Gay Rights Are Civil And Human Rights

"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that."

From: The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Act 3, Scene 1
http://www.online-literature.com//merchant/13/

By any measure the 2004 American election has been a momentous event. Along with the regular presidential and congressional vote choices, citizens of eleven states, including Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah also got to vote on initiatives to explicitly ban marriage between homosexual persons. Every one of these eleven state initiatives passed, meaning that, baring judicial review, homosexual marriage is now against the law in those states and apparently also in 27 other states that have previously passed similar laws. In some of those states, even civil unions are now against the law, as initiatives also sought successfully to ban any legal approximations of homosexual marriage.

Since we are presently confronted with dramatic and effective rejections of the idea of gay marriage, it seemed appropriate to use this month's essay to state clearly just how wrong, how harmful, how unfortunate and how damaging this sad turn of events is.

There is simply no stopping, no legislating away the bedrock facts that some people are born gay and will in adulthood find themselves attracted to same sex partners, fall in love with those partners and want to share their lives in a committed relationship. American society, based as it is on Judeo-Christian values, has never had an easy time with this fact, but it remains a fact never the less. There have always been gay people and there always will be gay people so long as there are people. No amount of family or cultural pressure can make a gay person into a non-gay person. Instead, the evidence suggests that sexual preference is determined largely (but not entirely) by biological forces (genes or prenatal hormone variations), which can be suppressed but not 'overcome' in adulthood. There is no evidence to suggest that "sexual reorientation" therapies ever work beyond simple promotion of the "suppressing of your desires" agenda. While societal recognition of the rights of homosexual people can be suppressed (as is currently the case), such suppression is and always will be powerless to make gayness go away. Instead, the only things that suppression of gay marriage can do is to further hurt and stigmatize gay people and to deny them their human right to love and to be loved.

Gay Rights Are Civil And Human Rights

Gay marriage issues thus distill, in my mind at least, to human and civil rights issues. At issue here is literally whether or not gay people are deserving of recognition as regular and normal human beings; as part of "us" rather than "them."  If gay people are not fully human (if they are 'abnormal, perverted, dysfunctional, etc.) then we can sleep well at night in denying them things that we ourselves think are essential human rights. If they are normal human like us, then we are nothing but prejudiced in denying them what we give to ourselves.

The mental health professions are unified behind the understanding that homosexuality is a normal human sexual variation, and that homosexuals are as much perfectly normal human beings as are heterosexuals. It wasn't always this way. Prior to 1974 homosexuality was recognized as an official mental disorder. A rising tide of scientific evidence from animal and human studies suggesting that homosexuality was a common and normal event and not especially associated with mental illness, combined with the willingness of the political powers that be within the psychiatric and psychological establishment to get to know actual gay people in human terms and see that they were not perverts or deviants but instead normal folks living normal lives only with differing sexual preferences altered the landscape and caused the DSM diagnosis associating homosexuality with mental illness to be dropped. The story of how some of this went down was nicely documented in 2002 by the radio program "This American Life" in their documentary story "81 words". The official position of the American Psychological Association on homosexuality can be found here, and the similar position of the American Psychiatric Association here.

Though homosexuality is not a mental or medical disorder in of itself, there are serious mental and existential issues that come with the territory of belonging to a stigmatized group. Homosexual orientation emerges during the teen years as does heterosexual orientation. According to SAMHSA, the federal government's voice on substance abuse and mental health,

"Suicide is the third leading cause of adolescent mortality in the United States, accounting for 13 percent of deaths between ages 15 and 24. In 1996, more teenagers and young adults died of suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. According to Fleischer and Fillman (1995), a 1989 Department of Health Report on youth suicide found that gay and lesbian youth are up to five times more likely to attempt suicide. The increased risk among these youth is due to isolation, rejection, confusion, and shame due to the stigmatization of homosexuality, which results in depression, suicide, and low self-esteem."

The link is available here.

So, in fact, stigmatization of homosexuals in itself creates mental disorders and perpetuates the suffering and sometimes the untimely death of gay youth.

If there is no reputable scientific evidence to suggest anything wrong or deviant about homosexual persons save for what can be accounted for by way of the abuse they suffer as a marginalized group, then what exactly is the reason that such persons should be discriminated against and denied civic protections? I would suggest that it is not legitimate to deny homosexual persons full civic and societal recognition and protection for their committed relationships, and that the states have embarked upon a path that is contrary to the uplifting and spiritually grounded historical examples set by civil right leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., and contrary to the health and welfare of the nation and the citizens therein.

The civil rights movement is instructive here: The freedoms we take for granted today as self-evident truths were only a short while ago not so obvious. African Americans were slaves and property, regarded as subhuman and not worthy of rights until 1865. Thereafter in many quarters they were regarded as second class citizens not worthy of significant rights until at least the 1960s. Women did not have the right to vote until 1920. Each reform was fought bitterly by traditionally minded people who probably felt, like today's voters, that they needed to defend the status quo or society as they knew it would fail and all hell would break loose. In the African American case, outright ownership of people grudgingly and at gunpoint gave way to a "separate but equal" mentality similar to that which is today applied in widespread fashion towards the gay marriage issue (wherein it is proposed that gay persons be able to benefit from 'civil unions' that approximate civic rights accorded to marriage while more exclusive 'true marriage' status remains reserved for heterosexuals). Only with the tumultuous and violent civil rights movement of the 1960s was society moved towards better integration. The experiment is ongoing of course, but who among us who is not a member of the Klan would say that what we've got today isn't better than what we had before? Across the history of American prejudice, significant organized resistance to integration tends to give way over time to a general acceptance by most elements of society that integration, and recognition of the full and complete humanity of the formerly marginalized group is important, that justice is served in the process of integration, and that the overall lot of the country improves as a result.

At any rate, history gets written by the winners and all histories are biased. We'll either end up adding prejudice against gays to the historical bin where we store prejudiced and discriminatory practices perpetuated against African Americans, Female Americans, Irish Americans, Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, etc. or we won't depending on which view ultimately prevails. From my own point of view as a psychologist, there is only one moral and ethical position that makes sense in light of the reliable and repeatable scientific evidence: that the states have made a serious and regrettable mistake in banning gay marriage which will hurt the country, and specific people within the country with homosexual orientations, more than it will ever help.

Interested readers should feel free to copy and distribute this essay so long as they preserve reference to Mental Help Net (www.mentalhelp.net) and the author.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.
Psychologist
November 4, 2004

Comments
  • Bruce

    The Bible is clear that Homosexuality is clearly a decision of the individual. Romans 1. I do agree that people are born this way, however. We are all born with a sinful nature. The sinful nature gives us the desire to do things that will destroy us. God's word tells us how to overcome this nature by warning us of the danger of giving in to them. There are many, many people who have left the homosexual lifestyle with God's help by accepting Jesus Christ and are now in a position to perform God's original will for man (See Genesis 1-2) that is to PROCREATE. You yourself have to admit that it would mean the end of the human race if we all felt we were homosexual because homosexuality would stop procreation. Homosexuality violates the very biological functions of the human body which is evident in the results on the body, (IE: AIDS, See Romans 1). It is a verifiable fact that homosexual men live a much shorter life than other men. One reason for this is the high rate of suicide among these individuals but so is disease. No offense, but I feel you can help people more by helping them cease from destructive habits rather than encouraging them in what will ultimately destroy them. Do we teach someone practicing beastiality that his desire to interface with animals is something he was born with and natural and that his peers should not only encourage but financially support his desires? Where do we draw the line? Is there a line to draw? I choose to believe the Creator of the human body and mind above the one who studies it. No offense.

