How did anti-SSM folks frame their case?

Over on Marriage Debate, Eve disagrees with Michael Triplett’s claim that “anti-gay marriage initiative campaigns were not waged on a ‘we need to save fragile marriage’ platform”:

I really don’t agree about the way the issues were framed. Admittedly, I live in DC, so I saw virtually no campaign TV ads. But I’ve been doing Nexis searches for “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage” daily for months now, so I’ve read about six quadrillion op-eds from supporters and opponents of the marriage amendments, from the New York Times to the Anytown Clarion-Pantagraph. And the overwhelming majority of the pro-amendment pieces focused on marriage, on what children need and which cultural messages promote strong families.

I don’t want to spend much time rehashing the election. Eve’s allies won, my allies lost. Maziltov to you, Eve. But let’s remember that the vast majority of voters are not doing a daily Nexis search of the papers; they did not see what Eve saw.

What the majority of Oregon voters did see is flyers like this one, which claimed that if they didn’t support Measure 36, “gay and lesbian sex will be taught in Oregon schools.” A similar message was given to all Oregonians via push polling.

The same thing was true in the voter’s ballot delivered to the home of every Oregon voter – a theme repeated again and again by Measure 36’s advocates is that this was a vote about what children will be taught in schools.

To be fair, the “Yes on 36″ crowd also distributed a flyer saying “children do better with a mom and dad” (along with the usual anti-SSM lies about what social science research says), which by Eve’s standards possibly qualifies as being “focused on marriage.” I disagree; since same-sex couples will raise children regardless of Measure 36, logically the issue of “shall same-sex couples be permitted to raise children” is distinct from the issue of SSM’s legal status. In essence, SSM opponents are performing a bait-and-switch; they’re promising to do something about providing all kids “a mom and dad,” when actually their proposed policy does no such thing.

Could they have won this election without the “faggots will teach your kids gay sex” boogieman? I don’t know. Clearly, they didn’t think they could win without bringing up such nonsensical claims (in Oregon, anyway).

However, they did win – and they won by telling virtually every Oregonian, in multiple ways, that the alternative to their ballot measure was teaching children gay sex in public schools. By doing so, I think that they (and their fellow-travelers) have given up the ability to reasonably claim that this was an election “focused on marriage.”

UPDATE: Michael Triplett replies to Eve as well.

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60 Responses to How did anti-SSM folks frame their case?

  1. 1
    mythago says:

    You know, I think we should go ahead and start a push to teach grade-schoolers about gay sex. Wouldn’t that just be a kick in the pants? “No, we were going to teach them ANYWAY. You cannot stop the Homosexual Agenda!”

  2. 2
    Jason Kuznicki says:

    I’ve lately decided to fight the “moral values” lie in preciesly the same way: I simply tell people that I’m completely, 100% immoral.

  3. 3
    Pietro Armando says:

    “Gay sex? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

  4. 4
    samIam says:

    1. Not having gay sex taught in public schools is as good a reason as any to vote against any measure making homosex more acceptable.

    2. Gays cannot have children without engaging in an explictly heterosexual act. That pretty much tells us all we need to know — gays SHOULD NOT be creating familys, AND they should not be getting “married”. The two positions are not mutually exclusive.

  5. 5
    piny says:

    “Isn’t ‘gay sex’ a contradiction in terms?”

    Dunno. Is it still ice cream if you eat it with a fork?

    Anal intercourse with another man may not seem terribly sexy to you, but I assure you that many gay men find it very much so.

  6. 6
    Amanda says:

    That solves the problem, then. Gays don’t have sex. Now leave them alone. ;)

    Pietro is just setting it up so when he cheats on his wife, as long as it wasn’t vaginal intercourse, it wasn’t cheating. The Bill Clinton definition.

  7. 7
    mythago says:

    samIAm was asleep in Bio 101, I see.

  8. 8
    Pietro Armando says:

    Are you following me, you sly devil? I would only cheat on my wife if you were available.

  9. 9
    mythago says:

    Amanda, you’re psychic!

  10. 10
    Pietro Armando says:


    In your example, what form of birth control do the participants use?

  11. 11
    Andrew says:

    Pietro: Condoms, probably.

    Are condoms still contraception if you weren’t going to conceive anyway?

    Or are we starting to get into tree falling in the woods territory here?

  12. 12
    mooglar says:

    samIam wrote:

    >>2. Gays cannot have children without engaging in an explictly heterosexual act. That pretty much tells us all we need to know — gays SHOULD NOT be creating familys, AND they should not be getting “married”. The two positions are not mutually exclusive.>”Gay sex? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

  13. 13
    Anne says:

    A friend of mine said that his family voted for the amendment because they didn’t want the benefits going to a same-sex couple when they could go to a het couple, and that was it. Nothing to do with an obsession with other peoples’ sex lives, he said. Well. Not only are they greatly overestimating the number of gay people in the South who want to get married to think it would have any impact on THEIR benefits, there is also a huge push to use federal funds to “promote marriage” that totally blows apart their argument.

