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After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques
Faith-based activists in Minnesota helped defeat a proposed gay marriage ban there this month.
November 30th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – It may not sound very powerful, but gay rights activist Debra Peevey said that a two-inch green button played a major role in convincing voters to legalize gay marriage this month in her home state of Washington.

“Another Person of Faith Approves R. 74,” said the button, which refers to the ballot initiative that wound up legalizing gay marriage in Washington.

As faith director for the statewide pro-gay marriage campaign, Washington United for Marriage, Peevey and her team distributed 5,000 of the buttons. They were conversation starters, she said, ways of letting people know they could relate to one another on the intimate level of religion. And that being religious didn’t meant you had to oppose gay marriage.

“We had people clamoring for the buttons,” Peevey said. “People of faith all over the state wore them. It amplified that perspective that people of faith do, in fact, support marriage equality.”

This year, voters in Washington State were joined by those in Maryland, Maine and Minnesota in handing big victories to the gay rights movement. In the first three states, voters legalized gay marriage. In Minnesota, they rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage.

After watching dozens of states adopt gay marriage bans in recent years, gay rights activists hope this month’s victories mark a national turning point. And to help push other states to follow suit, they are holding up efforts like Peevey’s as a blueprint for how to successfully incorporate faith into future gay rights campaigns.

Some same-sex marriage proponents think their fight may move to Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon or some combination of those states. Wherever the effort goes, gay rights activists say, faith will be a part of the mix.

“Faith became part of the solution and not just the problem in all four states” where gay marriage was on the ballot this year, said Sharon Groves, director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. “We will never do a campaign moving forward where engaging people of faith will not be central part of that work.”

‘Be who you are, not something you are not’

For Grant Stevensen, a Lutheran pastor in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the faith director for the campaign opposing a gay marriage ban in the state, engaging faith communities depended on framing the debate the right way.

In past gay rights ballot fights, Stevensen said, the same-sex marriage movement put “a big emphasis on civil rights language and connection to the civil rights movement.” But the messaging didn’t work, he said, with many people rejecting the idea of a link between civil rights for minorities and marriage rights for gays.

Instead, Stevensen and his team used words like “love,” “marriage” and “commitment,” in their messaging about opposing a gay marriage ban, words that he said strike at the heart of Christian beliefs about marriage. “Our goal for the whole campaign was to emphasize those themes and talk specifically about gay people,” he said, “as opposed to making this another civil rights movement.”

Similar campaigns in other states took different approaches.

For instance in Maryland, gay rights activists emphasized outreach to African-American churches and played up civil rights arguments.

In Maine and Washington State, enormous effort went into mobilizing lay Catholics, even if their hierarchy actively opposed the gay marriage campaigns. Stevensen’s Minnesota campaign, meanwhile, targeted the state’s many Lutherans.

“Be who you are, not something you are not,” the pastor said, encouraging other gay rights activists to combat the stereotype that all Christians “are opposed to gay people.”

The right conversation

In past ballot fights, which resulted in gay marriage bans in more than 30 states, forces opposed to same-sex marriage had dominated the faith conversation.

A faithful same-sex marriage supporter was seen as an outlier.

When Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), was asked by his bosses to be one of the lead liaisons between the four state-based gay campaigns and the national gay rights organization, he knew more emphasis than ever was going to be put on religion.

Murray advised the campaigns to ask “people to vote the value that they have been taught” and “make sure that you can reach within all religious groups and get those who have passion and have them reach their friends, neighbors and co-congregants.”

That’s what Stevens tried to do in Minnesota: “We were going to either own this conversation about faith and if we can’t own it, no one is going to own it.”

Stevensen and his eight-person faith staff trained 2,500 "conversationalists," religious people who were taught how to have conversations about gay marriage with other people of faith. They were instructed to discuss same-sex marriage in terms of their religious beliefs. The campaign offered similar training sessions to more than 500 clergy.

The two-hour-long training sessions also focused on people telling their own faith stories. If someone had once been opposed to same-sex marriage because of their religious beliefs, they were encouraged to talk about that, too.

More than anything, said Stevensen, the conversationalists were encouraged to listen.

“People have their reasons to think what they do. [We taught how to] draw people out and make sure they are heard,” he said. “All of us like to be listened to.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s Groves said she was impressed by the lengths these campaigns went to reach deep into faith communities. As a veteran of the same-sex marriage fight, Graves was there when the movement struggled with this sort of outreach.

“It makes sense that we would have made some mistakes around that,” Groves said. “LGBT people have been harmed by the church.”

Perhaps the biggest mistake was around the gay marriage ban in California, known as Proposition 8.

Prop 8 mistakes

Debra Peevey was faith-based field organizer in Southern California during the fight against the Proposition 8 ballot initiative in 2008.

One reason she and her fellow gay rights activists lost that campaign was the way the religious conversation played out. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, along with the Roman Catholic Church actively campaigned for Prop 8. That framed the fight as one between secularists and believers.

“There was a resistance in engaging faith community,” Groves said. “We kind of let the religious right define the space for us and that was a real learning that we got from that.”

While religious organizations were pouring in money and manpower, said GLAAD’s Murray, anti-Prop. 8 opponents were apprehensive in reaching out to religious allies and ineffective at building enthusiasm from sympathetic religious communities and leaders.

Both Murray and Groves describe the post-Prop 8 reflection period as a “turning point” for the gay-rights community that gave rise to this year’s intense faith-based organizing.

Now, Peevey said, there’s no going back: “I can’t imagine that we will ever have a LGBT campaign where faith was not a part of the team.”

Moving forward

At pro-same-sex marriage organizations like GLAAD, Murray said conversations are turning to where the next gay marriage fights will happen.

“It is really hard to tell where this is going to come up again,” said Murray, adding that the next attempts to block or legalize gay marriage may happen legislatively in some states, as opposed to via ballot initiative.

He said gay rights groups want to tap into the Lutheran networks in Colorado, Illinois and Oregon early, to ensure that their LGBT outreach is well established by the time any ballot initiative or legislative efforts formally get under way.

By the time that happens, the gay rights community has learned, it may already be too late to frame the faith conversation around gay marriage.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Politics • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (1,674 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    hilarious. one faith based group supports g.ay marriage... who are they fighting against? the only opponents of g.ay marriage are the religious. religion teaches bigotry and h.omophobia. the bible says quite clearly to KILL g.ays. the bible is disgusting.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • fred

      Booty
      Help, please tell me where the Bible says to kill gays.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Leviticus 20:13
      13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      One has to have faith in hinduism, illegality to support hindu filthy gay ism, hind loving ism, way of hindu, filthy animals, not of human. They deserve to be in jails with their own kind, hindu atheist, filthy criminals, not human.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • fred

      Religion often gets off track because the people lose their way as the Bible has demonstrated over and over. People are the source of bigotry not the Bible. The laws of Leviticus were often directed at these chosen ones as was the case in these verses. You and I most likely are not chosen and even if we were we would not be the chosen ones. The purpose of these laws was to set these select people apart from the world around them. They were to be a holy people separate onto God. The surrounding cultures and worship were driven by all manner of $exual lust including the offering up of live babies in the hands of red hot bronze god figures while the people gyrated in group or-gy.
      Today the purpose of being separate and holy to the glory of God has not really changed. This does not mean we are ho-mophobic or bigots. As in the days of Leviticus the world all around was driven by the lusts and appet-ites of man. Christians are to focus on that which pleases God not self or the world around them. There is a big difference between separate onto God and a bigot.

      November 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "People are the source of bigotry not the Bible."
      half right. people wrote the bible, so at the source, yes, people are the problem. but the bible isn't a source of bigotry? the bible, as i showed above, says to KILL g.ays - but that's not a source of bigotry? the bible, OT and NT, supports slavery. the bible says anyone that doesn't believe in god must be sent to hell to be tortured for all eternity - but that's not bigotry? and that you think s.exual lust is a bad thing - you need to see a therapist. s.ex is good, not bad.

      you seem like a really nice guy, but you have to take off the rose colored glasses.

      November 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @fred

      Hi fred...

      So... @Bootyfunk 'is' right in his Bible quote about God commanding ga ys to be put to death ?

      Peace...

      November 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • fred

      therealpeace2all
      No, that section of Leviticus says if a man sleeps with a man …….so it is the act not the orientation (i.e. not being gay but $exually doing what the followers of Molech around them were doing). In the same way two verses down if a man or women is caught having @ex with an animal they too were killed.

      November 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @fred

      Hmm... interesting point.

      So, what if a man has an al s ex with a woman... is God o.k. with that ?

      Peace...

      November 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      fred,
      that shows again how disgusting the bible is - comparing g.ay s.ex to bestiality? that's awful. two human beings of the same gender having s.ex is not the same as a guy sneaking out to the chicken coop at night to have his way with chickens. and when the bible says sleeps together, lays together, etc - it means have s.ex. so yes, the bible is talking about g.ay s.ex. at any rate, it says to KILL people. the bible orders you to KILL innocent g.ays. books that tell you to murder should not be followed...

      November 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • fred

      Booty
      “ i showed above, says to KILL g.ays”
      =->Yes, but most understand this does not apply to us and never was intended to apply outside the time, people and culture it was given (clerics in Iran still apply these 3,000 year old rules so hope Sharia law never takes root).

      “ the bible, OT and NT, supports slavery”
      =>no, the Bible no more supports slavery than an American History book which details scalping of Indians supports scalping. Slavery in the OT NT was not the African Slave trade we are familiar with. Slavery in the OT NT was often a bondservant relationship. The economy of 2,000 plus years ago relied on “slaves” and other forms of servitude. The verses in the OT actually give slaves rights and protections relative to the surrounding peoples that were cruel to slaves. Yes, we would prefer God said “knock off the slavery stuff we will use 20th century employment regulations instead. What God did was to remind them of how they felt when they were slaves for 400 years in Egypt. God is revealed through people where they are in life’s evolution and journey not some other time period.

      “the bible says anyone that doesn't believe in god must be sent to hell to be tortured for all eternity”
      =>no, the Bible offers a way to be redeemed by Gods grace to fulfill Gods purpose which is to bless man. Those who reject the offer of eternity with God face anything from non-existence to eternal separation from God. That separation has darkness that is unknown for us. All of mankind since creation has lived under the protection of God where God restrains evil. According to the Bible we know hell is reserved for Satan and his demons but as the rest of us there is judgment that takes into account what we did with what we had the capacity or gift of knowing.

      “- you need to see a therapist. s.ex is good, not bad.”
      =>it is good ….way too good

      November 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Booty
      “ i showed above, says to KILL g.ays”
      =->Yes, but most understand this does not apply to us and never was intended to apply outside the time, people and culture it was given (clerics in Iran still apply these 3,000 year old rules so hope Sharia law never takes root).
      *** you can't pick and choose which parts of the bible apply and which don't. the NT doesn't replace/negate the OT - it just adds to it. jesus himself says you cannot let one letter of the OT fall away. sorry, can't get out of it that way. if you're a christian, you're supposed to follow the whole bible - not skip parts you find inconvenient or distasteful.

      “ the bible, OT and NT, supports slavery”
      =>no, the Bible no more supports slavery than an American History book which details scalping of Indians supports scalping. Slavery in the OT NT was not the African Slave trade we are familiar with. Slavery in the OT NT was often a bondservant relationship. The economy of 2,000 plus years ago relied on “slaves” and other forms of servitude. The verses in the OT actually give slaves rights and protections relative to the surrounding peoples that were cruel to slaves. Yes, we would prefer God said “knock off the slavery stuff we will use 20th century employment regulations instead. What God did was to remind them of how they felt when they were slaves for 400 years in Egypt. God is revealed through people where they are in life’s evolution and journey not some other time period.
      *** wrong. the bible has rules for how to beat your slaves. there are rules for selling slaves. there are even rules for selling your own daughter into slavery. god himself tells his followers to take slaves several times. jesus tells slaves to obey their masters. you have to stop sugar coating the bible. the bible very clearly endorses slavery. and about that... slavery is the worst kind of evil there is and yet god/jesus never say "to own another human is wrong - free all slaves." doesn't that tell you that the bible is not in any way divinely inspired but written by men? how could god get that wrong? he says don't lie - but slavery is okay? more proof there is no god. the bible was written by men that were victims of their time.

      “the bible says anyone that doesn't believe in god must be sent to hell to be tortured for all eternity”
      =>no, the Bible offers a way to be redeemed by Gods grace to fulfill Gods purpose which is to bless man. Those who reject the offer of eternity with God face anything from non-existence to eternal separation from God. That separation has darkness that is unknown for us. All of mankind since creation has lived under the protection of God where God restrains evil. According to the Bible we know hell is reserved for Satan and his demons but as the rest of us there is judgment that takes into account what we did with what we had the capacity or gift of knowing.
      *** the bible says no one goes to the father but through jesus - and it says many times that non-believers are evil and going to hell. have you read the bible? seriously, look these things up for yourself. look up these passages. non-believers go to hell. so i can be the best person in the world, start and operate a charity to feed the hungry, and help people whenever i can - but if i don't believe in god, i go to hell to be tortured for eternity. that is what the bible says. and that is disgusting.

      “- you need to see a therapist. s.ex is good, not bad.”
      =>it is good ….way too good
      *** we agree there. :)
      but the bible doesn't agree with us. lust is a deadly sin. nudity is something to be ashamed of. impure thoughts are sinful. these are all unhealthy ideas expressed over and over in the bible. the psychological damage the bible has wrought is unfathomable.

      November 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • fred

      therealpeace2all
      Sodomy in the Bible has some loose definitions but there are no verses in the Bible were can possibly say God does not approve of an-al $ex between a husband and wife. We can extend verses about love, care and desire to protect others that make it clear if we know something is harmful in any way we should not do it.
      Consider the mindset. Paul speaks about the att-itude of the mind. What is really going on in my heart and mind when having $ex. I would like to say it should be loving at all times but God does not rule out a playground.

