Texas Republicans Forfeit All Claims To Respect

 

Old-Rotten-PlanksIt would be an Unethical Quote of the Month, if it weren’t also so stupid. As it is, the newly minted endorsement of  conversion therapy for gays in the party platform serves to remove any reason to respect the Texas Republican Party, and like a projectile vomiting episode, contaminates anyone who identifies with the GOP, not just in Texas, but anywhere.

This despicable and ignorant platform states:

“We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”

This was composed by bigots, enacted by fools, and adopted by intellectually lazy and mean-spirited dolts.

  • “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling…” Then you are willfully ignorant. The psychiatric profession rejects counseling as a “cure” for gays, and the medical profession regards it as quackery. Gays generally feel that it constitutes abuse. “The most important fact about these ‘therapies’ is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions,” said the American Psychiatric Association. “To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation … is safe or effective.”
  • “…which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness…” This is slander, no more, no less. Homosexuality isn’t a disorder, a malady or a disease, like gonorrhea or dementia, and it is degrading, insulting and marginalizing to characterize it as such. Nobody “heals” from homosexuality—it’s not like a broken arm— although many LBGT individuals require healing from the emotional abuse wreaked by these kinds of bigoted attacks.  Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, and a major culprit in promoting this embarrassing, 19th Century  position, has told the press, “I do not think homosexuals are born as homosexuals.”  Well, Cathy, there are people who don’t believe in all sorts of facts and truths that their tiny minds and biased souls won’t accept, and that’s fine, for this is a free and tolerant country. That does not mean, however, that major political parties should ignore over their duty to be responsible, fair and sane to such people.
  • “….from their homosexual lifestyle.” It is not a “lifestyle,” any more than there is an African-American lifestyle, or a female lifestyle. By officially adopting this offensive and archaic language, intended to make the assertion that homosexuality is a choice when it is not, the Texas Republican party is embracing a lie, and an easily disprovable lie. Yes, I’m sure those who wrote and voted for the measure believe this particular lie, meaning that they are not dishonest, just stubbornly, willfully ignorant.  That’s not a distinction to be proud of.

As for the last part, OK…we allow people to go to faith healers, acupuncture specialists and other forms of dubious medical treatments. As long as the treatment itself isn’t harmful—I have previously endorsed the right of stupid parents to send their gay kids to such counselors if it isn’t affirmatively damaging, though I am wavering—I don’t like the government telling an adult that he or she can’t seek treatment for anything they want treatment for—insomnia, poor memory, being a Texas Republican. The problem is that this is a trivial issue for a state party platform, and less the party in question has another objective: denigrating gay Americans.

That’s exactly what this plank does, and of course it’s intentional. These sad, angry, impenetrable individuals simply can’t accept that a beloved tenet of their Bible schooling and hand-me-down biases just doesn’t square with reality, so they want to stick their fingers in their ears, cover their eyes, and  behave as if nothing has changed in our knowledge about the human species in the last 400 years. Pathetic.

It is these people, not their innocent victims, who would desperately need reparative therapy, except that, as the comic says, you can’t fix stupid.

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Facts: CNN

149 thoughts on “Texas Republicans Forfeit All Claims To Respect

  1. My experience over the past few years is that the gay community – for all the talk of wanting tolerance – has been unwilling to show it to those who have disagreed with it’s political agenda.

    Remember the “civil” way that Carrie Prejean was treated by Perez Hilton for her answer during the Miss USA pageant in 2009? Mr. Hilton’s idea of civility was to use demeaning terms that rhymed with “pitch” and “punt” as I recall. Then there was the actions the Heritage Foundation documented in the wake of Prop 8 (www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8). Then. of course, there’s the highly unethical manner in which Vaughn Walker struck down Prop 8, never mind the other activist federal judges who are re-defining marriage via judicial fiat, in some cases with the collusion of state attorneys general who refuse to do their duty in defending their state constitutions.

    Since then, gay couples have, in essence, used the power of state governments to compel expression, to the point of threatening small businesses owned by those who do not agree with their lifestyle with financial ruin. It hasn’t stopped there: Academic freedom has been targeted as well, as the cases of Julea Ward and Jennifer Keeton show.

    The gay community decided long ago to forego tolerance and instead embraced bullying, thuggery, coercion, and thought control. And the Texas GOP platform, like the religious freedom law passed in Mississippi and proposed in Arizona, is a logical and predictable consequence of the lack of tolerance they have shown.

    • Except that party platforms are not intended for payback, or for implied slurs based on superstition and ignorance. It shouldn’t matter if the political tactics of gay advocacy groups have been uniformly unfair and abhorrent—which, on balance, they have not—-that would never justify a platform plank like this. Most gays have nothing to do with gay advocacy politics; why slur them to get even with hard ball or even unethical tactics they had no part in? Your comment is an embodiment of the rationalization of “Yeah, well, they had it coming.” Come on. “They” weren’t the ones forcing heterosexuals to be closeted for the last several centuries, now were they?

      • Homosexuals “closeted” themselves due to the natural abhorrence of normal human beings for the practices by which such persons define themselves. Where is the “payback” from someone stating the rational viewpoint that marriage is a contract between a man and a woman aimed at strengthening the most basic and vital unit of human society; the nuclear family? This is oppressive? If so, then too bad. The maintenance of a viable civilization based on truth, decency and reality must trump the cruel, bestial insanity that sexual perversion encompasses.

  2. Good God, Jack. Has Dan Savage grabbed your brain by both lobes and twisted it dry? Look, there is no “gay gene”. It’s a myth based on outrageous junk science. Deviancy is the result of childhood traumas; either massive or cumulative. It’s a mental illness and it CAN be cured with therapy. If it can be, then denying people the help they need to reclaim their humanity is as evil as those who created the condition in an innocent child in the first place.

    We can see that, Jack. If you haven’t been brainwashed by a steady stream of pseudo-intellectual propaganda, it becomes easy enough to put two and two together. I did my part in crafting that platform and I voted to uphold it as a delegate last Saturday. There’s nothing at all stupid about it and, frankly, I resent your terminology in describing it as such. Good people who actually give a damn about others- out of moral inclination, not for political gain- lent their support to that platform as well.

    When a child calls for help, what adult cannot offer what effective aid he can and still call himself a man? Unlike the leftwing elitists, we don’t abandon or abort our children. Neither we will surrender them into the hellish existence of perversion, surgical mutilation and an empty, godless life if they can be saved from it with a little love and understanding. That’s not “stupid”, Jack. That’s being human in the highest sense of the word.

    • Steven, it’s demonstrable nonsense. There doesn’t have to be a gay gene—many genes are probably involved in deciding sexual orientation. You’re just adopting a theory that fits your belief system, and impugning millions of families and good, healthy, law-abiding, ethical individuals in the process. You’re a smart and fair guy—this blind spot is bewildering. I sometimes wonder if it was you who suffered a childhood trauma. If you knew any families with gay children, you couldn’t possibly accept such fantasy. You are presuming “traumas” because the implications of the information we have—homosexuals are as natural as heterosexuals, and have always been part of the species—undermines old assumptions of moral superiority.

      There is absolutely no established environmental link that can be traced to creating gays; there may be an interaction between genetic and environmental factors, but even by your favored, imaginary if comforting theory, is cannot be called a life-style CHOICE.

      This has nothing to do with Dan Savage. His tactics don’t change the facts. But pushing slurs like this platform certainly give rise to his kind of tactics.

      • Jack: “Sexual orientation” is nothing but an invention fostered by deviants to justify themselves and soften the image of who and what they are. Biological imperative is the natural arbiter of characteristic sex personalities. However, if you want to believe in the impossibility of gay genes- fine. This does not relieve by any means the terrible consequences of deviant behavior. Of that, I assume I needn’t go into nauseating details.

        So let me put it this way. Even if there was such a thing as a viable mutated gene that negated a massive, basic part of the DNA helix and mandated opposite sex behavior- EVEN THEN- to refuse therapy to someone so afflicted and as soon as the symptoms were detected would be a crime in itself. When someone is born male or female, then that person needs to come to terms with that reality. If he or she needs help in doing so then, for both that person’s sake and for that of those who will have to deal with him, that help must come in a timely manner. To deny this and simply declare, in what may be the ultimate refutation of reality, that this behavior is “normal” is more than mere dereliction of duty. Doctors, politicians and deviant activists who promote this are little different in the moral sense from the predators who are often the root cause of it all.