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    Cool. If you need to use a contraceptive to have sex, I haven’t had sex in a year+.

  15. 15
    Pietro Armando says:


    Is that Dr Seuss? Any way We can quibble about the definition of sex. President Clinton was legally acurate when he said, “I did not have sex with that woman”. Simply put sex is short for sexual intercourse. Obviously two men or two women by defintion cannot engage in sex. While they may be sexual with one another, they are not, to use a phrase, having sex in the biblical sense.

  16. 16
    mythago says:

    President Clinton was legally acurate when he said, “I did not have sex with that woman”.

    Can you refer us to Washington DC’s local laws that codify the meaning of ‘sex’?

  17. 17
    Amanda says:

    I’m guessing the meaning of “is” is outside of the DC local laws, as well.

    Again, if you got to have contrasting genitals to have sex, then how is it we have laws against gay sex in Texas?

  18. 18
    mooglar says:

    Pietro wrote:

    >>Is that Dr Seuss? Any way We can quibble about the definition of sex. President Clinton was legally acurate when he said, “I did not have sex with that woman”.>Simply put sex is short for sexual intercourse. Obviously two men or two women by defintion cannot engage in sex. While they may be sexual with one another, they are not, to use a phrase, having sex in the biblical sense.

  19. 19
    NancyP says:

    Elaine or some other Seinfeldian, talking: yada yada yada.

    There you have it. Sex! Hebrew, “to know”, commonly used in the Scriptures for carnal intercourse.

    A NEW definition of oral sex. Didn’t know I was that clever…

  20. 20
    Pietro Armando says:

    Mooglar (that is a cool name. Didn’t Captain Kirk encounter a Mooglar?)

    It occured to me that sex education in schools consists primarily of two basic concepts.

    1) Insert tab A into slot B, and out comes, nine months later, baby.

    2) Insert tab A into slot B and one could get an STD.

    Now it would seem in this circumstance that sex means sexual intercourse. The only deviation from this would be the use of the words “oral sex” in place of felatio and cunnilingus.

    I am unaware of any curriculum that deals with what two men or two women do. Perhaps it exists, but I find it difficult to believe with high teenage pregnancy rates, those issues would be a significant as far as sex ed is concerned.

  21. 22
    Pietro Armando says:

    Wow, Amanda you have been reduced to a post of two letters. “Ew”? Is that short for effectively written? or Exceptionally worded?

  22. 23
    mythago says:

    I think she was stunned at the idea that whatever a public high school teaches is “sex” is a legal definition of the term.

  23. 24
    Pietro Armando says:

    Just offering a different perspective, Mythago. One, that although not a statutory definition, is universally understood. After all two men can engage in “sex” all day long and neither one will get pregnant. Hemroids maybe, but pregnancy, no. What the high school teacher teaches is that sex, aka sexual intercourse, doing the wild thing, the horizontal hustle, making whoopie, etc., makes babies, unless one takes steps to prevent conception. The idea here is to avoid pregnancy unless one is ready to have a baby and provide that child with a married mom and dad. Nice segway.

  24. 25
    mythago says:

    One, that although not a statutory definition, is universally understood.

    It’s not, however, universally agreed-upon.

  25. 26
    Amanda says:

    Just ew. Your intense focus on the sexual aspects of marriage is icky. Luckily, you’ve shown your hand, though. Many of us suspect that opponents to gay marriage are hyper-focused on what goes on in the bedrooms of same-sex couples and THAT’S why they are against. The irony in all this is that you can’t vote away same-sex couplings. What got voted away was insurance, property rights, and protection for children–you know, all the non-sexy stuff.

  26. 27
    Pietro Armando says:


    No is looking to vote away same sex couplings, deny them certain protections and legal recogninitions. We simply disagree on the manner in which to provide that recognition and protection. Marriage, I beleive, along with millions of other Americans, should remain a male female relationship. However, I along with many of those same millions beleive that same sex couples should be able to form some type of legally crafted civil union or domestic partnership. They can still have a “wedding” ceremony if they so choose. Every body wins.

    As for the “bedroom activities”, don’t care.

  27. 28
    Ampersand says:

    Pietro wrote: No [one] is looking to vote away same sex couplings, deny them certain protections and legal recogninitions.

    Pietro, your statement here is simply counter-factual. In 8 of the 11 states which recently passed anti-gay ballot measures, what is banned is not just same-sex marriage, but also many other forms of protections and legal recognitions.

  28. 29
    Jake Squid says:

    Pietro reasons for restricting marriage to 1man1woman:

    1) Marriage is about procreation
    2) Children need a mom & a dad, not just 2 parents
    3) Marriage is necessary because gender differences make it so
    4) Marriage is about vaginal sexual intercourse

    I think that #1 has been thoroughly refuted here & that Pietro has conceded on that point. Pietro has provided no evidence for this, nor has he insisted that divorce be prohibited when children have been born to the unhappy couple, nor has he insisted that a widowed partner with children be required to re-marry within some time limit. So, I think we can agree that #2 has been refuted. #3 is just unsupported opinion, opinion based on Pietro’s mistaken beliefs that the differences between genders are both larger than the similarities and overwhelmingly consistent within the genders. #4 is simply creepy and off-putting and, I believe, has been refuted and Pietro conceded that marriage does not require sexual relations of any sort.

