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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: April 22, 2011, 05:39:37 PM »

Ummm , , , ahem , , , have you read the previous post in this thread?  cheesy
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #351 on: April 22, 2011, 05:55:20 PM »

Dang, see what happens when I spend some time wandering around the woods in the rain.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: April 24, 2011, 10:39:52 AM »



Federal authorities last week arrested and charged a Tennessee pastor with aiding in the “international parental kidnapping” of a girl who has been missing since late 2009 and is at the center of a lengthy custody battle between her two mothers — a onetime lesbian couple who were in a civil union.

Lisa Miller and the child disappeared in 2009.

The two had a bitter falling-out after one became an evangelical Christian and denounced the other’s continued “homosexual lifestyle.”

Their legal battle over visitation rights and custody, carried out over the last seven years in Vermont and Virginia courts, received wide publicity because of the clashes over sexual orientation and religion, and because it raised questions about the rights of nonbiological parents in same-sex unions that are not recognized in many states.

Lisa Miller, the girl’s biological mother and a newly fervent Baptist, was championed by conservatives for her efforts to shield her daughter from homosexuality. A Vermont court had granted her primary custody of the daughter, Isabella Ruth Miller-Jenkins, after Ms. Miller split with her partner, Janet Jenkins, in 2003. But the court also declared Ms. Jenkins to be a legal parent with liberal visiting rights, and Ms. Miller, who had moved with the girl to Virginia, defied repeated orders to permit the visits.

The case took a turn in late 2009, as the Vermont family court, citing Ms. Miller’s noncompliance, shifted primary custody to Ms. Jenkins. Ms. Miller and Isabella, who is now 9, disappeared. A warrant was issued for Ms. Miller’s arrest, and they have not been heard from since.

According to an F.B.I. affidavit unsealed in Vermont on Thursday, the pastor, Timothy David Miller of Crossville, Tenn., helped arrange in September 2009 for Ms. Miller and Isabella to fly from Canada to Mexico and travel on to Nicaragua, where he worked as a missionary for Christian Aid Ministries. (The F.B.I. said it had no evidence that Mr. Miller and Lisa Miller were related.)

Ms. Miller and Isabella stayed in a beach house in Nicaragua that is owned by a conservative businessman with close ties to Liberty University, an evangelical school in Lynchburg, Va., and whose daughter works at the university’s law school, according to the affidavit.

Lawyers from Liberty, including the dean of the law school, Mathew D. Staver, represented Ms. Miller in court appeals on the custody issues. They argued without success that Ms. Jenkins had no parental rights and that laws in Virginia, which ban same-sex unions, should prevail over those in Vermont.

On Friday, Mr. Staver said the legal team has had no contact with Ms. Miller since the fall of 2009 and had always advised her to obey the law. He said he knew nothing about the accusations involving a law school office assistant, Victoria Hyden, and her father Philip Zodhiates, the beach house’s owner.

Mr. Zodhiates runs Response Unlimited, a Christian direct-mail company in Waynesboro, Va. He did not respond to requests for comment, but on Friday he told The Advocate magazine that the pair were not living at his house in Nicaragua and called the accusations “absurd.”

Ms. Miller and Ms. Jenkins were joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2000 and planned to raise a child together. Isabella was conceived by artificial insemination and born to Ms. Miller in 2002, with Ms. Jenkins present at the birth. But the parents’ relations soured over the following year. Ms. Miller moved with Isabella to Virginia, became deeply involved with a Baptist church and renounced homosexuality. A Vermont court dissolved the civil union but treated Ms. Jenkins as a full parent with visitation rights.

Over time, Ms. Miller began refusing to allow the required visits, among other things objecting that Ms. Jenkins’s “homosexual lifestyle” would offend Isabella’s religious beliefs. At one point, a court in Virginia, which does not recognize same-sex unions, agreed with Ms. Miller’s claim to be the sole legal parent, but the Virginia Supreme Court eventually confirmed that the Vermont rulings should prevail.

Last June, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit, an unnamed person called one of Ms. Jenkins’s lawyers, Sarah Star, and told Ms. Star that the mother and daughter were hiding in Mr. Zodhiates’s Nicaraguan house. Much of the evidence in support of the criminal charges and other accusations, the affidavit said, was obtained through court-approved, covert searches of e-mail accounts, uncovering messages from Mr. Miller that appear to arrange the mother and daughter’s 2009 flight to Nicaragua and from Mr. Zodhiates arranging to send them supplies.

On Friday, Ms. Jenkins issued a statement through Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a rights group in Boston that has also represented her in court.

“I know very little at this point, but I really hope that this means that Isabella is safe and well,” it said. “I am looking forward to having my daughter home safe with me very soon.”

The United States attorney for Vermont, Tristram Coffin, told the Rutland Herald newspaper that Mr. Miller had been arrested on Monday night in Virginia and was scheduled to appear in Federal District Court in Burlington on Monday. Officials declined to say whether others may be arrested or what measures they are taking to find Ms. Miller, who faces criminal charges, and Isabella, who under current rulings should be in the primary custody of Ms. Jenkins, with visitation rights for Ms. Miller.

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ccp
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« Reply #353 on: June 25, 2011, 10:20:40 AM »

Next is gay adoption and as noted on this board the eradication of terms like mother and father to be replaced with parent.  I am not interested in hurting homosexuals but this is over the top to me. 

***By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Michael Gormley, Associated Press – 18 mins ago
ALBANY, N.Y. – After days of contentious negotiations and last-minute reversals by two Republican senators, New York became the sixth and largest state in the country to legalize gay marriage, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly identical bill here two years ago.

Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York by late July after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his bill into law just before midnight Friday.

At New York City's Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village pub that spawned the gay rights movement on a June night in 1969, Scott Redstone watched New York sign the historic same-sex marriage law with his partner of 29 years, and popped the question.

"I said, `Will you marry me?' And he said, `Of course!'" Redstone said he and Steven Knittweis walked home to pop open a bottle of champagne.

New York becomes the sixth state where gay couples can wed, doubling the number of Americans living in a state with legal gay marriage.

"That's certainly going to have a ripple effect across the nation," said Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. "It's truly a historic night for love, our families, and democracy won."

"We made a powerful statement," Cuomo said. "This state is at its finest when it is a beacon of social justice."

The leading opponent, Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz, was given only a few minutes to state his case during the Senate debate.

"God, not Albany, settled the issue of marriage a long time ago," said Diaz, a Bronx minister. "I'm sorry you are trying to take away my right to speak," he said. "Why are you ashamed of what I have to say?"

The Catholic Bishops of New York said the law alters "radically and forever humanity's historic understanding of marriage."

"We always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love," the bishops said Friday. "We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization."

Legal challenges of the law and political challenges aimed at the four Republicans who supported gay marriage in the 33-29 vote are expected. GOP senators endured several marathon sessions, combing through several standard but complex bills this week, before taking up the same-sex marriage bill Friday.

The bill came to the floor for a vote after an agreement was reached on more protections for religious groups that oppose gay marriage and feared discrimination lawsuits.

"State legislators should not decide society-shaping issues," said the Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. He said his organization would work in next year's elections to defeat lawmakers who voted for the measure.

The big win for gay rights advocates is expected to galvanize the movement around the country after an almost identical bill was defeated here in 2009 and similar measures failed in 2010 in New Jersey and this year in Maryland and Rhode Island.

Jerry Nathan of Albany, who married his partner in Massachusetts, called the vote "an incredible culmination of so much that's been going on for so many years it doesn't seem real yet."

Ultimately, gay couples will be able to marry because of two previously undecided Republicans from upstate regions far more conservative than the New York City base of the gay rights movement.

Sen. Stephen Saland, 67, voted against a similar bill in 2009, helping kill the measure and dealing a blow to the national gay rights movement. On Friday night, gay marriage supporters wept in the Senate gallery as Saland explained how his strong, traditionally family upbringing led him to embrace legalizing gay marriage.

"While I understand that my vote will disappoint many, I also know my vote is a vote of conscience," Saland, of Poughkeepsie, said in a statement to The Associated Press before the vote. "I am doing the right thing in voting to support marriage equality."

Also voting for the bill was freshman Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who also had been undecided. Grisanti said he could not deny anyone what he called basic rights.

"I apologize to those I offend," said Grisanti, a Roman Catholic. "But I believe you can be wiser today than yesterday. I believe this state needs to provide equal rights and protections for all its residents," he said.

A huge street party erupted outside the Stonewall Inn Friday night, with celebrants waving rainbow flags and dancing after the historic vote.

Watching the festivities from across the street was Sarah Ellis, who has been in a six-year relationship with her partner, Kristen Henderson. Ellis said the measure would enable them to get married in the fall. They have twin toddlers and live in Sea Cliff on Long Island.

"We've been waiting. We considered it for a long time, crossing the borders and going to other states," said Ellis, 39. "But until the state that we live in, that we pay taxes in, and we're part of that community, has equal rights and marriage equality, we were not going to do it."

The bill makes New York only the third state, after Vermont and New Hampshire, to legalize marriage through a legislative act and without being forced to do so by a court.***

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #354 on: June 25, 2011, 10:24:51 AM »

 cry
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G M
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« Reply #355 on: June 25, 2011, 10:33:58 AM »

cry

At least it was passed by the NY state legislature, rather than judicial fiat.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #356 on: September 01, 2011, 11:51:20 PM »

Woof,
 I have long thought that hate crime laws would do more harm than good when it comes to serving justice by adding more confusion and political grandstanding in the courts. This case here, I feel is an example of it.
  
  LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of California teen who shot a gay classmate in the back of the head during a computer lab class as stunned classmates looked on.

Jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the degree of Brandon McInerney's guilt for killing 15-year-old Larry King. The nine-woman, three-man panel said they took a series of votes — the last one with seven in favor of voluntary manslaughter and five jurors supporting either first-degree or second-degree murder.

Prosecutors now have to decide whether to re-file murder and hate crime charges against McInerney, now 17, who was tried as an adult. They had offered a plea deal of 25 years to life if he pleaded guilty, but his lawyers passed. A first-degree murder conviction carried a maximum sentenced of more than 50 years in prison.

King's family rushed out of the courtroom after the judge declared a mistrial. They looked horrified and confused and declined comment as sheriff's deputies escorted them to an elevator.

McInerney's friends said prosecutors tried to sensationalize the case by calling it a hate crime by a budding white supremacist.

"This should have never gone to trial," family friend Craig Adams said outside of court. "The fact they pushed him to try him as an adult was the real crime."

One juror, who identified himself only as juror no. 10, told The Associated Press that several members of the panel thought McInerney should never have been tried as an adult.

"I don't think so," the juror said, when asked if the district attorney should have pursued an adult prosecution. "He was 14. Just trying to get in the head of a 14 year old (is hard.)"