  • Shaddix

    man, i'm torn between my religion and my generation's views i have to research this stuff myself. however i agree completely that they shouldn't be opressing people for that. Southern states are stupid, if they think its a disorder, you don't go and ban it if it's going to cause suicide. If they believe its a mental disorder, then they should make gay marriage legal and chase down all the happy couples and try to destroy their marriage of sin and make them hetero "You can't get married because you both have penises" "You can't sit with the white people because you're black" marriage in legal terms doesn't have jack shit to do with religion, government is NOT supposed to be involved with religion, which is what these states and george w bush are doing. the legal term for marriage is evolving into something that goes past sexual barriers, does it mention age? race? united states is based on everyone having the same rights. you can't have a statute in the united states of america that discriminates based on sex race religion. and that's EXACTLY what the gay marriage ban is doing, discriminating between americans based on sex. government DOES NOT RECOGNIZE SEX. government sees citizens. that's all. society is moving forwards. for all the citizens in the united states of america to get want they want out of marriage, gay marriage bans can not exist. the people of the united states decide what marriage will be. and marriage can be for all citizens. from my point of view, looking at the world through my lense, i can see no reason why legal marriage should discriminate based on sex. If your definition of marriage is men and women, it's not hurting you to let gays marry as well, noone is saying you have to marry someone of the same sex, why would you want to take something away from those people, even if they are wrong in your eyes it isn't your place to punish them, they are god's children and god is to do with them what he wills. and once again, the GOVERNMENT does not get involved with GOD. that is a NONO. (one more time for you slow people | religious definition of marriage - written in stone in the bible | legal definition of marriage - evolves with time and with the needs and wants of the people. banning gay marriage is essentially taking away freedom of religion. my religion defines marriage as a union between two peoples of the same sex. if this government cannot realize that, and at the same time realize the christian marriage, if i want marriage, i must be christian. And THAT, is not freedom. i would appreciate an email from the author ^_^ bye bye

  • Anonymous-1

    I voted against the bill in OH - not because I'm for gay rights or their right to either marriage or a civil union, but because I'm against ANY amendment that allows government to determine what - or what does NOT - constitute what should be a private matter between two consenting adults. [Personally, I tend to be neutral on the issue(s).] To me, this is a private issue, as in it is no one else's business - including that of government. Just as I voted against the OH amendment, which now legally defines marriage as being between a man & woman [which also may have an impact on heterosexual civil unions, i.e., common-law marriages between heterosexual), I would vote against a constitutional amendment SUPPORTING gay marriages and/or civil unions. I think that this bill has set a dangerous precedent for government defining what is - and what isn't - legal in regards personal choice. For I can't help but wonder now: What will be next - an amendment saying exactly how many children constitutes a family, as they now do in China? Or what doctor or medicines I can see or take? (Oops, they have already done this - They call it HMOs.) We, as a nation, need LESS government involved in our personal/private lives - not more. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts.

  • Nate

    Bruce...I completely disagree with you. So did Rev. Lewis Smedes when he was alive. You're misinterpreting Romans I just like so many religious extremists in this country. Rev. Smedes often pointed that out. Perhaps you need to read his statements and then reread Romans I again. As for whether marriage rights should be extended toward same-sex couples, let's remember that this is strictly a legal issue. No church is going to be forced to accept homosexuality if it doesn't want to. Besides, if everyone is so interested in protecting the institution of marriage, then perhaps someone would've taken interest in keeping my parents together. My point-we (heterosexuals) are the only guilty party in the destruction of marriage in this country by seeking divorce. How can homosexuals break down the institution of marriage when they've always been denied the right to marry? Fear is rampant in this country, and that should be embarrassing to all of us. Let's also not forget how angry we feel when others try to interfere in our private lives. Think about how homosexuals feel when we try to tell them how to live. If anyone reading this is incapable of being that compassionate, then remember this: discrimination is anti-American. We are not a free country if certain citizens are not given freedom. Homosexuals are not wrong in wanting to care for each other. We're wrong in preventing them from doing so.

  • J.M.

    Okay, let's make this really easy for all of you- voters, legislators, and anyone else who has a say in American society. Put your religious/philosophical beliefs behind you. I'm sorry if you think gay marriage is wrong because "God" put us here to "procreate," and that is impossible with two gay men or women. BIG DEAL- we have too many people on this Earth anyway! We don't NEED any more people! Is that ANY basis to discriminate against a group of people? Absolutely not. Feel free to e-amil and I will prove my point further. Thank you.

  • Anonymous-2

    I agree totally with Bruce. I don't care what no one says homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. It isn't the way you were born it is the lifestyle you chose to live. Think about it, what if your parents were homosexuals would you be here NO. Why? Because two people of the same sex can not multiply. The Bible says to be fruitful and multiply. In the begginging the Bible says that God created man and woman, Adam and Eve, NOT ADAM AND STEVE OR EVE AND EVETTE. I don't care how hard people may try to justify homosexuality it will always, in my eyes and in the sight of God, the one who sits high and looks low, be wrong. [Editor: Whether homosexuality is 'wrong' or not is not in question here. The editorial has to do with whether it is moral to deny two people in a committed relationship state protections for that relationship (e.g., hospital visiting privilages, communal property, joint child custody, etc.) on the basis of their homosexuality.]

  • Brattly

    God creted sex, He meant for it to be enjoyed and I grow weary of people who are bound by the guilt of enjoyment. I also hear people spit out the word "homosexuality" as though it is profanity. I beleive that there are many things a government is to do. Protect it's people, maintain order and punish those who have brought harm to others. My God tells me to abide by the government which exists here and now and I seem to be struggling more and more with doing so as time passes. I read the bible and an outstanding concept within it(and there are many) is edification. This simply means to "build up" each other. I do not understand those who belittle and destroy something built by mutual affection. I consider relationships between anyone, when consensual, to be a blessed thing. God has allowed me to experience sex in many ways. I have had loving, fulfilling and incredible sexual relations with both men and women. I believe in conviction of the heart and believe I have known since a very early age the difference between wrong and right. God gave me a conscience and it guides me. I have done things that I immediately knew were wrong and admitted my mistakes and avoid such behaviors. I have never had physical intimacy with someone I CHOSE to have it with that left me with the distinctive feeling that something wrong had occurred. I have. by the way done things with women (by request) that many resolutions and laws of the past considered illegal, so sexual experimentation and "devience" is not limited to homosexual relationships. I find it interesting that many of those who support legislation of this nature who DO exactly the type of things this legislation is meant to disallow. I guess if we can only have sex to procreate, then oral sex(a very popular style of sex in almost every relationship) would be illegal as it usurps creation. Masturbation would also then be illegal as it usurps reproduction. I know several legislators who would drop this like a hot potato if they had to give up their blow jobs or jerk sessions. Imagine the people of power who would instantly become criminals. I don't think my example is too extreme. Legislating what people do with their bodies is archaic and counterproductive and is only a precurser to being monitered in public and in our homes and so controlled in our actions that the free will given us by GOD menas nothing. I do not know how this will all end up, but I do know that God is watching. He sees people like me making love to eachother and having honest and open relationships with who they choose and He sees others who say certain things and do other things. Who do you suppose will be found more worthy in the end. It is pathetic that I could have a partner for life, we can even have a family, build a home, finacially support each other in every way like a man and woman do who are married and yet they will never be recognized for their loving devotion and sacrifice. I believe we owe it to same sex partners to give them rights. People of "difference" once had no rights. Abortion was illegal at one time and women died in back alleys and in their homes using wire hangers before our country came to it's senses about how harmful such legislation can be.IT destroys lives and causes otherwise law abiding people to hide their actions and to act desperately, not unlike criminals. THAT is a crime! If you believe God hates homosexuals, shame on you. God hates nobody. God is also above the congress and the president and we ALL will answer for our words and our actiond in the end. I appreciate the forum and welcome any correspndance in regards to it. I pray for resolution in this divisive and life altering conflict and I say it again...God help us.

