A Double Let-Down: Or a very long argument about Gay Marriage

**Update 2 – My original post regarding both Floyd Landis and the Washington State gay marriage decision has turned into a very lengthy “debate” on gay marriage. See the comment thread below.

**Update – More news and enlightenment coming out regarding Landis and testosterone. This Testosterone 101 article at VeloNews is especially good. It could be a real shame if this is a false positive, or a fluke sample, because Landis’ reputation really is ruined already.

Floyd Landis, the hero of this year’s Tour de France has tested positive for “high levels of testosterone”. I hope he’s got high levels of testosterone, he’s a guy! Oh, they probably mean abnormally high levels of testosterone. After the rollercoaster Tour and the impressive comeback by Landis, this is a big let-down, but not entirely surprising. This just goes to further tarnish the reputation of pro-cycling. Heck, we have diving and head-butting in soccer, juicing in baseball and cycling, sexual assaults in football and basketball… and we call these people professional athletes? Role models? And they’re paid millions for it?

And then there was yesterday’s decision by the Washington State Supreme Court to uphold the ban on gay marriage. Eli Sanders at The Stranger sums up the details of the ruling quite well. Reading some of the quotes from the justices is just painful: “…limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples… furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children’s biological parents.” Awesome! This decision not only bans gay marriage, but returns all foster children to their biological parents, reunites divorced parents, and makes sure all women are married before they give birth. Impressive!

12 thoughts on “A Double Let-Down: Or a very long argument about Gay Marriage

  1. On Lawn

    … “…limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples… furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children’s biological parents.â€? Awesome! This decision not only bans gay marriage, but returns all foster children to their biological parents, reunites divorced parents, and makes sure all women are married before they give birth. Impressive!

    That isn’t what “encouraging” means. From your retort I wager you might have misread “encouraging” as “forcing” or enforcement.

  2. lopolis Post author

    You might have misread my retort as serious rather than sarcasm. Yes, I realize the quotation was “furthers the well-being of children by encouraging…” not “forcing” and I think it’s equally as ridiculous.

    Tell me, since gay marriage hasn’t been legal in this state, ever, how is the law now any more “encouraging” towards a child’s well-being than it was 100 years ago? If we’ve been “encouraging” children’s well-being for this long with heterosexual-only marriage, then we should be doing great on things like divorce rates, single parents and foster children, right? Every good little boy and girl should have their happy, heterosexual, biological parents taking care of them already, since we’ve had 100 years of progress. I won’t dig through all of the stats to demonstrate that this is complete bullshit but if you want to, here’s a good place to start:
    http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html

  3. On Lawn

    Every good little boy and girl should have their happy, heterosexual, biological parents taking care of them already, since we’ve had 100 years of progress.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree that would be progress. But that would require progress on fronts other than marriage. For instance, somehow to make sure people don’t die while their children are being raised.

    But that isn’t the reason more children are becoming increasingly fatherless or motherless. Much of it has to do with selfishness. The parents put themselves (or rather something they want) above their responsibility for their children. The failure isn’t in the institution of marriage, but our lack of support for it.

    I suppose the question becomes, does neutering marriage for the sake of homosexuality support the responsibility we wish people to take or does it support the adults? That I will leave as an exercise for the reader, but I will point to Rosie O’Donnel as an example. She is a very caring and loving mother, but even she draws the line when it comes to her child’s desire to have a real father.

    Children in foster care, orphanages, or single parents are all a tragedy. Being motherless or fatherless is sad in and of itself. But these children all need help and support. So I ask you, what is the difference between a situation where single mother is raising their children in the single grandmother’s home with her assistance, and Rosie O’Donnel? Why should Rosie’s arrangement of mutual dependancy and dependant children get recognition and government assistance and not the mother-daughter situation?

  4. sicarter

    Why should Rosie’s arrangement of mutual dependancy and dependant children get recognition and government assistance and not the mother-daughter situation?

    First, for that situation to get the same kind of “recognition” would be what most people call incest.

    Second, why doesn’t the mother-daughter situation get government assistance? There are many social programs such as welfare and social security that give single mothers government assistance.

  5. On Lawn

    First, for that situation to get the same kind of “recognition� would be what most people call incest.

    Are you saying that two people who are mutually dependant on each other and raising children together are barred from the same government help as a same-sex couple because you find the living arrangement immoral? That seems to fly in the face of a main plank in the platform to neuter marriage.

    Besides, I have known many sisters, and mother-daughter team-ups and none of them were incestuous. What they were doing to help each other was anything but immoral.

    So why, again, do you restrict same-sex marriage from the mother-daughter team raising one of their children? There are far more of those arrangements than lesbian households with children.

    Second, why doesn’t the mother-daughter situation get government assistance?