      November 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • fred

      Booty
      “if you're a christian, you're supposed to follow the whole bible – not skip parts you find inconvenient or distasteful.”
      =>right, the Bible must be taken as a whole so should I kill those who do not follow the model of male / female only $exual intercourse? No, as Jesus made it clear when stopping the stoning of the woman doing the nasty “neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more”. Jesus blasted the leading religion for all their silly rules upon rules. Judaism had added hundreds of laws to the law of the Prophets. Jesus said I did not come to abolish the law of the Prophets but fulfill the law (i.e. you are correct we are not to pick and choose but are not bound by all of them). Taken as a whole Jesus made it clear $exual sin is not a cause for stoning or going to hell just go and sin no more.

      ”slavery… how could god get that wrong?”
      =>slavery in the Bible is viewed as being oppressed and under the control of something or someone. The chosen ones themselves were put into slavery for 400 years under Egypt, the Assyrians then Babylonians. God let his own chosen ones be dragged off into cruel slavery. Slavery is the condition of fallen man who either enslaves self and others or is enslaved by others. Man does not want the freedom offered by God and always goes back into slavery.
      Now, God did show how wrong, oppressive, cruel slavery was and allowed it on his own just as God allowed sin to fully display evil in what was done to Christ. God paints a graphic picture we just don’t want to hear about it.

      “the bible says no one goes to the father but through jesus”
      =>yes, Jesus made a way for all to get into the grace of God. That includes everyone that ever lived. At the cross Jesus said it is finished and he meant it, the door was open sin was forgiven.

      “says many times that non-believers are evil and going to hell”
      => if you reject God you will not be with God when good and evil are again separated. Note this is a complete separation forever. It is simply a black and white picture of good and evil. Non-believers are no more good or evil than believers for all have fallen short. At the conclusion of God’s creation on earth there will be a new heaven and earth and all those who reject God will be eternally separated.

      “ but if i don't believe in god, i go to hell to be tortured for eternity.”
      =>no, it is when you reject Gods offer, when you reject the prospect of unity with God is when you have chosen your own eternity. God will let you have that eternity.
      I can agree that is cruel because God should redesign the plan the way I want it. I have stomped my foot a few times demanding God do it my way………….God hasn’t so I stopped stomping.
      that is what the bible says. and that is disgusting.

      “ nudity is something to be ashamed of. impure thoughts are sinful. these are all unhealthy”
      =>remember Adam and Eve were naked and had no rules as they had no evil thought until they rejected God. Suddenly they were ashamed and covered their nakedness. In the presence of God there is no shame or need to cover up. Without God (the world we live in) we cover up the real us because of all the impure thoughts.

      November 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  2. hindu filthy penguin ism

    hindu Penguin ism, filthy self center ism, faith of hindu gay ism, penguin loving ism, way of hindu filthy animals, not of penguin

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/denmark-gay-penguins-fathers_n_2104190.html.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      stupidity of an ID thief, stupid.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      why do you hate g.ay penguins so much? have you even seen march of the g.ay penguins?

      November 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Akira

      Bootyfunk:
      Because gay penguins negates the argument that there are no creatures in nature that exhibit gay tendencies other than humans.

      November 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      he should check out bonobos.

      November 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  3. Apple Bush

    The term shiqquwts is translated abomination by almost all translations of the Bible. The similar words, sheqets, and shâqats, are almost exclusively used for dietary violations.

    Clearly “tossing the salad” was considered an “abomination”. Case closed.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • derp

      It may be an abomination, but your mom sure loves doing it.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  4. Patrick

    AS Yearight pointed out gay marriage is about money. IT has nothing to do with marriage and everything to do with money. If the federal government made it a law that any adult could marry another adult but pension plans, insurance companies did not have to change their policies there would still be an uproar. Then it would be clear to most that the uproar would be about money. Saying Gay marriage rights sounds so much nicer then Gay right to money.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Huebert

      Discrimination, has economic effects. How is that surprising?

      November 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Saying Gay marriage rights sounds so much nicer then Gay right to money."

      That has to take the cake on the stupidest comment yet. Here since you were to lazy to do it this is part of the definition of civil rights "relating to, or promoting equality in social, economic, and political rights." So based on your pathetic logic then straight marriage is all about money and lets have some real fun with it and tax them more because they get more money and benefits!

      November 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • David

      "Gay right to money."

      Really having the right to visit your dying partner in the hospital in intensive care is about money? Is knowing your child will be protected and guaranteed to go to your spouse about money?

      November 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      g.ay marriage is about love love love. wedding planners and florists will make extra money...

