I saw recently said, "Gays don't make other Gays. Heterosexuals do."

The reasons for not letting them marry has nothing to do with economics. Why is this even a topic? Business doesn't care what sex you are, so long as your money is green.

Allen

The only thing I oppose is that these laws aren't trying to protect a race, gender, or species--but rather behavior. Most arguments I see presuppose that the issue is somewhat of a civil rights issue. I can't chose my race, but I can choose my actions, regardless of what I am inclined to do.

Dale

Allen, are you proposing that gays should choose celibacy, denial, or just live the most convincing hetero relationship they can? Are you proposing that being gay is merely a lifestyle choice? That offends me. I've put up with a lot for this in my life, none of which would ever have been my choice if I could have avoided it. I mean, when was the exact moment that you "chose" not to be gay? I'll have you know that God created me exactly as I am, which includes being gay, and yes I do in fact deserve every right and protection that you do. Equality for gays is not special treatment that endorses a particular lifestyle choice; the only choice involved is whether or not to live honestly and with dignity. If gay people offend you or you don't understand it, look in the mirror: You offend me, and I fail to understand how you could not support equal rights for gay people, yet I would never propose limiting your rights because of it. Who else do you consider unworthy of equal rights? Those whose religion you don't understand or approve of? After all, they can choose another religion.

Brian

Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, and the world didn't come to an end. Same-sex marriage hurts no one. Why not legalize it?

Disgusted American

As mentioned in numerous posts, gays do have children, either from prior relationships or adoption or in vitro fertilization. And when gays/lesbians have children, they're wanted and planned for economically. They aren't accidents from one night of drinking.

Mike

Dante, the fact that everyone has replied to your post says...something. Probably that your opinion is so ignorant and applied so ridiculously to the topic, that it had a "car accident" effect, and people just couldn't look away or leave it alone. Your mentality would be laughable if it wasn't so common.

AJ

Allen: "I can't chose my race, but I can choose my actions, regardless of what I am inclined to do."

So you want others to conform to your set of beliefs irrespective of what they are inclined to do? I can understand this from a perspective of preventing criminal behavior, but how is what two consenting adults choose to do amongst themselves relevant to you or any of your business? You may not agree with the morality, but no one is asking you to join them. Your train of thought completely validates why this is a civil rights issue.

Dante agrees that it's evolutionary genetics--calls them a genetic dead end. As others have rightly pointed out, homosexuals have had thousands of years to extinct themselves out. If they are still here, it's a completely natural event, in which case, your wanting to deny them their basic civil rights smacks of bigotry and eugenics.

Civil rights exist to protect one's individuality, and the anti-gay folks are simply trying to deny others what they freely enjoy. Your taxes are not going into paying for their "lifestyle" or "choices." So why would any non-bigoted person want to deny them their rights?

If you feel marriage is a religious ceremony, then you shouldn't oppose civil unions. If you believe marriage is only about the propagation of species, then you have no excuse for opposing civil unions. Unless, i.e, you are really in it just to exploit and dominate a small minority for your insane pleasures.

Obama wasn't wrong about the "bitter" remark. This discussion so far just goes to prove it.

Libby

Nobody's addressed the issue that contractual arrangements cannot completely reproduce the financial benefits and protections of marriage. For instance, unmarried partners (heterosexual or homosexual) are not offered the Social Security benefits and protections available in case of death or incapacitation of one of the partners. Also, unmarried partners get taxed on property they inherit from a deceased partner, whereas the inheritance would be tax-free in the case of a married couple.

And these are only the financial considerations. This doesn't begin to address nonfinancial issues such as hospital/nursing home visitation rights and the right not to be forced to testify against a spouse in court.

Marriage is regulated in two spheres, the legal and the religious. For instance, while Catholics can divorce and remarry under the law, their church will not recognize those actions.

I advocate recognizing only civil unions in the eyes of the law, and let the individuals and churches involved decide for themselves which of those is a marriage in the eyes of their conception of God. To pretend the state's laws have ever perfectly mirrored anybody's church's conception of marriage is foolish.

Dale

Libby, you're so right. Not to mention that even in the case of the legal benefits and protections that are available to gay couples, to attain them is very costly (prohibitively so for some), while opposite-gender couples get them automatically, immediately, and for free with a marriage certificate at city hall. If that's not discriminatory, what is?

Karl

Presenting cogent arguments to social conservatives like Randy Thomasson is pointless. The "logic" they present is merely the facade of a roiling cauldron of deeply felt and fiercely protected emotions, primarily fear. If they were really interested in protecting marriage, they would lobby to make divorce illegal. But, as we all know, they're never going to do that.

EK

Gay people are sick people. Where would we be if God had created two men in the Garden of Eden?

Libby

Actually, Karl, they are trying. Look at the recent trend toward passing "covenant marriage" laws. These are marriages that can be legally dissolved only under very specific and narrowly defined circumstances. In the states where these laws are passing, they don't replace the traditional legal form of marriage, but exist alongside it. In other words, when you get your license, you and your spouse-to-be decide whether the law treats it as a standard marriage or a covenant marriage. If covenant, it is exactly the same as standard up to and until you petition the courts for divorce. Then the petition will be denied unless the petition cites one of the specific and narrowly defined causes stipulated in that state's covenant marriage statute.

The point is, there is a movement to restrict divorce.

Karen

I just wanted to point out how "normal and healthy" this lifestyle is. Have any of you seen what takes place at a gay pride parade? These people call their behavior "normal and healthy"? You don't see heterosexuals openly engaging in sexual acts at a parade. I think there is something wrong with people who commit sexual acts in public.

random

"I just wanted to point out how 'normal and healthy' this lifestyle is. Have any of you seen what takes place at a gay pride parade? These people call their behavior 'normal and healthy'?"

Gay pride parades are an exaggerated, shock jock tactic, but pretty much all of them are tame. Otherwise there are plenty of police chiefs who would love to shut them down. I don't know what parade you saw, but it certainly wasn't one sanctioned by any city since committing obscene sexual acts in public is punished by fines and jail sentences.

Of course judging the "health and normality" of homosexuals by a gay pride parade is akin to judging the health and normality of heterosexual couples by watching hard core BDSM pornography or going to a swingers' club. Then again, whether there's something wrong with that or not is a value judgment and a highly subjective one at that.

So no, we obviously haven't seen the same things you have, so why don't you indulge us in an actual description? Otherwise, your condemnation is kind of like high school gossip. "Did you know what Mark and Julie did behind the bleachers at the game last night?" No. And I'm not sure if we care to know either.

"You don't see heterosexuals openly engaging in sexual acts at a parade. I think there is something wrong with people who commit sexual acts in public."

Heterosexuals don't have pride parades, so the analogy here is moot. But yes, heterosexuals engage in sexual acts in public. Have you ever been outside a nightclub? Or a bar? Ever heard of something called exhibitionism, the desire to be seen committing sexual acts for strangers? And what about explicit flirting complete with groping and kissing on city streets? Just because you're not there to see it every time doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

Does this mean that homosexuals and heterosexuals are abnormal and have something wrong with them? But wait, bisexuals do all the things heterosexuals and homosexuals do, so they're even worse. Is there anybody out there who doesn't have anything wrong with him or her?

Now you might say that not every last heterosexual out there engages in what you call public sex acts. And that's true. But neither do homosexuals or bisexuals. For every shock jock at a pride parade, there are dozens of homosexuals who keep their sexual acts behind closed doors. And you're back where you started again, with no analogy that would make homosexuals seem any better or worse than heterosexuals.

Thom

EK, do you have some scientific data to support your statement? No, huh? Actually, the scientific community agrees that gay people are not mentally ill. Considering what they have to put up with from people like you, that's a testament to their resilience and inner strength. As for God's creation, God makes gay people too, and from what I've seen, He has much to be proud of.

On to Karen. "You don't see heterosexuals openly engaging in sexual acts at a parade."

No, dear. They do it at swing clubs and in whorehouses in numbers that far exceed that of gays acting out at pride parades. If we are to judge whether a lifestyle is "normal and healthy" by the extreme behavior of a few, then you heterosexuals are seriously warped.

I think there is something wrong with people who think they can judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few. It's called idiocy.

Cindy

Gay weddings contribute $18.6 billion into the wedding market every year. Gay couples spend an average of $15,000 on a ceremony in states where there is no legal recognition of their union. In states where couples can receive a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage rights, the average couple spends $22,000 on their ceremony. Both of these figures do not include honeymoon travel expenses.

How can I account for these statistics? I own Rainbow Wedding Network Magazine, the only nationwide gay and lesbian wedding magazine, and run RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, the only nationwide wedding resource for gay and lesbian couples. We are a lesbian-owned company and have been working this industry for eight years, even while the Dante's out there in the world try to convince everyone why gay marriage will kill off the human race.

We have 6,000 screened gay-friendly businesses listed on our service. Most of them are straight-owned companies who realize that equal rights in marriage is a real issue and support the union of two consenting adults. They also realize that coming out as a supportive business just makes good business sense. Because these businesses have a policy of non-discrimination, they will gain new wedding customers and increase their bottom line.

Nothing will stop this industry. It's growing everyday. Gay marriage could be banned in every state, and the Dante's can scream from the rooftops about how we are destroying society, but this will not stop a gay or lesbian couple from having a wedding and spending their money for the same services that any couple, gay or straight, wants on their wedding day.

For a business to be open to take the money from gay wedding couples and provide a supportive service for those couples on their wedding day means tapping into $18.6 billion industry.

Kian

For Corporate America, it may be all about money, but this is not so for the federal government. A government has to be concerned about society and the future of the nation.

Can you imagine a nation of only gays? How long would Corporate America survive? How long would a nation survive? Indeed, as Dante said, it would be a dead end.

If a couple chooses to be gay, so be it, but the government cannot change the definition of marriage to accommodate these couples. Gays must not be, and are not, discriminated against. Difficulties in tax, inheritance, etc., are just a small price to pay for a chosen lifestyle.

Dale

It's astounding how much vitriolic sentiment there is out there toward people just because they're homosexual, and astounding, too, that folks are perfectly comfortable justifying these feelings in a way that allows them to even feel righteous. Karen, EK, and Dante: I think Jesus would be sad and ashamed of the feelings you harbor and the way you wield them against people who have done nothing to you. It goes against everything he taught. Why are you so completely unable to let your love of God transcend this terrible animosity coming between you and a peaceful coexistence with God's homosexual children?

Mike

Kian, news flash to you: Gays are actual members of the society that their government is, by your assertion, supposed to be concerned about.

Your idiocy about a nation "only of gays" is impossible to approach--nice use of stupidity to deflect intelligent discourse.

Your statement that gays aren't discriminated against is followed by a statement about the price they are paying. Nice job in proving yourself wrong.

Your opinion regarding "choice" is ignorant of science and reality--educate yourself before writing next time.

I don't mean to resort to hyperbole when I say the simplicity and lack of humanity in your definition of society and government would go over very well with a Nazi.