  • Mariah

    First of all, even if we were to accept all gays/lesbians (which I happen to be, by the way) as a 'normal" person, not everyone is going to then be gay! That is just ignorant to even think of. Only 10% of the population is estimated to be gay. Besides, gay people can procreate, they just don't use the same means as heterosexuals. Second, beastiality is a violent act, being gay is a loving act, there is no comparison. Third, it is a verifiable fact that heterosexual men have shorter life spans than heterosexual women. Being gay or straight has nothing to do with your sexual orientation! Fourth, the Bible can hardle be used as a source for support anymore since everyone has their own interpretation of what it says. No matter how clear you think it says one thing, another person will believe just as strongly that it says something else. What evidence do you have to prove that anyone has been "cured" of homosexuality. Have you found a way to step inside their souls and know what is really going on in there? FYI...many gay people hide who they are because of people who preach to them about how wrong they are for loving someone of the same sex. They will live their whole lives hating themselves, ashamed of who they are, when there is no reason to. How can you or anyone prove that these people who have "left the homosexual lifestyle with God's help by accepting Jesus Christ" aren't just telling you what you want to hear so that you will leave them alone? No offense of course.

  • Mariah

    Think about all the horrible crap that gays and lesbians have to put up with. All the discrimination, hate, violence, rights being denied...etc. Why on earth would anyone CHOSE to live like that?!?! That is one of the dumbest assumptions that people have about us! The only thing we chose is whether or not we are going to let bigots and haters determine get in the way of us being out and proud of who we are. I am a lesbian and I am damn proud of who I am because I don't let narrow-minded jerks tell me who I can and cannot be!

  • S.S

    The simple fact is, Bruce, I don't believe your Bible is from God. We live in a country with no established religion - at least we used to. Why is it ok for you to force your religious beliefs on me?

  • pete

    This argument essentially defines why our system of democracy is crumbling beneath us. Sorry to inform some of you, but God is not in charge of America. We are the land of the FREE (to quote an incorrect cliche) - a land that our fathers founded on the idea and ideal that "ALL men are created equal." The pilgrims escaped to the United States because of religious persecution and here we are persecuting our neighbors because of our religion. If you want to live in a country with a single faith, move somewhere else. This land is for people of all beliefs, people of all colors and people of all sexual orientations. The gay marriage votes proved that some people are still as closed minded as they were when they voted against African Americans or women being able to vote. Besides, if you really understood the Bible, you would see that one of the main messages of living a good life is to love your neighbor - even if you don't agree with her or him. Jesus does not want to come back to a planet filled with people being HATEFUL in his name. and if I offended you, good - you're the reason that thousands of people in love are being denied a basic and lawful right.

  • Gloria Whelchel

    Gay activists "claim" that research "proves" that people are born inherantly heterosexual or homosexual. But, have you noticed, that they do not site specific research. I have only research I have been able to find a few research studies on this topic and those by people who professed to be homosexual. Now, I'm not saying that they are biased, however, a close look at the research easily shows that the "facts" are not nearly as obvious or as clear as those who would have you believe what they want you to believe claim. There is no empiracle, clear evidence to prove that homosexuality is genetic. Those who claim this is true, interpret statistically "wishfully" and ignore what the statistics actually say. There is no reliable empiracle evidence that unbiasedly PROVES that homosexuality is genetic. There are only wishful dressmakers and insecure subjects who dare not say or comment on what they really see.

  • Justyna

    It does not matter if homosexuality is genetic or by choice, it does not matter that people desagree with such lifestyle. What threat does a gay couple bring into my life? How can somebody elses happiness make me angry?Who am I to judge anyone, aspecially if they are good people. I, as a heterosexual child of GOD, could not bring myself to put anyone down. I do not know if homosexuality is right or wrong,it is not up to me. I think unless you have walked in the shoes of a gay person, you cannot tell someone why they are gay! I wake up with JESUS every morning, he walks by my side and teaches me to love all people...

  • Michele

    I'm gay so I'm an expert on this subject. If you're not gay and not a scientist or someone who has studied gay people, you should be quiet- unless you're asking a sincere question- and listen to the facts. The world has billions of straight people and millions of gay people. Regardless of whether it is nature or nurture, nobody chooses to be gay or straight. This is not just about sex. This is about how we function in the world as a whole person. Whether we fall in love with someone of the opposite sex or of the same sex, the relationship we have is about so much more than sex. There is nothing wrong with any relationship where we give and receive love. This is not a religious issue. Society changes to accommodate itself regardless of religious beliefs (i.e. divorce and remarriage, people working on Sundays, not stoning people to death, etc.). The bottom line is IT IS WRONG TO DENY GAY PEOPLE THE EXACT SAME RIGHTS AS STRAIGHT PEOPLE. PERIOD. We are your brothers and sisters and if you hate us and discriminate against us you are WRONG. PERIOD.

  • Steven

    There are a few things...It isn't about religion at all. There is a separation of church and state. Laws and regulations for the United States of American are supposed to be created and based on nonsecular ideals. Marriage should not be part of the government anyways, as mariage is "Holy Matrimony" which is not the governments business. There should be legal unions for anyone and holy unions performed in the church, but they should not be based together. That will additionally appease those religious persons. They will have their legal union and holy marraige, seperate from each other. Also, who says my god is your god? That is why there is seperation of chuch and state in this country. My god tells me to hate no one. This god I read quoted so often in other comments seems to be instructing you to hate gays. I find that hard to believe because we are all his children, and he loves us all, sin or not. Some people need to try to keep out of something that they obviously want nothing to do with. If you don't like homosexuality, don't be friends with homosexuals. Simple as that, but I would hope we are all grown up enough to work together in our short time here on earth.

