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August 22, 2005

Comments

DDR wrote: While I do agree that the union is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal to marriage between a man and a woman

and then invited: Please feel free to take my statement and translate it.

Okay, translated: "While I do agree that the union of two black people, or an interracial union, is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal, to marriage between two white people."

Or "While I do agree that the union of two Jews, or the union of Jew with Christian, is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal, to marriage between two Christians".

Do you see, DDR?

DDR wrote: While I do agree that the union is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal to marriage between a man and a woman

and then invited: Please feel free to take my statement and translate it.

Okay, translated: "While I do agree that the union of two black people, or an interracial union, is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal, to marriage between two white people."

Or "While I do agree that the union of two Jews, or the union of Jew with Christian, is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal, to marriage between two Christians".

Do you see, DDR?

Jesurgislac: Please feel free to take my statement and translate it. Do try and use the whole sentence and maybe even the whole post for context.

Just couldn't do it could you. You had to chop up what I said so that it could fulfill your stereotype.

I do see clearly. You didn't read what I wrote. I made a comment about the union not being equal and you can only hear a comment about the people in the union.

Which is what I suspected. No matter how you slice it a union between a man and a women is not the same as a union between two people of the same sex. That doesn't diminish the union of two people of the same sex it only means that it isn't equal to the union between a man and a women.

Sometimes the union may be better for society as a whole, sometimes not.

Do you really believe that same sex unions and male/female unions are exactly the same?

That just seems to lack a basic understanding of biology to me.

Interesting how I say:

From a governmental perspective I think civil unions should suffice for all.

But that's not good enough for you. You want me to admit that male/male unions, female/female unions are the same as male/female unions.

If that is the case then there is no reason to ever distinguish between the sexes.

And for the record:

"Okay, translated: "While I do agree that the union of two black people, or an interracial union, is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal, to marriage between two white people."

You can translate it that way, but that doesn't make it true.

DDR: From a governmental perspective I think civil unions should suffice for all.

Begging your pardon, but this is not entirely unlike saying "From a governmental perspective, I think 3/5 vote should suffice for all."

It is a non-solution to the problem. There is NO WAY the folks arguing against same-sex marriage, who stupidly define it as an attempt to destroy heterosexual marriage, will stand for the literal destruction of the legal status of heterosexual marriage. So you are taking a policy position that pleases no one except a handful of libertarians. Bravo, some compromise there.

There is NO WAY the folks arguing against same-sex marriage, who stupidly define it as an attempt to destroy heterosexual marriage, will stand for the literal destruction of the legal status of heterosexual marriage.

In my case, Gromit, you'd be wrong.

Slarti, do you see same-sex marriage as an attempt to destroy heterosexual marriage?

Irrelevant, but: no. Once again, I am not Michael Savage.

Gromit,

I was only speaking for myself. I think civil unions should suffice for all. That seems equitable to me and then it shouldn't really really matter to Jesurgislac or Sebastion what I think.

Could you make explicit your position alluded to in your response to Gromit, Slarti? I could try to guess but there's enough ambiguity there that I'd probably end up comparing you to Goebbels by accident or something.

Could you make explicit your position alluded to in your response to Gromit, Slarti?

Not right now, no. Feel free to ascribe evil motives to me, although it's a giant mystery how caring not at all for the "legal status of marriage" is evil.

Are you married, DDR? If so, why, if you believe that "civil unions should suffice for all?"

Slartibartfast: Irrelevant, but: no. Once again, I am not Michael Savage.

Given that I was talking explicitly about those who do agree with Michael Savage on this point, it is relevant. Obviously there are same-sex marriage opponents who would accept such a solution. But they aren't the ones who are quite vocally declaring themselves protectors of marriage. You know, like the President, and the congressional majority leadership, and the folks writing the Republican Party platform?

DDR: I was only speaking for myself. I think civil unions should suffice for all. That seems equitable to me and then it shouldn't really really matter to Jesurgislac or Sebastion what I think.

You propose this as a solution to the problem of inequality, when it is not a solution at all. Sure, a libertarian response to segregated public drinking fountains might have been "why are my tax dollars paying for drinking fountains in the first place", but how is this a solution to the problem of legal bigotry? It's just a dodge, and its only practical effect is to fragment opposition to the unjust laws and reinforce the paranoid fantasies of those who support institutionalized discrimination.

DDR: "Okay, translated: "While I do agree that the union of two black people, or an interracial union, is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal, to marriage between two white people."

You can translate it that way, but that doesn't make it true.

Of course it's not true! That wasn't the point. You can perceive the bigotry when it's presented as black/white: you can't, apparently, when you present the same statement as gay/straight.

Ouch. I guess that wouldn't be the first time I've stepped on my rhetorical unit.

I guess who stupidly define it as an attempt... sort of didn't register on the word-identification algorithms. Lame, but true.

Not right now, no. Feel free to ascribe evil motives to me...

I'm not trying to ascribe evil motives to you: see the key phrase "by accident" above. I just didn't want to risk putting words in your mouth when I could ask you outright what your position was. Although I think it's somewhat been cleared up by your subsequent exchange with Gromit, so I guess I'll let it drop.

NP, Slart. It occurs to me that my "3/5 vote" bit above is both ahistorical and not terribly appropriate even if I substitute "3/5 personhood", since that 3/5 was still of no benefit to the slaves. Brain not operating on all cylinders, I guess.

"There have been proposals about gas taxes floating around for years that would push the price of gas almost twice as high as it is now. Why freak out over 'peak oil' worries that are just doing what you wanted to the prices anyway?"

Um, because some might prefer to see the U.S. treasury have the jillions of dollars, whether to pay down the deficit, or spend it on madcap liberal schemes, rather than sending it to AramCo (or, if you prefer, Chavez). This actually isn't much a liberal/conservative thing, on this detail, I'd think, unless I'm unaware of conservative desires to make sure these other regimes were so empowered.

Unasked advice to Urinated State of America, and anyone and everyone: for an apology of any sort to be taken seriously, it's best not made with a justification of one's offense attached. One might even have a terrific justification, but it can wait for a separate communication from an apology. "I apologize, but" is never really a form that works adequately. In my view, but also that of many others.

"Clinton absolutely had the power to allow gays in the military if he wanted to. He didn't need to consult Congress."

Is that correct, Sebastian? I'm entirely prepared to believe I've misunderstood all this time, but my clear understanding was that it would have taken an Act of Congress to adequately change the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Do I have this wrong? Do you have a cite supporting that?

"1993 was a time right after he had been elected president when Democrats had a majority in the Senate. Even if Republicans had controlled both houses Clinton still could have unilaterally changed the military policy, but he wasn't even facing a Republican Senate."

But a bill changing the USMCJ would have had to have passed the House, as well; how could this have been done at the time?

"No matter how you slice it a union between a man and a women is not the same as a union between two people of the same sex."

I realize this is likely axiomatic to you, DDR, but could you explain precisely how they must be different in ways that are so significant that the laws must clearly recognize the difference you have in mind? (Obviously, our freedom to write laws about marriage unions or "civil unions" [what's the difference again, aside from sensitivity, or, dare I say, "political corrrectness"?] is restricted only by physiology. Otherwise, "unions" are human-made, and can be whatever we darn well want them to be; so what am I missing?

"I think civil unions should suffice for all."

I don't know what you mean by that. Religious marriage should be taken out of state hands? (If so, I have no problem with it; in fact, my preference would be for "marriage law" to simply be a subset of contract law; let people write whatever darn contracts they want, so long as they don't violate some other law, such as that against legal slavery.) But I can guess at at least several other possible interpretations of that statement, and I'd rather not list them all.

"Unasked advice to Urinated State of America, and anyone and everyone: for an apology of any sort to be taken seriously, it's best not made with a justification of one's offense attached."

Fair enough.

Gary, my understanding is that the key provision is Section 926 Article 125. It reads in full:

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

My understanding is that the President can unilaterally use Section 856 Article 56: "The punishment which a court-martial may direct for an offense may not exceed such limits as the President may prescribe for that offense." to reduce the punishment to none if he believes it is the interest of the military to do so. I also believe that there is an independent abilty to make such changes, but my research in the area was more than 10 years ago, so I don't remember exactly where that is grounded.

"I take Clinton's presidency as an excellent sign of how non-committed to gay rights Democrats are."

OK, Clinton ain't the best example (although the effort on gays in the military cost him immensely, and was the start of two years of stumbling).

But how about Newsom? 10-20 years from now he might be golden, but without his stand on gay marriage he'd have a (long) shot at Governor in 2006, and certainly in 2010.

Or, to take another SF Mayor, how about Mayor Moscone?

Taking an example from the UK, the support given to gay groups in by the Labour-controlled Greater London Council (under Ken Livingstone) in the 1980s was used as a weapon by the Tories and the Murdoch-owned press against the UK Labour Party and to abolish the GLC. Sure, Ken Livingstone is probably the most popular UK politician now. But he wasn't that in 1985.

"Most gay acceptance has had very little to do with overt legal action of any branch, and far more to do with straight-forward interpersonal contacts of gay people with non-gay people."

I believe you're far too smart to really believe this. Go back 50 years, which is still in living memory, and (known) interpersonal contacts of gay and straight people would have been minimal, because homosexuality was mostly closeted. That changed. Why?

The change didn't happen just by itself; some came out of Kinsey's work, some came from activism, for instance, the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness in the DSM happened because a lot of people got angry and picked the meetings of the associations that draft the DSM. You know all this already.

So I hope you can agree that your ability to have your orientation to have little bearing on your politics is a result of a lot of people being very political about their orientation.

I recall a program on KQED on the history of gay activism in N.Ca, which found that the first gay rights group on the West Coast was founded by members of the CPUSA (who were promptly kicked out once the issue moved into the mainstream).

"I also note the fact that a post which started out as poking fun at bad economic analysis,"

Poking fun at conservatives, IIRC.

"solidified into comments about the appropriateness of being a gay conservative based on an amusing anecedote where a woman mistakenly believed I was staring at her breasts."

Where you made fun of her sexual/gender politics. Which was part of my surprise. The incongruity struck me as odd.

"I also believe that there is an independent abilty to make such changes, but my research in the area was more than 10 years ago, so I don't remember exactly where that is grounded."

You were doing legal research at 18? Holy bejeeus.

Thank you kindly, Sebastian. I'm afraid I don't take that as any sort of definitive answer; if one could find some reputable military lawyers to debate the assertion, I'd be interested.

As it is, this doesn't strike me, even under the most kindly interpretation of the President's powers, as an act that would make for acceptance of gay people in the military. Even if the President waives your punishment, and always does so: a) you've still been court-martialed and found guilty; b) you have no protection in law whatsoever of any right to be gay and in the military; c) what would stop the military from trying you for your next "offense"?; d) how would this lead to acceptance by everyone in the military of gay soldiers and sailers and air people?; e) what happens when, say, George W. Bush succeeds you?

If you wanted to assert that Clinton could have fought Congress harder on gays in the military, I'm right with you; since the whole issue was thrust on him by Republicans, he chose not to and he can and should be faulted for that. But that's not the same at all as saying that Clinton could have unilaterally made the sort of change I took you to implicitly be asserting.

I'm certainly prepared to listen to more on the topic, though; I definitely make no claims to know much about military law.

"The change didn't happen just by itself; some came out of Kinsey's work, some came from activism, for instance, the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness in the DSM happened because a lot of people got angry and picked the meetings of the associations that draft the DSM. You know all this already."

Please note, not government action.

"You were doing legal research at 18? Holy bejeeus."

22, but yes.

"Gary, my understanding is that the key provision is Section 926 Article 125. It reads in full:"

OK for Court Martial punishments, Sebastian (and the definition you've given, focusing on penetration, would seem to exclude lesbians). But wouldn't there be other ways to penalize gays in the military in the USMCJ outside of the court-martial system? (Frex, rescinding of clearances on the basis of orientation would make it impossible to see any intel or plans, killing a career dead.)

(BTW, a 1992 GAO report gave the number expelled from the military in the 1980s for orientation as 17,000. Numbers expelled under DNADNT are running around 8,500 since 1993. Just FYI.)

"But wouldn't there be other ways to penalize gays in the military in the USMCJ outside of the court-martial system?"

Sure, but all of those would be 100% at the discretion of the President which reinforces my point.

Frex, rescinding of clearances on the basis of orientation would make it impossible to see any intel or plans, killing a career dead.

I know a few gays that have high-level clearance in the civilian world; our questionnaire, at least, doesn't ask.

"I know a few gays that have high-level clearance in the civilian world; our questionnaire, at least, doesn't ask."

I've heard that in some of the civilian three-letter agencies, if one is gay, one has to sign an affadavit stating that one has come out of the closet to one's nearest and dearest, so there's no risk of blackmail.

(Which is one of the reasons why don't ask don't tell made no sense at all. It was virtually requiring personnel put themselves in a position to be vulnerable to blackmail).

Incidentally, Slarti, wouldn't having a clearance make one a bit leery about blogging?

"Sure, but all of those would be 100% at the discretion of the President which reinforces my point."

Question: are the requirements re. military clearances spelled out in the USMCJ (which would need congressional action), or in regulations?

Gary: Religious marriage should be taken out of state hands? (If so...

The full quote from upthread was:

DDR: From a governmental perspective I think civil unions should suffice for all.

I agree with what you stated.

Jesurgislac: Of course it's not true! That wasn't the point. You can perceive the bigotry when it's presented as black/white: you can't, apparently, when you present the same statement as gay/straight.

big·ot

One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

I don't think it is me who is intolerant of those who differ. I recommended that the government recognize civil unions for all. (No, I'm not making the argument about polygamy, minors and animals. Our context from the beginning has been same sex and male/female unions let's don't blow it out of context.)

If you or any other gay person wants to get married I recommend you find a church that supports you and have at it. Good luck. I wish you the best.

But I'm blind to my own bigotry, right?

Let me just make sure I understand your definition of a bigot:

1) I think the government should recognize civil unions for same sex and male/female.

2) I support you doing whatever you want in your private life.

3) I think the unions between same sex and male/female are fundamentally different.

How do you survive in an environment with that kind of oppression?


"I think the unions between same sex and male/female are fundamentally different."

I have no actual need to know, but just to mention: I still have absolutely no idea what you mean by that. Perhaps that's just me, though. Are different sub-atomic qualities part of the fundamental difference? Or is it the differing genitals? Or the chromosones? (Obviously, in the vast majority of cases, the latter two would simply be anodyne and obvious points.) Or is it something about the quality of the relationships? Is chirality involved? Ectoplasm? Different how?

Thanks for answering the other question, though you could have expanded slightly for clarity. Do you support civil unions for any pair of humans, and also religious marriages, or just civil unions only, for all, or civil unions for all, but religious marriage for...?

Mind, I'm not trying to trip you up; I'm simply frustrated when people say things they appear to think are perfectly clear, when they very much aren't clear to everyone else.

Gary: I'm simply frustrated when people say things they appear to think are perfectly clear, when they very much aren't clear to everyone else.

Trying to earn a buck. Posting is something that is done in the background for many. But it is not a matter of thinking that I am being clear it is a matter of desire to post at length about certain topics.

Gary: Or is it something about the quality of the relationships?

There's not one answer, as soon as I take the time to give one answer it leaves out the whole and then people like Jesurgislac yell bigotry. I have no desire to go down that path. But, a quick answer would be that it has more to do with balance. Ying and yang.

"But, a quick answer would be that it has more to do with balance. Ying and yang."

You're saying there's a mystical "fundamental difference"?

I've heard that in some of the civilian three-letter agencies, if one is gay, one has to sign an affadavit stating that one has come out of the closet to one's nearest and dearest, so there's no risk of blackmail.

Understandable, that. It's not the gayness that has them worried, it's that one can be manipulated into spilling the proverbial beans. They're similarly worried about other things...in fact, it's part of the annual security briefing.

Incidentally, Slarti, wouldn't having a clearance make one a bit leery about blogging?

Nope. Why would it? It's not as if I ever discuss anything that's even close to being classified, or even proprietary.

Nope. Why would it? It's not as if I ever discuss anything that's even close to being classified, or even proprietary.

