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Thread: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

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    Thumbs up Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    The Arguments Against Gay Marriage

    Well, of course there are a lot of reasons being offered these days for opposing gay marriage, and they are usually variations on a few well-established themes. Interestingly, a court in Hawaii has recently heard them all. And it found, after due deliberation, that they didn't hold water.

    Here's a summary:

    Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. Well, that's the most often heard argument, one even codified in a recently passed U.S. federal law. Yet it is easily the weakest. Who says what marriage is and by whom it is to be defined? The married? The marriable? Isn't that kind of like allowing a banker to decide who is going to own the money in stored in his vaults? It seems to me that justice demands that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn't be denied. And such simple, nebulous declarations, with no real moral argument behind them, are hardly compelling reasons. They're really more like an expression of prejudice than any kind of a real argument. The concept of not denying people their rights unless you can show a compelling reason to deny them is the very basis of the American ideal of human rights.

    Same-sex couples aren't the optimum environment in which to raise children. That's an interesting one, in light of who society does allow to get married and bring children into their marriage. Check it out: murderers, convicted felons of all sorts, even known child molesters are all allowed to freely marry and procreate, and do so every day, with hardly a second thought, much less a protest, by these same critics. So if children are truly the priority here, why is this allowed? The fact is that many gay couples raise children, adopted and occasionally their own from failed attempts at heterosexual marriages. Lots and lots of scientific studies have shown that the outcomes of the children raised in the homes of gay and lesbian couples are just as good as those of straight couples. The differences have been shown again and again to be insignificant. Psychologists tell us that what makes the difference is the love and commitment of the parents, not their gender. The studies are very clear about that. And gay people are as capable of loving children as fully as anyone else.

    Gay relationships are immoral. Says who? The Bible? Somehow, I always thought that freedom of religion implied the right to freedom from religion as well. The Bible has absolutely no standing in American law, as was made clear by the intent of the First Amendment (and as was very explicitly stated by the founding fathers in their first treaty, the Treaty of Tripoli, in 1791) and because it doesn't, no one has the right to impose rules anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be a moral injunction mandated by the Bible. Not all world religions have a problem with homosexuality; many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate gay relationships freely and would like to have the authority to make them legal marriages. In that sense, their religious freedom is being infringed. If one believes in religious freedom, the recognition that opposition to gay marriage is based on religious arguments is reason enough to discount this argument.

    Marriages are for procreation and ensuring the continuation of the species. The proponents of this argument are really hard pressed to explain, if that's the case, why infertile couples are allowed to marry. I, for one, would love to be there when the proponent of such an argument is to explain to his post-menopausal mother or impotent father that since they cannot procreate, they must now surrender their wedding rings and sleep in separate bedrooms. That would be fun to watch! Again, such an argument fails to persuade based on the kinds of marriages society does allow routinely, without even a second thought, and why it really allows them - marriage is about love, sharing and commitment; procreation is, when it comes right down to it, in reality a purely secondary function.

    The proponents of the procreation and continuation-of-the-species argument are going to have a really hard time persuading me that the human species is in any real danger of dying out anytime soon through lack of reproductive success.

    If ten percent of all the human race that is gay were to suddenly, totally refrain from procreation, I think it is safe to say that the world would probably be significantly better off. One of the world's most serious problems is overpopulation and the increasing anarchy and human misery that is resulting from it. Seems to me that gays would be doing the world a really big favor by not bringing more hungry mouths into a world that is already critically overburdened ecologically by the sheer number of humans it must support. So what is the useful purpose to be served in mindlessly encouraging yet more human reproduction?

    Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage. Well, that one's contradictory right on the face of it. Threaten marriage? By allowing people to marry? That doesn't sound very logical to me. If you allow gay people to marry each other, you no longer encourage them to marry people to whom they feel little attraction, with whom they most often cannot relate adequately sexually, bringing innocent children into already critically stressed marriages. By allowing gay marriage, you would reduce the number of opposite-sex marriages that end up in the divorce courts. If it is the stability of the institution of heterosexual marriage that worries you, then consider that no one would require you or anyone else to participate in a gay marriage. You would still have freedom of choice, of choosing which kind of marriage to participate in -- something more than what you have now. And speaking of divorce -- to argue that the institution of marriage is worth preserving at the cost of requiring involuntary participants to remain in it is a better argument for reforming divorce laws than proscribing gay marriage.

    Marriage is traditionally a heterosexual institution. This is morally the weakest argument. Slavery was also a traditional institution, based on traditions that went back to the very beginnings of human history - further back, even, than marriage as we know it. But by the 19th century, humanity had generally recognized the evils of that institution, and has since made a serious effort to abolish it. Why not recognize the truth -- that there is no moral ground on which to support the tradition of marriage as a strictly heterosexual institution, and remove the restriction?

    Same-sex marriage is an untried social experiment. The American critics of same-sex marriage betray their provincialism with this argument. The fact is that a form of gay marriage has been legal in Denmark since 1989 (full marriage rights except for adoption rights and church weddings, and a proposal now exists in the Danish parliament to allow both of those rights as well), and most of the rest of Scandinavia from not long after. Full marriage rights have existed in many Dutch cities for several years, and it was recently made legal nationwide, including the word "marriage" to describe it. In other words, we have a long-running "experiment" to examine for its results -- which have uniformly been positive. Opposition to the Danish law was led by the clergy (much the same as in the States). A survey conducted at the time revealed that 72 percent of Danish clergy were opposed to the law. It was passed anyway, and the change in the attitude of the clergy there has been dramatic -- a survey conducted in 1995 indicated that 89 percent of the Danish clergy now admit that the law is a good one and has had many beneficial effects, including a reduction in suicide, a reduction in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and in promiscuity and infidelity among gays. Far from leading to the "destruction of Western civilization" as some critics (including the Southern Baptist, Mormon and Catholic churches among others) have warned, the result of the "experiment" has actually been civilizing and strengthening, not just to the institution of marriage, but to society as a whole. So perhaps we should accept the fact that someone else has already done the "experiment" and accept the results as positive. The fact that many churches are not willing to accept this evidence says more about the churches than it does about gay marriage.

    Same-sex marriage would start us down a "slippery slope" towards legalized incest, bestial marriage, polygamy and all kinds of other horrible consequences. A classic example of the reductio ad absurdum fallacy, it is calculated to create fear in the mind of anyone hearing the argument. It is, of course, absolutely without any merit based on experience. If the argument were true, wouldn't that have already happened in countries where forms of legalized gay marriage already exist? Wouldn't they have 'slid' towards legalized incest and bestial marriage? The reality is that a form of gay marriage has been legal in Scandinavian countries for over many years, and no such legalization has happened, nor has there been a clamor for it. It's a classic scare tactic - making the end scenario so scary and so horrible that the first step should never be taken. Such are the tactics of the fear and hatemongers.

    If concern over the "slippery slope" were the real motive behind this argument, the advocate of this line of reasoning would be equally vocal about the fact that today, even as you read this, convicted murderers, child molesters, known pedophiles, drug pushers, pimps, black market arms dealers, etc., are quite free to marry, and are doing so. Where's the outrage? Of course there isn't any, and that lack of outrage betrays their real motives. This is an anti-gay issue and not a pro marriage issue.

    Granting gays the right to marry is a "special" right. Since ninety percent of the population already have the right to marry the informed, consenting adult of their choice, and would even consider that right a fundamental, constitutionally protected right, since when does extending it to the remaining ten percent constitute a "special" right to that remaining ten percent? As Justice Kennedy observed in his opinion overturning Colorado's infamous Amendment 2 (Roemer vs. Evans), many gay and lesbian Americans are, under current law, denied civil rights protections that others either don't need or assume that everyone else along with themselves, already have. The problem with all that special rights talk is that it proceeds from that very assumption, that because of all the civil rights laws in this country that everyone is already equal, so therefore any rights gay people are being granted must therefore be special. That is most assuredly not the case, especially regarding marriage and all the legal protections that go along with it.

    Sodomy should be illegal and was until very recently. Ah, the ol' sodomy law argument! Why was sodomy illegal in so many states for so long? Because conservative religionists (at whose behest those laws were enacted in the first place) historically blocked or vigorously resisted attempts to repeal them in every state, and were horrified when the U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned the ones that remained.

    Indeed, those laws were very rarely enforced (though it did happen), yet there was very stiff and angry opposition to their repeal. Why? Because they were a great tool for a homophobe to use as a basis for legalized discrimination. "Why should I rent an apartment to you, an unconvicted felon?" "I can't have an admitted criminal on my staff." "You're an unconvicted felon. I want you out of my restarurant and off my property." "I don't want you around my children. You're a sex offender!" These were very real, actual arguments that were used frequently as a basis for legalized discrimination, using largely unenforced sodomy laws. So even though this particular moral crusade of the religionists using the power of the police has ended, at least for now, the sodomy laws that made them possible are still being pushed, and pushed hard. Crass politicians, including even president George W. Bush, see votes in homophobia, and continue to push for sodomy law reinstatement as a means of securing those votes. And such laws, which have thoroughly discriminatory effects by intention, will likely will be advocated for as long as politicians see votes in allowing conservative religionists to impose their morality on others, regardless of the violence this does to the intent of the Bill of Rights.

    Heterosexuals would never stand for such intrusion into their private sex lives, of course, but the homophobes among them seem to see nothing wrong in using the power of the state to enforce their prejudices. State court systems, however, long ago began to see the violation of the Fourth Amendment in such laws, and nearly as many state sodomy laws were overturned as unconstitutional by state supreme courts as were repealed by state legislatures, before the recent U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence vs. Texas decision which very pointedly overturned all that remained.

    Gay marriage would mean forcing businesses to provide benefits to same-sex couples on the same basis as opposite-sex couples. While this may or may not be true (based primarily on state labor laws), the reality is that many businesses already do offer these benefits to gay couples, and for sound business reasons. And experience has shown that when they do, the effect on their costs for offering these benefits is minimal - very rarely does the cost of benefits offered to gay couples cause the business' benefits costs to rise by more than 1.5%. This trivial cost is usually far more than offset by the fact that the company is seen as being progressive for having offered these benefits - making its stock much more attractive to socially progressive mutual funds and rights-conscious pension funds and individual investors, and thus increasing upwards pressure on its price. This is why so many corporations, including most of the Fortune 500, already offer these benefits without being required to do so - it's just good business sense.

    Gay marriage would force churches to marry gay couples when they have a moral objection to doing so. This argument, usually advanced by churches that oppose gay marriage, is simply not true. There is nothing in any marriage law, existing or proposed, anywhere in the United States, that does or would have the effect of requiring any church to marry any couple they do not wish to marry. Churches already can refuse any couple they wish, and for any reason that suits them, which many often do, and that would not change. Some churches continue to refuse to marry interracial couples, others interreligious couples, and a few refuse couples with large age disparities and for numerous other reasons. Gay marriage would not change any church's right to refuse to sanctify any marriage entirely as they wish - it would simply offer churches the opportunity to legally marry gay couples if they wish, as some have expressed the desire to do - the freedom of religion would actually be expanded, not contracted.