    So what’s left? We just need Pietro to say, “I am disturbed by the idea of SSM and therefore I think it should not be legal.” Will we get that? Probably just after hell freezes over.

    But mythago, Amanda and NancyP have done a great job in this debate.

  29. 30
    Amanda says:

    Thanks, Jake. And thanks for your steady-headed summarizing–I’ve found it useful for clarifying my own thinking.

  30. 31
    Pietro Armando says:


    #1- Sex, sexual intercourse still makes babies. Both a male and a female are required for this act. Human reproduction is sexual. Are you stating that it shouldn’t be kept within the marital relationship?

    #2-Children need both genders. Sounds crazy I know but kids do best when raised by a mother and father in a low conflict marriage. Kids need love, the love of mother and the love of a father. That has been proven. Are you implying that children living in fatherless homes are thankfull not to have a father?

    #3Why hasn’t SSM marriage evolved throughout human societal history? Homosexuality is certainly not new. Even in the classical world it existed, although as it was practiced it was more of an upper class older male, younger male mentoring relationship with some sexual intimacy. And after a time the older man would help the younger man find a wife and start a family. It would be considered more bisexuality than homosexuality. So it really wan’t a same sex marraige as we would perceive today. Logic would indicate same sex “marriage” if it was universally recognized as a marraige within a particular society would have evolved alongside OSM, and rippled through time to the present day.

    #4 Not quite. Very few people marry with the intention of never consumating their marriage. Failure to engage in “marital relations” can be grounds for divorce. While there is no legal requirement that a couple engage in sexual intercourse in order to marry, there is also no legal requirement that a couple be in “love” in order to marry. So marriage can’t possibly be about love then, if there’s no legal requirement for it. You’ve said it about, sex, and procreation. No legal requirement, then it’s not about that particular behavior.

  31. 32
    Amanda says:

    #1–How does gay marriage stop straight married couples from having babies, again?

    #2–Proof please. And even if they do, how is it helpful to keep those kids who have same-sex parents from enjoying the protections of married parents?

    #3–Why hasn’t marriage between equals evolved until now? Where’s your proof that marriage is a static institution that can’t change with the times?

    #4–Homosexual couples have sex with each other just like heterosexual couples. So the sexual component is there to satisfy your prurience. So they don’t have the sort of sex you like? Well, lots of straight couples have sex you may be uncomfortable with, but they still get to be married. Fact of the matter, marriage isn’t about what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom. You can do that stuff married or not. Marriage is a PUBLIC institution giving RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES to the couple involved. Is it the RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, or just the PUBLIC that you have an issue with? Seriously, get your nose out of other people’s sex lives.

  32. 33
    Amanda says:

    Oh, and the reason that no society in history has bothered to have gay marriage before is that no society before in history has valued equality between its citizens. Our government’s job is not to sit around examining people genitals or sex lives in order to find them worthy of marriage like it may have been in the past. Our government is not here to enforce a hierarchy and dole out priveliges. It’s here to ensure basic equality of rights in its citizens. The bullshit about heterosexuals getting to have marriage and homosexuals getting nothing or some kind of secondary version of marriage directly contradicts the goals of our democracy.

  33. 34
    mythago says:

    Human reproduction is sexual.

    The first “test-tube baby” is now an adult. What were you saying again?

    kids do best when raised by a mother and father in a low conflict marriage

    There is no evidence that kids “do best” or even “better” when they have opposite-sex rather than same-sex parents. None. I’d add that we do not prevent people from entering into high-conflict marriages, or blending families, although there is ample proof that those arrangements are hard on the kids.

    Unless you want to support banning “Brady Bunch” remarriages or requiring psych evaluations before a marriage license is issued, your pretense that this is About The Kids is just that–pretense. There is no law anywhere else that prohibits marriage if that marriage does not fit the sort that is best for the spouses’ children.

    As is your continual insistence that marriage is about procreation. Do you live in a state that bars marriage for post-menopausal women?

    Face it, Pietro: the battle of the sexes is near and dear to your heart, and the idea of anyone upsetting that cherised notion–much less proving it’s unnecessary and merely a personal preference–is so chilling that you’re willing to deny gays and lesbians (and many bisexuals) marriage over it.

  34. 35
    Pietro Armando says:


    #1-Straight people will continue to have babies (and Mythago, 99.9999% will be made the old fashioned way). Gay “marraige” won’t stop that. What it will do is legally delink parenthood and marriage. Marriage and parenthood are officially two seperate lifestyle choices. Why license marriage at all then?