Thom

Kian, there is so much wrong with your specious argument that it almost defies parsing: "Can you imagine a nation of only gays? How long would Corporate America survive? How long would a nation survive? Indeed, as Dante said, it would be a dead end."

This is a classic straw man argument. We need not imagine any such thing, because it's impossible.

Then we have your repeated references to couples "choosing" to be gay and a "chosen" lifestyle. To this, I ask: How many people of the same gender did you have sex with prior to "choosing" to be heterosexual? Did you wake up one day and say to yourself "Wow, I guess I'll be straight today"?

Of course not, and the very notion is absurd except to the very few true bisexuals among us.

Gay couples are indeed discriminated against. People like you do it every day. They are not treated equally under the law, and that, my friend, is the worst form of discrimination there is. Our government has to be concerned that all of our citizens have the same rights. As long as gay couples can't marry (or have all the rights thereof), that is a blot on our Constitution.

As for the "small price to pay," Google the name "Laurel Hester" and try telling her former coworkers and widow about the size of the price she paid.

Jeff

I'm sick of idiots in the world thinking they have the right to cram crap down our throats. Gays are freaks of nature, and saying someone is God's homosexual child makes you a freak as well. What's next--are the idiots in the world going to tell us that we have to accept people and animals as couples? You gay-loving freaks go on with your lives, but as for some of us, we still value the institution of marriage's being between a man and a woman.

random

"Can you imagine a nation of only gays?"

Can you imagine a nation run by dinosaurs? Sure you can. We can imagine anything we'd like. But dinosaurs are extinct and they're not coming back and they didn't have the concept of civilization or the intelligence to run one. Hence they could never run a country.

Likewise, with homosexuals being just 3% of the population and their sexual orientation dependent on whether their heterosexual parents pass on the genes that can change the way their sex drives are wired, it would be just as impossible to have a nation of only gays as it would for us to have a nation of T. rexes and prosauropods.

Should we try to imagine a nation of only ghosts and zombies next?

Squeezebox

Pro: First of all, you can't legislate morality, as much as most of us would like to. Second, all people are created equal. Your Social Security benefits should be based on your earnings record, not your spouse's. All people, regardless of sexuality, should have health care coverage. Tax all inheritances, not just those of gays.

Con: Why are people attacking chastity? Madison Avenue makes vulgar trash such as The Forty Year-Old Virgin and makes people think there's something wrong with you if you're not sexually active. Then there are the Viagra pushers. It wouldn't kill you to keep it in your pants more often. In some cases, it may save your life.

Henry

First, all marriages should be treated by the state as civil contracts. The separation of church and state dictates that the religious aspect of marriage is immaterial to the state. Therefore, there is no reason homosexuals should not be allowed to marry, i.e., enter into a civil union. All marriages, therefore, are civil unions, regardless of the gender of their participants. If you deny homosexuals the right to marry, you're denying them fair and equitable treatment under the law. It's a Constitutional matter.

If you assume, however, that marriage is a religious act, then the state must accept homosexual marriage if the ceremony was conducted by a sanctioned church. There are plenty of "mainstream" religious clergy who will marry homosexuals. Therefore, to deny homosexuals the right to marry is to deny them their freedom of religion right under the Constitution.

If homosexuals are equal citizens under the law, then they should be allowed to marry. Anything less is disenfranchising a group of their full constitutional rights.

To set up anything separate is to deny the ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education that said, "Separate is not equal." If you reverse that decision for homosexuals, you contradict years of civil rights progress for all citizens, especially those of color.

random

"What's next--are the idiots in the world going to tell us that we have to accept people and animals as couples?"

What you're telling us Jeff is that you don't know the difference between a human and an animal. Humans are sentient beings, and animals are not. We might not be able to make a decision about your genes or our sexuality, but we can make a decision whether we want to be in a couple or not. When was the last time your pet signed a legal paper that it's willing to be your pet?

I also wonder how you made the jump from two humans of the same sex living as a couple to bestiality. Who are the freaks here? People who want to let two consenting humans live their own lives as they wish or those who throw an apoplectic fit at the idea that someone doesn't want to live like they do and imagine their neighbors marrying a goat?

Are you being forced to marry another man? Are you being forced to marry an animal? Are there gay conversion squads sweeping up and down your neighborhood? Is a gay couple down the street making you question your sexuality? Do you speak for God in his divine judgment, and have you received the deity's power to control the hearts and minds of mortals?

Dale

Jeff, no matter what you say I am God's child. He made me exactly as I am: an upstanding member of my family and community who happens to be gay and has the grace and dignity to be honest about it, despite bigots like you who wish I didn't exist at all. And I'm also proud to be a person who doesn't speak hatefully about all heterosexuals simply for who they are. You sound like another latent homosexual, for what else could make you so hateful to people who haven't done a damn thing to you? Whether it's fear, ignorance, or the closet, whatever is keeping you so hateful, please get over it and be a peaceful member of our society like I already am.

Karen

Who told you guys there is such a thing as a "gay" gene? They lied to you.

Dale

Karen, how do you know? You're a genetic biologist? You know God's will better than I do? Better than my pastor does? Are you absolutely 100% certain that it's not God's intention that some people are homosexual? Funny, I used to think it was blasphemous to claim first-hand knowledge of God's will. Good thing we have you to tell us what God's will is, Karen. Where oh where would we be without you?

Thom

Ah, Karen, back with more half-truths: "Who told you guys there is such a thing as a 'gay' gene? They lied to you."

Who told you that there isn't a gay gene? The general consensus in the scientific community is that homosexuality is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Whoever told you otherwise lied to you.

In any case, it doesn't matter. We will always have gay people. And as a society, we need to treat them as full and equal citizens under the law.

Karen

Ann Landers said it, and millions of people believe it. The problem is, the data's not there to support it. There are three ways to test for inborn traits: twin studies, brain dissections, and gene "linkage" studies. Twin studies show that something other than genetics must account for homosexuality, because nearly half of the identical twins studied didn't have the same sexual preference. If homosexuality were inherited, identical twins should either be both straight or both gay. Besides, none of the twin studies have been replicated, and other twin studies have produced completely different results. Dr. Simon LeVay's famous study on the brains of dead subjects yielded questionable results regarding its accuracy. He wasn't sure of the sexual orientation of the people in the study, and Dr. LeVay even admits he doesn't know if the changes in the brain structures were the cause of homosexuality, or caused by homosexuality. Finally, an early study attempting to show a link between homosexuality and the X-chromosome has yet to be replicated, and a second study actually contradicted the findings of the first. Even if homosexuality were someday proven to be genetically related, "inborn" does not necessarily mean "normal." Some children are born with cystic fibrosis, but that doesn't make it a normal condition.

Inborn tendencies toward certain behaviors (such as homosexuality) do not make those behaviors moral. Tendencies toward alcoholism, obesity, and violence are now thought to be genetically influenced, but they are not good behaviors. People born with tendencies toward these behaviors have to fight hard against their natural temptations to drunkenness, gluttony, and physical rage. No, I am not a genetic biologist, just a well informed individual.

Karl

Libby: Thanks for the info. I stand corrected.

random

"Who told you guys there is such a thing as a 'gay' gene? They lied to you."

Good to know. I will immediately notify the scientific communities studying sex and sexuality that a poster named Karen on BusinessWeek.com knows better than they do. See, the poor doctors and geneticists like these, http://tinyurl.com/yocpxa, were trying to work with human chromosomes 7, 8, and 10 because they found that there are certain gene markers present in gay men, which are unlikely to be there all on their own and which seem to be linked to developing an attraction to the same sex under certain conditions.

But since you set them straight with your categorical statement with no cite, proof, or research behind it, I will be sure to tell them to abandon this line of study and discard all evidence of genetic components in homosexuality. If Karen says it's a lie, it must be so. Because after all, when has someone on the Internet been wrong about anything?

random

I know that by this time my posts must be becoming an eyesore, but when someone praises herself on possessing superior information and proceeds to painstakingly detail the flaws of a study long dismissed as lacking any merit, ignoring current studies, dismissing genetic research without naming the studies in question to give us a chance to fact check, and makes a statement that's obviously wrong to anyone who studied Biology 101 in college, I just can't resist. It's not even about homosexuality for me; it's about bad science being used to justify personal viewpoints.

"Twin studies show that something other than genetics must account for homosexuality, because nearly half of the identical twins studied didn't have the same sexual preference. If homosexuality were inherited, identical twins should either be both straight or both gay."

You did so well with that first sentence and then wrecked it with your second. Genes do not account for everything we do, no matter whether we're gay, straight, bi, attracted to inanimate objects, or whatever. The thing about genes is that some genetic expressions are silenced and some are active through a process known as methylation. Genes must not only be inherited, they must be activated. In fact, if the methylation processes were reversed in birds, they would grow tails, scales, teeth, and shed their wings. The birds would turn back into dinosaurs.

So if homosexuality were inherited, it doesn't follow that twins would both be either gay or straight. The genes in chromosomes 7, 8, and 10 would have to be activated to alter sexual preference. By the logic of your commentary, one could argue that if birds inherited dinosaur genes, they should look like dinosaurs. They don't. But if we activate the dormant dinosaur genes in their DNA, they'll become very much like dinosaurs. And there were experiments that proved that it's doable.

Sorry, but being able to do a Punnet Square doesn't mean that you've reached the limits of the knowledge required to discuss such things as heredity and gene expression with any degree of expertise.

"Even if homosexuality were someday proven to be genetically related, 'inborn' does not necessarily mean 'normal.'" Some children are born with cystic fibrosis, but that doesn't make it a normal condition."

Wait a moment, there are no gay genes, and they're a lie according to you, but all of a sudden, you admit the possibility that they might be out there. So are they a lie or are they possible? What kind of a well informed person makes a decisive, categorical statement and then states something different and indefinite in the next post?

But one thing isn't changing, and that's your inflexible focus on what's supposed to be "normal and moral." In nature, there is no normality or morality in genetic codes. Mutations happen all the time and at random, so there's never anything normal and the genomes are in a sense of constant flux. Your example of cystic fibrosis is a very poor one as the genes for this condition are not rare or abnormal. They're persistent, and once in a while they come together to manifest themselves.

We define the condition as abnormal because not everybody has it. But in genetic and biological terms, taking this narrow view is akin to saying that planes are abnormal because not everyone has them. Things just happen in nature, and they bend to no whim or definition of a pundit.

"Tendencies toward alcoholism, obesity, and violence are now thought to be genetically influenced, but they are not good behaviors. People born with tendencies toward these behaviors have to fight hard against their natural temptations to drunkenness, gluttony, and physical rage."

Ah, but you see the genetic influence you're talking about is one of addiction. Alcoholism, gambling, and gluttony are all related to how the brain processes desire. Those of us with addictive personalities have to fight to stop the constant urges because they harm us physically and financially. But homosexuality hurts only those who find it too repulsive to allow no matter whether if affects them directly or not.