      • …and his kind of tactics give rise to this kind of digging the heels in and refusal to change. Honestly, Jack, I think this whole question of civil rights extension would resolve a lot quicker and a lot less painfully if it wasn’t cast in terms of winners and losers and each side seeing the other as evil. Unfortunately the gay community seems to lack an MLK-type bridge-builder. As long as it’s all about hurling insults and forcing others to do what you want, it will never fully resolve. I don’t think it’s in this nation’s interest to have another running sore a la the abortion conflict that now can never fully heal.

    • I have three children; two heterosexual, one homosexual. Same set of parents, same home, same upbringing. Normal, happy, healthy childhoods – all of them. There’s been no trauma. He’s a funny, talented, extremely bright kid with a wealth of friends who claims his humanity as fully as both of his siblings. My husband and I could not be more proud. I read your comments, Mr. Pilling, and I would take offense except that I would have to take you seriously, and I don’t. I feel sorry for you. It must be exhausting to carry around that much anger and fear.

      • Steven just refuses to accept this, Alicia. The useful exercise is to determine why, because there are many otherwise smart and reasonable people who are just irrational on this subject.

      • It can be exhausting to defend freedom and decency from its mortal enemies, Alicia. Don’t try to hang that “hater” label on me. That tactic is getting rather old. My antipathy is reserved for those who would corrupt innocent children and lead them into tragedy.

        That “normal, healthy childhood” you boast of must have had a flaw somewhere, don’t you think, if one of your children succumbed to perverse traits? And when you discovered it, what did you do about it? Just accept it as “normal”? If so, then what does that say by itself for the values in which your children were raised? And what were their influences beyond your household? What media influences were they exposed to? What associations did they make and with whom? Did you ask? Did you look? Did you care?!

        You children are all too easily led from their normal development by forces- some subtle and some overt- that can warp their natures into something unholy. With at least one of your precious children, something did. That’s a tragedy for everyone, as every child’s soul is precious.

        Instead of expressing your false “pride” in your child, you should- with deep humility- pray for forgiveness in your failure to adequately protect that child from evil influences and seek corrective treatment for him. Celebrating his deviance is only another failure on your part.

    • Steve, I am curious as to what basis you have to label homosexuality a mental illness, in opposition to the entire psychiatric community for the last four decades. Do you have a degree in any field of mental health? What studies have you personally published in peer reviewed journals to back up your claims?

      • I don’t want to sound like I’m presuming to answer for him, but I can put forth conjecture. Based on his continued use of the word “deviant,” which literally means “diverging from the norm,” as a slur, I think he thinks that anything not within “normal” parameters is somehow automatically bad. For my part, I define “illness” to be something that is outside normal parameters AND which significantly lowers the quality of a person’s life. Social stigma and bigotry are choices other people make, and so while they do lower the quality of life for the people on the receiving end, they are not enough to designate something an “illness.”

        • My assumption is that this is religion and faith-based. God, speaking through the Bible, designated homosexuality as a sin and against nature. God’ not crazy, so he obviously wouldn’t make people as a biological sinners, so this must mean that they deviate from nature and God’s operation manual intentionally, and perversely, in opposition to God. This is why homosexuality has to be a choice—if it isn’t, the Bible is wrong, or God is the one being perverse…making someone who is pre-programmed to sin.

          • Yeah, I figured. In the spirit of Paradigm Synch I want to hear people tell me their own motivations, and in the process maybe think about them critically. I don’t like to make assumptions about other people’s assumptions if I can help it, since I’m usually wrong about other people’s assumptions.

            Just for the sake of argument, if the Bible is right it means that God is continuously making literally all humans pre-programmed to sin, because we are all tainted with “Original Sin” and yet since God is the one making new souls he could just have made ones that weren’t tainted. Well, either that, or all souls existed since the beginning of time, waiting their turn to be born, and they were all tainted by the first two people born, because God turned his back on his pets and they metaphorically stole the roast chicken off the counter.

            I would very much like to see if anyone can spin either of these possibilities into God being a force for good that doesn’t amount to saying, “He says he is good and we believe him despite all evidence to the contrary, because he makes us feel warm and fuzzy and tells us everything will be alright, and any problems are his enemies’ fault.” That is, can anyone reconcile my second paragraph with God being good without elevating God to the status of an Obama?

            • Has anyone ever contemplated the concept of Natural Law? How about “common sense”? Men and women are what they are for a purpose. There is no natural purpose in deviance… which is why it is called what it is. The moral tenets of the Bible merely lend sanctity to those human attributes that are already known. I might point out that, prior to the ethical devolution of professional societies, it was a long standing affirmation that deviance is a complex mental illness. The only thing that has changed is politics.

              • I’m trying to form a coherent picture of “Natural Law” in my head, but I think I need more information to go on. What other examples of Biblical moral tenets are there that reinforce “known human attributes?” Do the Ten Commandments describe human tendencies which are naturally in-built in the majority of the population?

                Few things come naturally to me that come naturally to the majority of the human population, and vice versa, so I don’t have an intuitive sense for what you think falls under Natural Law. My own ethics system, rather different from your own, could be said to be based on a sort of natural law pertaining to consciousness. However, my worldview is different from yours, so even though we both feel that conscious beings as a whole should fulfill their nature we disagree on what that nature is. What is your perspective on the nature of people?

                • The Ten Commandments are rules for people living together in social communion with a sense of stability, decency and purpose. All conflict results from basal, selfish instincts opposing those of higher purpose beyond self. All are inherent in the human psyche. However, what ultimately guides all these impulses are the twin influences that all higher forms of life possess: 1) survival. 2) biological imperative.

                  The survival instinct causes a man to flee from danger. The paternal instinct, however- which is a subset of biological imperative- will cause a man to face that danger in defending his family from it. The highest aspect of this is the soldier who puts his life on the line for the sake of his countrymen- the vast bulk of whom he has never even met. Homosexuality is a mental disease that defies both. A healthy society is one that seeks to channel selfish tendencies into productive ones for the sake of all.

                  Natural Law means that the human mind is guided by the realities of his biological nature and those of the physical world that surrounds him.

                  • Thank you for elaborating. Let me be sure I understand this correctly: The sum total of human life is survival and helping other humans survive, and making more humans? And anal sex and homosexuality are wrong because they involve health risk without making more humans?

                    Further questions: What’s the point? What are we surviving for? Are humans just living machines? Where’s the art? What about extreme sports? Are those sinful? Does all technology exist only to protect and propagate the species? This system sounds like Brave New World, but instead of mindless self-indulgence it’s mindless self-sacrifice. Where’s the balance?

                    • P.S. Technically, all forms of life possess survival and reproductive instincts. To use such as a distinction between “lower” and “higher” forms of life the way you do so seems backwards to me. On the contrary, it is “higher” forms of life that are able to override their instincts of propagating their genes in favor of purposes they adopt. Any mammal can die for its young, but how many species do you know of that have members who will die to protect free speech?

                  • Steven, the arguments you have presented so far are both invalid and unsound. You haven’t proven that any of your premises are true, and worse, your conclusions do not logically follow from your premises. Just because you can’t see any divine purpose in same-sex love does not mean it doesn’t exist or that it is a mental disease.

                    I will also ask again if you can produce any credentials to justify your claim that homosexuality is a mental illness, which runs contrary to all reputable psychiatric work on the subject produced over the past four decades. No, being knowledgeable of the tenets of Natural Law does not qualify you to make that claim.

              • Yes, I’ve contemplated Natural Law deeply. That’s how I know it’s based entirely on the is/ought fallacy.

                “Men and women are what they are for a purpose. There is no natural purpose in deviance…”

                This is nonsense. Even if I granted that humans exist for some predetermined “purpose”–which is quite a flimsy premise to start from–it could easily be proven that same-sex love has many of the same purposes as opposite-sex love. Pair-bonding is good for humans in a multitude of ways other than reproduction. If you really can’t think of why love is good for people if it can’t end in reproduction, I feel sorry for you.

  3. I admit my jaw dropped on this. If people want to claim it’s a medical OR lifestyle issue, it doesn’t belong on a party platform. No one is going to put hypertension or being a motor-head on a list of common political issues to focus on. By focusing on this they are neglecting issues like jobs, accountability, infrastructure, energy, immigration… you know, the hard issues. Please ignore the man behind the curtain.