    #2-What specific protections do the children of same sex parents not enjoy, that are somehow deprived because their parents are not “married”? What parental rights are not available to the parent as the parent?

    #3-Marriage has changed with the times. But certainly the male female aspect of it hasn’t changed for several thousand years. Why hasn’t SSM been universally present and developed along side OSM thoughout human societal history? It’s ain’t because of some Orwell “Animal Farm” concept of equality? Is it possible that those historical examples of same sex relationships were not considered marraige, or at the least comprable to OSM? Even in ancient Rome and Greece where male homosexuality was acceptable among the upper classes, marriage still took place between males and females. Did the Romans know something we didn’t in this regard? Why wasn’t SSM the law of the republic? Why did younger men who were involved in a mentoring sexual relationship with an older man, eventually marry a woman who the older man helped to find? To make and raise a family.

    #4-Now that’s silly. If they did there’d be a slew of pregant men running around out there. That’s the whole point. Gay people can have “sex” all they want and there’s no questions of whose the father or mother for that matter. The reason that all the rights and responsibilities are confered on a couple in a public institution, is because of the connection between marriage and parenthood. Take away that and who cares who marries who. Why grant them (married couples)any recognition at all?

    One thing that is often overlooked is that marriage culture is male female. It provides the basis for widespread support for the institution. It’s also that erroding support for the importance of marriage that has led to the marriage crisis we have today. It’s that culture that’s says a man shouldn’t fool around on his wife, he should remain faithful to her (and her to him). That fidelity is an accepted part of marriage. That any children created should have a mother and father. [I wonder how many kids growing up without a father wish they had one?]That each gender offers a different perspective based in a large part on gender differences. Such diffrences do not mean that one is less or more valuable than the other. While there are similarities, there are also diffrences to the dynamics of ss relationships and os relationships. Fidelity is viewed differently. That’s been pointed out. In Mass there are more female SSMs than Male ones. More children are being raised by female SSC than male ones.

  35. 36
    Amanda says:

    #1 Beats me. There’s no reason to think that couples who are closer to each other than they are to any family members should have familial rights. That’s why I’m all for a law formally dissolving all marriages the second the youngest turns 18. They are only for children–if you have no children in the house, there is no reason to stay married.

    #2 You’re right. To keep marriage a straights-only club, we must put as many barriers between a parent’s right to retain custody rights to a non-biological child. Also, screw allowing the non-biological parent to cover the child with insurance. Screw health care for children–this is about making sure at least one person in a marriage has too many shoes and the other won’t ask for directions. Gay marriage proponents have no sense of priority.

    #3 One more time for the people in the back–the other major thing that has never changed about marriage is the ownership aspect. Should we bring that back as well?

    #4 Damn, if I knew that you had to get pregnant before it was considered sex, I would have started claiming I was still a virgin a long, long time ago.

  36. 37
    mythago says:

    What it will do is legally delink parenthood and marriage.

    No, you straights did that a long time ago. Sorry. Don’t like it? Re-link parenthood and marriage.

    re your #2, you argue against yourself. Marriage clearly isn’t necessary for babymaking. If somebody hasn’t told you by now that unmarried people can make babies, you’re well old enough to learn. So clearly what you mean is that marriage is for rearing children.

    Therefore, either marriage provides children with benefits–in which case SSM is good, because SSM couples’ kids will benefit–or marriage provides no benefits, in which case, why are we giving OSM couples any help?

    The fact that you can’t stand the idea of a couple of queers raising children is your problem, not the law’s.

  37. 38
    Amanda says:

    I think we all know why “making babies” and not “rearing children” is the preferred terminology–it fits the mythology of what marriage is. You know, completely opposite creatures–men and women–who would never come together but for the mystical experience of vaginal intercourse, an experience so powerful and mystical it has spawned a minor cottage industry to help women who find it unsatisfying.

  38. 39
    Kelli says:

    Amanda, it’s back to Human sexuality class for you because you seemed to be lacking in the understanding of why people make babies.

    It has nothing to do with marriage and everything to do with basic human instinct for survival.

    What makes a good enviroment for children to thrive in doesn’t not mean a “mother and father”.

    It means that they are surrounded by love and support from people who care about their well being. That could be two people of the same sex, two people of different sexes. A married couple and unmarried couple and single parent, a foster parent or whatever.

    Open up your eyes and take a look at the world.

  39. 40
    Amanda says:

    Um, Kelli, that post of mine was so loaded with sarcasm that it was about to fall off the computer screen. I’m making fun of the lame justifications homophobes make.

    Seriously, I’m super-pro gay marriage and definitely against the Making Babies fetish. And I’m a little hurt that you think I have my eyes closed to the world when I, um, have a rather worldly lifestyle.

  40. 41
    mythago says:

    an experience so powerful and mystical it has spawned a minor cottage industry to help women who find it unsatisfying


  41. 42
    Pietro Armando says:


    #1-Even after the kids turn 18, their parents are still their parents. They can still offer parental guidance to them, and in time perhaps to their children’s children.

    #2 That’s not quite accurate. Gay people can still marry other gay people as long as it a gay person of the opposite sex. Yeah I know kinda defeats the purpose of SSM. As for the child issue-that can be handled through adoption laws.

    #3 It’s always been boy-girl, or sometimes boy-girl & girl & girl. That’s the point of contention. We obviously disagree on how marriage is defined. You are fixated on this ownership thing. I suppose that in same sex relationships everything is “equal”. Are there not examples of SSCs where one partner assumes the “Husband” role, and the other the “wife” role? Yessssss there arrrrrreee. I know it’s a fictional portrayal, but the movie “The Bird Cage ” comes to mind. What about for girl SSCs? Butch and fems?

    #4 We’re you asleep in sex ed class? Two basic concepts taught.
    One-Sex, aka sexual intercourse, its basic purpose, is to make babies. Thus if you don’t want a baby and you are physically capable of either impregnating or being impregnated, then you should avoid sex or use contraceptives.

    Two-STDs. Pretty much the same answer to number one. Use condoms or avoid sex, including what we call oral sex because society does not like to use the terms fellatio and cunnilingus.

    Remember if sex is a pain in the ass…’re doing it the wrong way!

  42. 43
    Jake Squid says:

    Remember if sex is a pain in the ass…’re doing it the wrong way!

    And that is why I think that Pietro is a homophobe.

  43. 44
    Pietro Armando says:

    And that is why I think Jake has no sense of humor.

  44. 45
    Jake Squid says:

    Your sense of humor reveals your homophobia. Every single one of your jokes has been homophobic. These jokes clearly echo your more “serious” statements. Do you think that if we were discussing civil rights for Italian-Americans that a participant peppering their anti-civil rights posts with Italian jokes might be revealing more than they cared to?

    An American, a Pole and an Italian agree to meet in the morning to cross the desert. When they show up, the other 2 ask the American what he brought.
    “Water,” he says.
    “Why did you bring water?” ask the other 2.
    “Because we’ll get very thirsty in that heat,” he replies.
    “Ahhh, good thinking,” say the other 2.
    Then the Pole is asked what he brought.
    “An umbrella,” says the Pole.
    “Why an umbrella?” ask the other 2.
    “Because it will provide shade in the hot sun,” he replies.
    “Ahhhh, very good,” say the other 2.
    Then they turn to the Italian and ask what he brought.
    “A car door,” he says.
    “Why would you bring a car door?” say the other 2.
    “So that when it gets hot I can roll down the window,” he replies.

    You think that might reveal a bit of said participants attitude?

  45. 46
    Sarah in Chicago says:

    Okay, here we go again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are no rational, logical or reasonable reasons (question: unreasonable reason?) why marriage shouldn’t be available for gays and lesbians. Any other argument is simply bigotry and/or religous zealotry hiding behind a rather flimsy guise.

    Yes, Pietro, this is aimed at you :)

    To use the points Jake so nicely summarised (thank you Jake) about the anti-SSM movement:

    1) Marriage is about procreation

    Okay, I know Amanda has so wisely brought this up, but ownership has been a part of marriage for a LONG time (and no, Pietro, this is not the same as a power imbalance, I know a LOT of butch-femme couples and while they revel in the way they play with power, this is not about legal ownership.

    Futher however, if one REALLY looks at marriage historically and cross-culturally, what you will find is a virtually infinite variety of different
    marriage forms. Hence if virtually anything has been possible (including, I would actually add, SSM, which has existed in virtually every single culture at some point in history) then using a historical argument based upon a narrow definition of marriage is weak and moot. It simply does not work.

    2) Children need a mom & a dad, not just 2 parents

    Oiy. Okay, I agree with Hillary on this one. Children do not get the majority of their gender socialisation (I should know this shit, I’m a sociologist) from their parents, rather they get it from a phenomenonly large range of sources. There are some things that children do get the majority of their socialisation from their parents about, but gender polarisation ain’t one of them.

    The far majority of the gay and lesbian parents that I know do include same sex role models for their children in the expanded family. Moreover, EVER SINGLE reputable social and pysch study done on children of SS parents shows that the kids are just as stable (or screwed up, depending on how you look at it) as those from straight parents (if anything, they are more tolerant of diversity).

    And if we’re going to take a “children need protection” route then how about the children of SS couples being protected? These kids ARE harmed when their parents aren’t recognised as a couple on equal footing with straights (ask any good pysch). And then on a legal (or civil, if you will) point, there are a HUGE amount of protections that marriage provides kids and if you can’t see that, do some serious reading.

    3) Marriage is necessary because gender differences make it so

    Okay, first, a logic argument. There is nothing about gender differenes that makes marriage necessary. One does not follow from the other.

    Two, yes, SSM has not been located throughout time in all places. But niether has OSM. But it has in more places and times than you would think, just as OSM has, both in a variety of forms Yes, our conception of ‘gay’ hasn’t existed throughout history, but niether has ‘straight’. But, again, as I said before, historical arguments do not work in this argument.The only yardstick for SSM is the construction of marriage today, which is one that easily (more easily than poly marriages particularly, but that’s a seperate argument) fits with how SS couples wish to live.

    4) Marriage is about vaginal sexual intercourse




    Mate, like, totally fucked up.

    I don’t even know where to start with this one, logic and rationality are completely off the playing field here.

    Gays and lesbians do have sex (I can tell you that about the latter from personal experience *smile*). I think taking a dictionary definition is a bad idea, because that can reflect cultural biases as much as anything.

    Gay peeps have sex, just like heterosexual peeps, including a lot of the same techniques (actually, hetero couples are more likely than gay men to do anal, but that’s beside the point). If this is one of the major points behind marriage, then it’s easily fulfilled. This is because consummation of marriage ISN’T necessarily about vaginal intecourse.

    Though, regarding the last point … mate, your fixation on the nuances of what gays and lesbians do in bed … honestly, since you claim not to be such … is a touch creepy.


  46. 47
    Q Grrl says:

    “I am unaware of any curriculum that deals with what two men or two women do. ”

    … and that’s why we have more fun. :0

  47. 48
    Sarah in Chicago says:

    - Q Grrl

    “… and that’s why we have more fun. :0″

    LOL, luv ya grrl … SO right! :)


  48. 49
    Amanda says:

    #1 You make it seem like parenting is this relationship or something where the important part is the rearing and the love and the belief in family. But you made it clear earlier that to be a parent, the most important thing is making it. It’s so special that we have to deny an entire class of people their basic rights to honor the experience of baby-making.

    Raising a child? Loving a child after its grown? Shit, even gay people can do that. So clearly, that’s not even remotely the point of marriage.

    Your other points are blathering homophobia, and squashed to death by the other posters.

  49. 50
    Amanda says:

    Oh yeah, and I know this is hard to believe, so start clutching your pearls, Pietro. Okay, breath.

    Straight couples have anal sex, too.

    Clearly, straight people should be barred from marrying, since they “do it wrong”.

  50. 51
    Pietro Armando says:


    Actually that’s an old joke taken from a bizzare greeting card I remember seeing years ago that depicted a cartoonish heterosexual couple inside the card. But I figured you’d take the bait and throw out that tired old “homophobe” allegation. That was an Italian joke?! If you’re going to spout Italian jokes, don’t rearrange Polish jokes. I’ve heard quite a few Italian jokes, some very funny I might add, but there’s usually some type of stereotypical ethnic connection within the joke, pasta, olive oil, La Cosa Nostra, mamma, Italy shaped like a boot, etc. At least make it funny.

  51. 52
    Ampersand says:

    Pietro wrote: But I figured you’d take the bait and throw out that tired old “homophobe” allegation.

    So you deliberately told a joke that you knew other people here would find bigoted against gays, because you wanted to “bait” other folks here?

    Wow, what a stupid – and mean-spirited – thing to do. Don’t do it again on my website, please.

    By the way, that you think saying “I knew that you would think it was homophobic, but I thought I’d tell it to bait you” somehow mitigates against the charge that you’re being homophobic, is simply astounding.

  52. 53
    alsis38 says:

    Amanda, say it ain’t so !! Next I suppose you’ll be telling me that straight people cheat on their spouses and go to “swingers” clubs and stuff, too.

    Ohhhhh, the paiiiiiiiiin !! ‘Scuse me. Must. Sit. Down…

  53. 54
    Pietro Armando says:


    Apparently you went to the same school as Jake and Amanda where the students are taught that anyone who opposses SSM is either a religious zealot or a bigot, or both.

    If you look at marriage historically, despite its various “forms”, it was vitually all male-female. Even polygamous marriages were male-multiple females. The historical examples of sancitoned same sex unions were overwhelmingly male, and from the upper ranks of society. Female homosexuality was considered taboo. Limiting the historical examination to this country and there is no evidence of a same sex couple considered to be legally married or having come from a nation where SSM was the law of the land. The existence of homosexuality throughout history is not in dispute here. As I’ve said in previous posts SSM HAS NOT naturally evolved along side of OSM. If it did we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Children-Most children being raised by same sex parents are from previous hetersexual realtionships, so chances are there’s an opposite sex biological parent somewhere in the picture. Are there any studies that addresses the opposite biological parents impact on how the child is raised? And what of simply of knowing and having a relationship with one’s own father or mother? Why is that not considered important to a child’s well being? To be able to know and interact with said parent and if possible by extention with one’s grandparents. What’s my father/mother like? Where did his/her family come from? Did I inherit my ability to {whatever} from him or her? Do I look like him or her? These are natural questions any person would have that did not have their mother/father or both growing up. Opposite sex role model, ala Big Brother/Big Sister or similar substitute are fine, but they can’t replace the real thing.

    Children and protection. How do OS non-married couples w/kids differ from SS non-married w/kids in not having marital protection? Are their children any more or less harmed because their parents are not married? And what of children of polygamous families who also are being raised by parents who are not married in the eyes of the law? Are they also harmed or being denied protections because the law does not recognize polygamy?

    “Marriage is neccessary because gender differences make it so”? I not quite sure on how to respond to this one. Marriage is not something that was created overnight by a group of politicians with the intent of shuting gay people out. Civil marriage evolved in that it recognized a long established pre existing human relationship. It’s not a fixation on rigid gender roles or identities per se, but rather accepting the fact that there are two genders, male and female. Each possessing both complimentary and conflicting traits and charcteristics toward the opposite sex. Obviously there is a difference of opinion on how marriage is defined.

    You can’t deny that from at least a physical stand point the sexes were designed to sexually merge to create another human. From two one is created. Even a gay man can have sex, defined as sexual intercourse, with a gay woman. While they might not necessarily enjoy it, barring any natural obstacles, they can conceive a child. So in that sense Sarah you’re right, Gay peeps do have sex like heterosexual peeps do. Obviously reproduction is the purpose of sex, regardless of whatever enjoyment comes of it, or whatever other techniques are employed. We can attatch the word “sex” to the other sexual practices, “anal sex”, “oral sex”, etc., but this doesn’t change that sex, at it’s most basic, is “bada bing, bada boom”. Remember even President Clinton was “legally acurate” when he said he “did not have sex with that woman”.

    Sarah, two final questions.

    #1]What is the function and purpose of marriage as it relates to society and the state?

    #2] What is the definition of marriage?

  54. 55
    Pietro Armando says:


    Mi dispiace, but with all due respect, are ethnic jokes as equally offensive and unacceptable as gay jokes are, on this website?

  55. 56
    Ampersand says:

    There’s a difference between using a joke as part of an illustration of why telling such jokes is offensive; and telling the joke to “bait” other folks.

    However, if it makes you feel better, I’m now officially banning all ethnic jokes (as well as gay-bashing jokes and, what the heck, racist and sexist jokes) from this thread.

  56. 57
    mythago says:

    Please note that we do not restrict marriage based on known negatives to the children. For example, I doubt even you would dispute that it is harmful for children if their biological father marries an alcoholic woman. Yet we do not prohibit alcoholics from marrying, nor do we prohibit parents from marrying alcoholics. (For that matter, we don’t prohibit two alcoholics from marrying and having kids together.)

    Which is to say: we do not currently restrict marriage based on any measure of whether it will harm or help the children of that marriage, no matter how many studies we have or how much evidence there is that such marriages would harm any existing or yet-to-be-born children. Therefore, wailing about “What do the studies say if Mommy remarries a woman?” is nonsense.

    Now, we do remove children from homes where their well-being is in danger–if Mommy knowingly marries a child molestor, protective services might try to remove the children from that home–but we don’t prevent the marriage. So if you believe we should follow law and tradition, what you’re really saying is that it’s OK if Heather’s mommy marries another woman, as long as Heather’s daddy gets to take her away from Mommy forever.

  57. 58
    Amanda says:

    Look, you know and I know and everyone here knows that arguing from tradition isn’t going to work, unless you are prepared to come forward for that actual traditional marriage–the ownership model. I know you think I harp on it, and that’s because you can’t answer it. How can you justify denying people their rights because it’s tradition for gays and lesbians, but then claim that changing tradition to benefit straight women is fine?

  58. 59
    Pietro Armando says:


    There has never been, outside of Mass, an established “right” to legally marry someone of the same sex. Not one legislative body in the history of the republic has declared such. The right to marry, as in some one of the opposite sex, is long established. There is also no right, although it existed at one time in Utah, for a person to have more than one wife/husband at a time despite lawsuits that have been filed and will no doubt continued to be filed seeking to overtun such prohibitions.

    Now what states had laws on the books within the past, say 50 years, in which the statute clearly stated a husband legally owned his wife? Was such ownership limited? Could he sell her? If he owned her could he physcially harm her or even kill her without legal repercussion? When did the laws change?

  59. 60
    Sarah in Chicago says:


    Apparently you went to the same school as Jake and Amanda where the students are taught that anyone who opposses SSM is either a religious zealot or a bigot, or both.

    Well. Congratulations. You managed to virtualy copy verbatim what I wrote above and pretend that you are making an original point.

    Of course though, I can’t speak for Amanda and Jake :)

    but anyway, as to your “points”:


    You do realise you are actually proving my point here? I did not argue that there was as much SSM as OSM, nor even as much as poly unions, because that wasn’t necessary for the logic of my argument. My point was that there has been virtually an infinite VARIETY historically and cross-culturally, both in terms of forms, and how those forms operate. The quantities of such is irrelevant.

    Hence, if there has been as much variation as there is evidence for, then an argument based upon the continuation of some historical model, when that model has never continuous existed, becomes moot. Like Amanda sayd (paraphrasing you Amanda, hope you don’t mind) if you’re going to make a historical argument, you can’t just throw out the bits that don’t fit your thinking.

    But, as you say, limiting to this nation; which people’s history are you refering to Pietro? The Native Americans? They had SSM. Europeans? We all know they’ve had it. African-Americans? They had it back in Africa. Latino/as? Definitelty ditto.

    I think if you’re trying to argue from a perspective of the last couple centuries of legal precedent as this country has existed, then you need to stop framing your argument as historical, and start reframing it as a legal one. Though I have to warn you, such an argument would open you up to the obvious critique of contemporary definitions of marriage.


    Okay, I’ll say it again. There is NO evidence for SS couples raising children producing children that are any less well-balanced than those from OS couples. Simple repeating over and over that children somehow need a mother and a father doesn’t make it any less false a contention (although have to admit the Bush administration proved that sometimes it does work, admittedly). What children need more than anything else is LOVE (and yes, that does sound rather ‘Lifetime’, but it’s no less true for that).

    As to blended SS families vs. intentional SS families (yep, those are the terms). Yes, up to this point the majority of SS parents have brought their children from previous OS relationships. However, quite rapidly (more so than we ever thought) the gap is being close by intentional SS families. But this, again, is irrelevant. Both intentional and blended families show kids that are just as stable, or just as screwed up, as those from OS couples.

    Your questions pertaining to questions about parentage are really good questions, but they don’t pertain to the argument. Simply because they are just as easily attributed to adoption situations, both in terms of those that know there bio parents and those who do not. Thus as a specific argument against SSM, it doesn’t work.

    Now, as to kids of poly marriages? Well, honestly I think any damage from legal non-recognition is incredibly minor when comparing the huge amount of damage such marriages produce due to their disfunctional nature in our contemporary soceity. But again, this is a tangent that doesn’t need to be addressed here.

    There have been plenty of studies and examples showing the damage the lack of a marriage has on the kids of SS couples. I don’t need to trot them out. Suffice to say, they’re there if you want to find them.

    Of course, this whole discussion about children is moot to begin with, as the point behind marriage contemporarily is NOT necessarily to have children. Plenty of heterosexuals decide not to have kids, and their marriages aren’t considered any less valid than those that choose to.


    Most definitely there is a difference in how marriage is defined. I’ll certainly agree with you here. However, the interesting difference is that while your opinion denies me access to marriage, mine doesn’t deny you.

    And that’s a bigger issue than you think it is.


    “bada bing, bada boom” THIS is your argument? THIS? Oiy …

    Okay, yes, penises and vaginas are the way they are in order to work in such a way to produce children. Does that really mean anything in the greater scheme of things? Hell no. Does someone that has a genital defect somehow get denied access to marriage? Nope. Do people that both intend not to have sex get denied marriage? Nope.Do people that intend to have sex other than missionary get denied marriage? Nope.

    Again, your focus on sex, honestly, is rather disturbing. But your contention that I, as a woman, am somehow designed to have a guy penetrate me? Hell fucking NO. I am biologically wired to desire women and be with women. I don’t know how, I just always have been. You are taking a general case and extrapolating down to the individual case, something any reputable social scientist will tell you you simple cannot do.

    But again, what kind of sex you do, or do not, have is POINTLESS in an argument about marriage. It just ISN’T IRRELEVANT.

    Oh, quick point, if reproduction is the point of sex, then what about the clitoris? Biologists can find no real reason for its existence other than simply pleasure. Not that I am complaining mind you *smile* You can try to reduce sex down to particular things, but to quote one of my favourite sociological sayings “it isn’t that simple”.

    Now, to your questions:


    Honestly, I think marriage has WAY too much importance in our society, and is given considerably too much clout for what it in reality does. Hell, I think civil unions are the better way to go for everyone. But that isn’t realistic, so we work with what we have.

    Marriage operates as one of the smallest organisation groupings in society. Hence as such it is provided to it a considerable amount of privileges that allows it to be recognised as such. It provides a space for the possible raising of children (as people are socially censured for having children outside of that space) and moreover, in the contemporary situation, it provides for a pooling of resources in a way that people honestly need to in order to simply get by.

    But more than that, for a couple it provides a recognition of a life-long committment, which, call me a romantic, should be recognised.

    I could go into considerably more detail, but you can find all this stuff in any 100 level college social science text, and I don’t want Amp getting mad over my already verbose postings :)


    The definition of marriage? Again, “it isn’t that simple”. Do you mean legal marriage? Religous marriage? My personal concept of marriage?

    If you mean the former, in contempory society it’s a legal contract between two non-related individuals for various levels of resource sharing (at it’s heart). Religous marriage? Honestly, that depends on the religion. I’m an atheist, and honestly in this debate I don’t think it’s relevant. In the churches my friends go to it’s a lifelong committment between two people who love each other that involves a certain degree of the sacred.

    As to my personal definition? I think it’s the civil recognition of the love between two people that aren’t related that wish to commit to one another for the rest of their lives, that may or may not involve having children therein.