      November 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    I am pretty well convinced that when you lift up the veil, homophobia has far less to do with religion and much more to do with fear and repressed homosexual tendencies. If you are ignorant and/or not comfortable in your own skin, hatred ensues. I have seen this on many levels up close and from a distance. You would have to have some strong evidence to convince me otherwise.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Huebert

      There is a great deal of research that supports the Idea that hom.ophobia is related to unconscious, or repressed, hom.oerotic desires.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Maybe they should just yield to those desires once or twice. Perhaps they wouldn't be so darned uptight.
      Like the song said:

      Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
      Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
      Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
      And sensual daydreams to treasure forever
      Can't you just see it?

      Don't dream it – be it.

      November 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  6. myweightinwords

    The fact of the matter is that people of many faiths support same gender marriage. And yes, I have known many who once believed it was wrong because that's what their religion taught them, who changed their minds once they came to know others of the same faith who believed differently and could explain to them, in words and concepts that they understood within their faith, why.

    There is a great amount of fear of the unknown that affects how people approach a topic like this one. Most people I have ever met who were adamant about how wrong it was, particularly those who were otherwise very loving Christians, would tell you that they didn't know anyone who was gay.

    When they discovered that they did, actually, they just never knew the person was gay...and hey, wait, you can't be gay because I like you and think you're a good person, and wait, now I have to re-think this whole thing....

    November 30, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Topher

      First, don't get me wrong. I believe what you are saying is true. But these "people of faith" decided to side with man's thoughts instead of the standard of the God they proclaim to believe in? Wow. That doesn't sound like much faith.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:25 am |
      • myweightinwords

        You're assuming that "faith" is a solely Christian concept (and yes, my post does mention Christians specifically, I'm just addressing a wider notion) and also that the only possible way to "rightly" understand it is your way.

        Perhaps, it is. Perhaps it isn't. Is it ever any reason to deny a person a fundamental right?

        November 30, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • James

      @Topher. The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Topher,
      You really need a class in Biblical history. The ONLY reason there are any laws in the Bible in the first place, is because the customs and norms were in society at the time, in the first place. They are all 100% culturally relative. NOT one is anything other than what was already accepted as culturally acceptable at the time the Bible was written. Not ONE. That should tell you something. If it doesn't, you are an idiot. What is SO ultimately important about human cultural norms from 2500 years ago. Of course they *said* they were god's laws. What the hell did you *think* they were going to say / You bought the bill of goods from the snake oil salesmen. Too bad.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher

      James

      I have no idea what "psychose.xual orientation means. Help me out?

      The Bible clearly says, in both the OT and NT, that a man sleeping with another man is an abomination. So unless you've got gay people who happen to live together and go about their lives without se.x, then you've got a problem.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher

      Snake Oil Salesman

      You forgot to call me a "fundiot nutter."

      November 30, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      YOU believe that two gay people having se.x is a problem, but that is due to your religious upbringing. You have no right to force your beliefs on to others.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Pete

      No Topher, in that case the only one with a problem is you.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Topher
      I guess I don't need to. You did yourself. You have not answered the point. You ARE a fundie idiot. You use the Bible to push your personal agenda, and call it god's agenda. But we all know you are a Bible Belt crazy. Fortunately most of the world is not so ignorant as you Southern nut jobs, with no education in religious matters, or cultural matters, (or Psychology for that matter).

      November 30, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      You're right it's because of my religion (though it wasn't my upbringing.) I choose to believe God when He says it is wrong. As the creator of everything, He gets to set the standards. I'm not forcing my religion on anyone. Either God is real or He isn't.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Yes, Topher, you CHOOSE to believe. You do not choose what I believe or what anyone else believes.

        That's rather the point. Denying anyone a basic right simply because of something YOU believe is wrong.

        Period.

        November 30, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • YeahRight

      " that a man sleeping with another man is an abomination"

      Wow you really don't know the bible. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.

      " "psychose.xual orientation means. "

      Oh please you do too, we've posted it over and over again on this blog. Sexual orientation wasn't even studied till the 19th century so there is no way the writers of the bible understood the way we do today. The hundred of thousands of experts have proven that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      The is a secular society. No one can use ANY religious reason for ANY law. It's fundamentally anti-American .. to force your religious opinions on others. Topher, move to Iran, if you need a Theocracy. We'll see how that works out for you.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Melvin

      "I choose to believe God when He says it is wrong."

      The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Leviticus was concerned with equality. A male, penetrated by another male was seen to have lost equality. THAT was the motivation for the law in Leviticus. It had nothing to do with se'x.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Pete

      Topher, if you think gay marriage is wrong then don't marry a gay person, but what does that have to do with the rest of the country?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Topher

      Snake Oil Salesman

      Nope. Don't live in the Bible Belt.

      And outside of that person's salvation, I don't care if someone chooses to perform that act. As long as you keep it away from me and my family ...