    • The “man behind the curtain” is the deviant who just abused your child and, in the process, may have contributed to your child’s future delinquency as a deviant himself. All relevant human activities contribute to creating an environment where children can be protected, nurtured and guided. Everything else is, at best, superfluous. So you’re damn wrong. I not only belongs on the party’s platform, it should be at the top of the list. This is what’s important.

      • If reality is insulting, then so be it. The platform, however, was not intended as some snide Harry Reid style slam against some group that doesn’t vote your way. Aberrant behavior disorders of this nature need to be addressed and those so afflicted need a chance to recover. To do otherwise would reflect a complete lack of mercy to one’s fellow creatures.

        • The “man behind the curtain” is the deviant who just abused your child and, in the process, may have contributed to your child’s future delinquency as a deviant himself.

          I just could not let that comment pass without a response. I can accept your aversion to gays. Many people are and that is your choice. However to cast all persons that are gay as child molesters is unconscionable.

          I don’t know whether there is a gay gene or if homosexuality is a choice. Nor do I care. What I do know is that anyone that espouses freedom and limited government intrusion into their lives cannot argue that government should proscribe any behavior that has absolutely NO impact on another individual. If a person abuses a child you prosecute for the crime of abuse an not for his/her sexual orientation. Heterosexuals commit a significant number, if not more, sexual assault crime simply due to their sheer numbers in our society.

          However, while the wording of the legislation appears to reflect the bias of the writers, I see little difference in it from legislation that has the same effect to assist those wishing medical procedures to alter their sex because they are emotionally uncomfortable with the physical manifestation of their sexual expression. Courts have ruled that both the military and correctional systems must provide such treatments. If a gay person feels emotionally uncomfortable with being gay, seeking psychological help should not be prevented.

          • A victimless crime, huh? Wrong. For many, many years, sodomy was unlawful in this country. It ceased to be only through the fiat of a leftist Supreme Court which overstepped its rightful authority. It was long noted that the squalid practices that define homosexuality constituted a health hazard to all. And that was BEFORE the HIV virus made its appearance. It was also recognized that perversion (of which homosexuality is but one element) is a disease of the mind that can lead the afflicted to any number of other outrages to the basic nature of mankind. As I’ve often expressed it: Where one form of perversion exists, all potentially exist. When you’ve thrown off all natural restraints as to your sexual behavior, then what isn’t possible? That includes the ultimate crime against humanity; child depredation. A simple exercise in logic ought to make that evident.

            • SMP, really and truly. Come on.

              1. It’s a victimless NON crime.
              2. “For many, many years, sodomy was unlawful in this country.” So what? So was miscegenation. Women couldn’t vote; child labor was legal.
              3. “It ceased to be only through the fiat of a leftist Supreme Court which overstepped its rightful authority.” It ceased to be because such laws violate the right to privacy, and there’s nothing leftist about it. It was 9-0 decision.
              4. “It was long noted that the squalid practices that define homosexuality constituted a health hazard to all.” It was long noted by the ignorant, who were making stuff up. There are no more health hazards in responsible gay sex than responsible hetero sex. Irresponsible sex of all kinds causes disease—remember syphilis?
              5. “And that was BEFORE the HIV virus made its appearance.” Cheap shot. Gays did not create AIDS.
              6. “It was also recognized that perversion (of which homosexuality is but one element) is a disease of the mind that can lead the afflicted to any number of other outrages to the basic nature of mankind.” You mean when people believed that the mentally ill were possessed? In those days? And that the moon caused madness? People believed all sorts of batshit nonsense—that’s no excuse for believing it now, and worse, making policy based on it.
              7. “As I’ve often expressed it: Where one form of perversion exists, all potentially exist.” Again, making stuff up. Where did that cosmic rule come from? Who authorized you to define “perversion”?
              8.“When you’ve thrown off all natural restraints as to your sexual behavior, then what isn’t possible?” What’s a “natural restraint”? Why is it natural for those who are naturally gay to avoid gay sex? This is all bias on your part, disguised as analysis.
              9. “That includes the ultimate crime against humanity; child depredation.” This is just slander on gays, Steven. The data doesn’t exist.
              10. “A simple exercise in logic ought to make that evident.” Simple fairness disproves it. Homosexuality and pederasty are not linked.

              • 1. It’s neither, Jack. In involves the most vicious form of criminality possible.

                2. Not a true analogy. These were social actions. This goes well beyond that.

                3. Privacy ends where a threat to the general health and, in particular, to children begins.

                4. There are health hazards involved in all things, Jack. It’s a matter of degree and inclination. “Social diseases”- as with those from homosexual contact- become a serious menace when promiscuity becomes rampant. This is the reason for the Commandment against adultery. Homosexuals are not only noted for this, but their actions are of such a nature as to greatly magnify the dangers. Note, too, that the carriers of HiV- and who spread the disease to the general population- fall into two main categories; intravenous drug users and homosexuals. Both groups define themselves by their insanity.

                5. No one said they did, Jack. The disease originated in eastern Africa. Prostitutes spread it. Then it spread around the world. Today, as I mentioned, dopers and deviants comprise the chief disease vector.

                6. That’s just silly, Jack. Of course, the reasons for mental illness are so varied that there is no well-defined means of judging any individual case. The human mind is simply too complex. I suggest you take that up with a psychiatrist… if you can find a sane one!

                7.. Common sense is a good enough “definition”. When you have groups of people who define themselves and base their entire existence on defying every logical and ethical principle of human existence, then any outrage becomes not only possible, but inevitable.

                8. The same natural restraint that forbids the bulk of societies from such things as cannibalism and child depredation. Only the most sick of societies have no prohibition on such things. The same with deviancy. It runs counter to human nature.

                9. It does. Indeed, not all homosexuals pursue children. But the bulk of child molesters have been previously involved in perverse sexual practices previously.

                10. Two branches off the same tree, Jack.

                • 1. Wow. Okay, not just criminality, but the most vicious form. Please elaborate on how what people do in their bedrooms is dooming us all. I’m serious; I want to hear this. If it’s true, it’s important that we know.

                  2. Jack’s point was that just because a law used to exist doesn’t mean it was justified. Also, I’m reasonably sure that enemies of interracial marriage pulled out their Bibles for arguments as well. The Bible doesn’t have a great track record for helping humans decide right and wrong because so many people read so many different answers out of it. Maybe God should have written it more unambiguously: “Right and Wrong for Dummies.”

                  3. It has not been established to me that such a threat exists. Also, this sounds suspiciously like “if it saves just one child.” This is slippery slope territory. If you try hard enough, you can connect anything you do in your house to someone, somewhere, having an infinitesimally higher chance of being hurt.

                  4&5. I’m not sure if you mean “social disease” as in a communicable biological disease, or a “social disease” as in a bad habit which propagates memetically through society. However, I’d like to point out that homosexuals are not inherently more promiscuous than heterosexuals (who are also “noted” to be promiscuous). There’s a reason that gay marriage is a topic of concern in the first place. Perhaps some homosexuals just want to have a stable relationship, like some heterosexuals? I’m telling you that homosexuality is independent from all these problems you keep bringing up. I don’t care what proportion of what “evil” population is homosexual; correlation is not causation. By the same logic, we should arrest poor people because poor people commit more violent crimes than rich people do. Note: I’d rather keep this thread focused on the anti-gay aspect of the Republican Party, since it’s more egregious and less nuanced than its fiscal policy. Thank you.

                  6. I don’t think you’re addressing Jack’s concern. The point was that just because most people used to believe something doesn’t make it true. That applies nowadays, too. Also, I still don’t understand why it’s an “illness.”

                  7. Well, my “common sense” tells me to be outraged at you, Steven, because you defy all the logic and ethics that I consider to be “obvious.” However, the same common sense tells me that the solution requires that I listen to you to figure out what your worldview is, then check for internal consistency in both our worldviews, then do the same for consistency with observed experiences. It may come as a surprise to you, but the facts that seem obvious to you are not obvious to many other people, and those people are not defying your worldview out of some sort of inferior moral character but out of genuine lack of comprehension of your reasoning process for what you believe. I myself can’t yet find sense in what you say, but I’m duty-bound to try, because I don’t succeed unless both of us walk out of here with a more accurate picture of reality.

                  8. Human nature is not all it’s cracked up to be, Steven. Well, the way I define it. What I’m getting from your dialogue is that “human nature” means everything that seems “obvious” to you, and anyone doing anything different is evil for going against it. Ethics is not so easy nor so instinctive. That’s one reason why this world has the problems it does.

                  9. Whoa, that’s affirming the consequent. You say right here that homosexuality does not automatically imply pederasty, and pederasty doesn’t automatically imply homosexuality, and then you act as though there’s some kind of relationship that makes homosexuality inherently evil because some pederasts are homosexual. Again, correlation does not equal causation. Some ethnic minority members are criminals, but that doesn’t make all such minorities criminals. I prefer to make bad acts illegal and ignore neutral acts, even if there is a high correlation, because that’s what freedom entails. That’s the entire point behind allowing people to have guns, remember? Having a gun does not mean you will shoot people with it. (I can’t believe I just compared gay people to guns. Then again, the X-Men did it first, comparing gay people to people who could throw fireballs.)

                  10. “Types of sex that make me feel icky” is a pretty big and diverse tree for most people. Both harmful and benign stuff grow on it.

                  You are eloquent and articulate, Steven, but it is important that your arguments be backed up all the way back. You make many assumptions that you keep asserting, and the people you’re talking to don’t share those assumptions. We want to know where you got those ideas, and why you think they’re more valid than the alternatives.

                  Also, your use of statistics is not working very well. This argument is about whether homosexuality is wrong in and of itself, not whether people who are involved in bad stuff have a certain trait. The strong counterexample to your argument has been established by the normal, upstanding sexual minority people: sexual “deviance” doesn’t cause you to commit harmful acts, any more than race does. So I’d appreciate no more arguments of the formula “X% of criminals have mustaches, which is evidence that mustaches contribute to social degeneracy.” I advise you to leave professional economists to figure out the causal relationships.

        • Here is the reality Steven — this platform will continue the demise of the Republican party. I was just talking about this with one of my (fairly prominent) Republican friends the other day. She recognizes this and is very worried.

          In addition to alienating gays, you also are alienating most women, and those middle-of-the-road people like Jack. I am a fiscally conservative person, but I cannot be governed by people who spew hate or even spend time thinking about what other people do in their bedrooms — let alone putting their thoughts into an official platform. In my opinion, thinking and worrying about other people’s sex lives is bat-shit crazy and should be considered deviant in and of itself. I don’t want to elect people who are bat-shit crazy or choose to pander to bat-shit crazy groups.

          But back to my women point. We are the majority of the population and we vote. We care about these things — and many of us happen to be mothers and still are primary caregivers for our children. We see gay children every day — with no explanation for why they are gay. They live in loving homes, they have siblings who are straight, they are exactly like every other child except for this one thing. (Men are coming around on this point too, but women are getting there quicker.) We want our children to grow up in a safe world where they are accepted. The Republican Party is advocating the opposite. They will continue to do well in certain regions, but its ability to win national elections is in more and more doubt with each year that passes.

          • Dream on, Beth. I know you hate the Republican party and would like to see us all die off a la Dan Savage, but we aren’t going anyplace. The Democrats have made such a hash of things the last six years that they are going to be in a very tough spot for 2014 and 2016, and counting on logical people to let the nation go to economic wrack and ruin in the name of gay people is illogical.

            • Well, I used to be Republican but I became Democrat because of the party’s platform re women and gays. This is not anecdotal — this is a trend that is happening. The Republican leadership recognizes this as a problem — even if you don’t.

              • Sounds like an anecdote if it’s your personal story, and I question why the hell anyone who isn’t gay would discard all the other positions of the party over that. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but I’m not really interested in hearing your personal history. I think the Democrats have a lot bigger problems to worry about than gays this time out.

                  • Men vote, but they aren’t the majority. Plus, not ALL men think this way, and the trend is for them becoming more lenient as well on gay rights. Combine this with the Republican’s policies on immigration and women and you have a party in decline.

                    I actually don’t want to see that happen. Get your act together people.

                • “Free stuff to women or give them unfair advantages in the workplace?” Tex, I’m pretty sure you don’t believe that and I certainly don’t believe in that. This whole discussion is like arguing with 5 year-olds.

                  • “Play it my way or I’m leaving” is characteristic of 5-year-olds, Beth. Pot to kettle, come in kettle, you are black, that is all.

                  • Actually, I do precisely believe that is the message the Left communicates to women, minorities and other so-called victim groups: “vote for us and we’ll give you free stuff and an advantage, but don’t worry, we’ll sell it like its punishment on a group of people who actively keep you down…those evil Republicans.”

                    Only on few topics will you find partial truths from those whose political ideology is mostly Leftist, such as on this one, that homosexuals should have their personal lives left alone.

                    • That’s an interesting spin — here’s mine. The Left isn’t the party giving me free stuff, the Left is the party willing to acknowledge that I am on the same footing as a man. The Right is the one educating me here, not the Left.

                    • I’d love to see an explication of that, Beth.
                      I see that in respect to women, as with other minorities, the Left is excellent at giving lip service and manufacturing grievances, as with the infamous 77 cents on the dollar that the White House showed to be a petard. I see a Left that argues that Sarah Palin is irresponsible to run for VP because she’s a mother, and that says a woman who was a mayor and governor is less qualified to be Vice President than a man who has nop executive experience at all is qualified to be President. I see a Left that tolerates and even encourages misogyny if it is aimed at conservative women to marginalize them (See: Bill Maher). I see a Left that encourages divisiveness in the name of equality, and that tolerates reverse sexism to an outrageous degree, though I’m sure its comforting to a woman to listen to an ABC panel on national TV discuss how make better leaders. Why do you tolerate that?

                    • Misogyny? I won’t defend politicians because I think most of them tip the asshole scales, but there are far more on the right than the left. I’ve written a lot on the 77 cents on the dollar — there is a real wage gap in this country but it is a complicated discussion. Perhaps if our populace was better educated we could talk in something other than bumper sticker logic (and speaking of education, the blue states are way ahead). Bill Maher is an outlier — even for the left — and your consistent trotting him out speaks to the weakness of your position. He is not a politician — he is a comedian. Sarah Palin WAS an idiot — as was Dan Quayle, gender is irrelevant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRkWebP2Q0Y I am excited to see more women entering into politics, but McCain made a huge mistake picking her — and by doing so he lost my respect and my vote. Obama was inexperienced, but Palin didn’t finish the job and again she was stupid. I’d rather have Obama running this country than her — no question.

                    • In a word—L-A-M-E.

                      1. NOW lets Maher’s misogyny pass, and goes ballistic when Rush Limbaugh says far less objectionable things, and with a point besides anti-woman name-calling. Maher is a liberal pundit, not just a comic, as are Stewart and Colbert—you can’t get away with that dodge. It’s dishonest.

                      2. “Palin is an idiot” is also a dodge (she isn’t, you know—and a party that has Debby Wasserman Schultz as a spokesperson is estopped from calling anyone an idiot, ever); the issue was experience. You can’t justify the way she was smeared by the left (and the media, but I repeat myself) based on her quitting her post AFTER the campaign, or anything that came after she was unfairly attacked for running while she had children to take care of. Joe Biden is a greater idiot, and had proven it for years—and you see nothing wrong with targeting Palin and letting the man skate? Pure hypocrisy.

                      3. I’d rather have anyone try running the country than Obama—Kanye West, Barry Bonds, Forrest Gump, Kim Kardashian. At least there would be a chance that they would be smart, honest and hunble enough to find competent advisors. At least they MIGHT follow the Constitution. None of them could have done more damage than Obama has. Palin’s a fool, but she was better Alaska governor than Obama has been a president. And would I take a chance on Palin before Biden…that was the issue, remember…? Oh, absolutely. And I’d chance Biden in preference to Obama, based on the evidence of the last 6 years. Another two, and I might prefer Debby.

                    • On that issue, Will is exactly right. I have a related post in the hopper. Occidental and Duke claim that if a male and a female student have sex while drunk, their presumed mutual consent is invalid, and the male, and only the male, is guilty of rape. That’s what you call treating women equally, is it? How convenient.

                    • Occidental and Duke claim that if a male and a female student have sex while drunk, their presumed mutual consent is invalid, and the male, and only the male, is guilty of rape. That’s what you call treating women equally, is it? How convenient.

                      If this were more widely known, feminists would be outraged.

                      https://casetext.com/case/michael-m-v-superior-court

                      I dissent.

                      I cannot subscribe to the implied premise of the majority that the female of the human species is weak, inferior, and in need of paternalistic protection from the state. That concept is an anachronism in a society in which females have achieved remarkable progress toward equality. The tutelary syndrome of Victorian days has yielded to a new era in which women are contributing their talents in every field of endeavor — as prime ministers, governors, legislators, judges, corporate executives, lawyers, scientists, medical doctors, police officers, and professional athletes…..Yet they [majority] illustrate once again the fundamental unfairness of a law that always punishes the young man and never the young woman for a joint act of which she was often equally the cause….Such notions are obviously vestiges of a bygone era, remnants of the exploded myth of intrinsic male superiority. They are the product of conventional sex-stereotypical thinking, and revive an outmoded patriarchial view of “the woman’s role.”

                    • Colleges go overboard on this issue big time — there’s one that requires a contract giving consent (fun fact, those contracts aren’t even enforceable). But you also shouldn’t ignore the fact that campus rapes are rampant — and Will seems to think that “date rape” really can’t happen.

                      But don’t worry, President Kardashian probably will encourage that all sexual encounters be videotaped so going forward people can weigh in on whether or not there was a rape.

            • Best estimates put the population at around 9 million, counting LGBT’s, or about 3%. Of those, the T’s strike about .3%

            • About 1.5 to 2 percent. Unless we’re prepared to believe that some monster mutation has recently taken hold in the general population (and of the SAME variety- a statistical impossibility) then we have to conclude that its a form of mental illness. For that, we must look to society and its influences on our young through concepts of parenting, popular culture and methods of youthful association.

              Interesting how this debate has swerved away from the issue, huh? Naturally, Beth has to morph it into a leftist propaganda binge on women!

              • “Unless we’re prepared to believe that some monster mutation has recently taken hold in the general population (and of the SAME variety- a statistical impossibility) then we have to conclude that its a form of mental illness.”

                As a scientifically literate individual, I feel obligated to point out that albinism (congenital lack of pigmentation) has been observed in a large number of species, including humans. Regardless of what homosexuality is, it is certainly possible for the same mutation to occur independently in many different organisms. I don’t know whether homosexuality is genetic, mental, epigenetic, some combination of the above, or something I haven’t thought of, but I just want to make sure we’re running on facts here.

                While sexual and gender minorities are, well, minorities, I would hope we’ve all seen enough history to realize that we all have a vested interest as ethical individuals to prevent the oppression of minorities, particularly on the basis of a difference that seems superficial to me. Sadly, I would be disappointed.

                • And just how common is albinism, EDC? This is a condition where melanin is absent. It rarely occurs and, when it does, it’s usually fatal without treatment. It’s most prevalent among whites who, by a matter of natural selection, have less melanin than other subspecies of humanity. This isn’t a good analogy.

                  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albinism

                    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at this point. Do the basic research. It’s not automatically fatal, and it’s not related to how much melanin you would normally have otherwise. It’s just that you don’t produce melanin. There are other related issues, but that’s the main one.

                    –ExCeph/XF

          • I’m with beth on this one, we’ve crossed sabers over various form of progressive idiocy in the past, but for the record: I’m a conservative libertarian, a registered Republican, and I’ve voted democratic in nearly every election despite the fact that I genuinely believe the afore mentioned progressive idiocy is putting our country into a death spiral.

            As long as the major conservative party continues to deny the human rights of any group of people, I cannot in good conscious vote for them. Even if it me sick to my stomach to vote for the other guy. I’m with Lincoln on this one – better to break the country than the alternative.

            • Denying the human rights? If you want to compare contrast the denial/abridgement of rights as your razor for why you would compromise all your so-called political principles, I don’t think that lining up with the “progressive” platform makes one ounce of sense, given the litany of rights they’d prefer to deny vast swaths of humanity.

              What it sounds like to me is that you’ve allowed yourself to be a convenient tool for the emotion manipulators and have fallen into the bandwagon of the currently popular cause.

              Also, I don’t think Lincoln opted to break the country. It looked more like he preferred an unbroken, but fixed country…

            • So the economy can go into a shambles, but at least Ben Down and Phil McCrevis can get married. Makes perfect sense.

              • To be fair, I could care less if the economy goes to shambles for natural cyclic economic reasons…

                I do get irritated when the economy goes to shambles because we’ve ignorantly thought we could manipulate it through feel good legislation.

                • Free economies go through natural readjustments all the time. When things get seriously out of whack, one method only has proven effective. That’s when the government shrinks itself from a bloated state, reduces taxes and eliminates excessive restrictions and regulation on private commerce. The Left denies this as they see every crisis- economic or whatever- as an excuse for more regulation and control. After all, this is what defines them. Economic malaise (which invariably follows) is also preferred by them, as it increases public dependency on government. Thus, they win both ways.

  4. As an African American, I learned at a very young age that the person who would call me a nigger to my face was probably not to be reasoned with. He or she would be unable to see my humanity, my basic good guy nature, be impressed with my talents, or even provide that old left-handed compliment that I’m “well-spoken.” It’s been a long while since I’ve encountered that experience until I arrived at your blog today. My logic still holds even if it’s not “the n-word.”

    • Love and hate are both impossible to reason with. They’re feelings and they don’t involve a lot of thinking. Yes, I’ve heard and told some of the jokes, I grew up in the 1970s in a very white, half-white-collar-half-blue-collar suburb and as kids we all traded the same jokes we’d heard our families, who’d grown up in the 50s, tell. I’ve worked with too many people of too many different colors to reduce any one race down to one word. That doesn’t mean that I think that certain behaviors, which aren’t necessarily color-based, but some people make the link, like being lazy, being irresponsible, acting entitled, and generally turning to either criminal activity or what Neal Boortz used to call a moocher lifestyle, aren’t up for criticism. I’ve known people of all colors who were great, and people of all colors who sucked, plain and simple. I can divorce color from character. I can divorce most religions from character, I don’t think all Baptists are hellfire-and-brimstone intolerant or that all Jews are greedy or closed-natured. I am not quite there with Islam, mostly because the majority of Muslims have been silent on the recent wrongs done by fanatics in the religion’s name. I am still not there on sexuality, partly from faith, partly from just plain aversion to what they do, which, let’s face it, is biologically counterintuitive. I’d get there a lot sooner if I wasn’t getting pelted with insults, lawsuits, and bullying tactics, all rallied around a guy who says “fuck you” to everyone who doesn’t agree with him and just generates more heat and less light. Actually the last time I heard well-spoken used as damning with faint praise it was on a site talking about the Lindbergh kidnapping, where the writer said that prosecutor Wilentz was usually well-spoken but lapsed into a thick Yiddish accent when angry or agitated (that’s when I clicked to another site). Until the strong feelings die down, there’s simply no reasoning.

    • Except not quite payback, as the party platform, ill-worded as it is, neither *mandates* nor *proscribes* personal behavior. Merely limits government power. Whereas the California government has proscribed certain behavior.

      • It slurs gays. Every gay alive would read it that way, as would most non-fundamentalist parents of gays, friends of gays, employers of gays. Parties are supposed to seek broad support, not limit it by an embrace of bigotry.

        • It’s not “bigotry”, Jack. If I was to call Mark Cobb a lousy, spear chucking, @#$%^ sonnavabitch- just because of his ancestry- THAT’S bigotry. If I decry a culture or attitude that’s leading black youths into violent hate rampages against whites or Asians, that’s a civic duty based on principle. It’s also one in which all good citizens- regardless of ancestry- would concur. To oppose destructive behaviors on the part of any segment of the population- behaviors which are a matter of choice, not inheritance- is the farthest thing from bigotry.

          • It is when you can’t produce any logical support for your assertion that homosexuality is a “destructive behavior.” Lots of people thought the choice of race-mixing was destructive behavior, too. I’m sure they believed their reasons were completely sensible.

    • Sodomist is a slur, and inherently hateful, equating homosexuality with sin and evil. Again, it only takes an irrational advocacy of tangential issues like anti-gay policies to render a party’s more important and legitimate policy stances suspect. Simple cognitive dissonance. A party that can’t prioritize better that this deserves to end up in the dustbin.

      • Uh no, a sodomist is one who practices sodomy, meaning any kind of intercourse held to be unnatural and in particular anal sex, it’s not limited to gay folks. That said, you have hit the nail on the head in your second sentence – there are bigger issues the GOP can win on and deserves to win on, and it’s not helping its cause here. That said, I’m still not coming around until the other side stops spewing hate and bashing people of faith.

        • There are words that were created before the obvious intent of the word was recognized to be as cruel and unfair as it is. This is one of them.

          I’m curious: how would you treat a religion and its members who held that you were an embodiment of sin and perversion, no matter what their justification? How can you expect the targets of such faiths to shrug it off? Do you just smile regarding radical Islam’s determination to wipe you out as an infidel, or do you engage in Radical Islam-bashing? I submit that you are expecting not only the impossible, but the inhuman. I won’t like people who belong to religions that condemn anything about me. Why should I? In fact, I don’t like religions that condemn anything about anyone that isn’t unethical or illegal conduct.

          • Gays are organizing and fighting back against institutions and organizations that want to marginalize them, make them targets, and withhold equal and basic rights, as they see it. Of course they’re fighting back. They should.

            • And we people of faith aren’t taking it lying down. It’s not about equality, it’s about domination, and we won’t let ourselves be dominated.

              • That’s not responsive to the question, Steve. I repeat: what would you expect them to do? What would you do if the positions were reversed? The attackers are not the ones who should, in an ethical response, say “we aren’t taking it lying down.” They are on offense, not defense. Stop attacking would be the ethical response.

                  • Except that it fascinates me, Mark, or perhaps horrifies is a better word. Two otherwise sensible, fair, educated people, one convinced that gays are scourges of civilization, lying in wait to molest children and corrupt society, and another refusing to accord them the basic respect he would naturally extend to anyone else, and all because some scribe, centuries before Jesus was born, decided to endorse an ancient taboo by placing a condemnation of homosexuality into God’s mouth. 2000 years later, after everything we have learned, long past the point where that taboo has any relationship to civilization, and real, innocent, good people are suffering because so many Americans can’t let go of an illegitimate and harmful belief. Why?

                    I was raised in that tradition. Where I lived, gay people were like unicorns…you heard about them, but nobody knew about them. Then, in college, I met gays, worked and played with them, and heard their stories. It was all ignorance, 100%. Luckily, in my upbringing, there was just that, no hate or fear. So my mind was open enough. How you open the minds that have been nailed shut, I don’t know…but I’ll keep typing.

                • No, Jack. We’re on the COUNTER- offense. Since it’s become evident that the deviant agenda- now firmly in bed (forgive the pun) with the leftist agenda- is seeking political power over us and our children to the destruction of our society, people are organizing to fight back. The status of our children was the final straw.

          • You don’t like religions generally, but let that pass in this context, since there IS a certain logic to disliking the fact that almost all of the world’s major religions have proscriptions, and indeed almost any organization is defined as much by who’s out by who’s in . You know my opinion of radical Islam, and Islam generally, so I won’t repeat it here except to say it is not a good opinion. Thankfully here in the west we don’t have to experience what the Israelis, who are surrounded on all sides by that kind of thinking, have to experience every day. No one in the west is looking to wipe gay people out the way radical Islam is looking to wipe the dar-al-harb out, so I think that comparison breaks down after a certain point. There’s also the question raised by the fact that in most of the world’s major religions homosexual acts are a no-no, including Islam.

            That said, no one is going to like anyone who condemns them. I don’t like radical Islam, but that’s an easy target, it’s very easy to hate murderers and terrorists. I also hate militant atheists who can’t let an expression of faith pass without mocking it and who insist on tearing down monuments with benign religious symbols on them and getting in the way of Christmas toy drives. People like that seem to have not a damn positive thing to contribute to the welfare of society and to delight in stirring up conflicts so that if they win they can strut around and proclaim a victory over those ignorant other folks. I have yet to see a gay organization or advocate who has made a positive contribution to society or others outside their own community. It seems that all they want to do is force acceptance and active celebration of what they do so they can strut around and say how much hipper, smarter, cooler and better they are than others. Forgive me if I have a problem with that.

            • You do realize that most people who support advocacy groups don’t just support one, right (hell, a lot of the militant atheists I know have actual jobs; indeed, even Dawkins still does some biology-related work from time to time)? Mother used to contribute quite a bit to our local Taiwanese-American organization, but she also gives quite a bit to more universalist organizations like Doctors Without Borders.

        • So, Steve, where are the clinics where opposite-sex couples who have anal sex are being counseled to give up their godless somodist lifestyles? Where are the conservatives demanding that opposite-sex couples who engage in anal sex should not be given marriage licenses? Where are the conservatives arguing that same-sex relationships which do not engage in anal sex are morally acceptable?

          If the “sodomist” slur is “not limited to gay folks” why on earth are gay folks the only class of people who are subject to this slur, when straight folks engage in the same acts in equal or greater numbers?

          • Once again, I see the old attempt at redefining the debate. This is not about homosexual vs. heterosexual. This is a matter of perversity vs. normalcy. Anyone who commits anal “sex” is a pervert. Get that straight, for God’s sake.

            • “This is a matter of perversity vs. normalcy. Anyone who commits anal “sex” is a pervert. Get that straight, for God’s sake.”

              Wow. OK. So I’m just supposed to “get it straight,” even though you’ve provided absolutely no justification for this claim in your twenty or so comments in this thread.

              Your argumentative skills suck. Why do you believe people should just accept the things you say without question? Why do you believe you do not have to provide evidence for your claims?

      • The correct phrase was “sodomist fundamentalist“. The purpose of this phrase is to distinguish those agitators who want full social and political acceptance of filthy, deviant sex acts from those who merely seek companionship and emotional intimacy with members of the same sex.

        Bill Levinson explains psywar principles.

        http://americanthinker.com/2014/05/psychological_warfare_for_dhimmis.html

        My use of “sodomist fundamentalist” is to divide the leadership and the frontpersons from the rank-and-file. I do not identify the enemy too widely.

        Regretably, most of those who oppose the sodomist agenda failed to adhere to these psywar principles. Their calling of everyone who are sympathetic to gays “perverts and faggots”, their equating the mere desire for same-sex companionship and emotional intimacy with vile sex acts, and even their support of such laws like those that effectively allowed the state to fire teachers merely for voicing the wrong opinion of homosexuality outside the classroom, led those who merely wanted same-sex companionship to find common cause with the sodomist fundamentalists. And it should not be surprising. The sodomist fundamentalists were not trying to police their thoughts.

        Of course, now they are trying to police people’s thoughts, even going so far as toseek prohibition of reparative therapy. The Texas Republican Party never said they wanted to round up all people with same-sex attractions and put them in reparative therapy camps, but the sodomist fundamentalists seek laws that would discourage therapists from discussing anything related to sexual orientation with minors.

        • There is no such thing as a vile sex act between consenting adults, That you would find it vile is completely irrelevant. That I find kale vile doesn’t mean its rational to call you vile for eating it. When your whole argument is built on such illogical quicksand, it’s doomed.

          • Dunno about that, Jack, I can sort of “get” most expressions of affection between same-sex couples since they are the same as those acts heterosexuals do, thought there’s something intuitively repulsive about seeing two men together in the sense of “this isn’t normal.” That intuitive repulsion isn’t there for two women, and I can’t explain why, any more than I could explain any other feeling.

            However, there’s something biologically and commonsensically counterintuitive about making the ultimate expression of love the act of sticking a body part in the place where human waste comes out, and there’s something morally very repulsive about turning the idea that marriage is a holy act on its head by, in effect, sacramentalizing what was previously considered a very serious sin. Maybe one day I’ll get to the idea that it isn’t such a bad thing, but a holy act on the level of marital relations? I just can’t make that full turn.

            • Steve: “Dunno about that, Jack, I can sort of “get” most expressions of affection between same-sex couples since they are the same as those acts heterosexuals do, thought there’s something intuitively repulsive about seeing two men together in the sense of “this isn’t normal.” That intuitive repulsion isn’t there for two women, and I can’t explain why, any more than I could explain any other feeling.”

              Really? It’s because two women kissing turns you on and two men kissing does not. Mystery solved.

              “However, there’s something biologically and commonsensically counterintuitive about making the ultimate expression of love the act of sticking a body part in the place where human waste comes out”

              A rather large portion of married opposite-sex couples admits to trying anal sex. The “holy act of marriage” has very little to do with whose body parts are stuck where, and it is the anti-gays’ habit of reducing marriage down to such an equation that cheapens and degrades the institution, not anything gays have done.

              • Two women kissing does not “turn me on,” so please don’t get the idea I’m one of the “can I watch” crowd. I’m not, it’s just that I’m not as disgusted or repulsed by it as I am by two men.

                And really? How many are this rather large portion, and how many of that large portion are experimenting as opposed to regularly using anal intercourse as their preferred method? Without specific answers this is just pie-in-the-sky generalizations that lead to nothing.

                The ultimate act of heterosexual love results in the next generation. The ultimate act of homosexual love results in what? Bedsheets stained with blood, semen, fecal matter and lubricant. I can’t see any value or beauty in that.

                • Love, lust, and procreation coincide frequently, but they are still three separate concepts, and it’s a bad idea to equivocate them. Are you saying that the sum total of love’s worth is that it leads people to have sex and produce more people? I understand (romantic) love to be a bond between people that results in a strong gestalt consciousness, which improves the lives of those involved. It’s a good thing with or without procreation. Procreation is best done in a stable environment for developing minds, which to me implies the presence of love. So love is ideally for procreation, but not necessarily the other way around.

                  As for lust, I don’t have a vested interest in condemning such an emotion unless it leads people to act unethically or becomes an addiction that subsumes their consciousness. Neither of those conditions is met just because a person happens to feel lust towards another person whose genitals are the same type as their own.

                  Finally, there’s the rhetorical bit: Blood, semen, fecal matter, and lubricant can also be part of heterosexual sex, as has been pointed out elsewhere in these comments. Thus the only net difference in results is whether or not it is possible to biologically conceive a child. Since heterosexual couples can avoid conception and fertility is irrelevant to adoption, I think sex is ethically unrelated to the genitalia of the participants.

                • “The ultimate act of heterosexual love results in the next generation. The ultimate act of homosexual love results in what? Bedsheets stained with blood, semen, fecal matter and lubricant. I can’t see any value or beauty in that.”

                  Then don’t have anal sex. Jeez. You also don’t need to continue spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about it. (Though I do feel required to point out that there’s no noticeable fecal matter if you do it right.)

                  It’s also important to point out that “the ultimate act of heterosexual love” does not always result in the next generation. We still allow infertile and elderly couples to marry, last I checked. Plus heterosexuals engage in anal sex all the time. We do not license marriage or even judge the morality of a relationship based on what kind of sex they have.

                  The idea that anti-gay discrimination is about revulsion to certain kinds of sex acts is disingenuous, since both gays and straights engage in the exact same acts. It’s about gender composition and bigotry, plain and simple.

                    • “There’s no noticeable fecal matter if you do it right.” Excuse me while I throw up. “Heterosexuals engage in anal sex all the time.” How do you know this? Are you out there polling who does it what way? Do we have a would-be Dr. Ruth in our midst?

                      Yes yes, I’ve heard the talking point about infertile and elderly couples getting married. It’s a red herring. How many infertile couples get married in good faith and later then find out they can’t produce children vis-à-vis how many know they can’t have kids or don’t intend to have kids is something I am not aware of the statistics on. I’m also unclear on how many elderly couples have already had kids when they get married, usually after their first spouses die.

                      My point is that with infertile and elderly couples kids are frequently peripherally in the picture and the couple doesn’t produce either because they don’t know they can’t or they already have. A homosexual couple never can, no ifs ands or but(t)s about it. It’s never about family, only about legitimizing revolting acts. I also think a goodly amount of the current movement is about giving a big middle finger to those who oppose them.

                    • My jaw is now being pried off the floor. I’d guess that well below 25% of hetero sex is for the purpose of creating children. I know literally dozens of married couples no more likely to conceive than the gay couple across the street. And so what? The legitimacy of a marriage is based on fertility? What is this, sub-Saharan Africa? And yes, millions of hetero couples engage in anal sex…that’s probably how most hetero individuals contract AIDS. The AID epidemic in Africa, speaking of, is substantial hetero. Guess why?

                    • Just so you have some data:

                      “Anal intercourse appears to be more popular than possibly expected among heterosexual couples under 45, according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. The report, titled “Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction and Sexual Identity in the United States,” which reportedly polled thousands of people between the ages of 15 and 44 from 2006 through 2008, found that 44 percent of straight men and 36 percent of straight women admitted to having had anal sex at least once in their lives.

                      Surpise!!!

                • Steve-O, I have not personally polled anyone on this issue, but polls have been done, and given that you have an Internet connection they should not be difficult for you to find. The fact that you would jump to a “Dr. Ruth” comparison at my awareness of this shows how completely out of touch you are.

                  “Yes yes, I’ve heard the talking point about infertile and elderly couples getting married. It’s a red herring. How many infertile couples get married in good faith and later then find out they can’t produce children vis-à-vis how many know they can’t have kids or don’t intend to have kids is something I am not aware of the statistics on.”

                  “In good faith?” What the hell are you talking about? Does that mean infertile couples who get married knowing they are infertile are doing so in bad faith? Are their marriages somehow less valid because they can’t have children? Should they refrain from marriage simply to please you?

                  It’s interesting how often the attempts at logical justifications for anti-gay bigotry end up justifying all sorts of bigotry against other groups of people.

                  “I’m also unclear on how many elderly couples have already had kids when they get married, usually after their first spouses die.”

                  It doesn’t matter. Judging a marriage based solely on its production of children is wrong, and it devalues marriage. Gay marriage does not.

                  “It’s never about family, only about legitimizing revolting acts.”

                  Are you arguing that a marriage which does not produce children is not a family? Because legally speaking, you’re wrong.

                  Also, you keep using your descriptors of anal sex as if they are objective judgments. You realize they are completely subjective, right? You may consider it revolting, but your revulsion is not a valid argument.

                  “I also think a goodly amount of the current movement is about giving a big middle finger to those who oppose them.”

                  Yes, it’s not about wanting equality or wanting to provide security for their families, it’s about YOU. Everything they do is about you.

                  Thank you for displaying the obscenely privileged, self-centered attitude of homophobes so clearly.

                  • You know what? I generally hate the term “privilege” in the way you used it, and I still agree with you; it’s like reading CCP loyalist comments about Taiwan.

                    • Because in all his other discourse here, Steve shows himself to be intelligent, fair and analytical as well as educated, I am presuming that he has this particular view because he somehow picked up a collection of bad data, and not that he intentionally screened the data to support a pre-existing view. The former can happen to anyone, and thus we are not abusing him, but trying to render a benefit, by pressing this issue. I hope he sees it that way.

                      I would rather not think that he is intentionally ignoring facts to support a long-held belief that he refuses to abandon despite the harm it does. And as when this has surfaced before, I am fascinated by the mystery of what’s really going on. Because it goes on all over the place.

                    • Screening data doesn’t have to be intentional, though; I think we all subconsciously do so. I’m actually guessing it’s a semi-useful ability, given how limited our time can be. Indeed, I made that comparison for a reason; the blinkered perspective can be quite sincere.

          • And just where do you draw the line on what “consenting adults” may do, Jack? There’s a lot of difference between stealing a kiss off your girlfriend behind closed doors and seducing her, leaving her with venereal disease and an illegitimate child to boot. Sodomy takes it to another level beyond. “Consenting adults” has become the watchword for those who seek the degeneracy of society and their own aims- personal or political- in the aftermath.

            • Steven, I just know you understand the consent of “consent” better than that. “Giving someone a sexually transmitted disease” is not something adults consent to, ergo, that is not germane. Accepting the risk of disease is fine, if you 1) are prepared to accept the burdens this entails and 2) are not going to fail in your obligations to others because of the disease, if it occurs. Thus gay sex is no more objectionable, on that basis, or unethical, than shaking hands.

                • Steven, I agree with your point that being an adult does not automatically confer the maturity to make responsible decisions. I concede the point that just because people are willing to do something does not mean it’s a good idea, and it doesn’t even mean it should necessarily be legal. There are other reasons besides consensuality that people think that homosexual sex does not necessarily cause harm and can be done responsibly. For instance, actual science. Also the vast majority of the reasons people claim it’s harmful are based on stereotypes and misconceptions, so that doesn’t help the case against.

    • Agree, Tex. Near as I can see, all the extraneous B.S. out of the way, all the platform says is if you want therapy or help not being gay anymore, the state can’t keep you from getting it.

      • No, it doesn’t just say that, and I explained pretty clearly why. The way you stated it would be fine—if inappropriate in a political document— and I agree with that. The “gay lifestyle” line, among others, is utter crap, an insult, a slur, an implied characterization, a moral judgment and an invitation to bigotry.

    • No, and I suspect that would be the general attitude. But Republicans constantly embarrassing themselves and stating positions in ways that young, open-minded, voters find repulsive is a suicidal course…and therefore, uber-stupid.

  5. Simply put, the efficacy of any particular medical treatment is not a political issue. This alone makes such an inclusion in the party platform unethical. That the motive is to attack a particular subset of the population only adds to extra axles to to this train wreck.

  6. Sooner or later, I’m confident a true “cure” will be discovered, in the sense that we may be able to bend a person’s sexual orientation one way or another through medical intervention. Once the issue of quackery is out of the way, then what?

      • I think the implication of the quotes was that he couldn’t find a better word. If he’s going where I think he is, it does open quite a discussion. If parents had the ability to genetically modify their unborn or to modify the hormonal composition of the womb to change certain aspects of their child, what are the ethical limits of that?

        • It’s a disadvantage to be gay, just as its a disadvantage to be nearsighted. I see nothing unethical with allowing one’s child to be heterosexual, or male, or female, for that matter. That doesn’t imply that being gay is a choice, evil, or justification for legal discrimination.

          • Of course not. But if that’s the purpose of the quotes around “cure” then I don’t think its necessary to discuss discrimination on that segue. I’d love to know what his meaning of saying “cure” as opposed to just cure…

            • I had considered saying such technology could “swing both ways”, to be clear that it’s not about fixing something broken, but I decided against it in favor of putting quotes around “cure”. Apparently, I should have gone for the crude pun.

      • Let me take another stab at that. Some individuals, whether gay, bi, or otherwise, voluntarily seek counseling for their “condition” (scare quotes intentional). I shall also acknowledge that this choice to look for a dubious cure may be guided by external societal and religious influences; that may even be the most common scenario next to minors forced into it by parents. Regardless, people exist who are seeking to modify their own sexual orientation, whether we call it a “cure to a disease” or not.

        What I’m curious about is how the ethics might change when medically altering one’s sexual orientation (via brain surgery, hormones, gene therapy, or radioactive spiders) becomes more than just quackery.

        • THEN they have a choice (though status quo is always the likely default choice), juts like many deaf individuals have a choice, and some choose to remain deaf. I don’t see it as much of an ethical dilemma. Either choice is ethical. To say there is a choice now, however, is either ignorance or a lie. A gay individual can choose to live as a heterosexual. It’s a soul-killing choice that good and fair people should not be forcing on them.

      • In case you misunderstood, I’m only positing that future medical advances are going to make sexual orientation something we can modify. Yes, in real life. Yes, this is a serious statement. Barring the collapse of modern society and all scientific advancement, it will be possible.

        No, I wasn’t saying it’s necessarily a good (or bad) thing.

  7. Obviously all the Steves’ decided to chip in here so here is my take. It is poorly worded and smacks of a slight against gays. With that said I don’t know if all therapy is bad, or ineffective. All research as it pertains to homosexuality is tainted and untrustworthy regardless of author. Serious unbiased research is not done on the subject due to the political and cultural atmosphere.

    For the critics of this legislation I would caution painting with too wide a brush, like any other condition I am sure there are degrees, some who have always identified as gay, some who came to it and some who made a choice to be gay. Saying that there is never a psychological condition involved is ignorant and harmful. What you are advocating is the denial of treatment to gays, if a bill like California’s is passed then reputable therapist are not going to be comfortable addressing any problems that could be related to being gay, the risk is too great and why would insurance companies approve such therapy if the law says they don’t have to or cant?

    It is funny many of the same folks who advocate abortion rights supported the ban on such therapy in California, therapy that was, at least for adults voluntary, why is it acceptable to demand access to one procedure but deny it to another?

    Discussing anything related to homosexuality is becoming dangerous, socially, economically and legally. Are there really no legitimate concerns or issues as it is related to homosexuality, none as it applies to health, community or unintended consequences? As it pertains to cultural shifts and acceptance, look back at no fault divorce and removing the stigmatism of single motherhood, despite very valid arguments and legitimate need for change there has been significant consequences. With the push for “normalizing” homosexuality what consequences are going to develop? Is it bigoted to research and evaluate such impact? On an individual basis what research and treatment should be allowed as it pertains to homosexuality? Is it a settled science, nothing more to learn here?

  8. I’ll throw my 2c in and agree that the legislation, as its worded, can definitely be construed as a slight against gay people. I agree with Beth and various others in that Repubs need to keep their personal feelings out of their policy positions as this sort of thing turns off fiscal conservatives with social moderate leanings (in other words, people they need to win elections).

    Bad wording aside, I don’t see anything wrong with the essential legislation, per se. How is orientation reassignment counseling substantively any different than gender re-assignment surgery? If a gay person truly desires to be “converted” to being hetero, should they be forcibly prevented from doing so? So, the essence of the legislation seems to be that the State should not forcibly interfere with these “procedures”, a position that I more or less agree with.

    • It’s important to note that no state has actually banned reparative therapy completely. What California and others have banned is reparative therapy for minors. The issue of “choice” there is murky at best; most minors who receive such therapy are forced into it by their parents, and it can be an incredibly harmful and abusive experience. That’s why it’s banned. Once someone turns 18, if they still want to get quack therapy to change their orientation, they are free to do so. What Texas Republicans are arguing for is not individual freedom, they are arguing that that parents have the right to force their children to undergo a scientifically unsupportable form of therapy that is closer to child abuse.

  9. I’m puzzled as to the point behind the discussions here about the relative merits of the two major U.S. political parties. it’s been clear to me since the last election neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party can be trusted to do anything even remotely resembling making policy, because all of their policies are formed based on populism. Our politicians get elected to office by promising to do whatever makes the majority of people in the area feel warm and fuzzy inside, and the culture on this planet is not enlightened enough that people refuse (like I would expect from a mature adult) to accept such promises on the basis of the fact that sometimes (let’s face it, most of the time) what makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside is actually a horrible way to run a country. I admit, I’ve had more free time to think about what makes a healthy society than most voters, but wiser ideas than the average American is obligated to understand have been written thousands of times over for thousands of years, and it makes me sick to see them go unnoticed by generations.

    The U.S.’s current two-party setup a classic semantics versus empathy dichotomy: one party is about rules and a rigid definition of right and wrong to the point of cultural stagnation, and anyone who doesn’t abide by the same rules is a degenerate. The other party is about making people feel good regardless of whether the population is generating enough real wealth to sustain it, and anybody who advocates personal responsibility or any form of strictness is a meanie who needs to be shamed out of it. Both mentalities are important for a balanced life, but these parties are amplifying all their qualities in order to fight each other, and it’s making both of them extreme and ludicrous, not to mention dangerous. The ideal solution is for them to form a gestalt, opposite mentalities working together to generate workable solutions rather than broken ideologies which are pure yin or pure yang. The gestalt of empathy and semantics is communication, the ability to convey both information and significance between any two worldviews, across barriers of language, culture, and experience. Humans are rather prone to mental addictions, though, and it’s so easy to throw all your weight behind one side and yell at the top of your lungs for something extreme, compared with keeping your balance and having reasoned discussions.

    A note to the people affiliated with the semantic extreme: I’d advise that you stop tossing around labels like “depraved” and “perverted” because those words derive their credibility from a paradigm (a collection of assumptions that you think are obvious) that the person you’re speaking to is not in. You need to at least open the discussion with statements that they won’t categorically reject, statements that aren’t diametrically opposed to their own paradigm. After that, you can logically connect those statements to the arguments that are contradictory to their paradigm, but by that point they can at least see your reasoning process and criticize it intelligently, rather than responding to name-calling with simply walking away. By definition, tossing around labels is what semantics is for, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s often useful. Labels and rules are a very important mentality for solving problems. But there’s many situations where that cannot solve the problem, so you have to use other mentalities. Sometimes helping others feel good is the priority, and following rules for their own sake, no matter how comfortable the inherent certainty is, will only cause problems.

    For Steven Mark Pilling or anyone with a similar viewpoint, I do have a serious concern that no one has yet been able to satisfactorily address for me: I have read about this human concept of “sex” where humans rub their genitals together, which generates euphoria. I fail to see the importance of the genitalia in question being of different types. It seems to me to be a personal preference, like a favorite color. Different people enjoy different things. Is there some problem that occurs when genitalia of the same type come together?

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