Christianity and Marriage Equality

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  May 9, 2012 — 99 Comments

“Absorbing the blow from last night is hard. If a victory for marriage equality happens, straight couples can go about their lives and nothing will change. If a defeat occurs, gay couples must live in fear of retaining joint custody of children, access to hospital rooms, health insurance, and on and on. Our families and friends, our children and nieces and nephews, come to realize that their family members are beneath civil equality – and that their inferiority is written into their very constitution.”Andrew Sullivan

North Carolina is not the first American state to enshrine opposition to same-sex marriage into their constitution, but last night, with the issue of marriage equality strong in the minds of our nation, voters overwhelmingly decided that some couples aren’t deserving of any recognition, be it marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships.

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

Episcopal postulant David R. Henson, a North Carolina native who blogs at Patheos, dares to step forward and speak the truth about what power is behind this move towards enshrining the second-class status of same-sex couples.

“And, as a Christian, I think it is time to admit who bears responsibility for atrocities like Amendment One and all other anti-LGBT legislation.

It’s Christianity.

I might want to say I’m not like those Christians over there who stood for Amendment One and other such legislation. But they are my brothers and sisters in the faith, no two ways about it. I might want to say those Christians don’t represent what Christ stood for. But I bet they would say the same thing about me. I can try to split hairs and divide the Christian community so I don’t have to think about the hate my faith tradition has spawned and let loose in the world like a legion of demons.

But I can’t say any of that with a shred of integrity.

Tonight, Christianity is to blame. To say otherwise would be a lie.”

This admission is a needed one, because as a non-Christian I have become increasingly frustrated with the game of theological and political “hot potato” when it comes to this issue. It’s always “those” Christians over there, not the “good” Christians who are “evolving” on the issue. When the Catholic Pope calls for a grand anti-gay-marriage religious coalition, when our country’s most popular Evangelical leader defends himself from the mere perception of tolerance, you simply can’t pretend that opposition to the basic humanity of LGBTQ individuals is some extremist fringe living in the wilderness. The real, unfortunate, truth is that Christianity is working against the lives of gay men and women, save for a small percentage who have broken away.

These laws not only tell gays and lesbians to get back into the closet, to forget legal protections or societal acceptance, they also work to limit the religious freedoms of non-Christian faiths. Belief systems that don’t endorse their views on marriage or morality are swept aside, invisible within the lens of Christian privilege. The fight for the equal rights and treatment of same-sex couples ultimately benefits the religions that support those rights, and destabilizes the ones that don’t. So it’s little wonder that opposition to same-sex marriage is regularly portrayed as a struggle against “paganism.”

“Marriage may be done for this culture in certain sectors, in certain pockets, but marriage most certainly is certainly not done because it is the God-ordained institution that mirrors the analogy of Christ and His church, it is the human institution that most closely reflects the heart of God the Father in Christ Jesus our Lord. That’s why they’re attacking it, they don’t know that that’s why they’re attacking it, they’re attacking it because they’re looking at all the advances in medical technology. I can have a baby without a man, so why do I need a man? I can earn more than a man, so why do I need a man? You can have a baby by adoption, and you can do it with a same-sex partner, so why do you need marriage? This is exactly what the pagans did, way back when, this is exactly what they did: destroy marriage. It’s shaking a fist in the face of God.” - Christian radio host Janet Mefferd

I have no doubt that justice will eventually prevail in North Carolina, and throughout our country, that laws banning gay marriage will someday been seen in the same light as laws banning interracial marriage. That documentaries a generation from now will look back on this time and find too many of our appointed moral leaders (including many on the so-called “religious left”) on the wrong side of this issue. We are at a crossroads now, and Christians must decide which side they are on. Will they stand with those who deny the humanity of some, or will they stand for the equality and dignity of all? I know many Christians of good conscience who will proudly stand with their gay brothers and sisters, and I hope they aren’t still a minority when the shift finally happens, and the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice.

ADDENDUM: President Obama just publicly embraced marriage equality. The first sitting United States president to do so. Quote: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://www.facebook.com/EdAHubbard Ed Hubbard

    I still do not understand why so many LGBT members of society still see Christianity as a viable religious path. But this discrimination still entices members of the Pagan community as well. There are those among us who can not imagine all our relationships being sacred. At least as a community we are striving to allow all sexualities to be put forth and respected.

    • Timberwillow_96

       I never understood that as well, we knew another lesbian family down the street and they were very devout Catholics. When asked about how they dealt with certain passages from the Bible they would simply reply, “God says to love the sinner, not the sin.” It just seems so oppressive and disheartening that your love is sinful and to say that is just crazyyy to me.

        As for Pagans I remember there was a Pagan boy in my class in elementary school. We started talking about our family and traditions when I brought up my mom being lesbian and he called her an abomination of nature. I was so shocked, not even sad, just shocked because I was told for the most of my life, “all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals”

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        Catholics who use birth control are, under the rules, sinning at the same level as a lesbian couple. They seem to live with it. I think Catholicism has some wiggle room around sin and forgiviness.

        A lot of Protestants are exhorted to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who it happens never said a harsh word about BGLTs. I can see how gay Protestants can do that despite how the local pastor reads Scripture. Especially if they have an institution to take that to like the Metropolitian Community Church.

        Just saying, the very real face of Christianity that is the common experience of many Pagans, isn’t all it’s about.

      • Hotstreak12

         You said Pagan, not wiccan. Maybe he was part of Astaru or another pagan path that comes from a culture that does not like gays.

        • http://www.StevenAbell.com/ Steven T Abell

          I am an Asatruar. Our root culture was highly homophobic, but that’s not a part of our religion. There are homophobes among us still. There are also many LGBT heathens and their friends, even among the Folkish. Anyone who tells you that heathens are categorically anti-gay, or should be, is just farting out of his mouth.

          • http://twitter.com/SephiraAllen Sephira Allen

            Not to mention, there are references in the lore to the Gods cross-dressing, among other things, so being anti-gay isn’t really supported by the lore either.

          • Thelettuceman

            You’d be surprised at how many people infer things about the Lore that flatly do not exist.

          • Joshthepagan

            Not to detract from what you are saying, but I have never seen the term “farting out of their mouth” before.  I now can’t wait to use the term for those who talk about things they know nothing about.  =)

          • Mia

            The reason for the “root cultures” to be against gays is because back then there was a legit need for people to procreate in those societies for survival. Bisexuality, however, was ok because that still produced children (there’s one example where a warrior from modern-day France, maybe a Frank, kept a Danish couple as concubines, both the husband and the wife). Once children were made, the men could basically screw with whomever without too many repercussions in many of the cultures, none of which were religious in nature before Christianity became dominant.

            There’s no indication in the usual heathen literature about the acceptability of lesbians, however, but it’s reasonable to think they were judged by similar standards. Information about women in general is low compared to men.