Ventura County prosecutor Maeve Fox contended McInerney, then 14, embraced a white supremacist philosophy that sees homosexuality as an abomination. Police found Nazi-inspired drawings and artifacts at his house, and a white supremacist expert testified the hate-filled ideology was the reason for the killing.

Fox also argued the attack was premeditated, noting at least six people heard McInerney make threats against King in the days leading to the shooting.

She said McInerney told a psychologist hired by defense lawyers that he wanted to kill King after he passed McInerney in a school hallway and said, "What's up, baby?"

"He's basically confessed to first-degree murder in this case," Fox said during her closing argument.

Defense attorneys acknowledged McInerney was the shooter but explained that he had reached an emotional breaking point after King made repeated, unwanted sexual advances. McInerney snapped when he heard moments before the shooting that King wanted to change his name to Latisha, the lawyers said.

The defense psychologist said he was in a dissociative state — acting without thinking — when he pulled the trigger at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, a city about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

McInerney's lawyers also said he suffered physical abuse at home from his father, who has since died, and didn't receive the proper supervision that would have kept him out of trouble. They said the Nazi imagery was part of a school project on tolerance.

"He is guilty and he should be held responsible, but he is not a murderer. He is not a white supremacist," defense attorney Scott Wippert said during his closing argument. "He is a 14-year-old child who didn't know what to do and had no one to guide him."

Outside court, Wippert said jurors had told him they weren't convinced by prosecutors' assertions the killing was a hate crime.

"We are quite confident that none of the jurors believed this was a hate crime," he said. "This was a difficult decision for all of them."

McInerney did not take the stand during the nine-week trial. To find McInerney guilty of voluntary manslaughter, jurors had to find him not guilty of first- and second-degree murder. They began deliberating last Friday.

The school administration has been accused of being more concerned about defending King's civil rights than recognizing that his behavior and what he wore — high heels, makeup and feminine clothing — made other students uncomfortable.

The shooting roiled gay-rights advocates and parents in Oxnard. They wondered why school officials hadn't done more to stop the harassment against King by students, including McInerney.

The case labored in the court system for more than three years as McInerney's lawyers sought numerous delays. Campbell was eventually persuaded to move the trial from Ventura County to neighboring Los Angeles County because of extensive news coverage that threatened to bias jurors.

King's family sued the school district for failing to protect their son. The lawsuit is pending.

___

Associated Press writer Greg Risling contributed to this report.


 This guy should never see the light of day again if what he is alleged to have done happened but he might actually be turned loose in what should have been an open and shut case. He allegedly got a gun, hid it on his person, sat down behind his intended victim and shot him in the back of the head. That's a "big boy" crime folks and he should get life in prison for that if those are the facts of the case. Nothing else really matter's. It was cold blooded murder and it doesn't matter why he did it or what was in his head at the time unless there is somekind of insanity plead. When juries are asked to make a decision based on what hate may have been in this kid's heart at the time of the shooting you're asking them to be psychic's. The only questions and answers that should be considered in this case should be based on evidence that can be weighed. How can you weigh the emotion of hate? This is what happens when political correctness seeps into every aspect of our society. Murder is murder no matter who the victim is or the reason it was committed. It's murder. By trying to give special protections to certain members of our society these hate crime laws are making it more likely that they will not receive the justice they deserve. Hate crime laws are nothing but political ploys to pander votes and have nothing to do with providing safety or justice in my opinion.

                                                P.C.
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JDN
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« Reply #357 on: September 02, 2011, 09:54:52 AM »

So are you suggesting that we do away with "hate crimes" laws?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #358 on: September 02, 2011, 10:38:42 AM »

I am.
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JDN
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« Reply #359 on: September 02, 2011, 10:54:21 AM »

So you think we should do away with all "hate crimes" charges, i.e. charges based upon because it was partially or wholly motivated by race (blacks, et al), sexual orientation (gay), and religion (Jew et al) etc.?

Hate Crime definition in CA; "Any act of intimidation, harassment, physical force or threat of physical force directed against any person, or gamely, or their property or advocate, motivated either in whole or in part by hostility to their real or perceived race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation, with the intention of causing fear or intimidation, or to deter the free exercise or enjoyment of any rights or privileges secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United State of California whether or not performed under color of law."

For my two cents, I probably agree, we should do away with all hate crime charges.  We already have laws against "intimidation, harassment, physical force or threat of physical force".  These laws should be equally enforced regardless of the motivation for the crime.
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ccp
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« Reply #360 on: September 02, 2011, 10:59:02 AM »

Didn't Federal hate crime law evolve from racial issues wherein the Feds were trying to insure that local judicial systems could not easily allow an injustice due to local prejudices?

For example, white murderers getting a not guilty verdict because the jury judge and local law enforcement/justice system was inherently racist?

Extrapolating that to gays, etc is in probably most people's minds has been ridiculous/unnecessary and indeed become abuse of those accused.

For example the Rutgers student who is charged with a hate crime because his video of the gay college student fellating another student and he than goes and commits suicide because of the exposure.  Most people would agree making this into a Federal issue hate crime is overboard and an injustice to the accused.  Isn't this really double jeopardy?  Overlap to insure that someone accused of a politically incorrect act has another layer of prosecution stacked on top of him/her.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #361 on: September 02, 2011, 12:24:56 PM »

We, even JDN!  grin, are agreed  cool
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DougMacG
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« Reply #362 on: September 03, 2011, 02:52:54 PM »

That was quite a story posted by P.C., perfect example of why to do away with 'hate crimes'.  It reminds me of the lung cancer ad - when you cannot breathe it does not matter who you are.  We live in a system that has a strict requirement of equal protection under the law. (True??) If so, once that trigger was pulled it should not matter who the shooter is or who the victim is.  While we are out investigating the one person's alleged gayness and the other person's alleged hatred of that, those LE resources are not being used to prevent or solve the next crime.  Social scientists, not detectives solving crimes can later study the hatred.  The families of the gay and not-gay victim deserve equal justice for their loss; the shooter of the gay and non-gay victims deserves equal punishment.  The issue comes down to prosecuting the right person and establishing premeditation.  This case was also confounded by the 14 year age falling into an area where reasonable people disagree about trying him as an adult.  There again IMO the penalty for something that drastic should be the same, adolescent or adult, if mental competence to comprehend is present.  The wrongness of taking a life and the severe consequences for doing that are both concepts they better comprehend before we let them move past about kindergarden IMHO. 
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G M
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« Reply #363 on: September 24, 2011, 05:18:11 PM »

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/education/092111-student-suspended-for-saying-gay-is-wrong

Student Suspended for Saying Gay Is Wrong
 
Published : Wednesday, 21 Sep 2011, 4:48 PM CDT
 
Lari Barager
FOX 4 News

 
Adapted for Web by Tracy DeLatte | myFOXdfw.com
 


FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth high school student was sent to the principal’s office earlier this week for telling another classmate he believes homosexuality is wrong.

Fourteen-year-old Dakota Ary spent most of the day Tuesday serving an in-school suspension. It was punishment for discussion in his German class at Fort Worth’s Western Hills High School.

“We were talking about religions in Germany. I said, ‘I’m a Christian. I think being a homosexual is wrong,’” he said. “It wasn’t directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me. I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office.”

An assistant principal called Ary’s mother at work to let her know he was in trouble.

“At first I was in disbelief. My son is on the honor roll with great grades. I don’t have any problems out of him,” Holly Pope said.

After hearing Ary’s explanation of what happened, the assistant principal reduced the original suspension from two days to one. But Pope was not satisfied with that.

“He was stating an opinion. He has a right to do that. They punished him for it,” she said.


Read more on myFOXdfw.com: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/education/092111-student-suspended-for-saying-gay-is-wrong
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #364 on: September 25, 2011, 08:19:14 AM »

Utlimately liberal fascism (a.k.a. progressivism) is a violent philosophy because it seeks to expand government and government is force.

True progress is the opposite of this.  It is to expand human interactions being handled through voluntary interactions.
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ccp
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« Reply #365 on: September 25, 2011, 10:11:47 AM »

"“He was stating an opinion. He has a right to do that. They punished him for it,” she said."

The same crowd that screams about first amendment rights (think Larry Flynt) are also the smae crowd who will turn around and add, "but it has to be PC correct speech"

There really is a "gay infatada" in this country.  I say leave gays alone but they got to start leaving the rest of us alone.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #366 on: October 22, 2011, 11:42:17 AM »



A good day is when Luc wakes up and wants to be a tractor for Halloween. Or a helicopter. Or Hercules. Or anything other than a princess, bounding door-to-door in tiara and tulle.

A few weeks ago, the 4-year-old boy's desire to trick-or-treat as a princess sparked a dilemma for his two moms, Anna and Louisa Villeneuve: Which do you honor and protect, your child's independent spirit or tender feelings?
"My first reaction was 'He wants to be a princess? We're there!' " said mama Anna. But almost everybody she talked with about Luc's intention told her, "Whoa; that's a bad, bad, bad idea."

For a girl who grew up wanting to dress like a boy, Luc's choice felt like a blow against stereotyping. "But I'm trying to leave my inner activist at home," she said, "and just do what's best for my son.  It's one thing to say 'Son, you can be anything you want. Our society needs to be less uptight.' "

It's another thing entirely to consider how a boy in a princess dress will be treated when all the other boys are trick-or-treating in Superman or Power Rangers costumes.

"I want to encourage him to stand up and be himself," she said. "But my 4-year-old is too little and too fragile to know where the social boundaries are. And I don't want his feelings hurt on what should be one of his happiest nights."

Luc is dreamy-eyed, with lush brown hair and a tentative smile when I meet him after a nap, curled up on mommy Louisa's lap. The toys stacked in neat piles along the wall range from building blocks to trucks to baby dolls.  All year long, he's been donning princess garb in the dress-up corner at his preschool. The adults in his life are fine with that. The little girls, however, have a problem with it. "Boys can't be princesses," they tell Luc, designating him a "wizard" instead.

Still, it's one thing for a little boy to play princess at school, and another to parade in a ball gown before a crowd on the annual Halloween march through the business district in the family's hometown, Glendora.  Anna and Louisa remember the sea of "Yes on 8" signs that sprouted around them in 2008, when the measure banning gay marriage was on the ballot. Gay marriage was rejected that year by voters, just months after the couple officially wed on June 17, the first day gay marriage was legal in California.  Now, Anna envisions those folks snubbing her trick-or-treating princess-boy.

"I imagine that when those Glendorans shut their doors, they're going to say 'See, that's why lesbians shouldn't raise children.' "

She doesn't think that having lesbian moms has influenced Luc's costume choice. Two years ago, he was a Jedi. Last year, he was a purple bat.

"I think he likes the bling, the accessories," she said.

But Anna knows that others see costume as commentary.

"My grandma was horrified when we posted pictures on Facebook of Luc in a princess dress with a tiara" after a visit last year to the dress-up exhibit at the L.A. County Fair.