In addition, sexual desire isn't just something you could suppress because it's not a propensity. Tell you what, if you can just ignore your female genes, become gay for the rest of your life and overcome your attraction to men, then we can talk about suppressing one's sexuality through the same lens through which we view addictive personalities. Oh, and if you could tell me exactly how you harmed yourself and others around you with your homosexual behavior in the same way a glutton or an alcoholic would, please let me know.

Diligent Dave

Dante is absolutely correct. In fact, in the whole debate regarding illegal aliens, the fact that the average white woman in the U.S. has 1.71 children per lifetime (and the rates are much lower in Europe), underscores that the reason illegal immigration is so high is that legal immigration limits are way too low, because not enough babies are being born.

If you read BusinessWeek, you understand that the economics of a dwindling population are very ugly. Downward spiraling demand, workforce, etc., do not make for happy economic times.

Even a liberal (don't remember his name), but his book, Empty Cradle, as well as other books and studies, well document this problem. Anyone still clinging to the exploding population bomb theory is reading data and has an understanding that is very much passé.

"Gay marriage" is an oxymoron. That's not marriage; that's merely perversion legitimized. Homosexuality is one important factor, among others, in the decline of children born. The U.S. would not have a near replacement fertility rate without all of the illegal immigrants who have to make up the difference for all of the immoral natives.

We claim to be a country of laws. I heard that expression from a U.S. Chamber of Commerce saleswoman just the other day. But obeying man's laws, while breaking God's laws (to multiply and replenish/fill the earth) will bring a "correction" sooner or later by him on this community of Sodom and Gomorrha.

Thom

Wow, Karen, way to step up your game. I suggest you check the APA's thoughts on the subject before considering yourself well-informed.

As for this: "Inborn tendencies toward certain behaviors (such as homosexuality) do not make those behaviors moral."

It's been proven that alcoholism, obesity, and unchecked anger are harmful. Not so with homosexuality--and indeed, many of them contribute a great deal to our society.

However, you should know that there are also studies that suggest bigotry such as yours is a pathology all its own. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01985.x?cookieSet=1&journalCode=psci

Perhaps you should seek professional help. Or better yet, make a gay friend.

Paul

There is no need to redefine marriage or validate perversion. If it's all about money, why should we even tax singles more than couples? And they never complain. Let's just give financial benefits to unmarried adults when they adopt children. Standards of their morals are their choices.
Paul

Thom

Paul, opening marriage up to gay couples is hardly a redefinition. It would mean the exact same thing to a gay couple as a straight one. As for perversion, I assume you mean non-procreative sex. Here's a newsflash for you, Paul. Heterosexuals virtually always incorporate non-procreative elements into their sexual behavior, so unless your marital bed is like the cold side of Pluto, you're a pervert too.

Your own moral standards could use some tweaking if you think that treating some American citizens as second class is somehow justifiable.

Dale

To "Random," I thank God you're in this discussion. Your posts are intelligent, specific, and articulate, which is needed to combat the Karens of the world. Karen, may I once again point out that when you judge me and every homosexual person, based solely on your opinion, as abnormal, immoral, or for that matter in any way inferior to you, that is astoundingly un-Christian of you. How can your implied moral superiority allow you to categorically judge others like that? That is behavior I find truly immoral. What would Jesus think?

Susan in San Francisco

Dante,
Come to San Francisco. I'll show you around and introduce you to many gay friends and their wonderful children!

Jack

This is really about certain religious people trying to impose their views on the rest of us by enlisting the power of the government to enforce their opinions.

Jack

Dante: I feel safe in making the prediction that gay sex will not mean the end of society. After all, there are quite a few breeders left.

Propagation? Ya' think we might have had perhaps too much propagation? The world, after all, has quite a few people--even though gays have been around since the early days.

Jack

Thank Dante for his contribution.

It has energized the rest of us to speak out in support of a (small-l) libertarian perspective on marriage.

I'm impressed with the open-mindedness of the vast majority of the contributors to this discussion.

Keep up the good work Randy

Jack, your comment is backward. This is not certain religious people forcing their viewpoint on the rest of us. This is certain gay people forcing their viewpoint on the rest of society. Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. It has always been that way. Those in the gay movement are trying to force themselves on the rest of us and are using government to force their viewpoint. With the comments listed above about this issue, I pray that Randy does not give up trying to save America, because it sure needs it.

Alvarez Danyan

Alright, for anyone who would like to say that being homosexual is a genetic condition, this is what I have to say. In Sweden, almost 30% of the population is homosexual. Why? Because in Sweden gays are treated with exactly the same treatment as heterosexuals; are you telling me that in any nation if gays were treated exactly the same, 30% of the population would be gay? I supremely think not. And if you want to fight an argument saying that genetics in the area are more inclined to produce homosexuals, then why do I not see the same trends in the Anglo Saxons of Britain, where gays are treated extremely liberally? You have to face the facts, just like how in Corinth there was so much homosexual activity, around 90% of the population had homosexual encounters, but looking at this city and its environs today, do you want to assume like a fool that that same proportion is present today as bisexuals? Or do you want to try argue with me that in the 2000 years since the city was converted, the genetic makeup of the race was changed, and the same argument can be said for all of Greece historically and today? Or do you want to take the rational and logical point of view that states that it is an environmental and learned trait rather than anything inherent within the person? Anyone who can prove me wrong I would like to hear you, as the world increasingly takes your liberal and open-minded approach to society, expect society to become even more of a disgusting and degraded place than it is today.

Love--true love

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

We should love each other like God loves us and died for us. That doesn't mean we have to agree with others, but we should not bash each other. If we are true Christians, we tell the truth in love and remember to "Take the beam out of our own eye before talking about the splinter in another's eye."

Karen

All right Alvarez --good point. I am glad you mentioned Sweden. I was speaking with a man from Sweden a few weeks ago, and he said bi-sexuality among teen girls is a very common and acceptable behavior there. He said most have their first threesome by the time they are 16. Could the liberal viewpoint on homosexuality in Sweden have any impact on it's youth?

I think so. Is this a good impact? Well, I don't know what the stats are for Sweden, but here in the States 1 out of 4 teens has an STD. That's an epidemic. I work in the health industry and see the devastating results of addictive behavior on people's lives. You know, drugs, alcohol, violence, and sexual behavior (yes, sexual behavior is addicting, whether it is straight or gay). I am also a volunteer mentor at the Juvenile Hall. I have sat across the table from a crying girl who is a lesbian. She is not happy with her lifestyle. She wants to be straight, but she was told she was born gay, and there is no way to change it. I have talked with a pregnant 15-year-old, she is not sure how she could be a mother. These girls are looking for love and only finding misery. I think what bothers me the most about the so-called "sexual liberating ideology" is that our youth are buying into it and becoming enslaved to it. The result? An STD epidemic and pregnant teens. I don't think I am superior to anyone, I just see the damaging results of these kind of behaviors, and I have to say something. When I see kids getting hurt by the choices they make, I hurt for them.

Justin Thyme

Marriage was created by God, not man or government, and God's intent was for marriage to be between a man and woman. People of faith, of all different religions, believe this.

If you agree with the "Pro" viewpoint of Joe Solmonese, then same-sex couples don't need marriage. If same-sex couples want married hetero-sexual benefits, let them advocate for those rights with their elected representatives. If government provides this in legislation, or under civil unions, so be it. But leave marriage out of the picture.

People of faith do a poor job of "loving the sinner, hating the sin." But they still have a right to voice their opinion. People of faith, of many different religions, don't think marriage should be used as a tool by same-sex couples to get the benefits of married hetero couples, or to legitimize a sinful lifestyle. I think this is what upsets people of faith most.

Thus, one could say it's LGBT's, and not people of faith, who are trying to impose their lifestyle views on people of faith.

For Sanity

Whether one's beliefs are founded in traditional religion or new-age secularism is not the point. There are apologists for the LGBT agenda both inside and outside of churches. The fact is that no culture in the history of the world has ever encouraged or honored homosexuality--tolerated yes, encouraged, no. The practice of homosexuality does not advance the providence of a community. A quick visit to CDC will enlighten the pro-LGBT crowd to both the physical and social destructiveness of this behavior. Additionally, the agenda of the pro-LGBT apologists is not of tolerance (as they have tried to dupe Americans), but of dismissing traditional gender identity and roles and advancing gender identity selection.

Thom

How wonderfully retrograde this is:

"Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. It has always been that way."

No it hasn't. Polygamy was widespread in early recorded history, and there was actually a Roman Catholic ritual that allowed men to marry each other.

"Those in the gay movement are trying to force themselves on the rest of us and are using government to force their viewpoint."

That's how civil rights generally become law.

Alvarez concludes a largely incoherent and unsubstantiated rant thusly: "...as the world increasingly takes your liberal and open-minded approach to society, expect society to become even more of a disgusting and degraded place than it is today."

If you don't like our society, you are free to leave it. Frankly, legal protections for gay couples are a hallmark of an elevated society, not a disgusting one.

I find it interesting that the comments of those opposed to allowing gay marriage don't read very well. It certainly proves the thesis that prejudice and bigotry are founded in ignorance.

Dale

Alvarez, please. Almost 30% of Sweden's population is homosexual? That is the most asinine thing I have heard all week. How can you expect to garner any credibility with an outrageous statement like that? And the proof you solicit (or the closest thing currently possible until science fully unravels this) is spelled out in the previous posts, which you must not have read. You also don't grasp the simple difference between being gay and being openly gay. When Ahmadinejad said, "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country," what he, like you, didn't comprehend is that there are as many homosexuals there as anywhere; they just keep it quiet because of the extraordinary danger they face if they don't. Maybe you should live there. But be advised, there will still be just as many homosexuals where you live, eat, work, and shop. You just won't know who they are.

60elco

If the government gave everyone all the same financial and legal rights, would you still want to be married? Would we all be happy and be called partners? Please, it seems that when one talks against homosexuality, you come back and say that person is a homosexual in hiding--is that supposed to offend that person? We cannot just pick and chose what we want from the bible.

DARREN M HALL

Homosexuality is not a legitimate identity or classification. It's a socio-political creation. It does not merit any legal or social recognition.

Homosexual acts are unnatural and unhealthy; therefore, if the state recognizes homosexual ("gay") relationships, it will then be promoting such acts. The state has an obligation to promote what is best for society, hence, to legally recognize homosexuality (or any other sexual proclivity) is to do the exact opposite of its purpose.

Dale

Justin, gays are pushing for civil marriage rights, the kind anyone (including atheists and satanists) get at city hall. Meaning, there is no religious requirement whatsoever for a legal marriage. Conversely, no gay person I know has ever, or would ever, try to force changes to church doctrine (religious marriage) precisely because we have no right to influence church doctrine. You don't seem to be able to differentiate between these two contexts of marriage, civil and religious. They are separate and distinct and must always stay that way if we are to uphold separation of church and state.

