The Odd Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage’

OK, so I knew they were crazy…

Posted by That Other Mike on 29/11/2011

but it seems that fans of denying GLBT civil rights have actually gone off the deep end. There’s crazy, and then there’s full on crazypants. Crazy like wearing a hat full of syrup and claiming to be god king of the mighty squirrel army.

Yeah, that crazy.

Via Joe.My.God, we find that the Center for Marriage Policy (… whose foundational principles seem to be equivalent to “Screw you, faggots and sluts!”), we learn that according to David R. Usher, gay marriage is un-Constitutional because feminist lesbians. Or something. He’s not a terribly good writer, and he doesn’t make much of a case beyond “Because I said so!” and “Watch me burn this strawman!”.

Exactly what makes Usher more qualified and correct on this subject than anyone else seems to be that he reads a lot and thinks a lot. Of himself, mainly.

Not only does he apparently believe this bucket of pants on the head and pencils up the nose, he is also shouting wibble for all he is worth – his other assertions include the idea (despite you know, all the evidence to the contrary) that gay marriage hurts the economy and destroys countries while leaving buildings intact, like the social policy equivalent of a neutron bomb.

See what I mean? Full bore crazy. As far as Usher is concerned, his insanity goes up to 11.

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Why did anyone ever take this man seriously?

Posted by That Other Mike on 01/10/2011

Really, Newt? Really? You are going to comment on the validity of anyone else’s marriage?

As far as I can tell, Newt, you think all marriage is a temporary aberration; why else would you keep getting married and divorced, over and over?

Good grief. All candidates have issues they ought to avoid like the plague because some things reflect badly on their personal lives, but this is ridiculous. Newt Gingrich lecturing others on marriage. Unbelieveable.

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Start Spreading The News

Posted by That Other Mike on 25/06/2011

New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law – NYTimes.com


ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.

The marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes.

With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.

“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”

Senate approval was the final hurdle for the same-sex marriage legislation, which was approved last week by the Assembly. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the measure at 11:55 p.m., and the law will go into effect in 30 days, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by late July.

Read the rest here.

What a great day for New York!

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Not Redefining, Just Expanding

Posted by That Other Mike on 03/10/2010

Excellent quotation. Via.

Cynthia Nixon

“Gay people do not want to redefine marriage. When women got the right to vote, it did not redefine voting.”
Cynthia Nixon

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Wow… Who knew it’d be Iowa?

Posted by That Other Mike on 04/04/2009

Iowa becomes the third state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, after Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Friday’s decision upheld a 2007 ruling by a lower court that Iowa’s 1998 law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples went against the state’s constitution. It becomes effective in 21 days.

“This is a great day for civil rights in Iowa,” said attorney Dennis Johnson, a co-counsel with Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking to marry in Iowa.

Via CNN.

This is great news for gay rights in Iowa, and hopefully the rest of the States.

The fear now, of course, will be that some kind action akin to Prop 8 will occur, and remove that right. However, I don’t see this happening. The Iowa State Constitution provides that the means of altering and amending it are legislative in nature; a proposed Amendment has to pass through two legislative sessions and then be voted on. Given that the General Assembly is currently dominated by Democrats, I don’t see this happening; hopefully the issue will have lost any meaningful traction by the time the Assembly becomes Republican-dominated or more evenly split.

We’ll see.

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Top Ten Reasons Why Gay Marriage Is Wrong

Posted by That Other Mike on 22/11/2008

Snort, snort, hahaha..

Via The Legal Satyricon:

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall (’cause it’s working for me, I tell ya) or hanging around Italians will turn you into a WOP.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract. I, for one, want to marry my office chair.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property (I happen to come with a couple of sheep. Any takers?), blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed and people may start cheating on their spouses… oh, wait a minute.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children. And if you don’t plan on having children, you should be burned at the stake.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Big Love, Small Love

Posted by That Other Mike on 12/10/2008

I’ve just recently been thinking about polygamy and gay marriage.