    The real reasons people oppose gay marriage

    So far, we've examined the reasons everyone talks about for opposing gay marriage. Now, let's examine now the real reasons, deep down inside, that people oppose it, hate it, even fear it:

    Just not comfortable with the idea. The fact the people aren't comfortable with the idea stems primarily from the fact that for many years, society has promoted the idea that a marriage between members of the same sex is ludicrous, mainly because of the objections raised above. But if those objections don't make sense, neither does the idea that gay marriage is necessarily ludicrous. Societies have long recognized that allowing civil rights to certain groups may offend some, and at times, even the majority. But that is why constitutional government was established -- to ensure that powerless, unpopular minorities are still protected from the tyranny of the majority. Simple discomfort with a proposal is no reasonable basis for not allowing it - how many Southern whites were once uncomfortable with allowing blacks to ride in the front of the bus, or allowing black children to attend the same schools as their own, or drink at the same drinking fountain? Half a century ago, those ideas were just as unthinkable - yet nowadays, hardly anybody sees them as a problem, seeing the fears as nothing more than racism, pure and simple.

    It offends everything religion stands for. Whose religion? Many mainstream Christian denominations, to be sure, and definitely most branches of Islam and Orthodox Judaism, but outside those, most religions are unopposed to gay marriage, and many actually favor it. When the Mormon church arrogantly claimed to represent all religions in the Baehr vs. Lewin trial in Hawaii, the principal Buddhist sect in that state made it very clear that the Mormon church didn't represent them, and made it very clear that they support the right of gay couples to marry. That particular Buddhist sect claims many more members in Hawaii than does the Mormon church. In a society that claims to offer religious freedom, the use of the power of the state to enforce private religious sensibilities is an affront to all who would claim the right to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

    Marriage is a sacred institution. This is, of course, related to the motive above. But it is really subtly different. It's based on the assumption that the state has the responsibility to "sanctify" marriages - a fundamentally religious idea. Here we're dealing with people trying to enforce their religious doctrines on someone else, but by doing it through weakening the separation of church and state, by undermining the Bill of Rights. Not that there's anything new about this, of course. But the attempt itself runs against the grain of everything the First Amendment stands for - one does not truly have freedom of religion if one does not have the right to freedom from religion as well. It would seem to me that anyone who feels that the sanctity of their marriage is threatened by a gay couple down the street having the right to marry, is mighty insecure about their religion and their marriage anyway.

    Gay sex is unnatural. This argument, often encoded in the very name of sodomy statutes ("crime against nature"), betrays a considerable ignorance of behavior in the animal kingdom. The fact is that among the approximately 1500 animal species whose behavior has been extensively studied, homosexual behavior in animals has been described in at least 450 of those species. It runs the gamut, too, ranging from occasional displays of affection to life-long pair bonding including sex and even adopting and raising orphans, going so far as the rejection by force of potential heterosexual partners, even when in heat. The reality is that it is so common that it begs an explanation, and sociobiologists have proposed a wide variety of explanations to account for it. The fact that it is so common also means that it clearly has evolutionary significance, which applies as much to humans as it does to other animal species.

    Making love to another man betrays everything that is masculine. Well, I've known (and dated) plenty of very masculine gay men in my day, including champion bull-riding rodeo cowboys and a Hell's Angel biker type, who, if you suggested he is a limp-wristed fairy, would likely rip your head off and hand it to you. There was a long-honored tradition of gay relationships among the tough and macho cowboys of the Old West, and many diaries still exist detailing their loving and tender relationships out on the range, and the many sacrifices they made for each other. Plenty of masculine, respected movies stars are gay - indeed, Rock Hudson was considered the very archtype of a masculine man. Came as quite a shock to a lot of macho-men to find out he was gay! So what's wrong with all these kinds of men expressing love for each other? Why is that so horrible about it? A society that devalues love devalues that upon which civilized society itself is based - love and commitment.

    The core fear here is the fear of rape and a loss of control or status as a masculine man. This is instinctual and goes right to the core of our being as primates. If you examine what happens in many animal species, especially displays of dominance in other primate species, dominance displays often have sexual overtones. When, for example, in many species of primates, a subordinate male is faced with aggression by a dominant male, the dominant male will bite the subordinate, causing him to squeal in pain, drop the food or the female and present his rump. This is an act of submission, and it is saying to the whole troupe that the subordinate is just that - subordinate.

    This happens in humans just as it does in other primates. It is the cause of homosexual rape in prisons. Homosexual intercourse in prisons is not an act of sex as much as it is an expression of dominance and a means of control. Nearly all of the men who aggressively rape other men in a prison setting actually revert to (often promiscuous) heterosexual sex once they're on the outside.

    So is this something straight men should fear from gay men? Well, you can relax, all you straight guys. You've nothing to worry about. The vast majority of gay men prefer sex in the same emotional setting most of you do - as a part of the expression of mutual love, affection and commitment. We're not out to rape you or force you into a subordinate position. The majority of gay men don't want sex with you because we're looking for the same thing in a sexual relationship that you look for - the love and affection of a devoted partner. Since we're not likely to get that from you, you're not desirable to us and you have nothing to fear from us. The small minority of us (and it's a very small minority - less than 3%) who do enjoy sex with straight men understand your fears and are not going to have sex with you unless it's clearly and completely understood on both sides to be on a peer-to-peer basis and your requirement for full and complete consent and need for discretion is honored.

    The thought of gay sex is repulsive. Well, it will come as some surprise to a lot of heterosexuals to find out that, to a lot of gays, the thought of heterosexual sex is repulsive! But does that mean the discomfort of some gays to heterosexual couples should be a reason to deny heterosexuals the right to marry? I don't think so, even though the thought of a man kissing a woman is rather repulsive to many homosexuals! Well then, why should it work just one way? Besides, the same sexual practices that gays engage in are often engaged in by heterosexual couples anyway - prompting the ever-popular gay T-shirt: "SO-DO-MY -- SO DO MY neighbors, SO DO MY friends."

    They might recruit. The fear of recruitment is baseless because it is based on a false premise - that gay people recruit straight people to become gay. We don't. We don't recruit because we know from our own experience that sexual orientation is inborn, and can't be changed. Indeed, the attempts by psychologists, counselors and religious therapy and support groups to change sexual orientation have all uniformly met with failure - the studies that have been done of these attempts at "therapeutic" intervention have never been shown to have any statistically significant results in the manner intended, and most have been shown to have emotionally damaging consequences. So the notion that someone can be changed from straight to gay is just as unlikely. Yet there remains that deep, dark fear that somehow, someone might get "recruited." And that baseless fear is often used by bigots to scare people into opposing gay rights in general, as well as gay marriage.

    The core cause of this fear is the result of the fact that many homophobes, including most virulent, violent homophobes are themselves repressed sexually, often with same sex attractions. One of the recent studies done at the University of Georgia among convicted killers of gay men has shown that the overwhelmingly large percentage of them (more than 70%) exhibit sexual arousal when shown scenes of gay sex. The core fear, then, for the homophobe is that he himself might be gay, and might be forced to face that fact. The homophobia can be as internalized as it is externalized - bash the queer and you don't have to worry about being aroused by him.

    The opposition to gay marriage stems ultimately from a deep-seated homophobia in American culture, borne out of religious prejudice. While many Americans do not realize that that homophobia exists to the extent that it does, it is a very real part of every gay person's life, just like racism is a very real part of every black person's life. It is there, it is pervasive, and it has far more serious consequences for American society than most Americans realize, not just for gay people, but for society in general.

    part of a larger essay found here: http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm
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    SVZ
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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    The rules against sodomy in the bible was a reaction to the liberal ways that the greek and romans had sex.

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Same-sex marriage would start us down a "slippery slope" towards legalized incest, bestial marriage, polygamy and all kinds of other horrible consequences
    All those "arguments" are retarded, but this excuse is such bullshit, I can't believe people actually make it with a straight face. Like allowing gay people to marry will suddenly create an influx of people at the courthouse with their ferret.
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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent
    All those "arguments" are retarded, but this excuse is such bullshit, I can't believe people actually make it with a straight face. Like allowing gay people to marry will suddenly create an influx of people at the courthouse with their ferret.
    People actually used these same pathetic type arguments decades ago when the issue was simply allowing mixed marriages between races..Same old arguments..will lead to 'God knows what" and 'mongrelization' of the white race..etc. etc. I guess the people making the arguments against gay marriage(and gays in general) do not see how much they are mimicing the bigots of the past..who also used to hide behind the Bible and even use it to defend things like slavery. In the Confederate South the churches were some of the most vociferous defenders of slavery. go figure.

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by SVZ
    The rules against sodomy in the bible was a reaction to the liberal ways that the greek and romans had sex.

    Uhh,, exactly. No where in the Bible does it specifically talk about same sex relationships, just wanton sex without commitment.

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    In the Confederate South the churches were some of the most vociferous defenders of slavery.
    And on that note, I find it particularly sad and troublesome that a lot, if not most, predominately black Christian denominations in the South also denounce homosexuality along with the predominately white ones.
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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    i just don't understand the arguments at all; there is not one good reason to explain the discrimination. idiots.

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    apparently if you're being homophobic as a low blow it's ok

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    The core cause of this fear is the result of the fact that many homophobes, including most virulent, violent homophobes are themselves repressed sexually, often with same sex attractions.
    omg this is so true! ppl who are so judgemental about a subject are only that way b/c they've experienced it and/or know so much about it.

    and the whole "recruiting" issue is just comical; its always made me laugh b/c is so assinine and insane to actually give any grain of credance to!

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator
    Uhh,, exactly. No where in the Bible does it specifically talk about same sex relationships, just wanton sex without commitment.
    And you would know.


    I have nothing else to add at this point. It's such a non-issue with me that I can't even bother with an intellecjewully thought-out response right now. LET THE GAYS MARRY, DAMMIT!

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by SVZ
    The rules against sodomy in the bible was a reaction to the liberal ways that the greek and romans had sex.
    I think it was more of a reaction to their sick pedophillia. Those cultures while brilliant in some ways, were absolutely disgusting in their desire for sex with young boys. gross and I'm glad they died out.

    While I do believe that homosexuality if practiced is a sin, I also recognize that we live in a nation which is supposed to treat people equally. Although it is a bit of a contradiction for me, in my heart of hearts I really don't care if gay people are allowed to marry. The only thing I worry about is how it may clog up the court system with yet MORE divorces! And I would hope that if children are made available for adoption that the homosexual unions are closely scrutinized prior to placing chilidren there. (not because of pedos I know that being gay doesn't make one a pedophile, but because I would hope they are serious about staying together).

    But then I also think polygamy should be legal if gay marriage is allowed. As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult and they aren't harming anyone else.

    But then there is always the law of unintended consequences.

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    you don't "practice" homosexuality; you just are who you are.

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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by JungleMonkey
    And I would hope that if children are made available for adoption that the homosexual unions are closely scrutinized prior to placing chilidren there. (not because of pedos I know that being gay doesn't make one a pedophile, but because I would hope they are serious about staying together).
    You mean more closely scrutinized than heterosexual couples are? Because in case you missed it, divorce rates among heterosexuals are about half right now.
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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Yeah, why would they have to be scrutinized any more than straight people? Gays get together and break up just like the hetero's do... why should we require special treatment?
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    Default Re: Arguments against gay marriage in the US don't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by JungleMonkey
    I think it was more of a reaction to their sick pedophillia. Those cultures while brilliant in some ways, were absolutely disgusting in their desire for sex with young boys. gross and I'm glad they died out.
    You really gotta read what you write before you post it. NEITHER THE GREEKS NOR THE ROMANS HAVE DIED OUT. You ever look at a map??

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok
    Yeah, why would they have to be scrutinized any more than straight people? Gays get together and break up just like the hetero's do... why should we require special treatment?
    Because you're evil, nasty bastards.

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