      November 30, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      If you would deny gay people the right to marry you are forcing your religious beliefs on them.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      God said nothing to anyone. Humans wrote and rewrote and mistranslated every single pathetic word in the Torah scrolls, which were non-unanimously VOTED into the canon hundreds of years later. If "gods" speak, surely they can do better than that.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Topher

      Snake Oil Salesman

      Have you READ Leviticus? Besides, that's not the only place it is mentioned in the Bible.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Peter

      " As long as you keep it away from me and my family ..."

      Keep your prejudice and bigotry out of our society then there shouldn't be a problem. I really hope you don't have kids.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Pete

      Now we are supposed to believe that gay couples have been breaking into Topher's house and forcing his family to watch them have s.ex.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Topher, you DO realize "that act" is performed as much by straight people as gay people. It's not about "that act". It's about love. But it's interesting. There is a theory that conservative values are dictated as much by "disgust" taste as anything else. You have just proven it.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      Only hindu's, ignorant s, with faith in hinduism, ignorance, like animals.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Don

      "that's not the only place it is mentioned in the Bible."

      Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

      Genesis 19:1-25

      Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

      First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

      Romans 1:24-27

      Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

      This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

      The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

      What is "Natural"?

      Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

      I Corinthians 6:9

      Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

      The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

      The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

      The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

      November 30, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      St Paul says you are free from the old law, so that's out. The Genesis story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about hospitality, not se'x. As I said, your really need a course on the Bible before you make a fool of yourself any further.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Uhhhhh....I don't know if Topher is all THAT far off base. Of the people that I know that self identify as having same gender attraction... 2 of them also felt the need to tell me they are celibate...which is none of my business in the first place...another 2 live with each other but have thankfully never told me what happens in their house, although since one is HIV+ one would hope that they are too... and another couple tells everyone who will listen what the frig they do - and they are they ones that adopted kids...all of whom are in therapy now, although I can't discount the possibility that some of the need for that has to do with family of origin and infancy detox needs. So, I think it's very possible that there are a lot more people out there, of all kinds of attractions that are celibate and I also think there are a lot more hetero people out there that are having relations A LOT less frequently than our culture would make you believe. Just saying...

      November 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Human sexuality is a complicated, tricky ball of variety, an intricate intersection of orientation, drive, health, mental state and for many, religion.

        I know gay couples and lesbian couples who are celibate, who have open relationships, who are in polyamorous arrangements, who have kids, who don't have kids, who want kids and can't have them, who practice safe sex, who don't practice safe sex....same as hetero couples.

        I also know several people who are asexual. They have no romantic attractions to anyone of any gender, and no desire to engage in intercourse.

        The point is, none of it should matter when it comes to basic civil rights, or the pursuit of happiness.

        November 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Topher,

      And outside of that person's salvation, I don't care if someone chooses to perform that act. As long as you keep it away from me and my family ...

      So, logically then, you support the right of all people to marriage, gay or straight, as long as the gays don't try to marry you?

      November 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      topher,
      you fear g.ays, that's obvious. some day i hope you realize there is nothing to be afraid of. what are you going to do if one of your kids ends up being g.ay?

      November 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Now we are supposed to believe that gay couples have been breaking into Topher's house and forcing his family to watch them have s.ex."

      It took Topher a long time to find those channels on his cable system. Now he is disgusted by it......three times a week

      November 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "I choose to believe God when He says it is wrong."

      Your scriptures also say that a disobedient child should be stoned...should we adhere to that also?

      November 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Wow1234

      @Truth

      Well now you get to WA legalizing pot too :-) Of course a disobedient child should get stoned!

      November 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  7. YeahRight

    "Gay marriage should not be allowed!"

    It's about civil rights. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

    The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Juan

      Then lets allow an american citizen marry with a dog

      November 30, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Then lets allow an american citizen marry with a dog"

      This is what uneducated prejudice looks like because these people are too lazy to do their homework. Well, Duuuuhhhhh.......Animals can't consent and it brings harm to the animal.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Topher

      Which case was that?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      It's Loving v. Virginia

      November 30, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Topher

      That was a race-based case, thus making it a civil right. What does that have to do with gay marriage?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • John

      They are basing it on this ruling.

      The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions in a unanimous decision (dated June 12, 1967), dismissing the Commonwealth of Virginia's argument that a law forbidding both white and black persons from marrying persons of another race, and providing identical penalties to white and black violators, could not be construed as racially discriminatory. The court ruled that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In its decision, the court wrote:

      “Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • John

      "What does that have to do with gay marriage?"

      In that ruling the court declared marriage was a civil right.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • 2Cents

      The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.

      The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.

      "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

      Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

      The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.

      "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

      Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.

      Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.

      The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.

      "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Topher

      But that case was only about race-based stuff, not marriage on the whole. It's because of being black (for instance) makes it a civil right. Being gay is not the same.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • YeahRight

      "That was a race-based case, thus making it a civil right. What does that have to do with gay marriage?'

      Topher with marriage comes rights that others don't have.

      Some of these rights are:

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the I R S and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.
      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public assistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.
      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      This is just a few but there many more rights that come with marriage.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • sam stone

      topher: if it is a civil right for white and black straights, it is a civil right for gay. why is that so hard to understand?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • YeahRight

      "But that case was only about race-based stuff, not marriage on the whole. It's because of being black (for instance) makes it a civil right. Being gay is not the same."

      In the ruling they stated marriage is a civil right, it's because of that gay couples are trying to get the same civil rights to protect their families. It's why anti-gay laws are losing in the courts.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Huebert

      The court ruled that marriage is a civil right, that is why they struck down the Virginia's anti-miscegenation law. the court opinion stated that "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival."

      November 30, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • sam stone

      how is it not the same, topher?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Pete

      Topher must think that gay people do not deserve the same rights as everyone else

      November 30, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      I think this is the first time I've every publicly agreed with William Demuth. The reason all those tax benefits are granted to couples who make babies is because they make babies who assure that the species continues. Now, we have to work on making sure those babies and their families are healthy or the whole culture collapses and that's no good for anyone. Instead of worrying about who gets to keep a bigger piece of their pre-tax dollar, we all need to throw in enough to make sure that no one is in need.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      how is not the same, Topher? you made the claim. are you going to back it up, or are you going to stay to form and run like a coward? come on, boy.....talk

      November 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Topher, along with your Biblical education try one in Civics also. The Loving v Virginia was about "state interest". Not about race. The case said there was no "demonstrated state interest" in making a law which restricted freedoms. It was NOT about *race*, as such. You really do have a very closed mind. How sad. How not surprising.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      snake oil: you must remember, only the truly pious (like Gopher, for example) speak for god

      November 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  8. Juan

    Gay marriage should not be allowed!

    November 30, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Nor should bigotry but you get away with that. :-)

      November 30, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      btw: I do support gay marriage...I don't support bigotry

      November 30, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Huebert

      @Juan

      Why not?

      Note all answers referencing the supernatural will be disregarded.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      Hey, dude. Why should references to the supernatural be disregarded?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      Because there is no evidence that the supernatural exist.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • sam stone

      go pick some cabbage, juan

      November 30, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Oh, OK Juan. Whatever you say, your majesty.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  9. Russ

    "People of faith." Changing minds. Telling you what you used to think is evil.
    Where's all that outrage over proselytizing you usually see on the comments on this blog?

    November 30, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • jill

      For that matter, where are the zologs and their pedestrians?

      November 30, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  10. Snake Oil Salesman

    The stupid bishops painted themselves even more onto a corner on this their moral authority was already up in smoke over the abuse stuff. It's now even worse over this.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  11. Rational Libertarian

    The majority should not be able to deny the rights of the minority. There should just be a federal mandate legalizing gay marriage. This is not something which should be voted on, either at a federal or state level.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • William Demuth

      While I agree, that is NOT very rational of you.

      The majority ALWAYS limit the minorities rights. It is by definition the very nature of our skewed version of Democracy.

      The idea you are espousing is that certain rights are unenalienable, and should by law be protected from infringement.

      And in todays world, where a radical shift to the right has dragged our most basic rights away from us at an alarming rate, the idea that marriage of any type is some unenalienable right is absurd.

      This debate is an economic one, all the other aspects are just chaff.

      November 30, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      Sorry Bill, you are wrong. That's why this is a Democratic Republic. They knew about the tyranny of the majority. It's why this sort of thing should NEVER be put up for votes. SCOTUS will eventually strike down all discrimination.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      RL writes "The majority should not be able to deny the rights of the minority."

      if we are talking minorities based on s.exual preferences, there are people " small minority" out there, eye children as s.ex toys, Pe dos, members of NAMBLA, do they fall under your "minority" definition too, goon?

      November 30, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Eric G

      @Mohamed: Sorry, you need to consider what "consent" means. The victims outlined in your post do not give consent, and thus are irrelevant to this topic. Moron.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • YeahRight

      "children as s.ex toys, Pe dos, members of NAMBLA, do they fall under your "minority" definition too, goon?"

      Hey look the same stupid comment over and over again because this troll can't get it through their head that it harms children and is illegal. Duh!

      November 30, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      RL, acceptance of any new thing, where majority of people oppose, in our society is not essay, but Gandhi put it nicely "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

      November 30, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Eric, don't jump, I am trying to make a point you can't write a blank check because some groups call themselves minority, did they put a tracking device on you by any chance, goon?

      November 30, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • John

      "Eric, don't jump, I am trying to make a point you can't write a blank check because some groups call themselves minority, did they put a tracking device on you by any chance, goon?"

      =prejudice bigoted troll who goes by many handles on this site.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      John, you are wrong my friend, I am the guy who only fights the Hindu troll, in his own filthy style, and FYI, Mohammad A Dar is the real name of the Hindu blha blah blha troll, and I use it as my handler to annoy him.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    Here in Canada, gay marriage has been legal for nigh on a decade.
    There is no talk whatsoever of legalizing pedophilia, beastiality, corprophilia, polygamy or any of the other "sliipery slope" nonsense. No straight marriages have suddenly dissolved. Nobody's children have caught the gay virus and suddenly switched se.xual orientation.
    Gay couples are routinely married in Anglican, Universalist, Unitarian, Quaker, Jewish and Sikh houses of worship and no divine wrath has befallen any of them, nor has a single clergyman been forced to perform a ceremony that goes against their beliefs.
    In November of 2009, the study "Divorce: Facts, Causes and Consequences" found that gay marriage has no no impact whatsoever on overall divorce rates – they have been steadily declining since the 1990's.
    The only thing that has happened is that a traditionally maligned minority group has been granted their civil rights.

    November 30, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Saraswati

      No problems in the US either in states where gay marriage and unions have been allowed. On the other hand, in France where they only allowed Unions and made them weaker, it turned out a lot of straight people opted for that instead and it did weaken marriage.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And no allegded god has reached out and destroyed Canada's economy in retribution!

      November 30, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • William Demuth

      So Doc, you are proud of that?

      Do you believe Polygamy is some inherently evil concept, while gay marriage is not?

      I am surprised. Stunned actually.

      The criteria is simple, Any acts AT ALL between consenting adults should be legal,

      Smoke dope, wear woman’s bloomers and dance the tarantella! What adults do amongst themselves is of ZERO concern of the state.

      Your attempt to use your own yardstick to measure that which is good (gay marriage) and that which is bad (Polygamy or bestiality or even necrophagia) is alarmingly out of character for you.

      I was never aware of a law of nature that said one must only be intimate with the opposite gender, but I also am unaware of any rule that says one must only have a single partner at a time.

      I believe some religious vestige is creeping out in you my friend!!

      November 30, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Al

      The U.S. has always been behind Canada on civil rights because of the BBC, Bible Belt Confederacy.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William
      You're inferring a great deal about my opinions.
      I was trying to refute the common fundie "slippery slope" argument when it comes to gay marriage.
      So long as no (non-consensual) harm is inflicted on anyone, I couldn't give a flying fig what kind of relationship people enter into or what they do with their genitals when behind closed doors.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Akira

      WD:
      I believe Doc Vestibule was using that as an illustration as to one of the arguments people use to argue against gay marriages, not that he personally felt it was 'good' or 'bad'.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  13. Looking at that description...

    It seems like Reality just described a birth defect. And Reality is correct everybody in this house better his Johnson @ home... and if my ol' man can control himself, EVERYBODY should have the ability to control themselves too.

    November 30, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  14. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    November 30, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Reality

      Also only for the new members of this blog:

      That being said, some added details:

      And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

      To wit:

      From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same where approved in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Akira

      "Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same “moves” but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same where approved in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions."

      If I'm reading this correctly, the government should know who the "giver" or the "receiver" is?
      Why on earth should that matter?
      I have met many, many hetero couples where the wife was more dominant, 'masculine' if you will, and the husband was more submissive, 'effeminate'. Where would a check mark go for that scenario?
      As far as I know, there is no box on the census at all asking about se-xxual preferences at all, let alone the role that the married couple play within that relationship.
      And that's the way it should be.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Reality

      See http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf . There is a check box for "unmarried partner" under Person #2. There of course is a check box for "husband/wife". One assumes a gay couple could check this latter box but how does one choose who is which?

      November 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Sorry, reality, but the social contract commonly referred to as "marriage" has nothing to do with who pokes what in where.

      November 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  15. Primewonk

    How nice that you fucking ignorant sockpuppet trolls show up to try and derail a thread. You truly do show what your god is really like.

    November 30, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  16. four

    4

    4 4

    4 4 4

    4 4 4 4

    4 4 4

    4 4

    4

    November 30, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  17. three

    3

    33

    333

    November 30, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  18. two

    2

    2

    November 30, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  19. one

    1

    November 30, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 30, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Chadism can create delusions.

      Avert your eyes.

      November 30, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "John 3:16" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" is the degenerate.

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      November 30, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • test

      December 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • test

      this \word\ is

      December 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • test

      this <b>is</b> a word

      December 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.