IIRC, you disclosed the existence of the secret VRWC decoder ring (as well as its powers of mind control). They may be watching you for that indiscretion.

I don't think I did that, felix. Now, the boots, that's probably grounds for punishment even more severe than Sandy Berger's gotten.

"Now, the boots, that's probably grounds for punishment even more severe than Sandy Berger's gotten."

Personally, I think he should have been made to, by hand, fill out and resubmit his SF-86 all over again. Or would that have been cruel and unusual punishment?

But I'm blind to my own bigotry, right?

Evidently, yes.

Gary, I think he's trying to avoid typing the words "penis" and "vagina." It gives him the vapors.

Hilzoy: Felix: on practically every other subject on earth, people assume that a person can agree with his or her party on one point and disagree on others, and that when this happens, they will go with the party that they think is best overall. So it's perfectly normal to align with a party you disagree with on some things, even things you think are very important.

It is, but it would also be more-than-weird to find black people in the UK supporting the British National Party, which is the party (roughly) equivalent to the Republican party on the left-right spectrum in the UK. (The Conservative party is (roughly) where the Democratic party is: there is no mainstream US equivalent to the Labour and Libdem parties.)

The leadership of Republican party is publicly and officially opposed to equal civil rights for GLBT people, and the party itself has a consistent tradition of attacking gay rights. Therefore, it is strange to see any GLBT person supporting the party under current leadership: turkeys voting for Thanksgiving wouldn't be any stranger. I see no reason why non-GLBT people shouldn't notice and comment on this strangeness, as much as I see no reason why non-turkeys shouldn't comment on the spectacle of Meleagris gallopavo voting for Thanksgiving.

Yes, it's just a matter of time until restriction of your free speech rights dictates that your comments be hidden from view, here.

Gary: You're saying there's a mystical "fundamental difference"?

I also said I did't want to spend time answering some question that takes alot of time and is only going to provoke others. Thanks for respecting my wishes. I do think there is a mystical element to all life, but that is not all that I meant. Hence, my desire to avoid the topic.

I don't know why you want to make this so difficult. I've answered some of your questions, how about answering one of mine?

Are men and women exactly the same in all ways?


Jesurgislac,

DDR: But I'm blind to my own bigotry, right?

Jesurgislac: Evidently, yes.

Well, it must make you feel better to have another member in your club.

"I also said I did't want to spend time answering some question that takes alot of time and is only going to provoke others. Thanks for respecting my wishes."

Well, I'm unaware of anyone pointing a gun at your head to make you decide to involve yourself in a conversation, but, of course, perhaps it's there, and if so, I certainly wouldn't see it.

But, generally speaking, if people choose to engage in a conversation, it's generally not considered rude to, you know, converse with them. Contrarily, expecting to be able to say things, and not have people ask polite questions and engage in polite further conversation, may not be entirely reasonable, unless one is royalty.

I do realize that actually explaining or defending one's views can be difficult, but if there's a clause somewhere saying it's rude to respond to things you say, kindly direct my attention to it, please?

"I do think there is a mystical element to all life, but that is not all that I meant. Hence, my desire to avoid the topic."

I'm sorry, I'm not following you, still, at all. You're saying that you wish to "avoid the topic" because you find it bothersome to explain your views?

Please forgive me, but you do seem to be suggesting a not-even-quite-subtext that, perhaps, you're saying some variant of "I'm afraid if I actually state my view clearly," people will challenge it. Which is certainly a likely possibility, but really a rather interesting way to approach online conversation. If you think you can't defend your views adequately, so be it, but faulting others for that seems possibly a bit much. I mean, absent a forum where people would simply abuse you, and in the context of conversing on a moderated site.

But, come now, I'm sure that if your view is sound, it is easily defensible. Surely so? So: do please feel free to actually come out and say what you think, if you would be so kind.

I've answered some of your questions, how about answering one of mine?

Are men and women exactly the same in all ways?

No. Would you like to try a slightly more difficult question? I'll give you a freebie, if you actually say what you think.


Oh, for chrissakes, Gary, you and I both know that if he hadn't responded at all, you'd probably then hound him for umpteen thousand hours and across other topics with posts like, "DDR, I asked you several questions over here on this other thread that you still haven't responded to. I'll charitable assume that you simply hadn't seen them, so I just wanted to take the opportunity to provide you with a direct link to them." We've seen you do it to Charles and Sebastian and von and, well, everyone. So let's not pretend he was free to simply drop it without consequence. (And if he dared to respond to someone else but not to you, he'd get it even worse.) What's the point? He doesn't want to answer, he doesn't want to answer. Move on.

slarti: Yes, it's just a matter of time until restriction of your free speech rights dictates that your comments be hidden from view, here.

This comment is hidden from view.

Still no reply from Jesurgislac; maybe she's napping.

8p

Just goes to show: I can sleep through anything.

DDR: Are men and women exactly the same in all ways?

Gary: No.

Please list all ways in which men and women are different. At a minimum please include all biological and societal differences.

Please also specify whether these differences are fundamental or not. If you are not sure what I mean by fundamental feel free to use any dictionary handy.


"Please list all ways in which men and women are different."

Will I get a cookie?

"Will I get a cookie?"

See, there you go. Difference #1.

DDR,

Given that men and women are biologically different, does this mean that they should be treated as unequal under the law? That is, after all, what we are talking about. Not even the most ardent supporter of gay marriage will claim that they are "exactly the same in all ways" as hetero marriages (for starters, the penis:vagina ratios are all screwy). What is desired is that they be treated as legally equivalent. I'm not sure how you're getting from the rather obvious point of "different" to "unequal." Could you maybe explain the connection for us?

Larv: Given that men and women are biologically different, does this mean that they should be treated as unequal under the law? That is, after all, what we are talking about.

Please lower the gun and put it back in your holster.

This is really just what YOU are talking about now. I finished talking about that yesterday with Gary. I have already stated that I think the government should recognize civil unions for everyone. I think that's only fair. Marriage shouldn't be a legal issue. Gary has already asked me my position on this and I agreed completely with his comment.

But, your questions have started me thinking. I wonder what would happen if I started using the women's bathroom? Maybe, I should try out for the LPGA. I sure do wish I saw more women jog topless down the road. God knows I see plenty of men doing it.

Maybe, my son should join the Brownies? I can only dare to dream, but maybe one day he can try out for the girls basketball team. If he can't cut in the NBA there's always the NWBL.

We are all equal, right?

Larv: What is desired is that they be treated as legally equivalent. I'm not sure how you're getting from the rather obvious point of "different" to "unequal." Could you maybe explain the connection for us?

Perhaps you could just read the thread.

Gary: you think you can't defend your views adequately, so be it, but faulting others for that seems possibly a bit much.

See previous post as a reason why I don't desire to talk about it here. People are very quick to rush to judgment. Larv jumps in with his comments before he even takes the time to understand my positions. It appears his issue is being treated legally equivalent, which you and I already agreed on that matter yesterday in this very thread. You might argue that this is just a mistake by Larv, but the reality is that this is common behaviour here.


So, DDR, you've changed your mind since you asserted: While I do agree that the union is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal to marriage between a man and a woman, just yesterday?

Or not?

Please list all ways in which men and women are different. At a minimum please include all biological and societal differences.

Errrr.... why?

DNFTT, kids.

Jesurgislac,

No I have not changed my mind since yesterday. Nice job of extracting what you hear versus what I actually stated:

While I do agree that the union is fundamentally not equal, nor capable of being equal to marriage between a man and a woman, my personal opinion is that the government doesn't really have any business involved in marriage one way or the other.

From a governmental perspective I think civil unions should suffice for all.

I also think that marriages between men and women are not all equal either. I would completely agree that relationships exist between same sex partners that are far better for our society than many traditional marriages out there.

And then Larv just asked about it from strictly a legal perspective and I referred him to Gary's post above.

This is really becoming boring.

Gary,

Please Jesurgislac's above post on why I don't desire to elaborate in more detail.

Anarch: Errrr.... why?

For a baseline from which to even begin the discussion of what is different about unions between different people on this planet.

If we can't agree on the fundamentals related to being a man or a women, then I don't think we have a good beginning point for a discussion about unions between them and why they aren't inherently equal.

It would be like trying to create the right alloy without understanding the nature of the individual metals involved.

It can be done. I just wouldn't want to be part of the process.

Yesterday Gary thought I should just be able to spout off the reasons I think the unions are unequal. I stated I didn't want to because I thought it was really much more complex of a task than I wanted to become invovled in. Certainly at this site. So I said no and then he continued to goad me. So I say let him lay the ground work and then we can go from there.

The first step is understanding the fundamental differences between men and women.

Well, that's defintiely the last time I try to help you out, DDR. Man, I gave you a golden parachute and you just leaped.

Phil,

You are right. It may be the first and last time we agree. ;-)

So I say let him lay the ground work and then we can go from there.

Ah. I was right. Never mind then; enjoy yourself.

Catsy, enough of the troll-calling, ok? We did have at least one person who was a self-professed troll posting here once upon a time; troll or no, posting rules apply to all.

We've actually had substantially more than that, Slarti, it's just that most of them refused the term "troll" while admitting to the defining behavior.

DDR,

I did read the thread, thanks. The problem is that your positions are not at all clear, and you refuse to clarify them. Earlier in the thread you said that "I think the unions between same sex and male/female are fundamentally different," but you haven't said in what fundamental it is that they differ. Men and women are clearly different, but those differences are irrelevant to their rights and status as a citizen (but are relevant to which bathroom they use or which tees they hit from). No one has claimed that a gay couple is not "different" from a hetero one (!!). The essence of the debate is whether those differences are of a nature that should preclude gay couples' ability to participate in the civil institution of marriage, as is the current state of the law. When Jes complained that this showed that gays were not treated as equal citizens, you replied "It's the union that many believe is not equal, not the people themselves." Several commenters then tried to get you to elucidate in what way the unions are not equal, and why those differences are relevant to the subject at hand - with little success. You can't just dodge the question by saying civil unions should suffice and that marriage shouldn't be a legal issue. All very nice, but it ignores the fact that marriage is, in fact, a legal issue. Given this, is there any reason to exclude gay couples from these legal benefits? For the sake of argument, lets assume that your solution of simply eliminating marriage entirely in favor of civil unions is not going to happen.

BTW, is Katrina treating y'all ok, Slarti? I haven't heard anything spectacular so I'm assuming you're good, but it never hurts to make sure...

DDR: Nice job of extracting what you hear versus what I actually stated:

What you actually stated was that you don't think that "unions" (by which, I admit, I assumed you meant "same-sex unions") can't ever be equal to marriage between a man and a woman. You aren't prepared to defend this statement (unless your comment to me that if I don't like this I should "take it up with Mother Nature" can constitute a defense) you just want to hold on to it. None of this is particularly new to me: you're not even very original.

BTW, is Katrina treating y'all ok, Slarti? I haven't heard anything spectacular so I'm assuming you're good, but it never hurts to make sure...

So far, so good, Anarch. Thanks for asking. I've been a little reticent to blog about personal matters of late, which probably removes all value I ever had here. But to recap, we've had head lice on the grade-schooler (first time I've ever had an experience with that), the second set of braces in the household, a new vehicle, trying to sell the old one, absolutely maniacal rage at our (soon to be former) insurance company, excess stress at work isolating a bad problem that turned out to be unique to one particular piece of hardware (which we have yet to get back here in the lab to figure out how things got to the state they're in), a job offer from another program and associated planning so that both programs can share me without making me do the work of two people (again), the wife submitting her resignation (followed, seemingly an eternity later, by refusal to accept said resignation and a promise to do better from now on) at an inopportune time (after finding out that our insurance company is NOT covering our roof, and immediately after the aforementioned new vehicle purchase), and the death of the air conditioning on my car during the hottest month of the year in Florida.

But to better answer the question, Katrina hit South Florida and looks to be headed for the panhandle. As we live in Central Florida, we have yet to see more than a lot of fast-moving clouds. It's HOT and muggy (even at night; a by-product of Katrina I think) and windy, but a few days will take care of all of that. Again, [Eeyore]thanks for thinking of me[/Eeyore].

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