Big LoveThis has come from a number of different directions — I’ve been watching HBO’s Big Love via the On Demand service that comes with our cable TV.

The series is about a polygamist family of fundamentalist Mormons living secretly in a suburb of Salt Lake City, and the various troubles and difficulties it brings to them, both personally, professionally and in terms of their religion.

The series takes an even-handed look at the issues raised, not judging in favour of or against the practice. Of course, it also makes for good television; conflict is the root of all storytelling, and the conflicts between the public personas and private lives of the family create a lot of conflict.

Another source of inspiration has been the interwebs, as usual: in a recent comment to a post on my wife’s blog, for example, Truthwalker posited the following in regards to governmental influence and involvement in the subject of marriage:

I personally think that civil union should be the law. For everybody. Any two people, male, female, straight, gay, or sexually inactive, should be able to enter a legal relationship with the consenting person of their choosing where one person is the primary bread winner and the other does more non-monetary work.

Leaving aside the problematic assertion regarding one partner being the breadwinner and the other the housekeeper1, this also brings up another question: why should it only be two people involved?

The final source of inspiration, of course, has been the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Connecticut regarding the civil rights of gay couples. In a divided opinion given on the 10th October, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the State’s Constitution required that the government extend marriage rights to gay couples, by virtue of the State Constitution’s equal protection clause in Article 1, Section 20.

One of the commonest tropes used against gay marriage is the assertion that it will lead to all kinds of horribleness, like polygamy, bestiality and even child marriage.

Leaving aside the fact that the slippery slope is a logical fallacy, let’s take a look at some of the countries which have created gay marriage rights in the past decade or so. The Netherlands enacted same-sex marriage rights into law in 2001, Belgium in 2003, followed by Canada and Spain in 2005, South Africa in 2006. Norway is due to follow in 2009, after 16 years of civil partnerships. The following countries have created civil partnerships: Andorra, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay. The status of civil partnerships in these countries varies somewhat, with some having only partial rights while others are identical in all but legal name to marriage, with entirely identical rights, such as the UK, where people routinely refer to civil partnerships as gay marriage, legal titles notwithstanding.

Opponents of gay marriage have, as we’ve said, predicted all kinds of social doom and gloom as a result of various court rulings and laws creating the appropriate rights in law; various groups are trying busily to reverse them, as in California Proposition 8, all of which efforts are happily meeting with fierce opposition.

No such terrible consequences have occurred in any of the countries which have enacted gay marriage or civil partnership laws. You still cannot marry your dog, three of your friends, or children; . It’s almost insulting, really, to think that opponents of gay marriage think that people will fall for this kind of stuff, and none of these mooted dire consequences are likely to occur; child marriage and bestiality both fall under the heading of cruelty and meaningful consent, to a degree that most people find the very idea respulsive.

Likelihood of its occurrence aside, how do we object to new concepts of marriage like polygamy while freely assenting to the concept of gay marriage? Isn’t that contradictory and even hypocritical?

I would argue that it is not. While the institution of marriage is by no means perfect and acts in some ways as discriminatory towards single people, it does perform a useful social function: it provides for at least minimally stable homes for children; allows for people to express a solemn commitment to one another socially with a formal commitment; allows for the pooling of financial resources and shared prosperity; allows for partners to make legally binding decisions on behalf of children and loved-ones in the event of need; allows for partners to provide for each other in the event that they die intestate, and so on.

The extension of marriage rights to gay people simply broadens the categories of people who may marry each other, in much the same way that extension of interracial and interreligious marriage did. It provides for more stable families and couples, and as such, carries benefits to both the individuals involved and the society in which they live.

Polygamy, however, does not do this. While gay marriage simplifies, polygamy complicates. All the benefits of marriage, such as stability, combined financial responsibility, power of attorney in difficult situations, simplified inheritance and so on, all of these are unneccesarily complicated by the addition of extra members. What if the wives2 disagree over who should have power of attorney when their husband is in hospital? Who decides who inherits what in the event of a death? While these are not insoluble problems, they represent a big enough sphere of difficulties to argue against enshrining officially recognised polygamy into law; they would create monstrous legal headaches, and the alleged benefits of polygamy would be far, far outweighed by the problems caused. That’s even leaving aside the issue, frequent enough in the past to remain a possible future concern, of young people entering polygamous marriages before the age of consent or even too soon afterwards.