    Same could be said for same-sex couples, yet why is benefits such a platform of their push to neuter marriage?

  6. sicarter

    Are you saying that two people who are mutually dependant on each other and raising children together are barred from the same government help as a same-sex couple because you find the living arrangement immoral?

    You’re kidding right? That’s what you read from that comment (you seem to lack a sense of humor and sarcasm detection so i’m not sure how to proceed)?
    I don’t think you understood what I meant by “recognition.” The government “recognition” that same sex couples are seeking is the right to be married and have those relationships recognized in the eyes of the law. This often has absolutely nothing to do with government “help” (by which I assume you are referring to financial assisstance).

    Second, why doesn’t the mother-daughter situation get government assistance?

    Same could be said for same-sex couples, yet why is benefits such a platform of their push to neuter marriage?

    No, I’m really asking you. In the situation you described, why do you assume the single mother and her grandmother don’t get financial assistance from the government. In my experience many (if not most) single women get financial assistance from the government (as I mentioned previously: welfare, social security).

  7. On Lawn

    SiCarter,

    I can’t help but notice the first point was avoided.

    As to your second point, I’m unaware of any program of assistance that is available to two sisters raising a child together that is unavailable to a lesbian couple.

    I’m searching for a distinction here. I would like your help in finding one. A distinction would help us all understand why, for instance, same-sex couples should be given a status of marriage instead of other simular arrangements.

    And while you are at it, why should we alter the definition of marriage at all? What is so important about homosexuality that civilization must oppress people for their sake?

  8. sicarter

    Why does the issue matter so much to you? Why do you spend so much time thinking about it? Writing about it? Why do you believe that people will be oppressed (by no less than civilization itself!) if homosexuals are given the right to marry? Is this something that will affect you deeply and have a major impact on your life?

    There is really no way to respond to your arguments. After having read your weblog I now realize that you throw reason and common sense out the window in favor justifying what you already believe.

    I am done.

  9. lopolis

    On Lawn,
    I’m in full agreement with sicarter here, after reading some of the posts on your weblog I quickly realized there was no hope of having a logical argument with you. You’ve avoided or distorted every point that’s been made here and you have some seriously delusional definitions that you use in your defense. From the post on your weblog that you linked earlier:

    “…a marriage that excludes one sex or another is discriminatory. In a same sex marriage the individuals are participating together in the discrimination against a sex.”

    That is the most laughable and frightening definition of “discrimination” I have ever read. Are you also opposed to a white man marrying a white woman, since they are both the same race? Even a white man marrying a black woman can’t be enough, since Asians and Hispanics aren’t equally represented in the marriage. When I get breakfast in the morning and choose to eat Cheerios instead of Wheaties, by your definition I’ve discriminated against Wheaties (and thus civilization has oppressed all Wheaties eaters). But enough with that, because logic and sarcasm were already lost on you.

    As aggravating as your viewpoints are, there is no point in debating further. Unfortunately I agree to (strongly) disagree. Now please go crawl back into your sexist, homophobic hole. You are an asshat. I am done.

  10. On Lawn

    SiCarter,

    There is really no way to respond to your arguments. After having read your weblog I now realize that you throw reason and common sense out the window in favor justifying what you already believe.

    Actually, if such positions were fallacious you should have no problem showing that. The more rediculous the easier it is to expose as such.

    There are probably many reasons you wish to quit the discussion. Blaming it on lack of reason on my part is simply a cop-out.

    I would be happy to answer your questions, but please allow me the courtesy of an answer to the question I already posed. I’ll leave out the more controversial elements and just stick to the basics:

    I’m searching for a distinction here. I would like your help in finding one. A distinction would help us all understand why, for instance, same-sex couples should be given a status of marriage instead of other simular arrangements.

    Iopolis,

    You’ve avoided or distorted every point that’s been made here and you have some seriously delusional definitions that you use in your defense.

    Its a shame. I came here to have a rational discussion, but when it came to presenting arguments you choose to simply call names. I am not impressed with arguments that are re-enforced with such childishness.

    You point to one quote to support that claim though:

    …a marriage that excludes one sex or another is discriminatory. In a same sex marriage the individuals are participating together in the discrimination against a sex.

    I’m unsure how that is a distortion or delusional, however. Such an explanation, I feel, is owed if you are going to make such accusations.

    What you do say on the matter doesn’t wash.

    Are you also opposed to a white man marrying a white woman, since they are both the same race?

    Why bring up race in the middle of a discussion on gender? Race and gender are not very good analogies of each other. For one thing, you mix races you get a mixed race child. I personally don’t think that is a bad thing, do you? It could be, by the way, according to some. Enforcing a mix of race removes racial diversity. Whether or not that is a good thing is up to you. Which is why everyone gets to make the decision to either marry within their ethnic background or out.