  • Ross

    I'm aamzed at some of the flippant disregard for sense some people seem to have. However, it is perhapes perceivable many have qualms of knowing whether or not being homosexual is a choice. Let me clear the air: I, as a gay male, am telling you, as whoever you are, homosexuality is not a choice. I did not CHOOSE my preference. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to push a button and be heterosexual. It would be less hate, discrimination, risk, and stress for me. I would love to have a family, but my intrests so prevent it. Homosexual people develop intrests just like heterosexual people do - meaning around puberty, just of their own accord. These was no fork in the road saying "gay" and "straight" I just grew into my sexuality. Now, as far as the marriage issues goes, it should have nothing to do with the fact of homosexuality being choiceless. What it should have to do with is the fact of the government interfering with a personal choice by myself and another concurring male which hurts NOBODY. Religion has no place in this discussion because the churches would not be forced to change their policy but also because the churches cannot be allowed to intervene in a personal relationship of my own. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? The irrelevent, misplaced reasons people seek to use in "defense" of marriage are absurd anyway. Homosexuals are thought of as lecherous. Perhaps if having a relationship sanctioned by our government was LEGAL, this would not be an issue. Some say marriage is for procreation. If so, then all menopausal women, sterile women and men, and those not planning on having children should have their relationships dissolved. What hurts the most is when people say marriage is for an intimate relationship. Homosexuals can have very intimate, compassionate relationships. It is difficult to, however, when one is not allowed to see another during an emergency in the hospital because he/she is not legally family. Without even given the chance, how can we prove our capacity for love? Heterosexuals have already shown theirs: One in three marraiges ends in divorce. Children are often abused and mistreated. The couple is together for money and prestige instead of love and happiness. Heterosexuals, not homosexuals, have destroyed marriage. The reasons for suggesting we have are not true. Even if they were, they aren't even applicable. The invasion of privacy and the violation of church and state are illegal, except apparently multiple states in this electino year have decided to think otherwise, along with Bush. Denying people their core civil rights is wrong, and people in support of those deleterious laws should recognize the folly of their ways.

  • Rob L

    How interesting. As someone who isn't american, this all makes fascinating reading. This 'seperation of church and state' seems to be entirely none existent. Every argument made against gay marriage seems to quote religion in some way but isn't religion supposed to have nothing to do with the law? Your government has no right to impose laws based on their religious beliefs. Are there actually any non-religious arguments against homosexuality? It prevents reproduction - well, there will always be heterosexuals around for that. It leads to suicides - well, if no-one persecuted them, they wouldn't be unhappy. It spreads disease - this is actually true for gay men. Due to the nature of anal sex, STD's are more likely to be contracted (this is due to the decreased need for a condom and the increase in absorbtion of fluids into the blood stream). Of course, this is also true for heterosexuals having anal sex, and sexual promiscuity in general. So, the worst thing about homosexuality is a slight increase in the risk of them giving EACH OTHER a disease? Any other arguments against? I'd be fascinated to hear them. So, in conclusion, what basis do any of you have to ban gay unions? You don't like it? Well, I don't like facial hair, fish, or floral wallpaper, but if anybody put forward an initiative to ban them, I'd firmly vote no.

  • Small Voice in a Big World

    I am an American and forced to agree with Rob L, “In support of nobody.” Though my religious beliefs are at the heart of my personal decisions, I must accept that the founders of this country who, before creating these United States, overthrew tyranny and declared that all men are created equal. Though it took time, “men” came to include ALL men, regardless of race “men” eventually came to include women. The rights to receive wages, vote, run for public office, etc. all came from a necessity to defend the free will of all people. Granted, freedom is justly taken away when one encroaches on the freedom and well-being of another. Such things are necessary. However, to deny freedom on the basis of sexual orientation seems as prejudicial as preventing a black man from entering college. If our government denies homosexuals the right to marry (and enjoy those same benefits), our country has begun doing something in itself unnatural: denying freedom. I can think of no more a hypocritical thing than the United States going against its nature of protecting freedom in order to stop people who are supposedly acting against nature. If this nation is to survive schism, its leaders (and citizens) will need to remember the intent of its formation: to provide a place where all people may live prosperous lives without fear of prejudice, harassment or hypocrisy.

  • Anonymous-3

    My partner and I were married at City Hall in SF on 2/16/04. It was one of the happiest days of our lives. Finally, we thought we might get the SAME rights as everyone else. You see, I pay the SAME amount of taxes as my heterosexual, married neighbors but they have over 100 rights and we have a handful. California with AB205 will provide more rights for us but still not as many as legally married couples. My Higher Power does not judge me. I have one suggestion for all of you religious experts-look in your own back yard. In other words, look at the amount of hate you have for two people that love each other. How have you treated your neighbor today? Were you respectful and loving as (God) says in the Bible? Or were you hateful and judgemental? You don't have to agree with my lifestyle, just give me my civil rights as a tax paying citizen.

  • Ken

    In any discussion about Christianity and homosexuality, let us not forget what Jesus said about the subject: That's right, nothing! Jesus did not condem homosexuals, and neither do I. He did say to "Love your neighbor as yourself". I guess treating others with the respect we want for ourselves and letting God do the judging would make the issue dissappear. That would be the Christian thing to do. WWJD. PS: I have been in a same-sex loving relationship for 33 years.

  • GG

    This conversation should be about supremacism... not about gays. A supremacist is someone who believes that gays are "essentially inferior" or that gay marriage is "essentially inferior" to heterosexuals or heterosexual marriage. Supremacists are unmoved by arguments in support of the health and well being of gay americans. If this debate was about inter-racial marriage... we wouldn't be talking about the couple... we'd be talking about racism. The focus should be on the supremacists. They should be made to feel bad about their offensive and casual remarks. The gay marriage debate isn't really about gays... its about supremacism, and the rights of supremacists in our country. The rapid spread of the gay marriage debate isn't really about gays... it is about the rise and spread of supremacism in our once great country. As a gay american, I bear the supremacists witness.

  • GG

    It doesn't matter if being gay is a choice or not. Again, this focuses the question on gays and not on the supremacists. Asking if homosexuality is a choice is, the same thing as asking whether anti-gay supremacism is more like racism (race= biological) or anti-semitism (judaism = a choice). Supremacism is supremacism. If we even ask the question of whether homosexuality is a choice, we've already fallen into a trap. I'm a gay american. I choose to be out and to live honorably. If there were no biological foundation for my being gay... if it was only a choice... I would still choose to be openly gay and to live my life honorably. Supremacism is a horrible disease.

  • HareTrinity

    Since you obviously see not procreating as a sin against God only committed through choice, how do you explain infertility? Do they choose that, too? And that some homosexual couples can give loving homes to children who couldn't get that from their heterosexual parents isn't that any good? Let's face it when consenting adults do things that hurt no one, it's none of the government's business. And since there's so much diversity in Christianity alone, let alone other religions and atheism, I don't see how SOME Christians not thinking homosexuality is okay has anything to do with it some of them don't like sex full stop, should we ban that, now? How about contraception? D&D? Rock music? The list goes ON and ON. Give it a rest. Give gays their rights.

  • JLS

    Former APA President Condemns APA for Barring Research By Linda Ames Nicolosi "The APA is too goddamn politically correct...and too goddamn obeisant to special interests!" said ROBERT PERLOFF, 1985 President of the American Psychological Association. …. In an expression of public anger and frustration, Dr. Perloff condemned the APA's one-sided political activism. Of reorientation therapy with homosexuals, he said: "It is considered unethical...That's all wrong. First, the data are not fully in yet. Second, if the client wants a change, listen to the client. Third, you're barring research." Dr. Perloff is a recipient of the American Psychological Foundation's Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest. In bestowing the award, the Psychological Foundation recognized Perloff for his noted "love of social justice" and his career-long struggle to champion "the rights and dignity of women, minorities, and homosexuals." But, Perloff asked, "How can you do research on change if therapists involved in this work are threatened with being branded as unethical?" Contacted by NARTH, Dr. Perloff added the following comment in an interview: "I believe that APA is flat out wrong, undemocratic, and shamefully unprofessional in denying NARTH the opportunity to express its views and programs in the APA Monitor and otherwise under APA's purview." Other Professionals who Support Client Autonomy: ROBERT SPITZER, M.D., the psychiatrist who is called the "architect of the 1973 diagnostic manual" that normalized homosexuality, expressed a similar concern two years ago about the movement within the mental-health professions to prevent sexual-reorientation therapy. Describing his own study, which he would later announce at a panel discussion at the 2000 Psychiatric Association convention, Dr. Spitzer said: "I'm convinced from people I have interviewed...many of them...have made substantial changes toward becoming heterosexual. I came to this study skeptical. I now claim that these changes can be sustained."…. Dr. RAYMOND FOWLER, CEO of the American Psychological Association, says that his interpretation of the APA's position on reparative therapy is that those who wish to explore developing heterosexual feelings or behavior have a right to do so as part of every client's right to self-determination. ....