"She's already anticipating that this is early-onset gayness. 'How could you be encouraging this? It's just not right!' she says."

Her grandmother is 87. But she got a similar response from students in the literature class she teaches at Citrus College.

"My colleagues said, 'Go for it. Support him.' My students said, 'Tell Luc that they are out of princess costumes' or find some other excuse not to let him."

That's exactly what my college daughter said when I shared Luc's dilemma with her. When did young people become such closet conformists? "We're not," she said. "We're just closer to Luc's age. And we remember how mean kids are."

Anna imagines Luc at 15 looking at old pictures with his friends and thinking, "Moms, I was only 4. Why didn't you look out for me?"

Even a child development professor at the college agreed: "Let him be a princess at home, but encourage him to pick out a boy costume for the neighborhood."

The message has come through loud and clear: You're lying if you tell your son: "You can be whoever you want." You can't.  At least not until you're old enough to spend Halloween in West Hollywood.

::

Things began to break the moms' way last week, when they took Luc to a Halloween fair and steered him toward the prince costumes.

"He was like 'Wow.' The sword, the helmet, the armor." At home, they fashioned a shield and sword out of cardboard and duct tape, and Luc played prince all day. "He was thrilled," Anna said.

A few days later, he'd backtracked a bit: He talked about dressing as a pitchfork. And by Friday, he was planning to be "a cannon with a big ball firing out of his face." Now that's something that might have me tracking down the child development expert.

Anna and Louisa haven't yet decided what to allow and what to rule out. The thought they are putting into the choice is a testament, in my eyes, to what good and loving mothers they are.  I imagine they've learned a few things from this about in-the-trenches parenting — including the fickle factor of Halloween. 
A typical kid's desires might shift a dozen times in the holiday run-up. My daughter once changed from witch to black cat in the car on the morning of Halloween, as the first-grade parade was about to begin. That's not about gender identity, but the lure of multiple fantasies.  What Anna and Louisa care about most is not what costume Luc wears, but how the strangers he encounters treat him.

"What I don't want is for somebody to open up that door and say 'Dude, what are you doing in a princess dress?' " Anna said. "It might just be confusion, not disapproval. But that's the comment that will make my child feel like he's done something wrong."

So here, after all the soul-searching, is the very simple message she wants me to share: Remember the tenderness of children's feelings if you open that door on Halloween and find a boy in a princess dress among the innocent trick-or-treaters.

sandy.banks@latimes.com
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Rachel
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« Reply #367 on: December 28, 2011, 12:52:07 PM »


DEBUNKERY
BY ALASDAIR WILKINS DEC 12, 2011 3:00 PM 18,232     68 Share


http://io9.com/5867401/
There really is no difference between men and women’s math abilities
There's a longstanding myth of a gender gap between boys' and girls' math performance, suggesting some basic biological difference in how the two genders approach math. It's deeply controversial and widely discredited. And now, a new study has completely debunked it.
Until now, there was maybe a sliver of statistical data to support the existence of this gender gap — nothing remotely convincing, mind you, but just enough that the idea couldn't be entirely dismissed out of hand. While most who studied the issue pointed for cultural or social reasons why girls might lag behind boys in math performance, there was still room for biological theories to be proposed.

The best-known of these is the "greater male variability hypothesis", which basically says ability among males varies more widely than that of females, which means you'll see more males at the extreme ends of the spectrum, good and bad. Then-Harvard president Larry Summers infamously put forward this idea back in 2005 as a way to explain the lack of great female mathematicians, and this was one of about a dozen different factors that ultimately cost him his job.

Now, researchers Jane Mertz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Jonathan Kane of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater have performed the most comprehensive exploration yet of math performance. They took in data from 86 different countries, many of which had not previously kept reliable records of math performance and so their addition allowed for much stronger cross-cultural analysis. So what did they find?

First, in many countries, there's no gender gap at all both at the average and very high levels of performance. Some countries, including the United States, do show a gender gap, but that gap has decreased substantially over the last few decades, and some test scores suggest American girls have already caught up to their male counterparts.

The researchers looked at one measure of young people with extremely high math abilities - namely, those who scored a 700 or higher on the math section of the SAT before the age of 13. In 1970, boys in this category outnumbered girls 13 to 1, while today the ratio is just 3 to 1 and still falling. Similarly, while just 5% of math Ph.D.s in the United States in the 1960s were given to women, today that figure stands at 30%.

All of these findings argue strongly that the apparent gender gaps are really just disparities in education and cultural expectations, not evidence of some deeper biological mechanism. If there really is a "math gene" or something like it that males have and boys don't, we simply wouldn't see such vast changes over time or indeed in different countries, many of which show no gender gap at all
.

And what about the greater male variability hypothesis? Well, there's a bit of evidence to support this - provided you blatantly cherry-pick certain countries. Kane and Mertz compared the variability of male and female math scores in different countries and found that the variability ratio in Taiwan is 1.31, meaning boys there do have substantially more variability than girls.

However, the ratio in Morocco is 1.00, meaning there is absolutely no difference in the genders' variability. You can go even further by looking at Tunisia, which has a ratio of 0.91, which means it's actually the girls there who show greater variability. For this hypothesis to be correct, it would have to hold true for all countries — the fact that the ratios vary so much means it's just the result of different cultural factors, or it could simply be random statistical noise.

Mertz and Kane were also able to debunk a couple other hypotheses about math performance, specifically the "single-gender classroom hypothesis" and "Muslim culture hypothesis", both of which were argued for by Freakonomics author Steven Levitt. The idea here is that the gender inequity found in many Muslim countries actually benefits girls, perhaps because they are generally educated in gender-separated classrooms and that helps somehow.

It's an interesting, counter-intuitive idea, but it also appears to be completely wrong. The authors say that, upon close examination of the data, girls in these single-gender classrooms still scored quite poorly. The boys in these countries, such as Bahrain and Oman, had scored even worse, but Kane suggests that's because many attend religious schools with little emphasis on mathematics.

Also, low-performing girls are often pressured to drop out of school and so don't appear in the statistics, which falsely inflates the girls' overall performance. The point, says Kane, is that these differing scores don't point to benefits of gender-separated classrooms or speak to features of Muslim culture as a whole - rather, they're due to social factors in play in a few countries, and the single-gender classrooms are just a confounding variable.

Indeed, Mertz and Kane were able to demonstrate pretty much the exact opposite of those hypotheses: as a general rule, high gender equality doesn't just remove the gender gap, it also improves test scores overall. In particular, countries where women have high participation in the labor force, and command salaries comparable to those of their male counterparts, generally have the highest math scores overall. The researchers comment on this finding:

Kane: "We found that boys — as well as girls — tend to do better in math when raised in countries where females have better equality, and that's new and important. It makes sense that when women are well-educated and earn a good income, the math scores of their children of both genders benefit."

Mertz: "Many folks believe gender equity is a win-lose zero-sum game: If females are given more, males end up with less. Our results indicate that, at least for math achievement, gender equity is a win-win situation."

As for how to close the gap even further and generally increase math scores, Mertz says the study argues strongly against the proposal to create single-gender classrooms. Instead, the researchers point to fairly common sense solutions: increase the number of math teachers in middle and high schools, decrease the number of children currently living in poverty, and take greater steps to reduce gender inequity.

Those may all seem fairly straightforward, but that's pretty much exactly the point - this isn't about tricking our brains or creating some perfect conditions to unlock children's hidden mathematical aptitude. As Mertz explains, this is all about culture, not biology:

"None of our findings suggest that an innate biological difference between the sexes is the primary reason for a gender gap in math performance at any level. Rather, these major international studies strongly suggest that the math-gender gap, where it occurs, is due to sociocultural factors that differ among countries, and that these factors can be changed."

Read the original paper at the American Mathematical Society.

http://www.ams.org/notices/201201/rtx120100010p.pdf
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« Reply #368 on: January 24, 2012, 12:29:40 AM »

Bryce J. Christensen | Monday, 23 January 2012
tags : same-sex marriage

The new outlaws: how same-sex marriage suffocates freedom

Advocating gay marriage as a way of enlarging the American sphere of liberty are profoundly—and deceptively—misrepresenting their aims.









Those advocating the radical social innovation, which they label “same-sex or gay marriage,” typically claim that they are fighting for freedom, championing a basic liberty. “Freedom to Marry” is indeed the name of a national organization devoted to the advocacy of same-sex marriage. Established in 2003 by civil-rights advocate Evan Wolfson and headquartered in New York City, this group takes “We All Deserve the Freedom to Marry” as its slogan. So effective has it promulgated this perspective that even former First Lady Laura Bush endorsed homosexuals’ right to marry as a matter of basic freedom when she appeared on the Larry King Show in May 2010.
 
But those who advocate homosexual marriage as a way of enlarging the American sphere of liberty are profoundly—and deceptively—misrepresenting their aims. Their real aim came to light in the public controversy over remarks attributed to Queen Sophia of Spain in criticizing her country’s invention in 2005 of a homosexual right to “marry.” “If those people [homosexuals] want to live together,” commented the Spanish monarch, “dress up as bride and groom and get married they can do so, but that should not be called marriage because it is not.” Widely reported by the media, the furor over these remarks forced representatives of the Queen to issue a statement claiming that the published remarks “do not exactly match the opinions expressed by Her Majesty the Queen” and apologizing for the “ill-feeling and upset” her comments had caused. The pressures compelling this semi-retraction and apology prompted one media commentator to ponder the “interesting question” of whether on the issue of homosexual marriage, the Queen still had “the right... to express her opinion like any other citizen.”
 
This commentator had glimpsed the fundamental aim of those advocating homosexual marriage: it is not at all about giving homosexuals a new freedom to participate in ceremonies that they regard as weddings. It is entirely about denying freedom of public speech to anyone who would criticize such ceremonies or the sexual behaviors such ceremonies legitimize. The muzzle that homosexual activists tried (largely successfully) to put on an outspoken monarch represents only the beginning. Homosexual activists in this country deeply desire to place first thousands, and then millions, of even tighter muzzles on all who disagree with them about the nature of homosexual behavior. They well understand that enactment of laws authorizing homosexual marriage will give them sweeping powers to bind those muzzles very tightly on their fellow citizens.
 
In this environment, attempts to legalize same-sex marriage are not chiefly about enlarging homosexual couples’ freedom: they are free now in every state of the union to say that they are married. They can claim anything they want about their “unions”: they can affirm that those relationships are life affirming and emancipatory; they can even assert that their partnerships are actually superior to natural sexual unions traditionally called marriages. In almost all states, Americans are also still perfectly free to reject such claims and to voice their rejection as forcefully as Queen Sofia did—before being cowed by activists and media commen-tators wielding Spain’s homosexual-marriage law as a cudgel.
 
Homosexual activists may plausibly assert that they were advancing the cause of freedom when opposing anti-sodomy laws, even if many Americans view the freedom advanced as morally and even medically problematic. However, when these same activists claim that they are still advancing the cause of freedom in advocating laws that grant same-sex unions the status of marriage, their arguments quickly lose all plausibility. For those trying to enshrine the notion of same-sex “marriage” in law are not primarily trying to enlarge the freedom of homosexuals; they are primarily striving to diminish the freedom of skeptics who would deny that the union of homosexuals is—or can ever be—a legitimate marriage. The aim of those trying to inscribe the novelty of homosexual marriage in law is actually that of making an outlaw out of anyone who would question the moral substance of this new social construct and the sexual behaviors it legitimates.
 
Americans with little invested in the issue may suppose that their freedom to oppose homosexuality is secure in the wake of the 2011 Supreme Court ruling in Snyder v. Phelps that opponents of homosexuality can legally express their views through funeral protests. But the freedom the Court upheld in the Snyder case is actually very marginal. It is the freedom of a self-discrediting sideshow, a freedom that matters only to a radical fringe.
 
More important, but now deeply imperiled, is precisely the kind of freedom that Queen Sophia briefly tried to exercise in publicly resisting the notion of homosexual marriage and the behaviors it represents. This is the freedom of individuals in positions of public trust to voice their opposition to homosexual behavior. It is this freedom that homosexual advocates hope to make disappear through enactment of homosexual marriage. Enshrining this radically innovative construct in law will not so much enlarge the sphere of freedom for homosexuals as it will shrink the sphere of freedom—in the workplace, legislative chamber, classroom, mainstream media, civic and student club, and marketplace—for those who in any way find homosexual behavior wanting.
 
Anti-Anti-Homosexual Bullying
 
The ex-nihilo creation of homosexual marriage as a legal notion serves, above all, to give coercive power to those Justice Antonin Scalia has identified as “homosexual activists . . . [intent on] eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.” The success of these activists, as Scalia notes, has helped foster an “anti-anti-homosexual culture.”1 Some Americans may wonder how a private sexual behavior became the basis for an unassailable public identity guaran-teeing coercive state protection from critics. However, those who have created the “anti-anti-homosexual culture” understand well how they can use the notion of homosexual marriage to silence their opponents and to drive them from the public square. With good reason, syndicated columnist John Leo has complained that in recent homosexual activism, “a line is being crossed”: “The traditional civic virtue of tolerance (if gays want to live together, it’s their own business) has been replaced with a new ethicrequiring approval and endorsement” (emphasis added).
 
Homosexual activists know that if they enshrine same-sex relationships in the legal category of marriage, they will find it far easier to impose this new requirement for approval and endorsement on other Americans. As homosexual activists and their allies press this new requirement, Americans who resist the normalizing of homosexuality are seeing their freedom shrink. Indeed, when homosexual activists claim the “freedom” of same-sex couples to marry, we see yet another instance of what cultural historian Robert Nisbet has labeled “the ingenious camouflaging of power with the rhetoric of freedom.”2
 
Americans have seen more than a few instances in which anti-anti-homosexual power has flexed its muscles in suppressing the freedom of those who dare resist their agenda for normalizing homosexual behavior. That power was manifest in March 2011 when homosexual activists successfully pressured Apple to withdraw from its iTunes store an app developed by an evangelical Christian group that works with individuals trying to overcome homosexual impulses. That power was manifest again a month later when the prominent law firm King & Spalding announced that, despite its previous commitment to doing so, it would not defend the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which acknowledges marriage as the union of a man and a woman. But Americans have perhaps seen homosexuals’ power most often and most nakedly in the one institution that is supposed to provide a free and open forum for all points of view: the university.
 
A prime case of how the university suppresses any resistance to homosexual behavior is that of University of Illinois professor Ken Howell. Howell was dismissed for informing students enrolled in a class on Modern Catholic Thought that “the Catholic Church holds that homosexual acts are immoral” and further suggesting that homosexual acts violate the natural moral law, though he freely allowed that there are other viewpoints. Though the outcry at the dismissal of this very popular professor ultimately proved sufficient to force the university to reverse itself, the university administration capitulated only reluctantly and without any public acknowledgement that it had violated Howells’ academic freedom.3
 
In other episodes of anti-anti-homosexual zealotry, university officials show no signs of backing off. In 2008, a biology professor at San Jose City College was dismissed for indicating—in answer to a student’s question about how heredity affects sexual orientation—that environment might be a cause of homosexuality. In 2010, Hasting College of Law denied official recognition and funding to the Christian Legal Society as a student organization (the first time it had ever denied a student organization recognition) because the group required officers (not its members) to affirm Christian sexual ethics, including the scriptural proscription against homosexuality. In 2009, a student was expelled from a counseling program at Eastern Michigan State University for refusing to affirm that homosexual behavior is normal and acceptable. In 2005, a student in a counseling program at Missouri State University found that the university had filed a grievance against her for refusing to fulfill a class assignment requiring her to write a letter to the state legislature advocating the legalization of homosexual adoption. And in 2011, a counseling student who dared to voice her opinion in class that homosexual acts are immoral learned that Augusta State University would not let her continue her academic program unless she successfully completed diversity-sensitivity training. The list goes on, with reports of similar anti-anti-homosexual bullying at Washington State University, Georgia Tech University, and the Ohio State University.
 
The Academy as Surrogate State Church
 
Perhaps no one should be surprised that university administrators and professors have increasingly become thought police on the issue of homosexuality. In a 2007 survey of professors at 927 American institutions of higher education, sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons from Harvard and George Mason Universities, respectively, found that liberals dominate the campus world: 44.1 percent of survey respondents characterized themselves as either “liberal” or “very liberal,” compared to only 9.2 percent who described themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative.” Even these numbers fail to fully reflect the “very liberal attitudes toward sex” which pervade the university: the Harvard and George Mason scholars report that about 70 percent [68.7 percent of the professors surveyed] think that homosexuality “is not wrong at all.”4
 
The freedom of students and professors who oppose homosexuality can survive in such an environment only if professors are deeply committed to maintaining a campus neutrality that fosters free exchange of all viewpoints. Unfortunately, when Harvard scholar Louis Menand analyzes the Gross and Solon data, he sees evidence that “neutrality, or disinterestedness,” is declining as a university standard because there is now apparently “less aversion to weighing political views in evaluating merit than would have been the case thirty or forty years ago.” In fact, though not a conservative, Menand concedes that the Gross and Solon study provides “data . . . useful to anyone claiming that colleges and universities discriminate against people with conservative views.” Menand goes so far as to raise the question of whether “holding liberal views has become a tacit requirement for entry and promotion in the academic profession.”5 In an academic world such as this, it is entirely predictable that top university professors of law openly argue—in direct riposte to Scalia’s complaint against judicial endorsement of the homosexual agenda—in favor of measures aimed at “eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”6
 
Only the complete hegemony of anti-anti-homosexual dogma within the university renders comprehensible the blog comment recently posted by Stanford student Gregory Hirshman. Hirshman asserts that in an academic world governed by a “strict, if informal, rule against speaking negatively of homosexuality,” it now requires “more strength and conviction on the Stanford campus to come out as an outspoken conservative than as a homosexual.” The strict enforcement of the academic orthodoxy on homosexuality also harmonizes with critic and former University of Maryland professor George A. Panichas, who reports that in the university world “opponents of liberal ideas are increasingly treated as outlaws.”7
 
Just how much the outlaw status of those who oppose homosexuality on the university campus should matter to the broader American community is clarified by the prominent philosopher Richard Rorty’s assertion, “The university has replaced the church as the center of morality.” This assertion, of course, would strike millions of church-going Americans as patently untrue, even bizarre. However, for the cultural, political, and judicial elite who shape much of national life, it is all too true: the university has become the new surrogate church, laying down the moral imperatives guiding judges, policymakers, executives, and media moguls. The outlaws who oppose homosexuality will find no right of sanctuary in this church. Far otherwise. They will find that that new church regards them not only as outlaws but also as dangerous heretics.
 
Outlaw-heretics have reason to fear inquisitorial persecution from the priests in the surrogate church, one of whom has candidly admitted that he and his anti-anti-homosexual colleagues are “sometimes self-righteous . . . and sometimes too dismissive or snotty toward those who disagree with us.”8 At a minimum, outlaw-heretics have reason to fear that the new priests—for all their professed commitment to freedom for all—will actually lock them out of the democratic process. It is this real abridgment of political liberties that legal scholar Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr. has in view in his analysis of how “religious minorities” face discrimination:
 
To the extent that religious minorities position themselves in opposition to progressive understandings on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation, they increasingly face the prospect of being silenced by government officials who have come to embrace the progressives’ value structure.9
 
Many of America’s religiously devout citizens would strenuously object to Krotoszynski’s characterization of them as “minorities,” pointing to survey data showing that most Americans profess a belief in Christianity (and the Bible, which condemns homosexual acts as incompatible with a knowledge of God [cf. Rom. 1:18-28]). According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 78.4 percent of all adult Americans are Christian, with more than half of adult Americans affiliated with a Protestant denomination and almost one quarter of adult Americans belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.10 Those Americans can also point to election results on ballot initiatives in thirty-one states across the country defining marriage in ways consonant with religious belief, but not in alignment with the progressive homosexual-affirming agenda.
 
Diminishing Political and Religious Liberty
 
But the fact that silenced and marginalized church-goers actually constitute a majority only makes the process by which they are denied their full democratic liberties all the more insidious. For those in doubt as to how this process works, California has provided a prime illustration: through a costly and bruising electoral fight, defenders of natural marriage passed a measure (Proposition Cool acknowledging marriage as the union of man and woman—only to have a single unelected federal judge, Vaughan Walker, strike down the voter-approved measure because he, a “now-outed” homosexual, disapproved of the moral and religious impulses of those who championed it! In this fashion, a progressive anti-anti-homosexual elite dramatically diminishes the political liberties of those who wish to affirm an understanding of marriage consistent with reality as affirmed by nature, history, biology, reason, as well as religion. It is this kind of assault on religious liberty that legal scholar Matthew J. Franck has in view when he remarks, “The freedom to participate fully in civic life, to offer oneself to others in civil society, conscientiously on one’s own terms as a religious person professing one’s beliefs, may be jeopardized by this new dispensation.”11
 
It is precisely that liberty-denying process that elite activists are trying to advance through the legal notion of same-sex marriage. For outlaws, enforcement of the law can mean only punishment—usually loss of freedom. That contraction of freedom is exactly what those advocating same-sex marriage seek: they want to lock those who oppose homosexuality into as small a box as possible. Just how terribly small that box can be is illustrated by the case of the fertility specialist in California who in 2001 declined to artificially inseminate a lesbian, though he referred that woman to a colleague who would perform that service for her. When the doctor, who happened to also be a devout Christian, later lost a discrimination suit filed by the offended lesbian woman, he found no relief upon appeal to the California Supreme Court, which found—unanimously—that this doctor’s religious convictions did not afford him even the very, very minimal freedom of declining to perform a medical procedure that violated his convictions!
 
The same kind of liberty-abridging legal logic worked against the religious convictions of a New Mexico photographer who in 2006 declined to take pictures of a same-sex couple’s “commitment ceremony” because of her religious objections to homosexuality, only to find herself fined $6000 by the state Human Rights Commission for having discriminated against the couple. Predictably enough, this logic now works to constrain the consciences of chaplains in the new gay-friendly military that Obama and his allies have created: credible reports now indicate that military chaplains must “embrace the new openly homosexual military, resign from service, or face court-martial for their ‘religious, conscience’ objections.”12 All these assaults on religious liberty have occurred in jurisdictions without the legal innovation of same-sex marriage. That the enactment of same-sex marriage multiplies such assaults is evident in the way that justices of the peace in Massachusetts have been forced to resign if they decline, on moral or religious grounds, to perform homosexual weddings. Similar legal coercion compelled Catholic Social Services to suspend its handling of adoptions in the Bay State because of its refusal to violate its religious principles by placing children with homosexual couples.
 
This disturbing pattern of hostility to religious freedom should leave little doubt as to the consequences of broader enactment of homosexual marriage: it can only mean fewer freedoms for men and women of religious conviction. “Both freedom and the desire for freedom,” Nisbet sagely remarks, “are nourished within the realization of spiritual privacy and among privileges of personal decision.”13 But it is precisely personal decision—in expression and in conduct—which homosexual activists wish to eradicate, whenever such decisions draw inspiration from religious or moral principles at odds with homosexual emancipation. In this context, Franck warns, “We are in danger of telling many millions of our fellow citizens that they may not act as their conscience guides them in exercising the fundamental right of self government.”14 As the fertility specialist in California, the photographer in New Mexico, the justices of the peace in Massachusetts could all testify, when anti-anti-homosexual principles triumph, Americans asked to engage in acts that would violate their conscience by implying acceptance or endorsement of homosexual acts cannot even respond with that precious shred of self-preserving liberty that Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener claims with the simple words, “I prefer not to.”15
 
Individual freedom seemed to be uppermost in the minds of the High Court justices who struck down Texas’s anti-sodomy law. In justifying their decision, Anthony Kennedy invoked a concern for “the liberty of all,” and then elaborated in elevated language: “Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.”16 But Americans may increasingly wonder why this spatial and transcendent liberty and autonomy of self do not extend to those Americans who want to distance themselves from homosexual acts, to stand apart, as it were, from those who engage in such acts. Why is that autonomy of self, that transcendent dimension of liberty, not protected by law or court proceedings?
 
Dubious Claims of Homosexual Activists
 
Make no mistake: homosexual activists do, in fact, know that advancing their agenda means reducing the liberty of Americans. They hide that reality behind rhetoric of freedom, just as they hide their exclusion of religious Americans from the public square behind rhetoric of inclusion, and their extirpation of every deviation from the approved attitude toward homosexuality behind the rhetoric of diversity. But at bottom, these activists know that they are denying their fellow Americans a sizable measure of freedom. They justify this denial in two ways, both dubious.
 
First, advocates of gay rights—including the right to marry—manifest a surprising eagerness to believe a “genetic basis of homosexuality,”17 despite clear scientific refutation of the very notion of “a gay gene.”18 Apparently, homosexual activists follow this line of logic: since genes have made homosexuals “what they are,” they are not free to be otherwise. Since homosexuals are not free to be otherwise, the government is justified in denying liberty of those who would discriminate against them. This surrender to genetic determinism is stunning, especially coming from a segment of the political spectrum known for its resistance to genetic determinism in other contexts, such as those involving questions of racial or gender characteristics.19Apparently, homosexual activists do not want anyone to notice that all the arguments that their political allies have made against the decidedly illiberal and dehumanizing logic of genetic determinism in other contexts tell against their reliance upon genetic determinism in advocating restrictions on the liberty of those who would criticize homosexual conduct.
 
The second justification for restricting the freedoms of those who oppose homosexuality is that of asserting that this freedom has no content except that of hatred and bigotry, or that this freedom amounts to nothing but the equivalent of racism. So those who deny this freedom are not denying a freedom that has any real substance anyway. This line of justification will not bear scrutiny. In the first place, surveys reveal that, as a group, African Americans—who should be the very first to recognize a fundamental kinship between racial bias and resistance to homosexuality—are actually more resistant to homosexuality than are whites,20 while polling data indicate that African Americans support measures such as California’s Proposition 8 significantly more than whites.21
 
But further weaknesses emerge in the argument that opposition to homosexuality amounts to nothing but bigotry and hatred and that therefore denying Americans the freedom to oppose homosexuality does not constitute a serious infringement of their liberty. The long list of those who have expressed opposition to homosexuality has included some intelligent and gifted individuals. With his brilliant poetic masterpiece The Divine Comedy culminating in a vision of “the Love that moves the Sun and the other stars” (33. 146, Ciardi translation), Dante seems like something other than a hate-filled bigot. Yet he opposed homosexuality, placing homosexuals in the Seventh Circle of the Hell he depicts in his Inferno. As one of the architects of quantum physics, Edwin Schrödinger would seem to be more than a dull conformist. Yet he lamented the increasing ubiquity of homosexuality in higher education.22 As a brilliant opponent of “all the smelly little orthodoxies” of the twentieth century, George Orwell would not normally be classed as an unthinking exponent of bias. Yet he opposed homosexuality, and as a twenty-first-century critic has remarked, “Orwell’s anti-homosexual position (definitely not ‘homophobia,’ which would suggest irrational fear) flowed naturally from beliefs and values about which he was quite forthcoming.”23
 
Surprisingly, even the homosexual poet W. H. Auden—famous both for his insistent honesty and his astonishing prosodic talents—said some very negative things about homosexuality. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s wrong to be queer,” Auden said. “In the first place, all homosexual acts are acts of envy. In the second, the more you’re involved with someone, the more trouble arises, and affection shouldn’t result in that. It shows something’s wrong somewhere.”24 And then there is Stephen Spender, another great twentieth-century British poet who was homosexual as a young man, but who, after renouncing homosexuality went on to marry two women (not at the same time!). Spender said, “I find the actual sex act with women more satisfactory [than the sex act with men] . . . To me it is much more of an experience.”25
 
Opposition to homosexuality took a more intriguing form in the life of the great German novelist Thomas Mann, who felt the pull of homoerotic impulses (as any reader of Death in Venice will recognize). For religious reasons, Mann chose not to act on those impulses and to live a life of abstinence. As Mann’s biographer explains, for Mann, “Homosexual courtship . . . is from the Devil,” while “His chastity is love for the purity of God” 26
 
When Law and Morality Collide
 
Americans have every reason to ask what is left of an intellectual freedom that does not include the freedom to examine and to affirm the views expressed by great poets and novelists. They may also wonder about the authenticity of an intellectual freedom that does not allow full and frank discussion of research limning a troubling pattern of co-morbidity linking homosexuality to a wide array of both psychological27 and physical illnesses.28 Nor would a genuine intellectual freedom prohibit candid public discussion of the remarkable promiscuity that researchers have documented within the homosexual population.29
 
Of course, for most Americans opposed to homosexuality, the freedom that matters most is not the freedom to endorse the views of Dante or Auden, Orwell or Mann. Nor is it the freedom to probe the latest research in homosexual epidemiology or sexual conduct. The freedom that matters most—and the freedom most imperiled by the legal definition of a homosexual liaison as a marriage—is the freedom to affirm a religiously grounded sexual morality. Religiously committed Americans regard this as a very important freedom indeed. As Franck has explained, “For the religious person who holds a traditional view of sexual morality, the holding of that view is not accidentally related to his religious faith. It is inseparable from it.”30
 
Consequently, it can only gall these Americans when homosexual activists use the law—particularly in the radical redefinition of the marital law—to deny them the freedom to express and to act on their convictions about sexual ethics. No doubt, homosexual activists expect everyone to accept the legal redefinition of marriage they are promoting. But they forget how many Americans recognize a divine law transcending and standing above merely human law. As Aquinas observed, “Human laws are either just or unjust. If they are just, they have the power to bind our conscience because of the eternal law from which they are derived.” But, quoting Augustine’s assertion that “an unjust law does not seem to be a law at all,” Aquinas reasons that unjust laws “do not bind the conscience.” In fact, Aquinas goes so far as to assert that if laws are unjust because they are “opposed to the divine good,” then “such laws must never be observed, because ‘one must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29).”31
 
Even Americans who do not draw their legal philosophy from Aquinas should recognize that when the law sets itself in opposition to the moral convictions held by a great many citizens, it puts those citizens in a difficult and painful circumstance. That circumstance is well described by legal theorist Frederick Bastiat: “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”32Disrespect for the law may become particularly intense among parents who see the law using tax revenues to pay for “gay-friendly curricular materials” in public schools increasingly hostile to the sexual ethics they want to instill in their children.33
 
Since survey sociologists have recently established that America’s religiously devout citizens are the nation’s most generous, selfless, honest, civic-minded, and community-spirited,34 the nation’s cultural and legal elite may want to pause before using homosexual marriage as a legal weapon for limiting the religious freedoms of those citizens. Do they really want to undermine respect for the law among tens of millions of Americans? Do they really want to imbue in Americans who are, by nature, selfless, civic-minded and community-spirited a new feeling of alienation from and resentment toward their government?
 
Of course, millions of Americans who oppose homosexual acts for religious reasons will not want to simply wait while the elite decide what restrictions to impose on their liberties. They will want to vigorously protest every incursion upon those liberties, and they will want to lend their full support to lawmakers sympathetic to their concerns. Americans with a mature religious faith will understand the need to avoid hateful or spiteful references toward homosexuals. They will indeed recognize that their witness for truth will be most effective when it is expressed with empathy and compassion, including especially a merciful compassion for those who are suffering from AIDS or other diseases often found among homosexuals. But devout Americans can express genuine love for homosexuals without accepting or endorsing their sexual behavior. An authentic faith indeed requires both firm opposition to homosexual acts and unfailing love for those who commit such acts.35
 
Americans motivated by religious faith will be zealous to protect the liberty to express and to act on that faith. That will mean vigorously opposing same-sex marriage whenever possible. Where such opposition appears—at least in the short run—futile (as in Massachusetts, Iowa, New York, and Washington, D.C.), perhaps it is time for sympathetic law-makers to start enacting “conscience clause” protections—comparable to those that protect medical professionals from being compelled to perform abortions—for justices of the peace, fertility doctors, wedding caterers and photographers, and others who will find themselves forced to choose between their careers and their convictions. If they cannot prevent the enactment (often by judicial fiat) of same-sex marriage laws, lawmakers should at least be able to give an opt-out to citizens who object to homosexuality for religious reasons. Bartleby would understand.
 