Karen, the crying lesbian you spoke with...when you claim "she wants to be straight," I do not believe you. I believe that's your interpretation of something she said about how difficult it is being gay in a society that's sometimes homophobic. I once wished I wasn't gay too, in my teens, because I thought it would make the meanness stop. What that lesbian actually doesn't want to be is unhappy; if people like you stopped judging gays, then perhaps she would be. You imply that she is being pushed into being gay ("enslaved" in fact), and I flat out reject that as nonsense. And your excuse for being judgmental toward gays is that it's out of concern for our youth? That I find disingenuous and insulting. The example you set with such a judgmental attitude is more of a threat to impressionable teens than the private matter of the gender of my life partner. If you truly care about our youth, you'll stop projecting your judgmental attitude about gays onto them while telling them it's for their own good, that you're "saving" them. I reject the notion that anything about me, including my sexuality (which is no one's business but mine, by the way) poses a threat that others need to be saved from.

60elce, no it's not supposed to offend them. My experience has been that sometimes, more than can be coincidence in my opinion, the loudest anti-gay people are overcompensating for a fear in themselves that they themselves might even be what they find so repulsive. Kind of like Senator Larry Craig. I would feel sorry for people in that situation if they didn't take it out on gays by being extra mean to them.

Dale

Hey Darren, thanks for your uninformed opinion. Good thing we have you to personally decide for us all what's legitimate and what's not. Question: What exactly makes you the expert on homosexuality? A "socio-political creation"? That's second only to Alvarez' "30% of Sweden is gay" line in its ridiculousness. Way to blanket a discussion with a sweeping (not to mention cruel and ignorant) opinion on a subject you know nothing about. I'll make you a deal: If you can find one gay person (a gay person ought to at least know something about the subject) that considers himself or herself a "socio-political creation," come back and we'll talk. Until then you're just blowing hot air. And not even intelligent hot air.

Dale

To "For Sanity," to "encourage" or "honor" homosexuality is not the point. That concept is not even coherent. The point is to acknowledge the existence of homosexuality and ensure equality for homosexual people, as any just society would for any other minority. To talk in terms of encouraging or honoring homosexuality is tantamount to talk in terms of encouraging or honoring a particular ethnicity, nationality, or eye color. Gays are not a lifestyle or a behavior or a political statement. As someone who is gay, I find that hearing such things from someone who cannot possibly know is almost incomprehensible in its cruelty. Do you think I (or anyone) would actually choose a life that results in being so horribly ostracized? Why would I do that? For someone like you who is not gay to assert such sweeping falsehoods is offensive.

Kirk

Randy, you did an awesome job explaining the plain and clear truth about this issue. The real issue is this: Does man establish right and wrong, or does our creator, God? Since it is God, and natural consequences of violating God's law support this reasoning, then He is who decides what is right and wrong. He clearly states that homosexuality and lesbianism is wrong, unnatural, and an abomination. He also says that since mankind burned in their hearts with lust for one another, He allowed them to partake of their sinful and harmful lusts. He also says that they will reap the consequences of their choices to engage in this harmful sin. It is a choice to engage in this sin, and one can choose to not engage in it and partake in the natural, which is heterosexuality. There is no scientific evidence supporting being born as a homosexual, and ample evidence to the contrary--thousands of former homosexuals and lesbians who have changed their sexual choices to heterosexual partners. This is not falsehood; the evidence and Bible speak for themselves. Again, Randy you did a great job.

Alvarez Danyan

First, Love True Love, Karen, Justin Thyme, and Darren M. Hall, it is very nice to see my opinions accepted and extended. But for the rest, I don't see any of you able to come up with a proper argument to counter mine. I knew from the moment that I posted my response that first you would try to pick up on grammar and punctuation etc., so Thom I'll completely ignore your response, which had no argument but rather just an attempt to be funny. But Dale, you seem to doubt my statistics. Before you just say they are asinine you should get some evidence to disprove it. And if Sweden wasn't enough for you, look up historical records and you'll see that in Greece and Rome, where homosexuality was openly accepted in the some periods, homosexuality exploded. Can you, by any chance, actually form an argument against me, rather than try to argue using personal experience?

Now as you said that you didn't choose to be gay, I will by no means say that you did, but nonetheless you are gay, and how can you prove that you were born gay and didn't develop it during the early years of your life because of environmental factors? No experimental result in the many years that gay activists have been looking for it, has actually brought up scientific evidence for a basis of homosexuality in genetics. And many studies have found that homosexuality develops in households where the father figure is absent or more often simply emotionally distant from his children; is this a coincidence? Do you honestly wish to tell me that you are ignorant enough to say that people with "homosexual genes" just happen to end up in similar home situations? Review the evidence; every time a scientist brings up any evidence that homosexuality is linked to genes, it is refuted or never able to be reproduced again, but on the other hand, homosexuals very often develop in similar situations concerning their childhood and adolescence. So whatever actual argument that you can muster against this I would like to hear it.

So where am I going with this? If homosexuality is learned behavior, it is not a natural condition; it is unnatural, and on a side note, whoever wishes to say that animals display homosexual behavior, I would not like to say that that is an argument for gays; it is saying that gays are on the behavioral level of animals, who for the most part act upon pure instinct, not by rational thought and logic. That instinct, by the way, is simply that of lust, the desire to be sexually fulfilled. Animals also defecate when and wherever they are, the male very rarely takes any care of the children he sires, and they mate without any consideration of who is watching. If you think this is the behavior humans should be imitating, then homosexuality would be okay for humans.

Unfortunately, homosexuals have a problem, yet very few actually try to fix it; they just realize it someday and begin to act upon it. Society today is disgusting, and it is the fault of the liberal secularists and their determination to free society from tradition, when all they really do is drag it deeper into a situation where the innocent are victimized and the perpetrators are given free reign.

Alvarez Danyan

Kirk, you surely must be a respectable person, and on second thought, I would like to hear from Thom: What was so incoherent about my response other than the fact that you couldn't actually answer it? Now we can see just who is ignorant. Please, Thom, put forward your pathetic opinion; you're past any help. Do you want to know why society is degraded? It is a two-pronged issue, both from the religious establishment and from you homosexuals and humanists. In one case it is a gradual acceptance of things so contrary to the Lord's law trying to keep interest in their respective churches, and on the other, simply a will to do whatever you want and believing anything that will justify your actions. I dearly hope that none of you homosexuals actually call yourselves Christians, because you are most certainly not children of God until you completely stop this shameful act.

Alvarez Danyan

Romans 1:27

"In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

Therefore, you are not and can't call yourselves Christians until you stop this indecent act, and by the way, the punishment received in themselves for their perversion.

"Another study found that: 1) 80% of syphilitic patients are homosexual; 2) about one-third of homosexuals are infected with active anorectal herpes simplex viruses; 3) chlamydia infects 15% of homosexuals; and 4) "a host of parasites, bacterial, viral, and protozoan are all rampant in the homosexual population."

Another study found that: 1) amebiasis, a parasitic disease, afflicts around 32% of homosexuals; 2) giardiasis, also a parasitic disease, afflicts 14% of homosexuals (no heterosexuals in the study were found to have either amebiasis or giardiasis); 3) gonorrhea afflicts 14% of homosexuals; and 4) 11% of homosexuals had anal warts.

Another study found that anorectal sepsis, a potentially toxic bacterial infection, is four times more common in homosexual than heterosexual men.

According to another study, the "prevalence of EBV type 2 [the Epstein-Barr type 2 virus] among homosexual men was significantly higher than it was among heterosexual men (39% vs. 6%)." (That virus causes infectious mononucleosis and is associated with two types of cancer: Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.)

And other studies have found abnormally high rates of hepatitis B infection, 7 hepatitis A infection, 8 prostate cancer, 9 colitis, enteritis, proctitis, and proctocolitis10 in homosexual men.

In 1997 a writer for the pro-homosexual New York Times noted that a young male homosexual in America has about a 50% chance of getting HIV by middle age, that many homosexuals have abandoned "safe sex" in favor of unprotected anal sex, and that the incidence of gonorrhea rose 74% among homosexuals between 1993 and 1996.11'

And if you want to say that some heterosexuals have these same diseases, just look at the proportions. God never said that He would not punish immoral heterosexuals either, but homosexuality is by the far the worse. On the hand, how much do you people cost the government every year treating these diseases. Not to mention the billions of dollars pumped into research for AIDS, which has been shown to spread most rapidly in gay and bisexual populations. God placed AIDS as punishment mostly for your kind, and for some deserving heterosexuals as well (don't get me wrong). Dale, you especially seem like a logically minded person, so look at the evidence and weigh it up within yourself; don't repeat an outdated rhetoric that will lead you nowhere. Thom, you're simply stupid.

Thom

"We cannot just pick and chose what we want from the bible."

But you all do. Do you eat shellfish? Sell your daughter into slavery for a fair price? Wear poly/cotton blends? It's all in there, and you pick and choose all the time when you decide to hate.

For Kirk: That's one way to read scripture. Here's another. www.religioustolerance.org

You will not like what you see when it comes to people like you.

In any case, we are speaking of civil laws and civil rights, not some cult's hypocritical definition of sexual behavior.

As for the blithering Alvarez, you raised the statistics; therefore you should provide the cite for them. Don't make us turn over rocks to find your seriously questionable data sources.

By comparing gay people to unsentient animals, you reveal the depth and breadth of your hatred and contempt. People like you make our society disgusting, and frankly, abuse the right to free speech that we cherish. It is no longer acceptable in polite society to disparage any minority, and doing so will rightly get you shunned.

As for tradition, it has never, under any circumstances, been acceptable to attack another group of people by comparing to them to animals. That sort of behavior was always done by the lowest element of American/European society.

Enjoy your membership in that horrid club.

Alvarez Danyan

Thom, it appears that you still do not have an actual argument to argue by and counter our own. Rather, you are still just trying to insult us and call our arguments stupid, I don't see you able to prove us wrong.

And by the way, I seriously doubt your ability to read. First you said that I compared you to animals. Read it again--all I said was that anyone who tried to justify the naturalness of homosexuality by saying that animals display similar actions is insulting you.

Second, we are not the ones who pick and choose from the bible. If you read it throughout, you will find that all these laws you mentioned were made null and void in the New Testament with the advent of Christ and Paul of Tarsus.

Dale

Alvarez, you are truly a sad individual. I feel sorry for you. The things you say are so bitterly cruel and hate-filled I can't believe you have the nerve to claim them in God's name. I will spend no more time acknowledging such blasphemy, and pray you are not in a position to poison the minds of any children with your toxic attitude.

random

"Anyone who can prove me wrong I would like to hear you, as the world increasingly takes your liberal and open-minded approach to society, expect society to become even more of a disgusting and degraded place than it is today."

Well Alvarez, as the world tries to become more and more civilized, the idea of civility seems to have left you behind. In addition to pompous, belligerent religiosity and insults that brand society is a disgusting and degraded place, you also excelled at borrowing mythical stories and lying about statistics.

Since when has Sweden had a 30% gay population? Who says? Is that a stat you saw in any sort of known or respected scientific journal? Every other country in the world has about a 3% homosexual population, including countries where the "disgusting and degrading liberals" have no problem with homosexuality, like the Netherlands. But Sweden has 10 times that? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. For every request to provide proof you spat out a bunch of Biblical verses you don't even understand and waxed esoteric about religious theory you have little grasp of.

Your references to Corinth are clearly taken from the Bible in which historical issues are exaggerated to mythic and supernatural proportions, because they were written by ancient religious pundits to convince, to overwhelm and ultimately to persuade. Since until the early 20th century, people rarely left their own backyards, few would've been able to see Corinth themselves and do a fact check. Hence, the Bible writers could put in anything they wanted. A random complaint about homosexuality from a frustrated Greek wife could easily have become the scourge of an entire city on the Bible's pages. Also, the Bible gives no statistics, so I'd like to know from what depths you recovered the 90% stat you used for Corinth. I thought you were supposed to read from the Bible, not make up statistics about it and quote them as fact.

Same goes for the tale of Sodom. Poorly schooled theologians throw it out as an example of how much God disproves of homosexuality. But if you note that the word sodomy was invented in the Middle Ages and was based on barely literate monks' understanding of the tale and actually read the story of Sodom, you will find that its destruction has very little to do with homosexuality. God destroyed the city because its residents were murderers, thieves, and rapists. Not because they were having gay orgies.

And if you proudly declare that you find being open-mindedness disgusting, I guess you just told every reader of your posts that you're as stubborn as a mule and impenetrable to logic and facts. Ordinarily, I would let people like you stew in your own misguided hatred and ignorance of all things different, but this is, after all, a public form, and if I see facts, figures, and history being made up or perverted to justify the kind of obstinate personal dogmas you spew forth, I'm going to step in and correct them for the sake of objectivity and education.

"Therefore, you are not and can't call yourselves Christians until you stop this indecent act, and by the way, the punishment received in themselves for their perversion."

So based on a quote that homosexuality begets a penalty from God, it's your Christian duty to stop it? Isn't that opposite from what Jesus preached in the gospels about not being judgmental or taking God's authority to judge mortals for oneself, because mortals are simply God's subjects and are not empowered by him to administrate divine decisions? A Biblical description of what God's judgment is, is a call to action despite being told to let God sort things out by himself a few hundred pages prior? You call yourself a Christian but discard the words of your messiah.

Tell me, Alvarez, have you ever had even the most basic theology class? Have you ever even tried to study ancient history? Because to someone who has, your rants are the howlings of a crazed zealot with no reading comprehension or context. The reason they say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is that those with minimal knowledge and big egos wreak havoc by enforcing and dogmatically dictating their undereducated opinion on those around them. The difference between arrogant ignorance and wisdom is that those who are wise are acutely aware of their own ignorance in worldly matters. But someone like you, of course, would just turn that phrase into a circular argument so you can continue to prognosticate with no regard that you've been caught lying about statistics and with little to no comprehension of Biblical literature and its history.

LONG LIVE SYRIA

All gays will perish in the eternal flame.

random

"I think what bothers me the most about the so-called "sexual liberating ideology" is that our youth are buying into it and becoming enslaved to it. The result? An STD epidemic and pregnant teens."

Well, Karen, for someone who works in health care you don't seem to be aware of the same thing most people in your industry lament, which is the lack of proper sexual education for teens. The teenage years are an invention of the 1950s when humans started to live long enough to be teens. Before that, the 15-year-old pregnant girls were already getting married and starting families. Their life expectancy was 40 years or so. As our lives extended to 70-plus years on average, the same biological processes that made girls want to reproduce didn't alter themselves to our new conceptuality. They remained as they are, and we've been forced to spend money on trying to scare teens away from sex rather than educating themselves on how not to get pregnant or get STDs when they do.

Who gets the brunt of STDs and unwanted pregnancies? Urban youth who have little care by anyone to speak of. Next up are kids in puritanical communities who engage in high risk acts without contraception, because they're taught that using it is no good, a lie made in an effort to scare them from sex, period. But they go out and have sex anyway, and believing that condoms and other contraceptives are flawed to the point of no use, they spread STDs and become pregnant.

The most recent America's Health Rankings report shows that the most conservative states in the U.S. have the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates. Blue States have far fewer of either. Somehow the states embracing what you so passionately deride are the states that have far fewer of the problems you see in the states that share your disdain. Maybe there's a disconnect between your personal opinion and reality? But that could never happen. You're an opinionated poster on the Web, so what could you possibly be wrong about?

Still, why does the national health care industry publicly lament the lack of education and legislation of junk science based on pseudo-religious dogmas, but you as a health care professional are unaware of it?

"I am also a volunteer mentor at the Juvenile Hall. I have sat across the table from a crying girl who is a lesbian. She is not happy with her lifestyle. She wants to be straight, but she was told she was born gay, and there is no way to change it."

Maybe, just possibly, if she's in Juvenile Hall because she has other things to be unhappy about? Just going out on a limb here. Maybe her problems have nothing to do with her sexual orientation and you egging her on to see it as the problem is actually doing a disservice to her? Maybe the last thing she needs is a misinformed "health care professional" with a passion for defining what's moral or immoral, natural and unnatural? And isn't it unbecoming of a health care professional to take advantage of a person in a highly emotional state? Maybe her problem is actually missing or neglectful parents, addiction, depression, and loneliness as it is for many troubled youth in Juvenile Halls? How about a trained "health care professional" like you focus on those? Again, just a thought.

Also, an anecdotal example of how you're taking advantage of a distressed teen or two ripe for your indoctrination doesn't show or prove a national trend, especially if the existing data proves your view on the issue to be highly, shall we say, limited.

random

"God placed AIDS as punishment mostly for your kind, and for some deserving heterosexuals as well (don't get me wrong)."

So wait, wait. The majority of people infected with AIDS are heterosexual. In Africa, stricken with AIDS to the point of an epidemic, the main means of transmission is heterosexual intercourse. And in fact, in Africa, homosexuality will get one killed since attitudes about sex on the continent are as conservative as you can get, and gays are persecuted mercilessly. Your great Christian dream, by the way.

And yet those Christian Africans who beat homosexuals with sticks, castrate them, or worse, are afflicted with a horrific scourge of AIDS that you say was placed by God as a punishment for homosexuality. Oh and to a few "deserving" heterosexuals. So they deserve it? All of them? Is it because they're Africans? Just curious.

The idea that AIDS is a "gay disease" is the realm of talk show radio and televangelists playing fast and loose with the Bible in a grasp for donations, airtime, and notoriety. See, they noted that AIDS in America was first discovered in homosexual men and forgot to check how many heterosexual men and women died of AIDS before the disease was even known. In the 1970s and early 1980s, there was no contraception and sex in nightclubs, bars, and other big bashes was rampant and expected. And oddly enough, many people died from strange disease afterward--gay, straight, men and women. But intellectual honesty and televangelism are oxymorons, so it's not like anyone who'd be willing check the facts. And it appears you wouldn't either.

I would ask about those who contracted AIDS through infected transfusions and other accidental means (like caring for those with AIDS), but I'm sure you could come up with something self-righteous and intellectually corrupt in reply and brag about how no one was able to disprove you like you usually do.

Tony M.

It's amazing how many people who aren't even gay claim to know everything about being gay. Doesn't make any sense. Personally, I don't see the big deal with letting two men or two women get married legally. I don't want it at my church, but this is about laws, not religion.

LONG LIVE SYRIA

The only logically thinking person I have seen so far is Alvarez. He is the only one who can truly see what is going on and understands the situation. You are an intelligent and wise person, Alvarez.

As for the rest of you, you're just a bunch of stupid gays, and there was never and will never be any hope for you on the day that the divine one shall take all the sinners (you) and cast them into hell.

Alvarez Danyan

Random, you, like all people, have yet still been unable to prove me wrong. It's not bragging, because it's true, just like how Thom wasn't able to bring up a proper argument to counter mine, so you, too, resort simply to insult rather than actually fighting back.

All right, first you hit the nail on the head. Anyone who has AIDS has rightly earned it somehow or other. And you said that those who had it are Christian. No, they are most probably Catholic or Presbyterian, not true Christians. And for your information, South Africa, one of the only nations in Africa that has gay equality laws, also has the highest number--5.3 million--in AIDS cases, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have the second and third highest cases, and lo and behold, homosexuality is punished by up to a decade in jail, but the actual persecution is never much actually carried out, seeing as how two gay men, Mohammed Issa and Abdulrahman Juma, in Tanzania were recently married in a public ceremony. Who on Earth told you that homosexuality was punishable by death across the whole continent? Only in one nation did I find an actual death penalty imposed, Mauritania, and the occurrence of AIDS there is one of the lowest on the continent, at only 9,500 cases, so let's review the evidence that you deemed so easy to ignore. South Africa has an HDI of 0.654 and Mauritania is at 0.54, i.e, it's a whole 10% higher; that's a big difference in health care, living conditions, etc. And 11.28% of South Africans have AIDS; 0.3% of Mauritanians have AIDS. Wow, that's not what you would have expected. I guess you better not keep trying to bring Africa up. It's commonly known that there are many underground gay organizations throughout Africa, and in many nations the laws governing them are very rarely actually put into force. If two gay people don't want to be known, it's very easy for them to hide their homosexuality behind family lives. Only in nations where the Islamic law governs homosexuality do you routinely find the lowest by percentage numbers of AIDS cases.

Now to further destroy your argument, have you ever heard of the extremely disgusting bacterial infections called amebiasis and giardiasis? They are 32% and 16% in the homosexual populations; number of heterosexual cases, exactly zero. All of these are the punishments that homosexuals will receive for their perversion. By the way, it is commonly known that in ancient Greece and Rome, homosexuality was rampant--I didn't need the Bible for that. Just read any history book. One stated that most Greek nobles had male child slaves for sexual pleasure. These are the people you are looking up to as your ancestors?

"In the 1970s and early 1980s, there was no contraception, and sex in nightclubs, bars, and other big bashes was rampant and expected. And oddly enough, many people died from strange disease afterward--gay, straight, men, and women."

Okay, I see you are just enforcing my view that AIDS is a disease for immoral peoples. As any group of people who know they are doing wrong, you will believe anything that allows you to do it with a clear conscience. Dale, that includes you. If you know the Bible, you would know that nothing I have written goes against it. Random, did I say I was going to do anything about homosexuals? No, I didn't. I'm a sinner like anybody else. I don't go to your disgusting level, but I do know that God Himself will take care of your lot. You said that I have been lying about statistics,

"And in fact, in Africa, homosexuality will get one killed since attitudes about sex on the continent are as conservative as you can get, and gays are persecuted mercilessly."

Well, look up the facts--almost 10 African nations have homosexuality legal, seven have no laws regarding it, and the rest, except Mauritania and a couple of Islamic North African, only have jail time or fines imposed on them, which most of the time are not actually enforced since gay activists exist in most of these nations. Gay marriages in public ceremonies have been arranged in Tanzania. Since most of your arguments revolve around personal opinion when countering Karen, "Maybe, just possibly, if she's in Juvenile Hall because she has other things to be unhappy about? Just going out on a limb here."

Yeah, no argument. Just like the rest, all you can do is make guesses. Well now I'm going to go out on a limb myself. There are approximately 927 million people in Africa, with approximately 36 million AIDS cases; that's, oh my, 3.5% of the population. Isn't that about how much on average you claim there are homosexuals in any other nation? Mauritania, worse living conditions, capital punishment for homosexuals, 0.3% of people with AIDS; South Africa, substantially better living conditions, gay equality in place, 11% of people with AIDS. Wow, Africa's beginning to look a bit suspicious now.

And by the way, I may hate you specifically, but I am not a racist; that's the furthest thing from my mind. And Random, you spoke a lot about wisdom. Maybe you can then disprove me concerning whether homosexuality is genetic or not. Karen, keep up the good work. "Long Live Syria," you're absolutely right.

Thom

Alvarez, I don't address or bother debating with the class of person who resorts to adolescent name-calling. It's like trying to teach a pig to sing--it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

I will say this: You're in for a big surprise when you reach your final destination. Christ had a lot to say about Pharisees. Gay folks? Not so much.

Random, I applaud your patience and decency in the face of Alvarez and his ilk. They don't deserve it, but since you have them on the ropes and they're degenerating into outright fabrications, falsehoods, and seething hate, please continue to have at it. It's great fun to watch, and exposes them for what they truly are.

DAR

Alvarez and Syria sound a lot alike. Maybe they should both switch sides on this so they can get married, maybe get a little house in the country where they can compare notes on all the people they hate. Nut cases.

random

Ok Alvarez, if you and Long Live Syria are done with your little circle, how about a link to prove any of your statements? I included mine when I talked about genetic components of homosexuality.
http://tinyurl.com/yocpxa
http://tinyurl.com/3w55ul

Through your high-horse posturing, you love to give categorical statements that are simply your personal opinions trumpeted as fact, such as:

"Anyone who has AIDS has rightly earned it somehow or other."

How do you prove that? What link or study or actual reference do you have for this? Do you have God's decision book on everyone who has AIDS in Excel format? If so, please link us to it. Would be very interesting to see.

"And you said that those who had it are Christian. No, they are most probably Catholic or Presbyterian, not true Christians."

Oh so you're not only theologically inept, you're also a religious snob. Who are you to define what's the true faith in God? And who gave you the authority to pronounce who is and who isn't a true Christian? A Christian is defined by the belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the long awaited Messiah who will one day return to set things right with the world and through him lies all knowledge and divine mercy. As long as they believe that core idea, any religious scholar would define them as Christian.

"And for your information, South Africa, one of the only nations in Africa that has gay equality laws, also has the highest number--5.3 million--in AIDS cases, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have the second and third highest cases..."

And your proof for the causation is? See, I can say that because the U.S. has the largest waistlines in the world and the most skyscrapers in the world, it must mean that skyscrapers cause obesity. Don't believe me? In the past 50 years, obesity rates soared. And skyscrapers? Also soared in number. And no I don't have a cite for that, so you'll have to believe me on both counts.

Just because you say that two things cause each other, it doesn't prove that it causes them. When you put forward random claims without a cite and without anything other than your arrogance and derision behind them, you're making your point seem like a fairy tale made up to make you feel better about yourself and unload your rage on others.

"... and lo and behold, homosexuality is punished by up to a decade in jail, but the actual persecution is never much actually carried out, seeing as how two gay men, Mohammed Issa and Abdulrahman Juma, in Tanzania were recently married in a public ceremony."

Source? Cite? Anything? One gay marriage and that means that the persecution isn't usually carried out? Well O.J. Simpson didn't go to jail for murder. So Americans usually don't persecute and jail murderers?

"Who on Earth told you that homosexuality was punishable by death across the whole continent?"

You. I never said anything to the extent. I simply said that it can get you killed because of the highly conservative attitudes about sexuality in Africa. See what you're doing is called a strawman fallacy. It's when you distort someone's words to come up with an imaginary argument that was never made and then refute the argument even though you're not refuting your opponents' statements. You're just attacking the strawman.

"Only in one nation did I find an actual death penalty imposed, Mauritania, and the occurrence of AIDS there is one of the lowest on the continent, at only 9,500 cases"

Out of how many people? Also, these are reported cases. How many people who live in rural Mauritania even know what AIDS is? And if there's a stigma attached to the disease by loud and brash ignoramuses like you and they'll be suspected of being gay and executed, how many will just hide their illness and never report it?

"And 11.28% of South Africans have AIDS; 0.3% of Mauritanians have AIDS. Wow, that's not what you would have expected."

I love how you keep patting yourself on the back after you make a case on nothing. I'm sure it makes you feel good about yourself. Even if you're comparing a country of 3.3 million people (http://tinyurl.com/3e3nxb) to a country of 43.7 million (http://tinyurl.com/yvwhje) based on unnamed reports we can't see or verify from your long, self-congratulating rants. I'm also curious if you're trying to tell me that because homosexuality is supposedly punishable by death in Mauritania and not in South Africa, it means there's far less homosexuality in Mauritania.

Oh and you've yet to prove that high rates of AIDS and lenient views on homosexuality go hand in hand. In the U.S., where homosexuality isn't punished by anything, much to your chagrin, the CDC blamed about 80% of new infections in 2005 in women on heterosexual sex (http://tinyurl.com/k2sxy). So in all those cases they were having sex with gay men or "deserved it?" And speaking of that last bit, we have to go back to the question of how you know who does and doesn't deserve AIDS and who does and doesn't ascribe to the correct religion?

"It's commonly known that there are many underground gay organizations throughout Africa, and in many nations the laws governing them are very rarely actually put into force."

Commonly known? To who? Where do you get this data?

"If two gay people don't want to be known, it's very easy for them to hide their homosexuality behind family lives."

Because they can't do it anywhere else in the word?

"Only in nations where the Islamic law governs homosexuality do you routinely find the lowest by percentage numbers of AIDS cases."

See my note above about perceptions. Do you really think people facing death or jail time because some cleric with your tolerance level and lack of logical flow would accuse them of being gay, would risk reporting their AIDS infections? In addition, wouldn't Islamic countries want to suppress the true number of AIDS infections to show that they're so tough on homosexuality?

"Now to further destroy your argument, have you ever heard of the extremely disgusting bacterial infections called amebiasis and giardiasis? They are 32% and 16% in the homosexual populations; number of heterosexual cases, exactly zero. All of these are the punishments that homosexuals will receive for their perversion."

Alvarez the Destroyer of Arguments! The "Christian" Warrior of Faulty Logic! The Conqueror of Gayness! Sorry, I got caught up in your delusions of grandeur for a moment. On to the actual argument, which is as usually the case with you; where did you get your data? Link? Cite? Organization? Name of a report? Anything? Beuler? Beuler?

"By the way, it is commonly known that in ancient Greece and Rome, homosexuality was rampant--I didn't need the Bible for that. Just read any history book."

Ah, you shouldn't be reading just any history book. Believe it or not, they're not all truthful or well researched for that matter. As for common knowledge, I repeat once more, common to who? It's a legend, a myth, ancient gossip that was blown out of proportion in the Bible. We have no way of knowing if it's true or not. We don't have common knowledge here; we have a common assumption. And for you to authoritatively say that 90% of people in Corinth were homosexual is akin to me saying that 83% of cavemen kept pet mammoths. Neither claim could actually be proven with reliable data.

"One stated that most Greek nobles had male child slaves for sexual pleasure. These are the people you are looking up to as your ancestors?"

I smell something. It smells like an ad hominem. Also, I can show you a book that states all homophobes are actually gay and trying to cover it up. Convincing argument? Hardly. But it's in a book so does it mean I should use that opinion without actually researching its claim? You saw a book you didn't care to name of an unknown and uncertain age. Does that make it a verifiable, irrefutable fact? Hardly. It just makes for another highly suspicious quote.

"Okay, I see you are just enforcing my view that AIDS is a disease for immoral peoples. As any group of people who know they are doing wrong, you will believe anything that allows you to do it with a clear conscience."

Once again a strawman and an example of your stunning lack of logical thought. I made no judgment of the morality of 1970s and early 1980s party-goers. I didn't even challenge your asinine claim of whether they deserved it or not. I merely pointed out that televangelists leapt to conclusions and didn't bother to look at the historical evidence of potentially widespread heterosexual AIDS infections. But no, you have to write rants boasting about your piety and my supposed deviance. Weaving in questionable quotes with fallacies and self-absorbed pontifications is not called making an argument. It's called being a pompous pundit.

"Well, look up the facts--almost 10 African nations have homosexuality legal, seven have no laws regarding it, and the rest, except Mauritania and a couple of Islamic North African, only have jail time or fines imposed on them, which most of the time are not actually enforced since gay activists exist in most of these nations."

And the facts are where now? Cite? Link? Anything? Beuler?

"Since most of your arguments revolve around personal opinion when countering Karen, 'Maybe, just possibly, if she's in Juvenile Hall because she has other things to be unhappy about? Just going out on a limb here.' Yeah, no argument. Just like the rest, all you can do is make guesses."

So it's my personal opinion that kids in Juvenile Halls are neglected youth? Ok, so what do the experts think about it? (http://tinyurl.com/5krjru) Maybe, just maybe, I did my research and was telling Karen that her myopic focus on things she knew little about was detrimental to the teens she's being put in charge of and referencing actual studies and expert research she didn't bother to do and you're too intellectually lazy to consider yourself? A wee bit smug, aren't we, my good sir?

"Well now I'm going to go out on a limb myself. There are approximately 927 million people in Africa, with approximately 36 million AIDS cases; that's, oh my, 3.5% of the population. Isn't that about how much on average you claim there are homosexuals in any other nation?"

Yes, you're going out on a limb. Once again, you haven't proved causation and now you're making your argument even worse by claiming to match the 3.5% of cases to 3% of homosexuals. But oh wait (to borrow your arrogance for a bit), there's a 0.5% spillover in your wild theory. No, strike that. That's ok. Those are just the dirty heathens who deserve it.

So let's recap your grand theory oh Ayatollah of From Where the Hell Did He Get That.

You took a few figures from who knows where, refuse to provide a source for them, and then validate your comments by attributing those figures to personal opinions and value judgments. So 3.5% of a continent's cases all of a sudden become all gays and people "who deserve it." So every single gay person in Africa has AIDS? And why are only a small fraction of the heathens being struck down? What's your proof for this other than your personal wet dreams?

"Mauritania, worse living conditions, capital punishment for homosexuals, 0.3% of people with AIDS; South Africa, substantially better living conditions, gay equality in place, 11% of people with AIDS. Wow, Africa's beginning to look a bit suspicious now."

Yes, just like your reasoning. Or lack thereof. So you're equating horrid living conditions and hatred of homosexuality with low cases of AIDS. Then the solution for the world is simple. Destroy everything good and convenient, become dirt poor and kill gay people. We'll be rid of AIDS for sure then. So what if we look at the United States, where we have a great standard of living, no punishment for homosexuality, and allow gay activists to do as they wish?

The U.S. has just about 0.3% of its population infected. Just like Mauritania (http://tinyurl.com/55boul). It's not fair to compare a rural country of 3.3 million to an industrial nation of 300 million, but if you did something similar, I can do it, too. So the heathenous, wealthy, gay-friendly U.S. is on par with pious, poor, and gay-killing Mauritania in direct contradiction to your wild theories. Maybe, just maybe, there's more involved and you didn't think things through in your rush to make a rebuttal?

"And by the way, I may hate you specifically, but I am not a racist; that's the furthest thing from my mind."

Oh you hate me. That's a true Christian thing to do. Like Jesus spoke to hate your fellow man and encouraged his apostles to render judgment and pious hatred at those who are different.

How about before you start defining who is and isn't a true Christian, you learn at least learn the very basics of the religion you're publicly defiling?

jeff Hagens

Nice job, Randy!

Dale

Way to go, Random. It's clear Alvarez isn't interested in citable facts; he's also the genius who said 30% of Sweden's population is gay.

LONG LIVE SYRIA

You know what, Randy, Jeff, and Dale? I think you three would make a nice little group. Maybe you should all get together think of ways that God is going to punish you because of your blasphemous crimes.

Thom

As I said, these wing nuts can only keep the veneer of civilization up for so long before the mask slips and the dominionist Handmaid's Tale rhetoric pops out.

Good job, Randy.

Oh, and Alvie? Congratulations. My nephew is doing a school project called "The Impact Of Content, Style, And Rhetoric On Public Policy Debates." Your comments will be...very, very useful.

Alvarez Danyan

Random, I thought you were slightly smart, but of course just like I thought Dale was a reasonable-minded person, I admit being wrong. Firstly, I showed Mauritanias HDI compared with South Africa to see their respective ability to deal with disease and used the percentage of population because of the difference in its sizes, but it seems you're too stupid to deal with all the facts and figures, 0.3% of the population compared with 11.28%. Then you brought up analogies of the connection between AIDS and homosexuals to skyscrapers and obesity. Are you trying to delude yourself? In any population homosexuals always spread STDs faster. If you want evidence from your own group. Here you go"

A former drug-addicted homosexual was on The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Nov. 28, 2005 to discuss his crystal meth addiction and the homosexual lifestyle. He calls AIDS "our disease."

During the interview, Jay Dagenhart admitted that he tried to commit suicide at one point by diving into a pool, but God spared his life. "…I landed on my back and my head. And I landed in the sand and instead of the concrete. So we do know there is a God because I'm here and I'm alive and I'm not paralyzed, so, you know…" He also described seeking out sexual acts in bathhouses. He describes them this way: These bathhouses are dark, cavernous, multilevel facilities.

"They're small rooms with doors. There are group rooms with monitors, you know, constantly with every porn movie that you could ever imagine. There are basements. There are steam rooms. There are showers. They also have larger dark rooms with just platforms and kind of benches and chairs where you can't really see who you're having sex with. You're groping and grabbing and fondling one another in the dark."

"Hooking up on the Internet with crystal meth was yet another way that I could find drugs and sex. The whole idea behind sex parties is extended periods of time in someone's home or hotel room and you're walking around naked, lots of drugs, lots of lubricant, and lots of porn. I would be so high, it would be nothing for me to be with 15, 20, 25 men in a night. It was never a part of my agenda to practice safe sex. You know, it's always about bare backing, having sex without condoms. That is the norm. You know, wearing condoms is the rare thing when you're high on crystal meth."

Later in the interview, he says: "My gay brothers are suffering. You know, we have HIV. AIDS is our disease, and now we have the disease of addiction. And it is killing my community. And I'm so tired--whether it's New York and Chelsea or the Castro in San Francisco or in Miami, you see us walking around and our eyes are bulging out of our heads. We're gritting our teeth, and we're looking for the next man that we can sleep with, you know? And the idea of wearing condoms is absolutely out the window. The agenda is bare backing. The agenda is bug chasing and going out and seeking the virus because like myself I had...'

Jay Dagenhart gives credit to God for sparing his life, but still considers himself a homosexual. Please pray for Jay that he will see that God has spared him for a reason and that a homosexual lifestyle is not God's perfect will for his life.

Don't you love Oprah? Well it was on her show, "Gay Around the World" in an interview with Rachel Dowd, that I got the evidence on Sweden. Unfortunately I've been trying to find the actual interview on the Internet but couldn't find it; you also have to pay for the transcript, so I'm not doing that. Try finding it yourself--you probably have the whole Oprah Winfrey collection on DVD.

Also Random, don't accuse me of distorting what you wrote, "Homosexuality will get one killed since attitudes..."

You said that it "will" get one killed, not in South Africa, it seems.

For the information about goings-on in Africa, your lot were very helpful. Look at http://www.afrol.com/html/Categories/Gay/backgr_legalstatus.htm
http://www.globalgayz.com/tanzania-news.html

"Only in nations where the Islamic law governs homosexuality do you routinely find the lowest by percentage numbers of AIDS cases."

"See my note above about perceptions. Do you really think people facing death or jail time because some cleric with your tolerance level and lack of logical flow would accuse them of being gay, would risk reporting their AIDS infections? In addition, wouldn't Islamic countries want to suppress the true number of AIDS infections to show that they're so tough on homosexuality?"

Where is your proof for this claim? It's just what you did with Karen about the Swedish girl--you make a guess, so it must be true. Don't accuse others of giving opinion when that's all you ever bring up. For my health statistics, look at http://www.home60515.com/4.html

Thanks a lot, gays.

For the genetics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation, I believe the American psychological association agrees with me.

About Ancient Greece, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece, History, not opinion, clearly outlined in Greek sources.

And still from all of you, no responses about the genetics of homosexuality, nothing more than opinions, especially you Random, hoping you'll see the error of your ways, and you think that you're some theologian. What on Earth do any of you know about God? You believe in the Trinity; you believe anything that anyone tells you, like in Sweden, where an archbishop even stated publicly to his parish that there is no hell. Believing whatever you want to believe, Thom, I see all you can do now is simply try making jokes. You may as well stop commenting since you've been shown as an idiot. You call my arguments incomprehensible when your posts state things that are simply wrong, about religion, God, genetics, etc.

Now I must restate myself: I do not see myself as sinless or in anyway apart from any other sinners through my own actions. Nor it is Yahweh who sets us free from sin, and so it is His decision about what is disgusting and must be stopped to be a child of God. Thom, all of those things you previously mentioned, "But you all do. Do you eat shellfish? Sell your daughter into slavery for a fair price? Wear poly/cotton blends? It's all in there, and you pick and choose all the time when you decide to hate."

I said were made null by the teachings of Christianity, but homosexuality in the old, Leviticus 18: 22 - 23
"No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that. No man or woman is to have sexual relations with an animal; that perversion makes you ritually unclean"

And in the new,
Romans 1: 27
"In the same way the men give up sexual relations with women and burn with passion for one another. Men do shameful things with one another, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing."

Dale

Syria, my God is about understanding, compassion, and love, not judgment, retribution. and hate. I'll take my God over yours any day.

John Bisceglia

It's really hard to care anymore what your average "wing nut" on the Religious Wrong spits out. Until I have equal rights, I will let them (the aforementioned "nuts") pay all federal taxes since they have all of the rights.

I used to work hard and pay my taxes until I experienced the kind of devastation that occurs when a family lacks access to the legal protection marriage provides. Now I realize just how immoral it is for any citizen or government to expect me to pay equal taxes for very unequal treatment under the law.

Due to Marriage Inequality, my own state's taxpayers have spent $20,000-plus to support me (welfare), now that I had to sell all assets and file for bankruptcy after developing debilitating PTSD (just imagine a divorce without legal protection). I'm honestly not sure why any LGBT person pays taxes to a government that works consistently to limit or deny our basic civil rights.

Dale

Alvarez you are still picking and choosing the Bible words that suit your personal opinion. You gave no reason for this. Why? It's hypocritical that you don't follow each other word as viciously as you follow those you construe as justification for your hatred. Besides, I have to ask: Do you really think it wise to hang your hat entirely on a single verse, which not only has been translated but also might be difficult to truly understand the intent of, being that 2000 years tends to change the context a little? What, you were there? You know Christ's intent with absolute certainty? If you by chance want to consider prudent study of your magic verse try this: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc3.htm

Additionally, to my understanding Jesus himself never spoke a single word condemning committed homosexual relationships. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting, and a thousand other subjects, but not one thing from Jesus on homosexuality. Strange, don't you think, if being gay were such a moral threat and grave sin? Perhaps one day there will be a New New Testament (another re-hash "updated" to suit new contexts, that acknowledges the normalcy of homosexuality). Then would you calm down? Last, you focus so much sick hatred on the sexual act, which I think is perverse of you. The sexual act itself is a tiny, tiny part of my life. I work hard, volunteer in my community and at church, and have a wonderful family and supportive, good-hearted friends. I pay my taxes, abide by the law, help those in need whenever I can, and always try to better myself in some way. I think of Jesus every day and try to let his teachings guide my life and my decisions. For you to dismiss my entire life as horrific sin merely because of that one tiny part of who I am is reprehensible. My conscience is clean; I'd rather be me than you come judgment day, my friend.

Thom

Dale: Extremely well said. Best wishes and blessings to you and yours.

You always can tell when a zealot has come unhinged--he calls names like a small child and tells you to stop commenting, then goes on about how much he hates you in the name of Christ. It starts from nonsensical and degenerates into sputtering vitriol. It's really quite amusing, and oh, how that must chafe.

Poor, sad Alvarez. I'll pray for your wounded, pitiful soul that one day you find peace.

In the meantime, I will continue to use my influence to make sure that all gay people are fully integrated members of our society, with equal protection under the law.

Stephen

"Since they can't 'naturally' or 'accidentally' reproduce, their numbers would slowly dwindle, and there would be no more homosexuals."

Right, because only gays have gay children. Oh wait, gays can't reproduce. Wait a minute...

"In Sweden, almost 30% of the population is homosexual."

Where in the hell did you come up with that? I think you're full of crap on that one.

"I don't know what the stats are for Sweden, but here in the States 1 out of 4 teens has an STD. That's an epidemic."

What will you say when you discover that Sweden has a much lower incidence of STDs than America?

random

Well Alvarez, thanks for revealing a few of your sources. They illustrate just how hypocritical your evaluations of other people's intelligence are. It's not up to you to decide my level of intelligence, especially after you show just how quickly you jump to conclusions and abuse the information in your sources.

At least I have the decency to use the CDC, health organizations, and medical science bulletins as my sources. You, on the other hand, use a bunch of random Web sites and freak shows to arrive at decisions on complex matters. If you can't find either, you misrepresent what your sources state. And yet again prove that you know nothing about theology.

"A former drug-addicted homosexual was on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Nov. 28, 2005 to discuss his crystal meth addiction and the homosexual lifestyle. He calls AIDS 'our disease.'"

And because we all know that a single person on a talk show is the equivalent of stringent academic research, right? So you're taking your justification that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality is a sensationalist story on a talk show that makes money and keeps ratings by dramatic exaggerations?

And speaking of Oprah, remember a certain James Frey who had a very similarly tragic and horrible story? Turned out to be fake. He was also on Oprah spouting off about addiction even though he made up everything negative he claimed happened to him. So on a tabloid talk show, a random guest is proof of major trends and his lurid stories are the facts? Very well then, I'll get my cues on family life from Maury. Or Springer. That's a lot better than any respectable, fact-checked, and peer-reviewed study.

"Don't you love Oprah? Well it was on her show, 'Gay Around the World' in an interview with Rachel Dowd, that I got the evidence on Sweden. Unfortunately, I've been trying to find the actual interview on the Internet but couldn't find it; you also have to pay for the transcript, so I'm not doing that."

So you got that 30% homosexuality in Sweden stat from the same tabloid style show and you think it's true. You know, there are documentaries that argue very persuasively that humans were created by alien overlords and tomes on how ancient records indicate that a race of intelligent beings from planet Niburu came to Earth to use us as salves to mine their gold.

Only problem is that both tabloid shows and sensationalist books only use an anecdotal support base for their claims, and a few occurrences here and there become national if not global patterns. There's another problems and that's the fact that you can't actually find that the stat was ever mentioned. So we have a tabloid as a source and no proof of the stat. You're 0 for 2.

"You said that it 'will' get one killed, not in South Africa, it seems. For the information about goings-on in Africa, your lot were very helpful."

I'm kind of curious why you think I'm homosexual. I don't see myself discussing my sexuality anywhere. Maybe you're doing some sort of projecting that's typical for extreme homophobes, which is assume everyone who counters your hateful, misinformed little screeds as gay. It's not that your vast base of knowledge from tabloid TV could possibly be wrong.

Now to your links. Your first link showed the legality of homosexuality in Africa. From a basic news site with no stated affiliations with a gay groups or causes. Well that's fine and good, but I was talking about attitudes of actual people, not laws. If you were to take a look at any studies on homosexuality in Africa done by the Alan Guttmatcher institute, you would see that people overwhelmingly disapprove of it and those who are openly gay face discrimination and violence regardless of what the laws say.

Congratulations on attacking another straw man, and shame on me for biting onto this red herring. Calling a random news site devoted to Africa to be a gay site is also quite disingenuous.

"Where is your proof for this claim? It's just what you did with Karen about the Swedish girl--you make a guess, so it must be true. Don't accuse others of giving opinion when that's all you ever bring up."

What Swedish girl? And didn't you see the link I provided to show that I was actually going on expert studies of teens in Juvenile Halls? Guess not. Too busy accusing me of doing the opposite of what I did. And thanks for the link to a homophobic site ran by who knows who. That's a really objective and verifiable source of data. Just like Oprah and James Frey.

For what happens to homosexuals in hard line Islamic nations, look at what laws they have (http://tinyurl.com/56zt5h) and use some common sense for crying out loud. If you can't do that, look at any study on the subject from the Alan Guttmatcher Institute.

"For the genetics, I believe the American Psychological Association agrees with me."

From your link:

"Most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive, and biological factors..."

So genetics doesn't count as biology? Since when? And good job ignoring my links, which point to the exact chromosomes that are suspected of playing a role in activating homosexuality.

The second quote, from the American Psychiatric Association dates from 2000, according to the Wikipedia source notes. The studies I linked to are dated older than that. Or do you think time stops and if something held true in 2000, it will still be the same in 2008 even in the face of ongoing research?

"About Ancient Greece... History, not opinion, clearly outlined in Greek sources."

And oddly enough, the link you used didn't say that nobles used to have boys as sexual slaves, nor did it support your claim that Corinth was 90% homosexual. I'm not denying that there was accepted homosexuality in Greece, but to state that at the degree which you claim is outlandish, especially when you give no proof for your statements.

"And still from all of you, no responses about the genetics of homosexuality, nothing more than opinions, especially you Random"

I've provided links to detailed studies of the genetics of homosexuality six (6) times. You deliberately chose to ignore them. Now you claim they were never provided. You are a liar.

"Hoping you'll see the error of your ways, and you think that you're some theologian. What on Earth do any of you know about God?"

I've actually studied theology in a formal course of instruction. And I can see how you're going against everything said in the Gospels with your rants. For you to even try to declare that you know more about God than any other mortal is blasphemy in and of itself. Read Genesis and Exodus. On second thought, don't. You probably consider yourself too well studied to do that.

"You believe in the Trinity; you believe anything that anyone tells you."

How do you know what any one of us believes and whether we believe in the Trinity. That's your personal assumption. And if we believed what anyone told us, we would be believing you. Think about the logic of your statements before you make them, please.

"You may as well stop commenting since you've been shown as an idiot. You call my arguments incomprehensible when your posts state things that are simply wrong, about religion, God, genetics, etc."

The only ignoramus here is you. And a liar. You've ignored almost all of my links and references and claimed they were never given although they're all right there and black and white. Then, you have the arrogance to think that you know God. Do you know that pride and bearing falsehoods are mortal sins?

Also, Leviticus was made null in the sense that you were no longer allowed to punish homosexuality (Leviticus) and leave diving judgment to God (Romans). Right there in your quotes. Once more your prove nothing yet claim to know everything.

Oh and no answer from you why Mauritania and the U.S. had the same AIDS rates (0.3% of the population) even though you spent nearly all of your post trying to link crackdowns on homosexuality with low AIDS cases. I gave you links to every statement I made. You ignore them and gloat about how smart you are and how anyone who disagrees is an idiot. Please refer to my previous comment about deadly sins.

Dale

And Alvarez, what's this craziness about Oprah? I don't love Oprah and I don't have any Oprah DVDs. But according to you, one unknown guy's words on TV in 2005 (or rather, your odd interpretation of one guy's words) suddenly represent all truth and reality for and about all gay people? Don't you see how crazy that is? And of course you can't find a credible source for your outlandish "30% of Sweden is homosexual" claim. There isn't one. Again, a case of your interpretation of something you think you heard on Oprah has morphed into a "fact" that you toss around as an indisputable basis for outrageous and offensive personal opinions of yours. It's nonsense, devoid of rationality or logic. I know none of this is likely to sink in with you. You're certainly free to believe what you want, but you are not free to use your crazy beliefs to deny me civil rights or civil liberties.

Dale

Wow, Random, you are really brilliant. Thorough, logical, articulate. Alavarez, you are so out of your league.

random

I made a fairly crucial typo in my reply. The studies of homosexuality's genetic components weren't older than 2000. They were much more recent. And I forgot to note that the Wikipedia links on homosexuality presented two opposite viewpoints and he was choosing one over the other even though both were presented as equivalents, picking what he liked to see rather than what was really there.

This said, I'm still amazed that he can so boldly insist that I didn't provide any expert links when they're right there in black and white. Maybe my use of the TinyUrl tool to shorten links threw him off, but if someone sees http:// and .com in a string of characters highlighted by parenthesis next to a statement, he or she should grasp the idea that it's a link. I even laid out the links to genetic studies on their own separate lines.

Whet he's doing is the equivalent of someone looking away from an ongoing murder being caught on video and saying "nope, nothing behind me, those screams and pools of blood in the background are just your personal opinion."

Steven Walker

Dante,
You are right, I'm so sick and tired of homosexual people demanding some special treatment. Hey, all you homosexual people, sorry you can't accept the fact that what you are doing is wrong, but instead of self-evaluations, you all want to force something unnatural and unfruitful in our faces. God has warned you, you will have to answer for your continued disrespectful choices. If you all are so comfortable with your lives, shut the hell up and live then. You say you're so sure of your choices, so then live them out. Stop doing what you do, and then when you feel ashamed, instead of dealing with yourselves, you all want to project your lives on society. I guess pedophiles, thieves, drug dealers, rapists, and gang members all are just fine, too? Yeah right, you all are in the same boat heading downstream into the abyss.

Jim

It's all about Adam and Steve nowadays--the hell with Adam and Eve!

Dale

Steven Walker: What would your mother think of what a hateful, mean-spirited person you've become? What would Jesus think? You seem really sad and angry as a human being. I'll say pray for you that you find peace and see the error of your hateful, judgmental ways.

Di

This is not about "homosexual people demanding some special treatment" as the bigot above says. This is about fair and equitable treatment.

James

Don't we have bigger issues to worry about here than who marries who? Seriously. I'm a straight man with quite a few gay friends, and let me assure the scared bigots out there that "the gays" are not out to get you. Get over your insecurities and start worrying about the real issues. If we would just put the same amount of energy into being kind and open-minded this world would see some amazing changes.

Sharon

Open mindedness is just a guilt tactic. I am open minded about a great many things. However, when something is wrong, it is wrong. Same sex partners, it is not what God intended. I can understand that you may want to spend your life with a same sex partner that you love dearly, but it is still wrong. I chose to spend the early years of my life drinking too, much and society shunned me for it, and rightly so, because it was wrong. I didn't want to stop drinking until I realized that I had depressive mental issues and an inherited alcoholic gene. After many years of working on my issues, I didn't want to drink anymore. It is 21 years later, and alcohol is no longer a problem for me even though I still have this gene. I believe that the gay gene is just a different version of the alcoholic gene. You can't choose your sex (naturally), but you can choose your sexuality. Face it: You are choosing to be attracted to the same sex.

delly

I think gays and lesbians are confused people. They think God who created humanity is stupid. I believe their choice of sex is some sort of first class madness. We must always try to do the right things other than demanding the government to give certain advantages to mad people. Marriage is for a man and woman and not for two male or females.

Ringbearer

Gay marriage makes financial sense.

Pete

I know I missed this by like 18 months, but it's being put to a vote in my home state of Maine so I was interested in this argument.

I think it's a pretty useless argument that since homosexuals cannot reproduce (which is a true statement), they should not be permitted to getting married because then our population will dwindle. This implies a couple of things:

First it implies that if gays are allowed to marry, then eventually every person in the United States will become homosexual (because this is the only time at which children will cease to be produced by couples). However, even in this radical situation, artificial insemination would still be an option and would work perfectly fine.

Second, it assumes that if homosexuals cannot marry each other, then they will settle for a heterosexual marriage and thus they will be able to have children and keep the population expanding at what will soon be an unbearable rate. Homosexuality is not a choice. It is a lifestyle embedded in our genealogy just like anything else, so whether or not they can marry, gays will be gays and making gay marriage illegal would not accomplish anything to the contrary.

Therefore there is no reason other than bigotry not to allow gay marriage because even if you use the religion card, this country is free from any religious obligations, so that directly infringes our rights as citizens of the United States of America.

Vote No on One if you are able to... www.protectmaineequality.org

edward elrik

Two, maybe three, people who commented on this are against gay marriage. And the reasons that they came up with are really just bigotry. Right now I'm researching for a persuasive speech, proposing a new amendment for legal and recognized marriage for gay couples, and I really owe Dante a lot! That idiot has really given me some nice ammo.

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