  • JLS

    In defense of the religiously oriented, the God of Judeo/Christian/Islam invented marriage -- NOT the government. Not a government on earth predates (and pre-empts) most religions. The government should only be allowed to license and regulate THEIR religious institution with (*laughably*) just laws. Gays should not be surprised at the resistance which traditionalists rally to protect the institution of marriage. It is VERY important to MANY people. If a mayor hijacked a Communion ceremony as a symbol of the government's service to the people, there would be hell to pay. If gay advocates want to make true progress in legal rights: 1. They should stay away from the word MARRIAGE. Many traditionalists may not like the parallel called CIVIL UNION, but they should have no cause to claim that THEIR institution is "cheapened". 2. Pass a simple law which bestows the same LEGAL RIGHTS which parties of a marriage enjoy, upon parties to a civil union. 3. If the government should indeed subsidize families to encourage the difficulty associated with raising the next generation, then such incentives (usually tax) should be attached to dependent minor status, not marital status. 4. I STRESS THIS ISSUE. As the editors here admit, gay rights are NOT religious issues. So, when a social traditionalist states that homosexuality is SIN -- respond with, "Yes, according to your beliefs, it IS!! Nevertheless, we are simply concerned with the civil rights of these 'sinners'." Adoption rights should be simple (approved) if one gay partner is the sole-existing parent. Adoption regulated by the state is much more complex since many "gender-diverse" couples are competing for the drug-free, white, 2-day-old. Back to the point, gay groups should stop fighting the traditionalist’s agenda to label homosexuality as sin. That is their label -- their right. Instead, stress civil rights -- acceptance of citizens acting civilly. Traditionalists cannot preach religion in school -- only ethics. The same SHOULD be applied to the gay supporters. In school, gay groups cannot preach "gay normalcy" (as this has religious tint as well) -- only acceptance and equality for sexual orientation. 5. Lastly, Why would any gay person want "marriage"? This is a sucker contract for the naive. Especially in "no-fault marriage" states, the laws mock any semblance of a commitment. Hand any two people each a dagger and lock them together. Given enough time, power and greed will overcome one of them, and someone's throat will be slit. It is not inevitable, but there is no penalty for reneging on this vacuous contract. Property rights – marriage has none. Try using a cohabitation agreement. Explicitly bequeath to your significant other in your will and prescribe his/her involvement in care at the hospital. If your partner begins to polish his/her dagger, you break no promise in moving out and do not compromise your rights.

  • Peter M

    Have any of the opposite people here seem the TV series Queer as Folk?, have any of you gay family, and the ones who answer NOT, are u so sure you don't have any?... Hope someday gay people would be considered as normal as the steps u take everyday, and remember, if you hate gays, you hate your own family, there's no one on this world where u can do exceptions, and may be, your own family, won't never trust on you for that same reason when he or she knows that you hate gay guys-girls! Make this world a better place!, don't think the world is just for people who thinks the normal ones are just straight ones, we respect you, learn to show us some to us! With love for all! Peter

  • Jay

    Well, let me start off with a little background, I am a heterosexual male 27 yrs old, I have had many friends 2 of them were(are) gay(just not in touch anymore “because of other stuff”). I am also a Christian who strives to live life according to God. I just want to state a given, gay people are born gay. Why? In my opinion why would you want to be gay? Why would you want to have parents who were poor? Or a child who is blind? Or like me, be a diabetic? Well, we all want to be born with the best opportunities in life. That is only human. Only God, “higher power” “fate” “destiny” how ever you choose to describe it knows why people are faced (born) with certain situations. But it has been part of life since civilization began, if you don’t believe me read the bible (history, ect…). Anyway, to the subject at hand, should gay couples have the right to get “married?” Well what is marriage? Marriage is a commitment between a man and a woman. Created, made up, thought of, invented ect… by God and/or Religion. Marriage was not made by the government, state or any laws. So countries and governments through time adopted these “traditions” that were already established. So they created laws and regulations to re-enforce what was already there (ruled by the majority) Why, because they were good for societies and social order, helps procreate, it’s not a controversial topic, basically this is the status quo. (Mentality, is let’s run with it, who will object?). But now we live in a different society (not like gay’s never existed before, just not squeaky enough to make a difference or get any grease) So, who can say that gay couples do not deserve the same right’s as any other couple who is “married.” I do think that religion has the right to claim the word “Marriage” as “Oprah” has the right to her name, but the government has no right to give any special benefits to “married” couples and leave out gay couples. Equal = Equal it’s as simple as that, any right’s afforded to a man and a woman recognized by the law as couples should be the same for a man and a man recognized as couples. What is there to argue about? Well gay persons are upset because they are “different” treated like that by people, government, society, ect.. Well lets face it gay people are different, they are not the norm. Hence that is why they get those feelings. I am a diabetic (diagnosed at 21yrs old), I have to take insulin shots 3 times a day for the rest of my life. I have noticed a BIG difference the way people treat me. I hate it, I just want to be treated normal again like it used to be, but that will never happen because of the reality of my situation. The government has nothing to do with this but society does. The government has no right to give “special laws” to married people. That is what gay people are upset about(also being treated differently, outcast, rejects ect same feelings I have felt, but not government endorsed). A man and a woman can be “certified” as a couple and be given certain rights and a man and man cannot be certified as a couple and be afforded those same rights. Who thinks that is ok? People oppose to gay marriage are upset about different things.One is the word “Marriage” being extended to man on man and woman on woman. This goes against there natural feelings and beliefs. God and religion begat marriage, designed since conception to foster children and join a man and a woman as one soul as they are one. That is why God created, Adam and Eve (and marriage) for “Marriage.” That is a given belief in religion, God, and the whole bible. So demeaning “Marriage”(from the religious meaning) by extending it to gay people is like disregarding what God and Marriage is all about. Marriage had nothing to do with the government or state. It has only to do with a man and a woman and there commitment to one another in the eyes of God. Others are just bigots and have a fear or gay people, sorry there just insane, non rational people. Those kind of people are out there they are just far and few between. Sorry if you are gay there are a**holes all over I have encountered many in my life. As we all do, as that is just part of life. So why does the Government have the right to endorse marriage? Why does a married couple have rights that a gay couple doesn’t have? Who defines marriage? State? Government? God? God is the only one who can pass judgment and he and only he knows the works of all human beings. So let your hearts not be troubled as God is a Fair and Just God

  • Michele

    To respond to some of the new entries...As far as reparative therapy goes, what's to repair? The only reason gay people hate themselves and feel like there is something wrong with them is because of ignorant, homophobic bigots who treat them as if they are abnormal. Gays are just as normal as straights--just as much a part of this earth as the birds & bees. And if marriage is such a Biblical institution, then why does our government give marriage licenses to divorced people?! Jesus himself says in The Bible that those who remarry after a divorce commit adultery! How hypocritical is it that a judge, who would perform a marriage ceremony for a divorced person, wants to post the Ten Commandments in his courtroom when one of them is "Thou shalt not commit adultery"?! So phooey on all the religious freakos who continue to try to obliterate me from the planet. I speak with God everyday, and she says being gay's okay!

  • Robin

    I believe that homosexuality is a sin. But here is the issue. Are you born with it? I'm going to accept that you are born with it, but you are also born with a gene that promote substance abuse. Should I not suppress that either since it's not right to suppress my homosexuality? God's commandments all have a good reason for our benefit. God made everyone to be unique and special. I believe that Satan realizes that and will use your gifts to defile you and make you sinful. Mr. Bruce I find it funny how you fail to mention how many "homosexuals" were exposed to sexual abuse? There is a war out their for your soul and your happiness. Chose life! Chose Jesus! The other comment I want to make for the "Christians" is that their is a fine line between standing up for righteousness and homophobia. It saddens me to watch people who claim to be my brother and sisters in Christ, but fail to walk in love. I encourage you to pray for the homosexual community. Pray for a revival. Denying them a job or a better position in life because of their sexual preference will get us nowhere and is NOT fulfilling the great commission our Lord commanded of us.

  • HareTrinity

    HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A SIN. Sins are listed in the Bible, homosexuality is not. There's the ONE phrase, that was probably about prostitution in the first place, about men lying down with men as if they were a woman. Bible comments against GIRL ON GIRL don't exist AT ALL. And presumeably, the man with man one's referring to sex, and that still means that getting married is okay (and don't tell me marriage is about sex there's nothing against fornication in the Bible). Add on the fact that it's not the government's right to pry into people's personal lives, and hey-presto! Gay marriage = Fine. Someone should hurry up and get the law to say so.

  • Anne

    One cannot equate Civil rights with homosexuality and African Amerian civil rights. One is immutable and one is simply a lifestyle choice. Science has NOT proven otherwise. Lifestyle choices are not necessary protected under civil rights and they should NEVER outweigh the civil liberties of a RACE of human Beings. The perception of this article leads one to believe that the author would have EVERYONE'S civil liberties sacrificed for the desires of some.

  • Luiz

    What do I think? Well, everyone has an opinion. Happy Holidays!!!!

  • Toby

    I think it's very dangerous to stake a claim to civil rights (non-discrimination, etc) around immutability. First off, several aspects of "immutable" characteristics are mutable. A recent court case allowed a black employee to be fired for wearing cornrows, because while it is a part of cultural expression, it is mutable. Secondly, my religion is a mutable aspect. If I felt compelled to, I could change it. Does that make it okay for someone to punish me if I don't change it? Should I be able to fire people who don't share my religion, unless they promis to convert?

  • Anonymous-4

    Happy Holidays indeed. A year ago I came out to my mom (I'm 17). I have never acted on my attractions but yet a year later she refuses to discuss this and thinks of homosexuals as disgusting. Homosexual = disgusting. Homosexual = son. Disgusting = son. It's the most lonely feeling in the world. If your own mother, the person who will probably ever show you the truest love after God Himself won't accept you, who will? The following excerpt from a poem describes what I feel. "...I don't tell you this. I don't dare. I am afraid to. I am afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I am afraid you will think less of me, that you will laugh at me, and that you will see this and reject me. So I play my game, my desperate game, with a facade of assurance without, and a trembling child within." Merry Christmas. I know I'll have one.

  • Michele

    For the young man who's mom thinks being gay is disgusting--please, try not to get too discouraged. You are going through the very painful part of coming out that most of us who are glbt go through. My mother said the same thing when I was 18 and told her I was gay. I am now 40, and through the years she has learned and changed her way of thinking. Some day, your mom will hopefully come to a better understanding too. Right now, you need to focus on you and surround yourself with the glbt community to get the support you must have at this very difficult passage. Please, hang in there! You have every reason to live and love, and some day you will realize this. It is important that you get support from glbt groups. As you continue to meet more glbt people, you will see that we are people who are capable of living wonderful, loving, spiritual, productive lives! Most of the crap you hear on TV and from right-wing religious freako hypocrites is not true! Once you surround yourself with others like you, you will see this. Hang in there and know that people do care! Also, for Anne above--Did you not read the other comments? Being gay is not a choice. I am an expert on this because I'm gay! So, be quiet and listen to the truth. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would disagree with you that gay rights are not civil rights. His widow, Coretta Scott King, also believes gay rights are civil rights. How can you be so ignorant?!!

  • Rob L

    Why is this issue so obessed by religion? It isn't a religious issue at all. Yes, there is marriage in the religious context - obviously, there is fierce resistance to this as almost all religions condemn homosexuality. Let them, thats not what this is about. What is needed here is a change in the laws for legal marriage, which is a contract inferring various benefits to a couple and has nothing whatsoever to do with God. There is no reason these benefits should not also be extended to homosexuals and the only opposition to this is due to small minded people's prejudices. THATs what should be changed. Another interesting issue being brought up here (which isn't actually part of the argument, but anyway) is whether gays are born gay. A lot of you posting here seem to be very passionate that you were but I would point out there is a lot of evidence to suggest you can be 'made gay' as well. For instance, several of the gay people I know suffered extremely traumatic childhoods and it has been well documented that sexual abuse at a young age can lead to homosexual tendencies. It is also reported that children without a role model of their gender are more likely to be gay and the youngest son is twice as likely to be gay. I'm not saying many gays weren't born like that but don't be so closed-minded to presume everyone is that way - after all, bigotry is what we're fighting here. p.s. To the guy who just came out to his parents - don't worry, there are lots of people out there just like you. There will always be prejudice, but there are a lot of good people out there too and they'll love you for who you are no matter what.