Dr. Christensen teaches composition and literature at Southern Utah University. This article has been republished with permission from The Family in America.
 
Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1.Antonin Scalia, with William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas, dissenting, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner v. Texas, June 26, 2003.
 2.Robert Nisbet, The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order & Freedom (1953; rpt. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1990), p. 141.
 3.Cf. Meghan Duke, “Fired, In a Crowded Theater,” First Things, October 2010, pp. 24–29.
 4.Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, “The Social and Political Views of American Professors,” Working Paper, September 24, 2007, http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~ngross/lounsbery_9-25.pdf.
 5.Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009), pp. 139–40.
 6.Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 164.
 7.George A. Panichas, Growing Wings to Overcome Gravity: Criticism as the Pursuit of Virtue (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1999), p. 37.
 8.Michael Bérubé, What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? Classroom Politics and ‘Bias’ in Higher Education (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006), p. 287.
 9.Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr., “Dissent, Free Speech, and the Continuing Search for the ‘Central Meaning’ of the First Amendment,” review of The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty, by Stephen L. Carter, and Dissent, Injustice, and the Meanings of America by Steven H. Shiffrin, Michigan Law Review 98.6 (2000): 1673.
 10.“Religious Affiliation: Summary of Key Findings,” U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2010), http://religions.pewforum.org/reports.
 11.Matthew J. Franck, “Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage,” First Things, May 2011, p. 51.
 12.“Army: Court-Martial Chaplains for ‘Religious, Conscience’ Objection to Homosexuality,” Catholic Citizens of Illinois, March 24, 2011, http://catholiccitizens.org/press/pressview.asp?c=52791.
 13.Nisbet, The Quest for Community, p. 220.
 14.Francky, “Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage,” p. 50.
 15.Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener” (1853), American Literature: The Makers and the Making,ed. Cleanth Brooks, R. W. B. Lewis, and Robert Penn Warren (New York: St. Martin’s, 1973), 1:842–59.
 16.Anthony Kennedy, with John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner v. Texas.
 17.Cahn and Carbone, Red Families v. Blue Families, pp. 65 and 226, 22n.
 18.Cf. Ian Stewart, The Mathematics of Life (New York: Basic, 2011), pp. 118–19.
 19.Cf. Leonard A. Cole, review of Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature by R. C. Lewontin, Leon J. Kamin, and Steven Rose, Politics and the Life Sciences 4.2 (1986): 200–201.
 20.Cf. Gregory B. Lewis, “Black-White Differences in Attitudes toward Homosexuality and Gay Rights,” The Public Opinion Quarterly 67.1 (2003): 59–78.
 21.Cf. Patrick J. Egan and Kenneth Sherrill, “California’s Proposition 8 and America’s Racial and Ethnic Divides on Same‐Sex Marriage.” Working Paper, January 2010,http://as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/4819/marriagedivides.pdf.
 22.Cf. Jim Baggott, The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments (New York: Oxford, 2011), p. 150.
 23.David Ramsay Steele, “My Orwell Right or Wrong,” review of Why Orwell Matters, by Christopher Hitchens, Libertarian Alliance, 2003, http://www.la-articles.org.uk/orwell.pdf.
 24.Arthur Kirsch, Auden and Christianity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), pp. 172–73.
 25.John Sutherland, Stephen Spender: A Literary Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 168.
 26.Hermann Kurzke, Thomas Mann: Life as a Work of Art. A Biography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), pp. 412–14, 486.
 27.Theo G. M. Sandfort et al., “Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders,” Archives of General Psychiatry 58 (2001): 85-91; Michael King et al., “A Systematic Review of Mental Disorder, Suicide, and Deliberate Self-Harm in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people,” BMC Psychiatry 8 (August 18, 2008): 70.
 28.Compared to men who do not, men who have sex with men are more than 46 times more likely to contract syphilis, and more than 44 times more likely to contract HIV. “Gay Men Still More Likely to Contract HIV,” BC Medical Journal 52.4 (May 2010): web.
 29.M. A. Bellis et al., “Re-Emerging Syphilis in Gay Men: A Case-Control Study of Behavioural Risk Factors and HIV Status,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 56.3 (2002): 235–36.
 30.Franck, “Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage.”
 31.Thomas Aquinas, “Aquinas on Law,” Medieval Source Book, ed. Paul Halsall. Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies, 2006. Web.
 32.Frederick Bastiat, The Law (1850; rpt. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2006), p. 11.
 33.Cf. Charles J. Russo, “Same-Sex Marriage and Public School Curricula,” What’s the Harm? Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Really Harm Individuals, Families, or Society? ed. Lynn D. Wardle (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2008), pp. 355–73.
 34.Cf. Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us(New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010).
 35.Cf. Ron Sider, “Bearing Better Witness,” First Things, December 2010, pp. 47–50.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #369 on: February 13, 2012, 01:30:43 PM »

From Santorum thread, I'm not sure why that got copied to race thread?

Crafty wrote: "Of course state consitutions cannot go against the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, so the real question is the meaning of the equal protection clause.  I think it safe to say that gay marriage was not on the mind of those who passed the equal protection clause; of course it need not to have been for the clause to be applicable-- but Santorum I think is on the right track here: Judicial Imperialism and arrogance.

Surely a certain degree of humility is called for when the people of a state amend their consitution-- especially when this step is to reverse a judicial creation of a right!  My point of view is that gay marriage is not required by the equal protection clause.  A man can marry a woman, and vice versa.

I think the real solution here is for people to be free to be gay and other people to be free to be grossed out by it, with or without God's blessing.

Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate.

Anyone wanting to discuss this further, please take it to a relevant thread (e.g. Gender; Gay and Straight)"
-----------------------

My evolving view.  People with an agenda I think exaggerate the numbers, but if you are gay, you are gay.  If you are American, you have a right to pursue happiness.

It is bad business to discriminate against major groups unless there is good reason.  What the laws should be, I don't know exactly.

Marriage is a unique relationship where a man and a woman become husband and wife and make certain lifelong promises to each other.  Heteros screw it up badly enough, breaking promises etc but that is not reason to abandon it or change its meaning.  Marriage is the foundation of family, a man and a woman under one roof is the formula also for continuation of the species.  My grandfather got re-married at 80 so I understand it is not only about procreation, but in their case they did both keep their first marriage promises of until death do we part and chose that if they were to live together the rest of their lives it would be in marriage.

If marriage is a cross gender union, husband and wife, particularly aimed at family structure for child rearing, gays are entitled to their own form of commitments and choices.  I have no idea what those should be just that that other forms of commitment are different, not the same.  What role the government needs to play, I don't know.  They deserve all rights I presume they already have have of being able to will to each other, designate each other for power of attorney on crucial matters etc. just the same as single people deserve rights, but not the right of a spouse of the opposite sex unless he or she consents.

The key difference in marriage is that the agenda seems to be aimed at saying a mother and a mother, or a father and a father, is the same as a mother and a father.  It isn't and flaws in hetero-marriages don'[t change that. 

In housing, a landlord would be crazy to discriminate against great tenants, or a seller to discriminate against a class of buyers. 

In business, same.  You are crazy to eliminate people from employment for something private that has nothing to do with work performance.  OTOH, it should be perfectly legal to discriminate in a private business against people who outwardly make other people, co-workers or customers, uncomfortable, no matter the reason.  Right?  'Don't ask, don't tell' was strangely a perfect solution.  You keep your private life out of the workplace and only then is it none of our business.

Discriminate, not the legal word but to make choices, is what we do all the time.  JDN (who asked the question) discriminates against other states and climates to live in California.  Discriminates against other neighborhoods to choose yours.  Discriminates against other restaurants to choose the one you will take your wife to tomorrow, discriminate against other golf courses for the one you choose, against all other barbers except the one you trust and feel most comfortable with, etc.etc.  What are your reasons?  I don't know.  Those are YOUR reasons.
--------------
"My point of view is that gay marriage is not required by the equal protection clause.  A man can marry a woman, and vice versa."

For a gay or a single person, the law regarding marriage is the same for straight people or couples in similar circumstances.  If you fall in love with a person of the opposite gender, no matter who you are, you have the same rights as a heterosexual individual or couple under the law.  If that is unconstitutional then so is our entire, complex,  progressive tax system that treats people differently that are in different circumstances.
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ccp
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« Reply #370 on: February 13, 2012, 02:15:58 PM »

Agree with the arguments posted.  Also the gay infitada has a powerful ally in the MSM.  Since much of the opposition to legalizing marriage and with it the "normalization" of homosexuality comes for religion and of course religious groups have been aligned to a large extent with the Republican party the gays have become probably almost as strongly identified with the Crat party as Blacks and 75% of Jews.

So it is quite natural they have big support in the MSM notwithstanding much prominence in the entertainment industry and now with cable news - Maddow, Cooper, etc.

In a way I find my rights as an American citizen to speak out against overwhelming immigration abuse, and to speak out as a taxpayer my resentment that I be taxed up the behind while 50% pay no federal income tax, and the very rich have numerous loopholes, as very much the same type of muzzling of ALL opposition to this progressive wave that is overwhelmiing America.
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JDN
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« Reply #371 on: February 13, 2012, 02:59:18 PM »

From Santorum thread, I'm not sure why that got copied to race thread?

Crafty said, "e.g" e.g. = exempli gratia = for the sake of example.  Another "example" of discrimination is race; the subject of "discrimination" and "saying that people should be allowed to discriminate" is not only limited to gays.  My question I raised or merely asked for clarification was Crafty's comment, "Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate."  That statement is not limited to "gay", therefore I thought it belonged in the "race" thread.  Crafty's opening race thread sentence provides an excellent summary;

Crafty:
All:

This thread is for discussion and articles treating the question of "Can't we all just get along?" 


Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate.

Anyone wanting to discuss this further, please take it to a relevant thread (e.g. Gender; Gay and Straight)"
-----------------------
Doug:
If you are American, you have a right to pursue happiness.

I agree; but the same sentence could could/should apply to women, gays, lesbians, blacks, jews, any sex, ethnic or religion group.


Marriage is a unique relationship where a man and a woman become husband and wife and make certain lifelong promises to each other.  Heteros screw it up badly enough, breaking promises etc but that is not reason to abandon it or change its meaning.  Marriage is the foundation of family, a man and a woman under one roof is the formula also for continuation of the species.  My grandfather got re-married at 80 so I understand it is not only about procreation, but in their case they did both keep their first marriage promises of until death do we part and chose that if they were to live together the rest of their lives it would be in marriage.

I agree with you summary; but marriage provides unique rights that a contract cannot. Further, like you Grandfather chose, marriage is special.