    When you mix genders, however, the child is still 99.9999% of the time just one gender.

    The other problem with your analogy, ironically, was pointed out by yourself. Its perfectly fine with me for you to undermine your own argument. As you noted, there are many races. Enforcing racial mixing with a coupling of just two would be futile.

    But, there are only two genders, and a marriage signifies gender completeness. The two genders, when joined together, unlock something that cannot be done otherwise. Is that discriminatory? If so get your arrest warrant out for mother nature. I doubt such an action will give much consolation though.

    When I get breakfast in the morning and choose to eat Cheerios instead of Wheaties, by your definition I’ve discriminated against Wheaties

    Well, the definition I use is my choice, but not my creation. And yes, you would be discriminating against Wheaties. According to m-w.com ‘discriminating’ can mean:

    1 a : to make a distinction b : to use good judgment

    But just what criteria you use is up to you. Whether valid or arbitrary the decision, the discrimination is evident in that you made a distinction between the two and a choice of just one.

    But thats not the only way to define discrimination. Lets try this race analogy out though. Lets say a bar only allows one race, much like a same-sex couple only allows one gender. Another bar down the street requires one of each race. Which bar would you, under your definition, call discriminatory?

    But enough with that, because logic and sarcasm were already lost on you.

    I’ve not seen much logic, and it seems that at least by your defintion “sarcasm” means bad logic you wish to cover up. Sarcasm is usually funny, but it doesn’t have to be. But sarcasm is logical. It is a way to apply reductio-ad-absurdum to invalidate logical points. The absurdity of the conclusion pointed out by the sarcasm shows the problem of the logic. That wasn’t what you attempted, you attempted above to conflate enforcement with encouragement. Thats just absurd logic on your own part.

    Now please go crawl back into your sexist, homophobic hole.

    Funny, you call me who is promoting gender integration “sexist”. As opposed to people promoting gender segregation, such as yourself. I think there is a problem here, an inability to grasp simple subjects. But as with the point above, it does not appear to be anyone’s problem but your own.

  11. lopolis Post author

    OK, let me try to boil things down this way instead…

    I believe in a few prerequisites for marriage: two individuals (legal age, and non-related) consent to a commitment together (often based on love, but not necessarily). I also believe these individuals can be either the same or opposite sex.

    You believe that a marriage requires these two individuals to be opposite sex.

    Again, I believe your definition of marriage is based on an antiquated notion of the establishment of “marriage” as a whole. I believe it does not adequately accept the variety of genders (not the biological definition of gender) that currently exist in our society (straight male, gay male, straight woman, gay woman, bisexual, transgendered, etc.). Lastly, I believe that marriage as the idea of a commitment (often based on love) between one individual and another, should be open to all sexes and sexual orientations.

    You believe that a marriage must consist of two individuals of the opposite (biological) gender. You may/may not believe that these two individuals must also be of a straight sexual orientation*. You also believe it is discrimination against one gender if two people of the same gender decide to marry each other.

    I believe that it is discrimination against a person’s sexual orientation if you do not allow them to marry the gender they prefer (to love, or commit to).

    I would venture to guess that we have very different beliefs on the nature of sexual orientation as well.

    You may have noticed that I use the word “believe” very heavily above. You believe in certain definitions of the terms and concepts that we’re debating, and I believe in different definitions. If we’re both trying to logically debate an issue, it’s a requirement that we work from the same basic postulates. In this case we are not, and we believe in fundamentally different definitions.

    This is precisely why I tried to end the “argument” (albeit in an insulting way). We will have to agree to disagree, because no matter how much we go back and forth trying to debate, you will not be able to change the definitions I believe in (and I suspect I cannot change yours).

    And this also explains exactly why the gay marriage debate as a whole is so controversial and heated. The government (who for some reason is in control of marriage) holds one set of definitions, gay and straight individuals believe in others, and many religions believe in even more definitions.

    I will leave you to express your opinions and beliefs on your website, and I on mine.

    *Footnote: 2 years ago. Dan Savage, a gay male writer, and Amy Jenniges, a gay female writer, conducted an ironic protest against the gay marriage ban, by getting married to each other, proving that gay marriage (not based on love or commitment) was possible, as long as it fit the government’s definition of male + female.

    Some other excellent articles in favor of gay marriage:
    Just Say No to Civil Union
    Stay in the Fight

    And here is Wikipedia’s excellent entry on gay marriage and the historical debate, which begins with the all-too-appropriate section, “Debates over terminology.”

  12. sicarter

    On Lawn,

    I agree completely with lopolis. We have wildly differing definitions of relationships. If your belief is that a same sex relationship is a “simular arrangement” than we have nothing to discuss.

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