  • Nick

    First of all I know many people find the mention of religious beliefs in a debate repulsive, but I feel the need to clarify the statement "Give it a rest - HareTrinity - Dec 13th 2004" above. First of all I would like to say that this statement is in total contradiction to what the bible actually says. Now I don't expect everyone to consider the bible a worthy source or even belief what it says at all. But it would be ignorant and also arrogant for one to say that this argument should not incorporate religion. People should not be expected to withhold their convictions(whether right or not) from an argument. The phrase "Separation of Church and State" is only used by those who do not understand the extent of the law. Freedom of speech means freedom for all to express their views. Our opinions and views of the world are directly affected by the social and psychological milieu of our upbringings. If one's upbring entails the instilling of religious beliefs into one's web of belief, then how can we tell him or her to leave everything he or she knows at the door. If "we the people", according to the constitution, are the government of the United States, under the system of democracy("Government by the people a form of government in which the supreme power is retained and directly exercised by the people" Webster's Dictionary 1913. (pg. 388)), and the citizens of the United States are the government, and these citizens have religious beliefs, then the seperation of church and state is beyond an incredulous plea. With that said, I must respond to this post by saying that the Bible not only mentions homosexuality in many various places throughout, it also blatantly disproves of it. For example, Lev 20:13 says "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:they shall surely be put to death their blood shall be upon them." This quote is found in the old testament, and the term "put to death" no longer applies because the new covenant or new testament enstated by Jesus Christ fulfilled the mosaic law by his death and ressurection. His self sacrifice for humanity entitles us to grace and mercy if we ask for it. I say this to leave others nothing to contrive against this statement made by the Bible. Now there are two quotes found in the new testament regarding homosexuality as a sin. For example, Rom 1:24 says, "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Rom 1:25 For they changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Rom 1:26 For this cause, God gave them up to dishonorable affections. For even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature. Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error. Rom 1:28 And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right," MKJV. Another example is found in 1 Corinthians. 1Co 6:9 says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers, nor homosexuals, 1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." MKJV. And another example found in 1Ti 1:9 says, "knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous one, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1Ti 1:10 for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine, 1Ti 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." MKJV. Whether or not one agrees with the bible or not, I am not here to preach or tell anyone what to belief, but rather to ensure the Bible in not misquoted. Some however, belief it is okay to misqoute a source and use it to reinforce their misconceptions and preconcieved notions. Now I know some are probably still unsatisfied with my justifications for the inclusion of religion in any political argument, so I will turn to a completely naturalistic and scientific viewpoint. Where else in nature and the animal kingdom do we see homosexuality? The animals have enough sense to know what works. Secondly, no one has qouted any research that proves that homosexuality is genetic. That is why in the media and the public arena the term "sexual preference" is used. If one examines the word preference they will find that it means "The right or chance to so choose." It is our choice to make, no one makes the decision for us. It is clearly, based on the scientific information at this time, not a genetic issue. Lastly, I am a heterosexual male and I can confess to having a homosexual thought, as can many other heterosexual males I know. This does not make me homosexual. And this not make me in denial. The real problems lies in my choice to either embrace this way of thinking or to reject it. We can all embrace lies about ourselves and in doing so, we decieve ourselves. I would be the first to admit that I am wrong about alot, but that is why I am so passionate about learning and gaining new knowledge. I hold these beliefs not becuase of what I have been raised under, but I have truly search and found what I believe to be the truth. If one believed that he or she had found a cure for cancer or AIDS, I would expect them to tell the world so that we may all benefit. This person would be compelled to tell the truth even if no living soul believed that he or she had found a cure. And I would expect the same reckless abandoment of self-preservation from those who belief that they have found the answer to life's greatest mysteries. GOD. I would also like to say that it is not my place to judge another individual. Thank God that I am not in charge or the judge of others, I will leave that job to the Master. How can a servant judge another man's servant? The Bible tells us to love all mankind and place others higher than ourselves. I believe that as a follower of Christ I am to love to the sinner and hate the sin. My battle is not against flesh and blood. Finally, love sometimes requires us to inspire others to change based upon what we believe to be true and of good report.

  • Anonymous-5

    I would like to respond to Michele's comment on Nov 16th, that unless you are gay or an expert studying homosexuality, you don't know the facts. I can understand it may seem that way in consideration to the amount of discrimination gay people endure on a daily basis and in so many facets of life. But it is not true, there are many people who do know the facts. There are heterosexual people who are just as angered and hurt when they hear the slightest joke or comment or what have you. The issue at hand is not religion or politics. It's social and any social change is hard for people to accept. I firmly believe it is not the people who belong to a particular discriminized group who can bring about progressive change in society. Gay people can fight all they want and it is necessary and admirable, but change will not occur until the people from outside that group begin to truly understand and appreciate homosexuality as a civil and human right. That is exactly why there is debate. Of course gay people understand and they have many people who support them, but with social change there is always ignorance. It is important to realize that ignorant people don't realize they are ignorant they don't know better. When women were given the right to vote or work outside the home, it was considered ridiculous, immoral and the downfall to society. There are many references throughout the Bible about women's place in society, but we have begun to overcome that way of thinking over the past 100 years. Also, there are many references to slavery in the Bible and it seems it should be a normal and accepted thing. But now we know otherwise, even though Black people continue to be discriminated against. But it was not women nor Black people who had the final vote on their fate for some civil liberties. The same is for gay people. It will take hundreds of years for gay people to be accepted and treated equally. Unfortunately, it will not be in any of our lifetimes. But the change is now. We can all be a part of it, whether we are gay or not. We all know about Women's Sufferage and the Civil War because it's historical, but out of fear and ignorance few people realize they are part of history right now. Change will happen whether people like it or not and someday people will look back and think about how ridiculous people were in the early 2000's to think gay people shouldn't be allowed to married because they though it would destroy religion, family, politics etc. This may sound stupid but my belief is gay people are the foundation to this social change and others are the building blocks. Someday far from now everyone will live happily under the same roof.

  • A Canadian

    It seems that it is not until a “normal” person knows and loves a gay person that they realize they are “normal” people too. Whether homosexuality is naturally biological or not is completely irrelevant. A man who loves another man is still a man who has emotions and needs like everyone else. It simply does not matter why he loves that guy and as long as they are consenting adults, what they do together romantically is nobody else’s business, just as what a male and female do together privately is nobody’s business. Two men or women who love each other and support each other and wish to live an open and public life should be allowed to do that as well. Whether they should be granted civil, religious and human rights should go without question. Gay people are harming no one! Over time, hopefully everyone will get the chance to know and care about someone who happens to be gay. They will realize they cannot let stereotypical myths violate human rights. Just as heterosexuals, gay people long for friendship, security, intimate companionship and love. Those are human needs. Although being gay is not only about sex, of course that is a part of life to. In my opinion, in most cases, sex involves two naked bodies and two people trying to please themselves as well as their companion both physically and emotionally. The only thing that is different is sometimes it involves two male bodies, or two female bodies or one of each. That is all! When it comes right down to the root of the entire issue (an issue which causes so much pain and controversy) everyone is getting so worked up over skin and bones. After all, it’s the soul that goes to heaven, not the body. Right? I am proud to say that I am a Canadian. Over the past few years same sex marriage has been an issue on the provincial and federal level.. Last year, Ontario became the first province to grant same sex marriage and on December 21st 2004, Newfound has become the 8th province or territory (out of 13) to pass legislation. In a little more than a year, we have progressed province by province. On December 9th 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed same sex marriage as a constitutional right protected by our Charter. Prime Minister Paul Martin is a devout Catholic and admitted he had to think very hard on this issue, but he made it known that his personal and religious beliefs should have no bearing on his role in politics. He announced that as a responsible Prime Minister, abiding by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms takes precedence in the issue. I think he should be commended on his stand and surely he will be remembered in our history for the role he played. Although there are gay communities across Canada, Toronto currently has a population of at least 250, 000 gay people and there is plenty room for more. So, come on over. This country is, has always been, and will continue to be a great place to live. Let Canada be an example to other countries.

  • Anonymous-6

    sounds like you need a psychologist

  • Educator

    Yes, many heterosexuals have been supportive of gay rights, and their role in eliminating homophobia is signficant. But some people continue to read the Bible selectively, ignoring passages that in other times were used to keep women from speaking in church or used to justify slavery. Let's stop talking about the rise of fundamentalism in Islamic countries we should worry about it in the USA. These people are dangerous! They are dangerous to my rights as a gay man but they are also dangerous to the foundations of democracy, which--after all--has thrived for so many years because we have a separation of church and state. Please forward these comments to George W.