            It’s inaccurate to say that the root cultures were homophobic. Discouragement is not the same as being phobic, and it’s not like those who were gay were kicked out of the community They were, however, often put on the same level as a woman if they were “on the bottom”, which would have cut off opportunities that a straight man would have access to.

            Overall though, the cultures in which you refer to were less picky about the matter, as they needed every able and cooperative hand to make the entire community survive.

            Topics like this is why a recon needs to understand the worldviews of the culture they’re attempting to reconstruct. A heathen should have no justification for homophobia if basing it on one of the many heathen cultures, as nowadays there is no need to have everyone procreate. So there’s no reason for that sort of discrimination to occur.

            I do like that “farting out of the mouth” phrase btw :)

        • Sindocat

          Leaving us to fall back on our original contention: that using your religion to justify bigotry is wrong.

  • Lori F – MN

    lawyers should be jumping on this.  think of all the pre-nups, divorces, settlements.  think of the money they are missing!
    Am I wrong or are they saying that any marriage that isn’t conducted by a priest, rabbi, minister of Abrahamic origin isn’t really a marriage? Marriages by Justice of the Peace or Judge are just a sham?
    What do they REALLY fear?  If their god doesn’t approve, their god can strike those persons down dead.

    • Thisone75

       maybe its because it doesnt matter where you are married or who you are married by, its about you and the other person, not what society deems appropriate. I am just as married as someone who spent thousands of dollars on a wedding. I am comfortable in my faith and marriage and fear nothing, and it was the right decision for us. That statement you made feels incredibly judgmental and rude.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

        I think you misunderstood what Lori was saying above.  She was asking if the amendment made all but religiously officiated marriages illegal, as it does seem to suggest that only marriages performed in churches, synagogues, etc. are legal- or at least it could be construed that way.

    • Hotstreak12

       you are not wrong. They believe that there monothestic god must bless a marriage to be a true marriage over even civil authority. It is also because for the past thousand years the Abrahamic faiths have been the only game in town. They were the ones who set the rules and now that there are other faiths and groups demanding to have a say they are acting like spoiled children who don’t want to share.

  • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

    I spent last night watching the results come in as precincts reported. At first the gap between those for and against was pretty close. But as the night went on the gap widened and widened. I was so shocked, not that it passed, but that it passed by so much. I went to bed last night feeling very upset and deeply disappointed in the people of my state.

    • http://twitter.com/SephiraAllen Sephira Allen

      This was me. I had really thought that we would find a way to defeat it, and then when it was clear that we wouldn’t – the numbers were just so horrifying. There were so many counties that were 80% or more (one was 89%) in favor of the amendment – that’s what hurt the most. About the only consolation that I had was that, at least my county was one of the red ones that voted a majority against, but if I could pick up my family and move right now, I so would.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rapture.hoax2011 Roy Linford Adams

    Anti-gay marriage laws clearly violate the religious freedom of churches that will marry gay people(i.e. Pagan groups) It is outright one church using the government to control the indoctrinations of all other churches. On this grounds alone the law can be deemed unconstitutional and ripped down. But why is no one making this case in the fight against the laws?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

      This is the first thing I thought of.  Where are the Pagan groves and churches bringing lawsuits against NC for legislating religion?

      • Druidwood

        I just moved back to NC after being away for a long time. I haven’t met but a few Pagans here as of yet.  I moved up here from SC & like SC i have a feeling that many Pagans are still in hiding here as well & with this being the bible-belt many still are not willing to risk thier jobs, etc.

    • Thelettuceman

       Several states have specific statutes that can determine the validity of a religious marriage.  New York State, for instance, didn’t (I’m using the past tense because I don’t know if it’s changed or not) allow people ordained through the ULC to actively issue marriage certificates because they often didn’t meet the requirements that the state set forth in terms of congregation size.

    • Joshthepagan

      You are correct.  Nobody is making this case because nobody wants to take the political hits on it.  The truth is, anti-gay marriage laws are unconstitutional on the federal level.  The First Amendment is very clear.  Pagan groups do it, Unitarians do it, Episcopalians have at least openly gay priests.  Any one of those groups are not able to practice their religions as they see fit.

  • Henry

    “Marriage may be done for this culture in certain sectors, in certain pockets, but marriage most certainly is certainly not done because it is the God-ordained institution that mirrors the analogy of Christ and His church, it is the human institution that most closely reflects the heart of God the Father in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    Hmmm, if marriage reflects the the analogy of Christ and his church, the heart of God the Father, wouldn’t that be a same sex ‘marriage’ between God, the Father, God the Son, and male Christians? lol. It would appear only women would be able to be The Church.

    • Lily

      You misunderstand analogies.  It’s all about yin and yang,  giving and receiving.  Christ would be the giver, while the Church is the receiver.  He is male and the Church is female (and this union is why we can call both the Eucharist and the Church “the body of Christ”— the have “become one flesh”).  Similarly, in old and new Christian philosophical texts, souls (be they of a man or a woman) are refereed to in the feminine because of how each soul relates to God.

       Also, the Father is not the Son; the Church is not married to the Father.   

      • Henry

        no, I don’t think I misunderstand analogies. It is the author of the original quote who mis understands them.
        Making human marriage analogous to the ‘marriage’ of Christ to his church, as ‘male to female’.  If the father is not the son, and the church isn’t married to the father, then why does it cling to old testament values? Shouldn’t the church of christ be upholding the new covenant? Which covenant is pretty simple. “love one another”.

        • Lily

          Christians believe that the old covenant was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus, who now has a matrimonial covenant with the Church.  The Church is not matrimonially connected to the Father, but rather views Him as, well, our Father (He has always been like that for the Jews, but Jesus brought that relationship to non-Jews as well… sort of like father-in-law, though we believe that all humans were always meant to have that relationship with the God).  The Church relates to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who we believe are three separate persons in one God.

          The Church does hold up the new covenant, which involves loving one another and loving God with one’s whole heart, soul, strength, etc.  We believe that part of loving God and neighbor involves espousing and serving the truth (which also relates to Jesus, who is The Word, or Logos, also translated as Reason).  That is, we believe the universe (both the physical and spiritual aspects) has a certain order and humans have a certain nature.  The more one is in harmony with human nature (that is, what humans were meant to be like before the Fall), the better off that person will be.  So, we think that loving someone means informing them if they are doing something contrary to human nature, even if that might hurt their feelings.  If you honestly think someone will be hurt by doing something, you should try your best to stop them.  Christians do not see letting everyone do whatever they want no matter what as being loving- rather, we see this as irresponsible or at least a bit negligent.

          Of course, whether or not same-sex attraction is contrary to human nature is a discussion for another day, but I’m trying to make the point that Christians (well, most Christians… unfortunately there are genuinely homophobic Christians out there) aren’t against gay marriage just to be mean, or because of some sort of hatred for gay people.  We really think gay marriage will hurt the couples involved in them and we want what is ultimately best for those people.  Again, I know you and many others won’t agree with this, and that’s ok.  We’re going to disagree; that’s part of life.  Just please don’t attribute a lack of love to those who disagree with you :)

          • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

            We really think gay marriage will hurt the couples involved in them and we want what is ultimately best for those people.

            That is the epitome of patronising and repugnant.  You’re sickening.  I for one cannot believe your little death-cult is so popular.

          • BryonMorrigan

            Indeed.  More people need to take a stand and say: Just because you try to mask your hatred and repugnant beliefs in pleasant language…it doesn’t make it any less hateful or repugnant.

          • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

            @BryonMorrigan:disqus See, the thing I find funniest is there’re all these famous self-proclaimed “Christians”, especiallt on Faux News, whinging on about “nanny state policies”, and here we have Lily describing the ultimate example of said.  What can be more “nanny state policy” than this BS of “sorry GBLTs, you can’t get married because it’ll harm you; my death-cult’s theology says it’s against human nature, so clearly this is for your own good —you’ll thank us after you accept the death-cult”.

            And here I thought every major branch of that death-cult except the Calvinists valued free will.

          • Parhelion

             I, for one, am sick of people who claim to love me and yet can’t be bothered to learn the difference between civil and religious marriage (which takes sixty seconds — I checked — on the internet).  To love is to take care, and I take more care than that for my cat.  However, I truly love my cat.

            As near as I can tell from the fruits of your beliefs (referencing the NT and I imagine you know which verses), your particular brand of Christianity doesn’t love me at all. Rather, you love to stand in the front of churches before the congregation and tell everyone how much you love your particular version of who you feel I should be.  I feel no obligation (again, referencing the NT and I imagine you know which verses) to believe you.

            Now I hope you’ll excuse me. I have a married gay Christian neighbor who works full time at a soup kitchen and wants to give me some advice about loving others as I love myself.

  • Shakti_Mandrake

    My partner and I have decided against legal marriage until the right is extended to everyone. Its a shame that small conservative groups can yield so much power to negatively impact a larger portion of individuals. I don’t think people realize just how detrimental the inability to Mary can be to LGBTQI couples. You are not permitted to visit if one is hospitalized because you are not immediate family. You often cannot claim assets or utilize health insurance. Kids don’t get guardianship or custody with parents and if a parent dies sometimes that kid leaves their mom/dad for foster care. Love is not determined by gender or religion but by the meeting of souls.

    • Sindocat

      Out of curiosity,  is your partner of your own sex?  This kind of institutional boycott would mean more to me from a heterosexual couple refusing to participate in an institution subject to so much injustice.  I know a lot of straight folks who talk about supporting marriage equality, but none who have taken such a stand. In too many cases, it’s not their issue. They don’t have to care. Their support may make them feel good and liberal, but I wonder how much it really means.

      • Sorn Skald

        Like Shakti_Mandrake, I and my partner of nearly 17 years have decided to not legally marry until others can also marry as they’d like. We’re a heterosexual couple, and we make sure that our friends and family know what our reason is for not marrying. In a few instances (wish it was more, but every bit helps), our stance has helped some of the fence-sitters we know to come down on the side of marriage equality. 

      • Shakti_Mandrake

        We are heterosexual but we both feel marriage is a right not a privilege which is why we refuse to buy into.it until its allowed for all.

  • http://twitter.com/APippinger Angela Pippinger

    I was a part of Protect All NC Families and assisted with promoting an opposition to the Amendment. Of course I was saddened to see it get passed but I also knew that we were up against way too many Conservatives who thought the Amendment strictly banned gay marriage as well as a few who felt that co-habitation was equally as bad as a homosexual couple. Many of us in opposition are strapping up our boot heels and we are ready to dig in. It’s a setback, and a hell of one, but we will have this repealed. We know it will take us a very long time (earliest of estimates say 20 years) but it will happen.

    • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

       What makes it all the more upsetting is that the handful of cities that offered benefits to same-sex domestic partners will no longer be able to do so. So couples who have enjoyed some benefits are going to be losing them when this goes into effect. It’s also noteworthy to point out that almost half of voters didn’t even know that the amendment banned civil unions in addition to actual marriage. This is noteworthy because, according to some polls, 53% of North Carolinians are open to the possibity of civil unions.

      • Me

         that’s why they need to read their voter pamphlets and not let media (even fliers in the mail) determine their voting options.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        “[C]ouples who have enjoyed some benefits are going to be losing them”

        The one Ohio adopted in 2004 has similarly sweeping language, and people thought it meant that but, last I heard, Cleveland Heights still had its somewhat controversial domestic partner registry up and running.

        • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

           Well, I hope that those couples will be able to keep their benefits, but I’m just not feeling too hopeful about much of anything today. I would imagine that private companies would still be able to offer same sex couples benefits, but the way I read the Amendment:

          “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union
          that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not
          prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another
          private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating
          the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”,

          cities (and, I don’t know, for all I know this might also apply to public universities etc) which were giving domestic partnership benefits to their employees, would not legally be allowed to extend anything to same-sex couples any longer. I can only hope that I’ wrong about that, though.

          • http://twitter.com/APippinger Angela Pippinger

            I haven’t heard about Asheville yet (we just approved DP Benefits last year) but I did hear that Duke University is going to continue to offer those benefits to their employees. 

            As far as the issue of being unaware, some of that was by choice. As I canvassed I found people who refused to talk about it, blatantly stated that they only listened to their pastor, or blatantly did not care about the repercussions the Amendment would have. And that was in my town that is pretty liberal and voted the Amendment down. I can only imagine what our people dealt with in more conservative areas. I think that some of them will realize their mistake as they see people they love and care about start to lose freedoms and benefits. 

            The fight is on and will continue!

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Christianity will do with this what it did with slavery over the past 150 years.

    There are Protestant churches founded to favor slavery. Denominations split in the 19th century into northern and southern bodies over the issue. Of course most of the southern branches have formally repented.

    Since there always were Christians opposed to slavery, Christians today claim those folks as the “true” Christians of the day and their opponents as “misguided,” not on the real Christian path, and thus salvage the reputation of Christianity as consistently leading to the right moral conclusion.

    And they will do the same thing with BGLT issues. Christians of some future generation, when such issues are regarded as simple civil-rights questions, will claim the few who dissent today as the “true” Christians, and once again retrieve the moral reputation of Christianity on the backs of people their forebears spurned.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

    Time for Pagans in NC to bring the lawsuits, not to mention the ACLU.

  • kenneth

    Christianity, in the aggregate, is not a force for good in this country. It is a force of Sauronic dominion and qualitatively no different than Islamism in that regard. Still, I take solace in one fact. In all civil rights struggles, it’s darkest just before dawn. Some of the worst Jim Crow abuses happened not in the depths of the early 20th century, when racism was the near-universal default. They came as a backlash, one last ugly stab, as institutionalized bigotry faced its imminent demise. Then, as now, it was crystal clear that time and the momentum of history was not on the side of bigots. Today’s homophobes know that as well as any Dixie governor in 1965.
        Support for gay marriage nationwide stands at about 50%. Virtually all of the opposition is AARP age or fast approaching it. Support for gay marriage equality is near-universal in the 30 and under crowd. So much so that it’s a non-issue to them. It all comes down to simple demographer’s math. The bigots aren’t getting any younger, and they’re not making many more of them, not nearly enough to replace them at a 1-1 level they would need just to fight this wretched holding action. Moreover, the numbers and influence of Christianity in general is declining steadily. They’re going to be a bare majority by mid century or so.
       All there is to do is to fight for the right thing as best we can. Time will do the rest, though there will always be pockets of reactionary hatred. Much of the Bible Belt is the Christian equivalent of Wazirastan. They can live as they wish, but we can also isolate them financially and politically. 
       It think it would be an interesting bit of turnabout if some of the gay-friendly states passed initiatives denying recognition to any marriages performed in states which actively deny equal rights. That would be a real eye opener if hetero couples from North Carolina who relocated or vacationed in one of those states discovered they were legally just a couple of cohabiting strangers for the purposes of hospital visits, taxes etc. 

    • Nicole Youngman

       “In all civil rights struggles, it’s darkest just before dawn.”

      My thoughts as well. There’s always a backlash when major change is immanent. It’s been fascinating for me just watching the changes in college-aged students over the last 20 years–in the early 90s,  gay rights issues were by far THE hardest topic to teach about. These days the students are mostly already there, I just need to help them fill in the details of what’s going on and why and try to get them to think harder about gender roles in the process. Admittedly I was at a much more culturally conservative university 20 yrs ago than I am now, but still, the difference is really striking.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      “They’re going to be a bare majority by mid century or so.”

      Are you counting churchgoers here, or people who would check “Christian” on a survery?

      • kenneth

        Those who self-identify as Christian. Based on the rate of decline, about 1% a year since 1990, supposedly they’d reach minority status sometime in the 2030s. That assumes a steady decline, which could change one way or another. Weekly churchgoers are already a distinct minority. They are, on the very high side, 40%, and probably closer to half that. It all varies by region and age and denomination, but devout conservative Christians are in no way a majority in this country.

         They wield the power of a majority so often because they are extremely politically active and savvy.  They come out and vote in huge numbers, and they vote certain single issues above all other considerations. In elections that maybe get 20% general turnout, these cats will get out damn near 100% of their own people. The rubes are winning in this country because the rest of us sit on our hands and let them, more often than not.  They also fund PACs, and know how to construct a simple (often false), but very effective media narrative. They have the discipline to stay on message and to avoid getting bogged down in critical thinking or nuance at all. 

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Thanks for the reply.

  • Eagle Eye

    Pagans destroy marriage? How is this possible, when marriage as an institution and human phenomenon dates way, way before Christianity? How?

    And I agree with the parallel between laws banning interracial marriage and laws banning same sex marriage. Homophobia and bigotry are related and based on fear; fear of others and fear of one’s own instincts and passions. 

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    “they are my brothers and sisters in the faith, no two ways about it.”

    I would never say that about a Pagan. Anyone who calls him or herself “Pagan” while espousing any form of bigotry is no brother or sister of mine. Period.

    I don’t care if a person is a Republican or a Libertarian or an open-carry tri-corner hat wearing Tea Partier. Fine. Bigotry is a different matter.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

       He’s taking responsibility for Christianity being at fault, though, which is a first, and sure beats the “but they’re not *real* Christians” argument anyday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mlysle1 Mark Lysle

    That marquee sign isn’t “traditional”. They just described a three-way marriage.

    I’m quite certain God doesn’t want to be part of a union of terminally ignorant people.

  • Hotstreak12

    I am unable to fathom how women like Janet Mefferd and Ann Coulture can exist. Conservative women who support the ideology and power base that wishes nothing more than to suppress them and strip them of there rights. It baffles me. 

    • Lily

       Perhaps they have a different idea about what rights and empowerment entail an find the Conservative ideology and power base to actually be beneficial to them as women?

  • Hotstreak12

     you are not wrong. They believe that there monothestic god must bless a marriage to be a true marriage over even civil authority. It is also because for the past thousand years the Abrahamic faiths have been the only game in town.

    • Lily

      Um….. I can’t speak for protestants, but the Catholic Church recognizes civil marriages as valid.  It doesn’t matter if the couple is atheist, pagan, Christian, or whatever— Catholics think any of those people who get married have a true marriage.

  • Kilmrnock

    Well , if you look at the Teabaggers , they too vote against thier own best interest . Seems many hard line conservatives aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.With it’s hard line history the Catholic church being behind some of this stuff isn’t all that surprising . Did anyone listen to anything that Rick Santorum stood for , alot his stands sounded downright medievel. Alot it was almost laughable if he wern’t serious .If any of these fools get elected w/ a Republican controled congress , we’ll be back in the 50′s mentality . Like watching 50 ‘s television.I’m just glad a thinking Christian has admitted his religion is at fault here . Hopefully enough other thinking Christians will see their complicity and help stop this b/f it’s too late .We can stand with these people and help stop this as well .      Kilm

  • Hotstreak12

    In the midst of this religious controversy lets not forget that humanity has never had an accepting relationship with homo sexuality, monotheism has just taken it to a worse level. many of the original pagan cultures saw male homosexuality as something to be ashamed of depending on who takes the “female” position. Even the Greeks and Romans had special rules based on age and context for homosexuality to be accepted. Monotheism may have put solid religious stricture on homosexuality but humanity as a whole has never been accepting of it based on the fact that you need man and woman to produce offspring and anyone who was unwilling to do that for whatever reason was considered a liability . Maybe the seeming increase in homosexuality is a way the earth is reprogramming humanity to stop making babies, because nothing else she’s thrown at us to limit our population growth has worked. 

  • Malaz

    Thanks to Jason for  writing the article in this particular way.

    Win! Obama RE: Gay marriage.
    Fail! North Carolina and the other 29 states who allow a hate filled religion to influence legislative decisions.

    I enjoy it when t’tians equate “homosexuality” with (little p) paganism; the same way I enjoy their constant reference to paganism as demon worship.
    Why? It’s true. But in an inverse way.
    To them, our gods ARE demons…their holy book says it’s true.
    To them, GLBT people should be not only be shunned and legislated against…but murdered.

    http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm

    Before monotheism/phallotheocracy came into acceptance, the world was a lot different.
    Goddess worship and queer shamans were the norm.

    In other cultures, “homosexuality” (a label which is a direct result of t’tianity in itself…btw) was acceptable social behavior. In the Middle -East too!
    The Koran even speaks about the beauty of men.
    It wasn’t until the crusades that “magically” Muslimsand other peoeples rejected same-sex relations…why?
    The crusaders/priests and scholars that traveled the world derided/harassed/murdered/starved and otherwise harmed  those peoples until they gave up their “pagan practices”, one of which happened to be an acceptance of alternative sexualities..,of which, up to that point…there had been no question or label.

    So…is paganism inherently queer? and/or is queerness inherently pagan.

    This Gay Pagan says yes.

    • http://www.themonthebard.org/ Themon the Bard

      I’ve just been reading about the Roman take on the Celts. Apparently the Celts were pretty lustful, and fairly indifferent to gender in their trysts. The Romans writing about it found this disgusting.

      I’d like to propose the hypothesis that homophobia is primarily a feature of Roman culture, not of “human nature,” and that it’s a peculiarity that became widespread only in cultures contaminated by Roman values. It’s probably not entirely historically correct, but I think if we were to look carefully anywhere that the Romans did NOT touch, we’d find a lot less homophobia.

      • Castus

         You win the ‘Idiot of the Year Award’.  The Romans had no perception of straight, gay etc. You fucked who you fucked and that was about it, provided you did not act as the submissive half (a stain to a Roman man’s honor) or preform cunnilingus (dirtied the mouth, that with which you spoke and presented yourself to the world). It was not unheard of for Roman patricians to keep several sexual partners in the wings, some of them teen males. The issue was not being presented as effeminate, not homosexuality. A big part of it was that the Romans frowned heavily upon the sexualization of children, which was somewhat prevalent in parts of Hellenistic culture. I’m really getting tired of this ongoing pagan obsession with Rome being a killer of dreams and smasher of worlds.

      • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

        Dude, serious, I tried to ignore your ignorant comment, but I’m here anyway, so I might as well say it:

        Rome is not the enemy.  The Vatican?  Sure, I’ll concede to that; after all, I was raised Catholic.  But polytheistic Rome, even considering its problems, was more explicitly femmephobic (and arguably xenophobic —but that’s another story for another time) than homophobic.  This still isn’t an ideal, accepting society, but the fact of the matter is, the modern notions of sexuality didn’t exist in the ancient world in the ways that they do now:  It was kind of assumed throughout the Greco-Roman world that everybody would have at least a few same-sex experiences, flings, and affairs -even well into adulthood- but the shaming aspect, especially for men, came from perceived gender transgression:  The Roman bugaboo wasn’t that homosexuals would somehow infiltrate Roman high society, it was that effete men would make “proper” Roman men somehow look bad.  As a rule, few men cared about being perceived as preferring men, sexually; the real insult would be to even imply he preferred to Bottom, which then as now, was equated with effeminacy.  The easy out for Roman men with a homosexual preference would be to only flaunt his affairs with the “proper” sorts of men (mostly slaves, or at least citizen men who were significantly younger) to at least give an ostensible appearance of being the Top and thus Butch, or to at least possess so many Butch-associated traits in public life that no-one cared to make assumptions of effeminacy in his direction.

        Furthermore, even if you want to 100% equate effeminacy with homosexuality, and thus femmephobia with homophobia (as busted as that would be to do so —as much as I’d like to say we do, we faggots do NOT have a monopoly on male femininity), this DID NOT begin with Rome.  To really know the beginnings of homophobic culture, you should check out the Egyptians and Persians, sometime.  Don’t stop there, either –if you want to really really grasp that homophobia was not introduced to the non-Western world, check out some writings of ancient China and Subsarahan Africa —even peoples indigenous the the Americas and Oceania varied enough that some of those cultures were downright homophobic.  If you want to blame some-one for homophobia, Rome is pretty far down on the list, all things considered.

        Just cos some-one on the Internet told you “Rome is the enemy” doesn’t make it so.

  • Daniel SnowKestral

    Proud Two-Spirit (Agokwa), here.  I can only hope that one day, soon enough, all of these laws will be overturned, and the current regime on the “War Against…” many peoples in our country come to a halt, an end.  May the Creating Power(s) prevail against unjust, bigoted leadership.

  • http://thehouseofvines.wordpress.com/ thehouseofvines

    Hey Jason,

    Saw this and thought it might make an interesting story. From Northern Tradition author Galina Krasskova’s blog:

     this Thursday, I shall be giving the opening prayer (to the ancestors) at a conference on women and indigeny being held at the UN. I helped sponsor this special conference and I’m very excited to be taking part. I suspect I shall be the first Heathen to do so in any capacity if I’m not mistaken.  

    http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2012/05/upcoming-events-weekly-roundup-and-miscellanea.html 

  • Sunflame1000

    I’d like for to make one comment–Yeshua (Jesus) did not preach against homosexuality–the Gospels do not mention it in either pro or con light overtly. The *Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) does.
    Institutionalized religion–Jewish and Christian alike–monotheism–is responsible for this almost more than anything else. Pagan polytheist cultures had few such qualms–while certainly there are anti-gay messages (I realized recently that the lore of Narkissos/Narcissus is one–because of repulsing the nymph Echo, Narcissus was cursed by Nemesis for to fall in love with the first *male* he’d ever seen. Not person–male.
    Overall, however, pre-Christian Greek culture was highly tolerant.
    Pre-Christian Roman culture was also *to a point.* Less so, though, than the Greek. Celtic culture, however, was, even, to a certain extent, in its early Christian period prior to the Roman Rite Christian Catholic Church (courtesy of Augustine (Aghast-ine) of Hippo messing things up for Christians–and non-Christians, Jews and Pagans, and women especially–for centuries to come.
    If you really want to put the blame on someone–ultimately–put it on straight male dominated civilization combined with Assholstine of Hippo’s roar!

    • Lily

      There were actually many early Christians whose ideas would agree with (and perhaps, informed) Augustine, but who lived much earlier than him.  Just a few are quoted here:  http://www.catholic.com/tracts/early-teachings-on-homosexuality 

      Christianity has been pretty consistent in the area of sexual morality for most of it’s history (though some sects have branched off of and away from these ideas.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NB5KLNJJDDPOIBQEIORKGGZ76I Keori

    Thank you for this! Yes, christianity IS the problem, it has been for millenia, and will continue to be so until it dies out. At which point it will be replaced with whatever other bigoted idiocy comes into vogue because it appeals to the amygdala-heavy window-lickers, and we’ll have to keep fighting the same battles.

    Re: Obama support for marriage equality – spare me. Too little, way too late, and when it comes with a justification of “states rights” – meaning that “I believe in marriage equality, but I still think it’s okay for states to do exactly what North Carolina just did” – it’s completely meaningless, if not outright offensive. It’s a ploy to the gay donors whom the Obama campaign was courting for major shelling out to the ObamaPAC. This was all about the $$$$$. THAT is more insulting than if he’d just kept his damn doublespeaking mouth shut.

  • http://www.paganawareness.net.au Gavin Andrew

    On this day 40 years ago, gay Law Professor George Duncan was drowned in the Torrens River, South Australia, by members of the Police force. No one  was ever charged for the murder. His death prompted such public outcry that homosexuality was decriminalized in that jurisdiction.

    President Obama’s decision is a political calculation, and probably a canny one. But the real heroes, the people truly deserving applause at this time, are ordinary men and women who have fought (and sometimes died) for their rights.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Christianity is the problem. Less Christianity is the solution.

  • Druidwood

    There are many other things that this bill does other then the ovbious which is sad enough as it is. 

    Domestic violence laws protecting people in an unmarried partnerships might be weakened. (This claim has been debated by both sides, and it’s still unclear exactly how the law would impact domestic violence victims. Opponents of Amendment 1 say many of North Carolina’s domestic violence laws offer special protections to victims who have an established relationship with their abusers. So if the amendment narrows the law to legally recognize only marriages, it might weaken these protective laws for unmarried partners. Supporters of Amendment 1, such as Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., contest this claim. Berger said nothing in the amendment changes any laws on assault, rape, murder, or other crimes.)
    Unmarried parents could no longer have the same child custody and visitation rights as married parents.
    Private agreements between unmarried couples might not longer have a legal basis. This means, for example, that if a couple who has cohabited and raised children together for years decides to separate, the wealthier partner would not be legally obligated to divide property with his or her partner.
    The law could interfere with unmarried partners’ end-of-life arrangements, such as wills, trusts, and medical powers of attorney.
    Employers would no longer have to provide benefits, such as health insurance, to the partners of unmarried employees.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/05/amendment-1-north-carolina-gay-people

  • http://twitter.com/70wK3y Low Key

    It’s to bad the president had to be pushed into making his statement instead of doing it on his own. Had Bidden not said what he said the president wouldn’t have come out with this statement.

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

      Who cares?  He clearly supported same-sex marriage when he was in Chicago, and clearly only back-peddalled to “civil unions, but not marriage” in hopes of being more electable.  The only thing that’s “too bad” is that he had to return to his original “official position” in the first place.

      • lowkey

        it just demonstrates to everyone that our president has no backbone is all. frankly that is something i care about.

        • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

          I disagree.  It’s likely that he might not have been elected if he’d maintained that position publicly four years ago, and then what would the climate for the possibility of legalising same-sex marriage in our lifetimes be like?  A lot has changed in the last four years, and personally, I think this was all carefully choreographed between Obama and Biden to not only secure Obama’s re-election (because one cannot just count on Romney’s unlikeability and the fact that Obama got bin Laden ten years after Dubya somehow can’t guarantee it) but secure same-sex marriage in our lifetimes.  If they can make it look like he was “railroaded”, well, that’s sympathetic, in a way.

          The only reason Obama is just the first Black US president and not the youngest is cos Jack Kennedy was younger by seven weeks — and Obama didn’t have a Scrooge McDuck-wealthy, bootlegging, insider-trading daddy to help him secure the election.  He’s freaky smart, and not just book-smarts.  He’s accomplished more that he intended to during his first term than any multi-term president since Roosevelt.  I haven’t a doubt in my mind that this “railroaded outing” isn’t just an intricate media dance that was planned since long prior Biden’s interview.

          Completely aside, is it just me, or does Joe Biden look a lot like Barry Bostwick?

  • Eran_Rathan

    This, along with all of the other constitutional amendments institutionalizing bigotry will end up in front of the Supreme Court.  And, like all other instances of institutionalized bigotry, it will be struck down.

    We’ll just have to see how long it takes, but it will happen.  Those who remain bigoted are generally older, with those under 30 overwhelmingly in support of equal protection under the law for all citizens – in a few years, maybe 10 or so, those in support will so outnumber those who oppose it that it will be impossible to deny.

    • Deborah Bender

       The Supreme Court has six Catholics on it. Don’t hold your breath.

      • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

        To be fair, that only depends on how much they allow their religion to influence their decisions.

  • Ywendragoneye

    “You can have a baby by adoption, and you can do it with a same-sex partner, so why do you need marriage? This is exactly what the pagans did, way back when, this is exactly what they did: destroy marriage.” Really? The Pagans destroyed marriage? We INVENTED marriage! Just like we invented/discovered Democracy, most religious holidays still celebrated today, agriculture, poetry, writing, worship, the afterlife, etc etc I could go on forever. These people need to get a grip on from where their culture stems.

  • Kilmrnock

    As a pagan , CR actualy , i support Gay Marriage . Altho as a pragmatist i prefer the term civil union . Using the term Civil Union w/ all the same rights …….as we have here in Delaware aviods the hot button word Marriage and all the baggage the RR puts with it .For the foreseeable future the RR is going to be up in arms over the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage quoted in the Bible . If we can avoid all that baggage by a simple use of vocabulary , that works for me . That is why i like the term ” Civil Union” There are many that use the term Gay Marriage just to piss off and fire up the RR , but to me that just defeats the porpuse. If we can get what we want with the least amount of resistance , that is the path i’ll choose .   Kilm 

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      Kilm, we marriage equity supporters who retain the use of “marriage” are not just trying to piss off the Christian Right. We uphold the equal dignity of BGLTs in all things legal and spiritual, especially social recognition and support of committed love and willingness to raise children together.

      The term “marriage” has been made a political football. Christians claim that they own it. That cannot stand in a secular society.

      And before you tell me that BGLTs politicized it by demanding it, let me review a little history. For decades every time BGLTs made an incremental advance like domestic partner benefits, religious conservatives would scream that it was “tantamount to gay marriage.” BGLT leaders finally decided that if any progress was going to be labeled gay marriage, they might as well go for the gold. The RR brought this, like so many things, onto itself.

      • Kilmrnock

        Baruch, i agree with everything your saying , i am a marriage equity supporter as well. All i am saying from a pragmatic point of view getting the proper rights is more important than vocabulary. And i said many , not all use the term to push hot buttons . All i was trying to say is avoiding hot button terms may better serve reaching the goal . A Civil Union w/ all the same rights is better than not obtaining Gay Marriage b/c the RR keeps dredging up thier same old Biblical Marriage Arguements . As others here have said , altho a minority The RR is well organised and funded . These wackos were able to get Prop 8 passed in Cal. One of the most liberal states in the country . I would not underestimate the power of the RR, they have after all hijacked the Republican Party too.     Kilm

        • Ywendragoneye

          Kilm – I hear what you are saying and used to feel the same way. That is until it was pointed out to me that this line of thinking is similar to the “seperate but equal” laws from back in the day. So while I agree that what really matters is that everyone is afforded the same rights (say, a drinking fountain), but if those rights are seperate (the drinking fountain is labelled “blacks only”), then there is still a stigma – still “other”. Sounds like we are ready to make the leap – when you have the President speaking out for Gay marriage, then we are certainly headed in the right direction.

          • Deborah Bener

            The road not taken would have been a campaign to remove the word “marriage” from all laws and replace it with “civil union”. If such a campaign were successful, the result would have been to give people of all sexual orientations equal legal rights while leaving the definition of “marriage” to the private sphere, where people could disagree about it without any group having the power to impose its definition on any other. This is one of the great advantages of separation of church and state; it reduces the number of things that people have to fight over and increases the areas where individual freedom prevails.

            This might actually have been attempted a few years ago in California, where state law offers homosexual couples civil unions that are legally identical to heterosexual marriage. Californians take this for granted and no serious effort has been made to change the law. The next step might have been to broaden civil union to include heterosexuals and take “marriage” out of the state law code (a massive undertaking, but possible.)

            However,  when the California Supreme Court took a case on marriage equality and decided that relegating one group of people to marriage-by-another-name was in itself discriminatory, the state had a six month period when gay people were allowed to marry, followed by passage of Proposition 8 (funded mostly by the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches) which added a provision to our state constitution defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Prop 8, unlike the North Carolina law, doesn’t affect existing civil union law or other legal rights of unmarried couples.

            Gay activists have made a strategic decision to go nationally for “marriage equality” rather than “civil unions for all”. I can understand why they did this, because “marriage equality” is a brilliant reframing of “gay marriage”, while a campaign to end the use of the word “marriage” as a term having legal meaning would have come across to the average person as an attack on the institution of marriage, which is what the religious right has been saying all along. It’s an easier sell.

            In the end, marriage equality is going to come about because of the shift in public opinion others have noted, but the losing side will be bitter about it. And that’s not good for democracy in a pluralistic society.

          • Ywendragoneye

            I agree with much of what you say, although I think the idea of changing all our laws by removing the word “marriage” and replacing it with “civil union” is implausible. Your last paragraph, however throws me. There are those still bitter about losing the Civil War and long for the Confederacy to rise again. I don’t believe that the “losing side” being bitter harms Democracy – in a Democratic society, there is always a winner and a loser – it is the very nature of the beast.

          • Tadhg04

            Marriage and domestic partnership in California are quite different in the rights they denote. It certainly is not a mere distinction of words. 

          • Tadhg04

            To Deborah Bender: Disqua is preventing me from replying directly to your last post.
            Anyway, as a person in a California domestic partnership I would like to correct some incorrect notions you have stated.  Whatever the Court may have said, at this time California has Domestic Partnerships, and does not offer Civil Unions. While there is currently much similarity they are not the same. And Domestic Partnerships are offered only to same sex couples and ‘opposite’ sex couples wherein at lest one partner is 62 or over. A striking difference between a partnership and a marriage or civil union is that one person just takes notarized paperwork and files it at a state office (or mails it). Not even a rudiment of ceremony is involved.

            Information directly from the State of California can be found here:  http://www.sos.ca.gov/dpregistry/faqs.htm

          • Kilmrnock

            ywen, i agree to some extent , but we the pagans and LGBTQ communities have already been othered by these people . I’m just talking though the best way to meet the goal of equal rights for all . I tend to be pragmatic in the ways i look at things and was seeking a way to remove some of the RR’s arguements . keeping this all about rights and keeping religion out of it , seems to be one way to do this . For the RR Marriage is one of thier most used hot button terms . i was seeking a way to take that away from them . And still get the rights our LGBTQ freinds deserve .    Kilm

          • Deborah Bender

            ( Actually replying to Tadhgo4)  I based my statement on what the majority opinion of the CA Supreme Court said when they ruled that gays had a constitutional right to marriage. The Court also remarked in passing that substituting civil union for all marriage in the law was a theoretical option, but not pertinent to the case they were ruling on. Finally, the Court’s opinion said that the main substantive reason why gays have a right to marry rather than only to form civil unions was the weight and respect that marriage has in the culture as a whole, not just in law.

            It’s my understanding that the only differences between civil union and marriage in California are which people can enter into it and that Federal law doesn’t treat it as equivalent to marriage. I think there is a legal distinction in CA between civil union and domestic partnership. Unmarried heterosexuals can form domestic partnerships, but not civil unions.

          • Deborah Bender

             actually replying to Ywendragoneye)

             The bitterness of the white South over the Civil War has poisoned American politics ever since.

            The bitterness of conservative Christians over Roe v. Wade prompted them to politically organize against legal abortion. Up until that decision was handed down, access to safe medical abortions was making steady progress state by state. I think that legal abortion in the U.S. today is unavailable to a higher percentage of women than it was just before the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade.

            Sometimes a situation that has wide support (like slavery) is so unjust or so damaging to society that eventually you can’t compromise or make arrangements that allow the majority to do one thing and minorities to do something else. You just have to use force to change it. But when you force people to do something or to allow something that they believe is evil, time and experience may change their minds, but if it doesn’t, they will be bitter and they will come back to fight later.

          • Dbendr

             My name is Deborah Bender. I don’t know why it’s coming out misspelled in my sig.

        • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

          And i said many , not all use the term to push hot buttons .

          Regardless, I think you need to provide evidence for this claim.

      • kenneth

        Nobody, especially the hetero/RR folks, have any business using the term “marriage” for the license or registration obtained with the state. Civil/legal marriage IS nothing more than a civil union. Christians have enjoyed so complete and so long a cultural and legal hegemony that they have conflated a secular legal proceeding with a sectarian religious sacrament. 

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

      Unfortunately, calling Same-Sex Marriage (as it would affect more than just gay people –Bisexuals with same-sex partners would marry, TS persons who are heterosexually oriented will have their marriage recognised as “legal” in every state in the union [something that's not even guaranteed to TS persons who were born in the 46 states that will allow for birth certificate alteration]) not “marriage”, but instead “civil unions” is tantamount to Jim Crow laws for GBLTs.  Even if it starts with *theoretically* assuring the same rights, it cannot guarantee those rights simply because it wouldn’t be legally called “marriage”.  Believe me, this isn’t “just to piss off and fire up the RR” —I can certainly be more creative than that, if pissing people off and firing them up was my goal.

      The Christian Right needs to step out of their fantasy world and accept the fact that religion, especially Christianity, did NOT invent the concept of “marriage”.  For millennia prior the possible birth of the Christ figure, “marriage” was a legal contract to transfer ownership of chattel that included livestock and daughters, from one man to another.  Later, pagan mythologies romanticised marriage.  Cicero, nearly two centuries prior to Christianity, wrote casually of marriage between two men, indication it was common enough and generally accepted.  Christians don’t get to have a monopoly on the word “marriage” because they didn’t invent the concept of marriage.  You may think it’s “pragmatic” to tell me to go use the “GBLTs only” drinking fountain of “civil unions”, but the reality is that you’re denying me a right that would have been guaranteed to me if a certain little Abrahamic death cult didn’t get so stupidly popular, you are denying me my religious heritage, and you are denying me  and my partner the basic dignities that being married entails.

  • Edana Winema

    The same Christians who quote biblical passages so self righteously to prevent the union of others don’t seem to find the same intensity of religious fervor when divorcing in the face of the vow they made before their god …”What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder’

  • Kilmrnock

    And i too agree the  RR is doomed , and in the near future as the old guard dies off will loose it’s hold on power . But for now we have to deal w/ these Wackos . The RR is too well  organised and funded not to take seriously . I personaly think not using hot button terms that play into thier game plan will help us equity supporters and the LGBT community meet our not unreasonable goals . I am not forgetting these people donot like or care much for us pagans as well . Altho i am straight , i fully support our LGBTQ brothers and sisters , many of which are pagans .I think approaching  this as a equal rights issue w/o bring  religion into the picture stands a better chance of favorable results .Using the term Marriage allowes the RR to bring thier , unfortunatly dominate , religious views into the discussion .This is why i prefer to the term Civil Union w/ all the same rights . Sorry if i rambled on a bit , just wanted to clearify my views on this matter .     Kilm

  • Kilmrnock

    And just for clarities  sake , part of the  many that use the term Gay Marriage to fire up the RR are the RR themselves .

  • Kilmrnock

    I can understand and agree w/ all eveyone is saying , i’m not quite sure a Civil Union is going to create 2nd class citizens , as black segragation did . I was just stating a pragmatic approach  to get to a much needed goal . As i said a way to avoid religiuos arguements , take away the RR’s main piece of ammo.As long as civil unions have all the same rights , i don’t understand what the problem is .As long as the RR is so well entrenched i was trying to state a way to get around them by usuing a equal rights arguement and keeping religion completly out of it . Kilm

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

       If you seriously believe this “civil unions but just not marriage” is the “pragmatic approach” that somehow would not create an inferior second class akin to Jim Crow, then you really don’t understand how that “separate but equal” BS works.  The reason that racially motivated “separate but equal” was a complete failure is because no matter how much the law stated that things were supposed to be equal between both “white only” and “coloured only” schools, railway cars, and public latrines, in practice, those things were not maintained as “equal”:  “Coloured only” schools received less funding and thus used out-of-date textbooks, “coloured only” lavvies were absolutely filthy, and the “coloured only” sections of white-owned restaurants were poorly waited on.  In theory, it was supposed to be equal, but in practise, it was far from equal.

      Thus the GBLT community has no reason to assume any better treatment in practise, no matter how much the laws might insist on “separate but equal” treatment of Cissexual Heterosexual-only Marriage and GBLT-only Civil Unions.  Insurance and inheritance claims want people to be married, not “united”.  Hospitals want a person’s spouse, not “civil partner”.  Immigration laws want people married.  Het couples wherein only one partner is TS can move to a different state and have their marriage completely voided because while one state recognises them as a heterosexual couple, the other recognises them as same-sex.  Even one homophobic administrator in any situation with enough legal funding (and believe me, there are more of them than there are GBLT people wanting to marry) can prevent equal treatment of same-sex or even TS (or partners of TS) spouses from claiming their rights because of the legal loophole that if “marriage” and “civil unions” were truly intended to be “separate and EQUAL”, then they’d be called the same thing.  But since, in your hypothetical “pragmatic” compromise, they won’t be called the same thing, there is no legal justification for treating them equally.

      That’s what lawyers do:  They find little things like that in the law that can make or break it.  That’s how the case of Linda Brown vs the Board of Education set a precedent for overturning Jim Crow, because lawyers found a major discrepancy between the law and the practise.  Not a single lawyer who supports same sex marriage supports your “pragmatic” compromise of “marriage for cis- hets, civil unions for GBLTs” because a situation like that simply cannot guarantee equal rights under law in any practical fashion.

  • Kilmrnock

    This is why i suggest a Civil Union w/ all the same rights . I know this is an uphill battle any way it’s gone about . But unfortunatly as long as this is a predomanatly Christian Nation and the RR ‘s can still be powerful and stire up thier usual crap , we will not see Gay Marriage for some years to come .I was suggesting an alternative until the scales tip in a better direction .So our LGBTQ freinds don’t have to wait 50 or more years until demographics are more favorable.

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

      Yes, dear, I understand what you’re “suggesting” —on the other hand, you’re completely ignoring the fact that “separate but equal” Jim Crow laws nominally assured “all the same rights” (thus why it was called “separate but EQUAL“), but in practise, COULD NOT GUARANTEE THE SAME RIGHTS.  You’re basically telling ME, as a GBLT person, that you want me, and millions like me, to suffer through a system that has already been proved ineffective and harmful just so <i?maybe a handful of Bible-thumpers can spend a few more decades to get used to the idea.  Not even one of the first and most famous of television couples being mixed-race (I Love Lucy —which even had the advantage of Desi Arnaz being Cuban and clearly of more Spaniard stock than Indigenous) could get most people already against miscegenation to change their minds (though it surely helped with the fence-sitters); it wasn’t until AFTER Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws were repealed that a lot of people finally accepted that Jim Crow was busted and did not work —it couldn’t work!  It was designed not to work! 

      Therefore, it cannot logically be assumed that “separate but equal —marriage for cis- hets, civil unions for GBLTs” could EVER guarantee same-sex and trans-inclusive couples the same rights and dignities that marriage will guarantee.  If you call it something other than “marriage”, it WILL BE treated as something other than a “marriage” —which is just what the Christian far right you’re willing to concede to WANTS.  They WANT IT to be called something separate so that there would be no reason to treat it as equal! 

      The Christian far right was just as frothing over the abolishment of anti-miscegenation laws in the 1960s (go to your library and look up the microfiche from national newspapers about it, sometime), and yet that still got passed because assuring people the right to marry was more important than a bunch of racist lunatics, no matter how well-funded they were.  If you still don’t understand how busted your idea of “civil unions, but nominally equal to marriage” is after actually leaning about how the LAST wave of “separate but equal” laws did more harm than good, I’ll have to ask if you’re doing this intentionally.  No-one who truly wants marriage equality for all should be willing to concede to “civil unions only” —might as well tell the ghost of Rosa Parks how great the back of the bus really was, cos at least you’re on the bus!