Discriminate, not the legal word but to make choices, is what we do all the time.  JDN (who asked the question) discriminates against other states and climates to live in California.  Discriminates against other neighborhoods to choose yours.  Discriminates against other restaurants to choose the one you will take your wife to tomorrow, discriminate against other golf courses for the one you choose, against all other barbers except the one you trust and feel most comfortable with, etc.etc.  What are your reasons?  I don't know.  Those are YOUR reasons.

Again, I agree, my private choices are my private choices - where I play golf for example.  However, public a choice that discriminates, affecting others, e.g. refusing to serve a black or a jew, refusing to hire or promote a woman, etc. is discrimination, IMHO an evil that has no place in America.
--------------
"My point of view is that gay marriage is not required by the equal protection clause.  A man can marry a woman, and vice versa."

But a man can't marry a man.  Or a woman a woman.  Where is the equality?


For a gay or a single person, the law regarding marriage is the same for straight people or couples in similar circumstances.  If you fall in love with a person of the opposite gender, no matter who you are, you have the same rights as a heterosexual individual or couple under the law. 

Actually, the law is NOT the same for a gay versus straight person.  Numerous issues exist, some insurmountable that in contrast are automatically resolved in marriage.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #372 on: February 13, 2012, 10:55:20 PM »

"refusing to serve a black or a Jew, refusing to hire or promote a woman, etc. is discrimination, IMHO an evil that has no place in America."

I moved the question out of race/religion for a reason.  There is no income or housing difference between gay and straight.  Aren't you making up a problem that doesn't exist?  Gays that I know are competent and conscientious in their work, and well-paid.  Employers I know are in need of and appreciative of competent and conscientious employees.  Businesses I know now accept (Jews, blacks and) gays as customers. Where is a sign in America that we don't serve gays?  Again, where is the problem that is in need of a government solution?


"...A man can marry a woman, and vice versa."

"But a man can't marry a man.  Or a woman a woman.  Where is the equality?"


You are missing a point, not just disagreeing with it.  A gay man can (under the law) fall in love and marry a woman, he just doesn't.  Some heterosexuals never marry the opposite sex either, not just gay people. Equal protection, different circumstances.  Again, it is a concept in law that the entire tax code and government is built on.  I don't see why you support it wholeheartedly with taxes and refuse to accept it here.  It may be a bad idea in your estimation, but hardly unconstitutional unless all of our government is set up exactly that way, not just taxes but government payments and services too.

Expanding on that point: Estate tax applies to some people not others. the 39.6% tax rate will apply to some and not others. Double federal taxation applies to some and not others. Food stamps, Medicaid, Pelle grants, they all go to some and not others.  Equal protection, different circumstances.  3.1 million households get Section 8 housing vouchers, the rest get none - and for VERY arbitrary reasons.  Even voting, some and not others.  Everyone gets to vote when they turn 18?  Not everyone lives to 18, therefore are/were never legal to vote, yet the law is considered equal protection.  Solydra, Chrysler, General Motors: millions of dollars in subsidies.  Dog brothers and JDN Inc: Nothing.  That is equal protection or the President should be impeached.  You make the call.

What I don't get is that you are arguing my political viewpoint and against yours (IMHO).  Most of these things are NOT equal protection.  The government is clearly favoring and discriminating in almost everything that it does.  Read page 1 of any IRS form, 'who has to file this form?' Some yes, some no.  It depends on your circumstance.
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JDN
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« Reply #373 on: February 13, 2012, 11:28:19 PM »

Doug, no offense, but I think YOU are missing the point.

You said, "Businesses I know now accept (Jews, blacks and) gays as customers. Where is a sign in America that we don't serve gays?"

Businesses now accept Jews and blacks as customers because it's the law.  Otherwise, some would discriminate.  You don't need a sign; but discrimination does exist.  Just ask a Jewish person
or a black person.

Your point that estate taxes applies to some, not to others, food stamps, Medcaid, pell grants, etc. is interesting, but NONE of them are conditioned upon race, religion or sexual preference. No matter your
sex, color or religion, or sexual persuasion, IF you turn 18 you are able to vote; that is how it should be.

That Solydra, Chrysler, GM, banks, and others got millions has what to do with discrimination?  The employees of these companies got money to keep people employed and/or to promote alternative energy.  You and also I may disagree with that logic, but it has nothing to do do with discrimination.

Equally protected mean equal opportunity whether you are black, jew, christian, a woman, or gay.

Or are you saying that you if you discriminate against a black man, a jew, a woman, or a gay person; it's ok huh?  Deny them service in a restaurant?  Housing?  A job? A promotion.  Maybe a law that says
blacks can't marry whites?  Or Jewish people can only marry within their own faith?  Of course you are not!  So why pick on a particular group?  Gays.  Only because you don't like their particular choice? Or color?  Or sex? Or preference?  Frankly, I have gay and lesbian friends.  They are nice people; good Americans.  Among my neighbors, two lesbian couples have the nicest looking yard on the street.  What's the problem?  If they love each other, like your Grandfather, and they want to marry, I repeat, what's the problem?

Regarding a much broader question, I'm waiting for Crafty's explanation as to why he said, "Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate."





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DougMacG
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« Reply #374 on: February 14, 2012, 08:21:41 AM »

JJDN ,I wish you would answer my point regrding different circumstancex.

Laws against "marrying" same sex apply equallly to all.

That you can"t make a husband and wife out of any combinatikon other than one man and one woman without chanvging the meaning of the words is a fact not an issue.

What is it in law they are denied that a single person is not also denied?
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G M
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« Reply #375 on: February 14, 2012, 08:47:15 AM »

Those that wish to marry blood relatives are the subject of criminal penalties, as are those that wish to marry more than one spouse or those underage. Are those laws unjust as well?

What if they are nice people with really great lawns?
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JDN
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« Reply #376 on: February 14, 2012, 08:52:45 AM »

Doug, I'll try to answer you question, however my point, the reason I responded and posted to Crafty here and on the race thread was not the issue of gay marriage, but Crafty's statement,
"Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate."


Maybe I'm missing you point, or you are missing mine, but different circumstances, or circumstancex as you typed (I like yours better for this topic) really don't or shouldn't apply when
it comes to race, religion, color, sex, sexual preference, etc.  I individually can choose to invite a black man or not choose to invite a black man to play golf with me.  But the public golf
course, and I would argue the private golf course, should not be allowed to refuse a black man.  In the same vein, I may disagree with gay marriage, I would
never participate, but if two people are gay and want to get married, well..... why not let them?  How does it hurt me? Or them?  Where is the harm?

"Laws against marrying same sex apply equally to all."  I'm not sure it does apply equally to a gay person...

I'm not debating the words husband and wife; even I get rather confused in assessing a gay relationship.  Rather I look to your Grandfather who simply wanted companionship and wanted it to be a legal marriage.  He could have just lived with his new found love, but he chose to marry at 80.  I bet there were some in the family, or at least would be in many families, who were against it.

But there are lots of laws that a contract, no matter how well drawn, that cannot be overcome without marriage.  And like your Grandfather, why not do it the simple way and just allow them
to marry.

Personally, I'm ambivalent on the subject; yet I know gays and lesbians and I am sympathetic. 

More important, is the issue of general "discrimination".  I'll wait for Crafty's response.
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G M
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« Reply #377 on: February 14, 2012, 09:14:33 AM »

Sex is behavior, where as race/ethnicity is an immutable physical characteristic.

If a job applicant arrives wearing a leather mask and ball gag, can you discriminate against his/her lifestyle?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #378 on: February 14, 2012, 10:57:31 AM »

That seems a reasonable starting point to me.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #379 on: February 14, 2012, 11:17:11 AM »

JDN, My attempts at typing on the new handheld are not going very well.

"Rather I look to your Grandfather who simply wanted companionship and wanted it to be a legal marriage.  He could have just lived with his new found love, but he chose to marry at 80."

He married at 80 in my estimation not to form a new family and procreate but to pass on that respect for that institution to the next generation.  (Shame on those of us who did not follow.)  Still his later life marriage was a marriage because a man and a woman became husband and wife and pledged the rest of their lives together (and kept that promise).  He did not seek to redefine anything.  As an aside in a world a few decades ago where one had respect for their elders not just for the traditions of our society, he did not say 'what do you think', he said "meet your new grandmother".

As our conversations go, unanswered is what rights in law (inheritance, tax advantages, spousal privilege in law, etc.) is a gay person or couple denied that a single heterosexual person possesses. (None that I know of.)

Having the government involved in race was both controversial and based on righting a past wrong known as slavery.  For women it is partly the same although it is a myth that women were kept out of professional fields like engineering when my mom became an aeronautical engineer in the 1940s.  We do business with Jews, Mormons, Scottish people and even Green Bay Packer fans because their money spends the same as any other, not only because of a law against discrimination.

When snowboarding really began, nearly all ski resorts banned them. Copper mountain was first in Colo to cater to them. We joked that they were all gang members. Also a sideslipping intermediate boarder wastefully wipes off the untracked powder for everyone else.  Now all resorts except Alta, Utah accept them.  Why?  Because of a federal mandate?  No.  Because they are half the market and their money looks just like skiers' money.  The same reason LA Times should try to sell newspapers to conservatives too.  Their money looks the same and it would expand their potential market.  If they don't, we can address that through freedom of competition or we can pass a law.

Not every problem has a government solution.
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JDN
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« Reply #380 on: February 14, 2012, 11:23:04 AM »

Sex is behavior, where as race/ethnicity is an immutable physical characteristic.

If a job applicant arrives wearing a leather mask and ball gag, can you discriminate against his/her lifestyle?


Actually, many would argue that being gay/lesbian is also "an immutable physical characteristic."

Instead, religion is behavior/choice.  Is it ok to discriminate against Jews?  Hindus?  Buddhists? Etc.
Of course not.....

Discrimination IMHO is wrong.

Crafty, I'm still looking forward to your clarification/expansion on your comment.
"Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate."


That broad statement encompasses race, color, and creed.

 
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G M
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« Reply #381 on: February 14, 2012, 11:34:44 AM »

Actually, many would argue that being gay/lesbian is also "an immutable physical characteristic."

They might argue that. So?

Instead, religion is behavior/choice.  Is it ok to discriminate against Jews?  Hindus?  Buddhists? Etc.
Of course not.....

Freedom of religion is a protected constitutional right, same sex marriage is not.
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JDN
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« Reply #382 on: February 14, 2012, 11:37:26 AM »

JDN, My attempts at typing on the new handheld are not going very well.

I understand.  smiley

He married at 80 in my estimation not to form a new family and procreate but to pass on that respect for that institution to the next generation.  (Shame on those of us who did not follow.)  Still his later life marriage was a marriage because a man and a woman became husband and wife and pledged the rest of their lives together (and kept that promise).  He did not seek to redefine anything.  As an aside in a world a few decades ago where one had respect for their elders not just for the traditions of our society, he did not say 'what do you think', he said "meet your new grandmother".

Good for your Grandfather!  He sounds like a great guy.  I too have a deep respect for my elders; and as I get older I appreciate the kindness shown to my by the young. 

As our conversations go, unanswered is what rights in law (inheritance, tax advantages, spousal privilege in law, etc.) is a gay person or couple denied that a single heterosexual person possesses. (None that I know of.)

Just off the top of my head.  Unless specific documents are drown up, a partner has very few if any rights.  If you are sick they can't visit you.  They can't make major decisions for you if you are incapacitated, etc. It costs money, time and effort; something that automatically given to a heterosexual married couple.

More specific, they cannot file a joint return.  At this time, Immigration Law does not recognize a gay marriage, therefore you cannot obtain rights through your "spouse".  I married a legal alien.  After marriage, she immediately was given a green card.  Now she is citizen.  IF I had been gay, even though I loved the person dearly, merely having me as a partner would not have entitled him to a green card, etc. We would have been broken up.  Many/most employers will not cover a gay partner on the corporate insurance plan.  Numerous other issues exist.


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JDN
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« Reply #383 on: February 14, 2012, 11:38:47 AM »



Freedom of religion is a protected constitutional right, same sex marriage is not.

We will see...
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G M
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« Reply #384 on: February 14, 2012, 11:39:19 AM »

I note you don't want to address laws against bigamy, incest JDN. Why not? If same sex marriage is to be allowed, why not end all other restrictions on the definition of legal marriage. If a man in his 50's wants to marry a 6 year old girl, why should society stop it? Hey, it's the beauty of shariah, right?

If a brother and sister want to marry, and they have a nice lawn.....

Right?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #385 on: February 14, 2012, 11:41:14 AM »

a) Actually in context it was limited to gays, but the question presented does raise questions for the whole edifice of anti-discrimination law.

b) GM is right, it is NOT at all clear that gay is always an inmutable characteristic or what the ratio is between environment and genetics in producing gay results.

c) Regarding religion, to be precise the First Amendment says that CONGRESS shall make no law-- which needs to be ready in the context of the King of England also being the head of the Church of England-- not that others may not make of it what they will.
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G M
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« Reply #386 on: February 14, 2012, 11:43:26 AM »



Freedom of religion is a protected constitutional right, same sex marriage is not.

We will see...

Really, you think the founding fathers had same sex marriage in mind when they penned the bill of rights? Or the constitution means whatever we want it to mean on any given day?
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JDN
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« Reply #387 on: February 14, 2012, 11:56:51 AM »

Crafty, if you want to comment, why don't you answer and explain your general broad statement,


"Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate."


I didn't respond to your comment because I am necessarily a proponent of Gay Marriage, that's why I put my response in the Race thread, although I believe the founding fathers in their wisdom believed in "due process" without specifically identify what that means.  I do think the Supreme Court will rule on this matter in the next few years.  Whatever they decide in their wisdom is fine with me.  But if I was a betting man, I think they will approve Gay Marriage. 

But the basic subject, the point you raised and I addressed, that being people being "allowed to discriminate" is much much more important.  I look forward to your response.
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G M
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« Reply #388 on: February 14, 2012, 12:14:13 PM »

Still avoiding the hard questions?

If a 50-something Mohammed wants to marry a 6 year old Aisha, is that constitutionally protected?

If not, why not?

If a brother and sister wish to marry, is that constitutionally protected?

If a male wants 4 wives at the same time, is that constitutionally protected?

If not, why not?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #389 on: February 14, 2012, 12:24:44 PM »

JDN:

It is a large question requiring a composed answer.  At the moment I do not have the time-- but in the meantime feel free to take on GM's questions to you.
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JDN
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« Reply #390 on: February 14, 2012, 12:30:17 PM »

JDN:

It is a large question requiring a composed answer.  At the moment I do not have the time-- but in the meantime feel free to take on GM's questions to you.


I agree; it is a large question; I look forward to your thoughtful answer.

In the interim, since I don't find GM's questions relevant, I will merely wait for your answer.
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G M
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« Reply #391 on: February 14, 2012, 12:34:19 PM »

In the interim, since I don't find GM's questions relevant, I will merely wait for your answer.

Meaning that as usual, you are stumped by any question that demands more of you than parroting the usual leftist talking points.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #392 on: February 14, 2012, 01:11:01 PM »

JDN:

Sorry, but I find GM's questions quite on point-- their purpose being to pin you down to stating what your logic is in addition to your conclusions  smiley

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DougMacG
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« Reply #393 on: February 14, 2012, 01:54:48 PM »

My question was, how is that different from what single people not gay who never marry someone of the opposite sex experience, not how is not married different that married.

"Just off the top of my head.  Unless specific documents are drown up (yes you can draw up papers), a partner has very few if any rights.  If you are sick they can't visit you (Yes you can designate that.).  They can't make major decisions for you if you are incapacitated, etc. (Yes you can designate that too.) It costs money, time and effort; something that automatically given to a heterosexual married couple. (No, they had to draw up papers.)

More specific, they cannot file a joint return.(I'm sure that will change.)  At this time, Immigration Law does not recognize a gay marriage, therefore you cannot obtain rights through your "spouse".  I married a legal alien.  After marriage, she immediately was given a green card.  Now she is citizen.  IF I had been gay, even though I loved the person dearly, merely having me as a partner would not have entitled him to a green card, etc. (Nor are there any special immigration entitlements for a single person straight not in a relationship.)  We would have been broken up. (You would be back to the same rights single people have.) Many/most employers will not cover a gay partner on the corporate insurance plan.  Numerous other issues exist."


Add gay marriage to marriage and the proposal still discriminates against (single) people based on marital/family status - but you appeased one constituency.  The only real 'fix' (assuming the system that worked thousands of years is broken)is for government to end all acknowledgement of couples and family relationships, and based on your corporate insurance example ban all private sector acknowledgement of these relationships too.  A nation only of individuals so everything is completely fair. One collective family. That would fit the liberal dream - it takes a village.

Let's get gender off the license information next.  It is sooo outdated.  What business is it of the government what gender we are?  That alone could solve it.  Gay couples only need to designate one of the genderless persons as husband and one as wife.  We don't do a chromosome or pants check anyway.  If they want to be parents, then they need to designate one as the mom and one as dad.  But eliminate gender, open up gay marriage and we still are discriminating, single people, polygamists and categories I haven't thought of. Make private insurance companies recognize all designated spouses, attach additional pages if necessary.  Of course the determinant of where to draw the line is only the size and strength of the constituent group, not equal protection under the law.
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One of my newest friends through sports is a gay man who is in a committed relationship.  We don't know each other's politics and we likely don't want to hear anything about each other's sexual life or thoughts.  He is a great guy.  He is one of God's creatures, like me and you  He didn't choose his orientation IMO, I don't agree with that theory at all.  He does not choose to participate in a sham heterosexual marriage as people like Billie Jean King used to do to gain legal benefits and acceptance that comes with that - so we have come at least that far in a short time.  I wish for him (and everyone)  all the pursuit of happiness possible in the world, not discrimination. I think my political views overall offer him more freedom and pursuit of happiness than the state-based opposing view even if that does not include a re-definition of marriage.  Ours is a gay friendly town adn he can choose a gay friendly or private life neutral place of employment, maybe not work for a sole owner homophobe but so what.  At work he is judged by his work and in our sport we are judged by attitude and competence.
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"I didn't respond to your comment(Crafty's) because I am necessarily a proponent of Gay Marriage"

Then you must have some reservations too.  Probably the same ones as the rest of us.

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ccp
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« Reply #394 on: February 14, 2012, 03:29:09 PM »

"What business is it of the government what gender we are?"

What business is it of government what gender race ethnicity age or anything else?   A human being is a human being.

What business is it what "country" we are from?   Denmark, Kansas, New Zealand, Nigeria, Mongolia.   Obviously we are all one race - humankind.  (notice "man"kind is out!)

Look one world government with all of us exactly the same.

Don't forget it is the right of this same government to tell us what is politically correct to say AND think.

They can also tell us what we can and can't eat.  How many times we can flush the toilet.  What kind of light bulbs to use.  What kind of car to drive.   How much money we are allowed to make and certainly how much we can keep and must give them.

We are not allowed to display certain symbols on our lawn.  They can send a letter to our house telling us we are in the way and must move to make way for a busines that has given someone high up a donation or a piece of the real estate.

We cannot ask people who move here to speak our language but we must speak their language.

The government has NO business questioning what gender we are despite the laws of nature but they have all the business in the world to tell us and do to us all the above.

Make sense to you?  Not to me.

(It gets worse every day.  No end in sight.)
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DougMacG
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« Reply #395 on: February 14, 2012, 04:34:57 PM »

CCP,  The biggest reason we can't drop race, gender or orientation from our awareness is because it would end gender-based lawsuits.  We already have people between categories that don't know which restroom to use.

The first question on the mortgage application to prevent discrimination based on race is to ask you your race.
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JDN
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« Reply #396 on: February 15, 2012, 10:53:32 AM »

In recent years, many conservatives have begun to acknowledge the inevitability of gay marriage, even as they continue to strongly oppose it. In March 2011, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on a Christian radio program that "it is clear that something like same-sex marriage … is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture."

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-klarman-gay-marriage-and-the-courts-20120212,0,7285590.story


"What is the purpose of denying the use of one word — "marriage" — to a class of people deemed by the state itself fully capable of taking on all of the child-raising and other responsibilities associated with the word?"

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-carpenter-proposition-eight-ruling-20120213,0,4830988.story
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 10:58:40 AM by JDN » Logged
G M
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« Reply #397 on: February 15, 2012, 01:05:25 PM »

In recent years, many conservatives have begun to acknowledge the inevitability of gay marriage, even as they continue to strongly oppose it. In March 2011, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on a Christian radio program that "it is clear that something like same-sex marriage … is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture."

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-klarman-gay-marriage-and-the-courts-20120212,0,7285590.story


"What is the purpose of denying the use of one word — "marriage" — to a class of people deemed by the state itself fully capable of taking on all of the child-raising and other responsibilities associated with the word?"

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-carpenter-proposition-eight-ruling-20120213,0,4830988.story

The parrot strikes!
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JDN
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« Reply #398 on: February 15, 2012, 01:13:31 PM »

It the Parrot named Michael J. Klarman a professor at Harvard Law School or Dale Carpenter a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School or Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary OR is just anyone who disagrees with you opinion a "parrot?
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G M
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« Reply #399 on: February 15, 2012, 01:34:25 PM »

It the Parrot named Michael J. Klarman a professor at Harvard Law School or Dale Carpenter a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School or Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary OR is just anyone who disagrees with you opinion a "parrot?

Your inability to defend your ideas and answer hard questions makes you the P.C./LA Times parrot.
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