  • MSMITH

    Please stop comparing the gay rights movement to the African-American struggle for civil rights. To compare the plight of gay people to the plight of African-Americans is ridiculous and insulting. I am an African-American woman and I am sorry to say that a man or woman choosing to, yes I said choosing, to sleep with a person of the same gender does not put them in the same category as me in terms of struggles or minority status. Being gay is a mutable characteristic, being a person of color is not. Need I also remind you that gays, as a group, were not enslaved and stripped of their families, history and culture religion and routinely raped as people of African decent have been in the past. If you want to discuss the issue of whether or not gay people should have rights, do so without perverting the African-American civil rights movement. My ancestors and relatives did not march and put themselves in peril so that gay people get married. It is a statistical fact that most African-Americans are overwhelming against gay marriage and strongly resent having our struggles being compared.

  • Thomas Bennett

    In examining the issue same sex marriage the one question that seems to get missed is As a society, what is our justification for denial of a couple's right to fomalize their comminted relationship? Everyone seems to miss the point when it comes to the reason we have laws in the first place. Many religious leaders would have us believe that our laws are simply an extension of religious doctrine. While it is true that our laws and the ten commandments both prohibit murder it is absurd to believe that the ten commandments are the foundation of that prohibition. I, for one, know that murder is wrong without someone telling me or threating me with damnation. I believe that if we are to claim that we live in a free and enlightened society (which we do to the irritation of the rest of the world) that we must acknolodge that the basis of our laws is not the bible or any other religious doctrine. I believe that it was Blackstone who said "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins". In other words, in a free society you should be free to do what you will in the pursuit of happiness provided that you do not interfere with my right to do the same in the process. I will point out that, if this is the rule by which to measure the propriety of law, we must limit ourselves to actual and tangible interference with the rights of others. We cannot reasonably decide whether or not the conduct of another inpinges upon our own rights if we are so rigid as to believe that we have an undeniable right not to be offended. I personnaly do not want to live in a society where government can criminalize behavior just because a segment of society finds it offensive without any other justification. This is the case with same sex mariage. Recongnizing the right of a gay man or woman to love another person and seek the happiness that stems from a commited relationship harms no one. Giving gay men and women the social and legal benefits that come with the formalization of their relationships through marriage hurts no one. There are those doomsayers that would have us believe that such action would do serious damage to the "sancity" of hetrosexual marrige. Do we seriously believe that recognizing same sex marriages would trivialize marrige overall? Let's think about the "holy union" we are placing so high upon a pedestal as to be denied to gays men and women. Once upon a time divorce was so unthinkable that it was easier for a king to kill his wife than to divorce her. Once upon a time families arranged the marrige of their children, often against their will, as a political or economic strategy. Today, we are allowed to disolve a marraige just because we no longer wish to be married. No thought is given to the potential damage done to the children of that marriage or to the possibility that children have a right to a intact family. Marrige is not a "holy union decreed by god" regardless of what religion tries to claim it as a domain. If this were the case marrige would require the blessings of the church and divorce would no longer be an option. The reality is that marrige in the modern world is a contractual relationship no matter how we wish to dress it up. It is an agreement between two people to share a commited relationship to the exclusion of others - most of the time. Like most contracts, it is more about the rights and responsibilities of one party to the other than anything else. As a married person I have the right to expect my wife to be faithful to me. Sould she breach our contract by being unfaithful I have the right to disolve our contract. The ensuing leagal action would be more about division of property and the support of children than anything else. We would appear before a court of law and offer legal arguments concerning our respective rights. We are not required to stand before a priest and offer a burnt goat (or whatever). Marrige, as recognized by the law, carries with it certain benefits - spousal insurance, tax benifits, the right of a spouse to make medical and other decisions for their incapacitated partner, and the shared ownership of assets acquired through the efforts of both. To deny these benefits to a couple simply because you find their union offensive is fundamentally wrong. It is no less wrong than denying the rights of a black man to wed a white woman. The basis for the denial is the same - we just don't like it. You can rationalize it as much as you want...the facts remain the same. We, as a supposedly free society, cannot allow religious doctrine to be the basis of our laws We, as a supposedly free society, cannot deny an individual's right to the "pursuit of happiness" because it offends someone We, as a supposedly free society, cannot allow the prejudice and ignorance of the majority to dictate who is protected by the law. We, as a supposedly free society, can never allow the constitutional right to equal protection under the law to be denied to a group of people because it offends another group. We shoudl all remeber that denial of the right of an individual or a group to enjoy something as basic as marriage is nothing less than persecution no matter how we choose to justify it. As to the imagined damage to the fabric of society that would result from the acknolodgement of the rights of gay men and women I submit this: With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably

  • Chole

    Gay marriage is fine we all have arms legs a brain spine we all have pretty much the same body parts we all feel the same when it comes to love whether it is a black woman with a white man or two females of different race or two males of the same race we still feel love we feel pain and joy happiness we have the same emotions and we should all be treated equally.

  • anonymous

    I as a gay don't think our problem is gay marriage. I believe in the bible and think that only through Jesus can you be saved. I also know that religion Christianity has basically prohibited gays to believe in Jesus to be saved. How do you expect me to accept Jesus and believe in him with all this judging that it's wrong, were wrong. If you want people to be saved then let them be saved and stop helping Satan ultimately winning their souls. If you want peace then give peace. If you want turmoil and loss then keep up the good work.

  • the power we hold and dont know it

    i dont even understand how any of this should be based apon religion the us wasnt even founded apon any kind of religion this place was founded because of other governments forcing its people to abid by laws that made them give up everything just to please those in power now look at us today we didnt learn anything from are past and now we regret it and we still let them get away with illegal activities and we are all are leaving comments on a web page that could soon get shut down cuz being different could get us arrested and legally murdered

  • 22 years of fear

    I have a lot of problems and I dont need this one added to it. My parents are devout christian who expect thier kids to be perfect. They cannot stand my apperance the way it is, piercings/tattoos/makeup. They look at me like im a dissapointment and embarassment. I am supposedly weak. I am afraid though that if they ever found out about my personal views on the dogmatic bs that they live thier life by and that i am in fact bi.... i would be disowned and other unfortunate/painful things would occure...... question is, what the hell am i supposed to do? I hate having to pretend... always....

  • Linda

    I am a mother "coming out" for my son. I am a product of the older generation. I tried to deny my son was gay. I caused a great deal of pain because my ignorance. I now realize homosexuality is not a choice in life style, but something that is there just like someone having blue eyes. I am trying to enlighten others without being offesive. I know this is not easy, but I think more people, like me, are becoming enlightened.

  • Concerned American

    If the institution that has be the core structure for all civilization for the last 5000 years is a relationship between a man and a woman is restructured? What will that new institution be? Whether you like it or not, the basis of marriage is an institution to rear children. And the primary purpose of sex is for procreation. That it has such powerful pleasure associated with it is simply the bait! So I ask you once again, what is the new definition for marriage? And if you are willing to do away with the old one, you better have a new one?

  • melissa

    Who cares if your gay or lesbian its non of your business who they like or not wtff youhh should let them live their life ndd youhh live urss as long as your not bi or gay is all qewd fo your if u hate them bt youhh shouldnt make them feel bad if they like the same sex as them who cares !!!!!!!!!