While I’m concerned for the right of people to live as they wish, I can also see a valid point of distinction between leaving others alone to conduct their private affairs as they see fit and making them into legal entities. I cannot in all honesty see that the enshrinement of polygamy into law serves individuals or the society they reside in, practically or otherwise.


1This is troubling to me, I must admit; not only because it buys into the idea that there should be strictly defined roles within marriage, but also because it’s profoundly unrealistic. The “traditional” ideal of marriage which social conservatives most fervently posit as orthodox marriage fails to admit that this model was only true for a tiny minority of people across a short period of time, and it is even more irrelevant today, when two-income families are the norm.
2I say wives here because it seems that most advocates of polygamy seem really to be advocating polygyny rather than true polygamy per se.

Posted in Odds and Sods, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Aaarrr, Jim Lad, and other pirate noises

Posted by That Other Mike on 29/05/2008

Over the weekend, I developed some pain in my lower back. I was rather mystified, as I hadn’t done anything to injure it that I knew of, and it seemed to go away on Monday.

Tuesday saw it come back and be quite painful, and yesterday I was off work all day. It wasn’t a constant pain, but it would twinge and be excruciating, and it seemed to have extended into my right hip, as well. I managed to get up and get dressed, but I couldn’t make it even to the end of the street before it got too bad for me to handle, and so I spent the day at home, saying “Ow…” every so often and feeling self-pitying.

Luckily as it happens, on Tuesday I’d made an appointment with the doctor for today, and I managed to hobble up there this morning to see him.

Apparently the problem is in the Sacroiliac joint, and it is called Sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Basically, it’s a problem of movement where the spine joins the pelvis; it’s very common, usually remedies itself through movement and often comes from simply sleeping in a funny position.

There’s not much to be done about it in the short term except to swallow painkillers and attempt to maintain a normal range of movement. If it remains a persistent problem, I can visit a chiropractor (I would only ever visit a McTimoney’s practitioner, of which there is a school locally). For now, I just have to wait and hope it’ll work itself out.

He also gave me a huge prescription for cocodamol; while I can usually buy it over the counter, it’s also relatively expensive to do so. This way, I get my 200(!) pills for just the cost of a prescription charge, which is cool.

So, nothing to worry too hard about. On the negative side, I did forget to ask about getting a refill on my sleeping pills, even though I don’t use them that often. Oh, well. I can manage without. I have a few left.

* * *

In other news, today is the last day for you to nominate douchebags and arseholes for the anti-carnival; I have a large number, which I will be whittling down to a small core of evil shitheadery for Friday.

Please feel free to nominate anyone who’s annoyed you lately.

* * *

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here are your weekly recommendations in honour of Thor.
Cosmodaddy has an interesting and well thought-out piece on his blog at the moment regarding the intersection of various conflicting rights and freedoms under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) Regulations 2007. Well worth a read.

Despite being a massive jerk most of the time, Robert over at Expat Yank has a legitimate criticism piece up about the rise of sensationalist public service messages by the UK government.

The ever-clever Greg Laden has a guest blogger doing a statistical experiment about the levels of science present in science blogs.

Lottie has A Question of Ethics, in which she discusses the ethics of blogging about personal issues and problems in a truthful manner while using a pseudonym.

Gary talks about Hollywood woo and stupidity, illustrating exactly why Sharon Stone’s opinion on anything besides acting should not be taken seriously.

Helen at Bird of Paradox wrote a little while ago about gender neutral pronouns and the attempt to bring in artificial GNPs.

That’s all for now, folks.

Edit: Ampersand has a good post about the minimum wage over at Alas, A Blog, relating to Krueger and Card’s well-known studies. Definitely worth reading.

Posted in news, Odds and Sods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »