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This Isn't Tolerance: Same-sex marriage in Washington, D.C. will trample on religious liberty
The Weekly Standard ^ | 11/30/2009 | Alan F.H. Wisdom

Posted on 12/01/2009 11:42:08 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan

A tussle over same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia reveals how high the stakes of the debate have risen. Proponents of redefining marriage frequently assert that this would be only a minor adjustment, expanding the institution slightly to accommodate the two to three percent of the population that self-identifies as lesbian or gay. The appeal is for "tolerance" to allow people to form sexual relationships as they please. But now it becomes clear that same-sex advocates want much more than tolerance.

D.C. council member David Catania filed a same-sex marriage bill in October. With support from the mayor and 11 of 13 council members, it seems virtually assured of passage when the council votes December 1. A referendum that could have stopped the bill was ruled out of order by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. The board reasoned, curiously, that invalidating a law not yet adopted would somewhat deprive same-sex couples of rights they already enjoy. At this point the only (slim) chance of blocking D.C. same-sex marriage lies in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress.

In the absence of drama about the bill's ultimate fate, public debate has centered on whether religious individuals and institutions should be forced to treat same-sex couples as married. Should the law compel a photographer to provide his services for a same-sex wedding? Should a marriage counselor be required to help same-sex couples strengthen their relationships? Should a Christian adoption agency be obliged to place children for adoption with same-sex couples? Would a church-based soup kitchen have to extend spousal benefits to same-sex partners of employees?

The D.C. Council could have side-stepped such conflicts. Council member Yvette Alexander proposed an amendment that would have granted individuals and institutions the right to distinguish between same-sex relationships and man-woman marriage, based on religious convictions. The amendment was rejected.

So the D.C. same-sex marriage law looks likely to become an instrument of leverage to pry people loose from traditional views on marriage. Churches and clergy would not be forced to conduct same-sex weddings. But in every other respect religious persons and institutions would be pressed to act as if there were nothing special about the lifelong, one-flesh union of the two complementary sexes. Those most vulnerable to such pressure would be persons and institutions financially beholden to the D.C. government.

Foremost among those are Catholic Charities of D.C., the largest city-contracted provider of social services. Its roughly $20 million in annual city contracts provide services such as homeless shelters, medical clinics, and tutoring programs to 68,000 city residents. When the Catholic archdiocese warned that it might lose those contracts if it could not comply with a same-sex marriage mandate, council members reacted harshly-against the archdiocese.

Council member Mary Cheh called the archdiocese "somewhat childish." Catania suggested that Catholic Charities were not "an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure." He complained, "It's a shame they don't extend the same efforts to issues that really matter, like health care and homelessness."

It is odd that Catania, having devoted so much effort to redefining marriage, should now classify it as an issue that did not really matter. And that he should presume to instruct a religious body about which issues should really matter to it.

All this rage suggests that perhaps forcing private individuals and institutions to approve same-sex relationships is not an unintended side effect of the same-sex marriage movement. Perhaps such coercion is the whole point.

"Marriage equality" in D.C. would bring few tangible gains for gays and lesbians. Under a domestic partnership law in effect since 2002, D.C. same-sex couples already have access to almost all the available benefits of marriage. Nor are there many couples lining up for these benefits. A 2008 study reported only 802 registered D.C. domestic partnerships, in a city with 250,000 households and 3,500 same-sex couples.

Ultimately, what is driving the same-sex marriage campaign seems to be the desire for a visible expression of society's blessing. Lesbians and gays want to hear society affirm that their relationships are morally acceptable. Gay writer Andrew Sullivan has remarked, "Including homosexuals within marriage would be a means of conveying the highest form of social approval imaginable."

But this is precisely the approval that many other Americans, including religious traditionalists, do not wish to grant. Same-sex marriage laws, in abolishing all distinctions between same-sex relationships and man-woman matrimony, turn supporters of such distinctions into enemies of state policy. Because "marriage equality" is claimed as a "civil right," akin to racial equality, those who would deny it become the equivalent of racist bigots in the eyes of the law. And they would be treated as racist bigots have been (properly) treated: shamed and shunned, targeted for lawsuits and driven out of public life.

This is what is beginning to happen in D.C. and elsewhere. Will it be tolerance or tyranny that wins the day?

Alan Wisdom is Vice President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, D.C. and author of the recent monograph, "Is Marriage Worth Defending?"

© Copyright 2009, The Weekly Standard, LLC, All Rights Reserved.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: dc; fdrq; gayagenda; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; religion; samesex; tolerance
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1 posted on 12/01/2009 11:42:15 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Just scanned it over... but it seems like a photographer or anyone privately or self-employed should not have to provide services to anyone they choose not to provide to (bad grammar). Probably some flaming coming my way.


2 posted on 12/01/2009 11:57:05 AM PST by NEMDF
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To: BuckeyeTexan

It has long been time for the District of Colombia to become a federal reservation. By this I mean the systematic purchase of all lands in the district, so that in its entirety it is US national property, with the exception of foreign embassies, whose grounds are by law the sovereign territory of their respective nations, as are our embassies in their lands.

Many of the buildings in the District could then be torn down, and the infrastructure beneath them improved, then they would remain public park until needed for federal buildings, monuments and other needs.

The roadways could be restricted to only inspected VIP vehicles and public transportation, with alternative routes for trucks bringing supplies and materials into the district. All businesses operating in the city would do so by federal lease, to include the Watergate hotel complex.

Automatic sidewalks, such as are used in some long airport concourses, could rapidly convey pedestrians over the more popular routes.

The end result would be a city stripped of its ghetto and most street crime, with little or no automotive congestion, much easier to access by the public and tourists, with far more park land, space for memorials, and the enlargement of currently cramped federal buildings in the district.

It would no longer have the need for a city council, school board, or other such civic organization.


3 posted on 12/01/2009 12:01:24 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: BuckeyeTexan

I don’t see how same-sex marriage could possibly have any effect on how I believe?


4 posted on 12/01/2009 12:13:42 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: stuartcr

If I remember right,
you base your “beliefs” not on anything solid,
just on what you want to believe.
Feet firmly planted in mid-air, so to speak.

However, those of us that have the bible as the foundation of our beliefs cannot openly state our beliefs that marriage and sex is to be between one man and one woman,
because that would be a “hate crime”.


5 posted on 12/01/2009 12:17:36 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: MrB

No, you do not remember correctly. I base my beliefs on how God has designed me.

Can’t you still believe, even if it is a ‘hate crime’?


6 posted on 12/01/2009 12:19:26 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: stuartcr

Exactly, you base your beliefs on your own understanding, with no other foundation.

I don’t care what you call it - your feet are firmly planted in mid-air.


7 posted on 12/01/2009 12:21:22 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

“Including homosexuals within marriage would be a means of conveying the highest form of social approval imaginable

And THAT is why it should never be given.

That is why it affect your marriages.

That is why it affects your children.

That is why it is rejected in referendum after referendum.

AS IT SHOULD BE!


8 posted on 12/01/2009 12:38:13 PM PST by Adder (Proudly ignoring Zero since 1-20-09!)
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To: stuartcr
I don’t see how same-sex marriage could possibly have any effect on how I believe?

Legalizing prostitution and drugs wouldn't affect your religious beliefs either, but that's not the point. The author wants you to consider the consequences of state-recognized gay marriage on your religious liberties, not on your religious beliefs.

If your religious beliefs are opposed to gay marriage and the state forces you to recognize gay marriage, what effect will that have on how you practice your beliefs? Maybe none in your case. But others who provide public services to and recognize only traditional marriages may be forced to provide those same services to gay married couples against their will/judgment/beliefs.

9 posted on 12/01/2009 12:41:15 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Integrity, Honesty, Character, & Loyalty still matter)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

A marriage between a man and a woman celebrates diversity among people.

A “marriage” of two people with same “equipment” and chromosomes is narcissistic and discriminatory.


10 posted on 12/01/2009 12:41:46 PM PST by a fool in paradise (The myth of man made global warming is science fiction.)
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To: stuartcr
I don’t see how same-sex marriage could possibly have any effect on how I believe?

The Romanian state could do nothing to change what Richard Wurmbrand believed, but they could outlaw his preaching, lock him away and torture him.

Religious liberty is not about what you believe, it's about the state respecting your right to act on and promote those beliefs. A pro-homosexual law that makes it a hate crime to preach from Romans 1 won't change the preacher's belief that it's true, but it will take away his liberty to stand up for his convictions.

Does that seem American to you?

11 posted on 12/01/2009 12:45:31 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: stuartcr
I don’t see how same-sex marriage could possibly have any effect on how I believe?

The "church" is being forced to accept the NEW religious beliefs of the religious left who no longer see this to be a sin.

That is a violation of the separation of church and state.

No man should have to bow to their religious beliefs.

Celebrating sin is aposty. We are all sinners, some seek to redefine what is sinful.

We were told that Lawrence v. Texas was strictly about consenting adults in private. Now it is about kids in schools too and in the workplace and in the church and...

After "marriage" comes adoption (when does the child get to consent to being brought into an abnormal relationship?) and insurance coverage. Could a church deny a same sex couple "membership" (not rejecting them from attending church, the doors are always open for sinners) in the church, listing in the members directory, etc? Would there be the same acceptance of publicly proud "swingers" who have wife-swapping parties every month?

12 posted on 12/01/2009 12:46:49 PM PST by a fool in paradise (The myth of man made global warming is science fiction.)
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To: MrB
" However, those of us that have the bible as the foundation of our beliefs cannot openly state our beliefs that marriage and sex is to be between one man and one woman, because that would be a “hate crime”. "

The hate crimes laws are a direct violation of this :

" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "


13 posted on 12/01/2009 1:03:41 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (There is no civility in the way the Communist/Marxist want to destroy the USA)
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To: stuartcr

BTW, I can provide you a long list of people in supposedly free nations who have had their liberty taken from them by gay activists and the laws they push. We aren’t talking about some rarified philosophical point, we’re talking about opppression.


14 posted on 12/01/2009 1:03:52 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

There’s no reason for same-sex marriages to be sanctioned by the government. They don’t produce children. They don’t promote the survival of civilization.


15 posted on 12/01/2009 1:07:54 PM PST by TheThinker
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Catholic Charities lost its way when it became a “contractor” for the government.

Catholic Charities should be: Catholics give money to do charitable things, and Catholic Charities does them.

In New York and Chicago, pro-abortion billionaires have given tons of money to the Church. In exchange, the Church takes the Catholicism out of “Catholic” schools and hospitals, and keeps quiet about pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians. A friend was told by Cardinal George that this is why he has been less outspoken about abortion than he would have liked. George said that if he made too much noise about abortion, he would have to close many inner-city Catholic schools.


16 posted on 12/01/2009 1:11:50 PM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: TheThinker

They don’t dignify humans, male or female, nor advance society either.


17 posted on 12/01/2009 1:13:04 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: stuartcr
Can’t you still believe, even if it is a ‘hate crime’?

Couldn't you still be conservative, even if the federal government shut down FR tomorrow? You could be, so let's be good little boys and girls and not object, OK?

When you were in the military, were you protecting American's rights, or just their thinking habits?

18 posted on 12/01/2009 1:14:24 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: MrB

So you don’t believe God had anything to do with you and your religion?


19 posted on 12/01/2009 1:15:18 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Ok


20 posted on 12/01/2009 1:16:58 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Great idea! The government could then proceed to do the same for the rest of the country.

How about this:

Since residents of the District have no Senator or Representative, they should pay no federal income tax.

And anyone who wishes can buy one square inch of land or an apartment in the District and become a resident.


21 posted on 12/01/2009 1:17:47 PM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Not at all, but I guess those that are for same-sex marriage probably think it’s un-American to not let them get married too.

Certainly makes one thankful to be straight...lot less stress for one thing.


22 posted on 12/01/2009 1:20:32 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Another reason never to move to D.C.


23 posted on 12/01/2009 1:21:27 PM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: BuckeyeTexan
"...this would be only a minor adjustment, expanding the institution slightly to accommodate the two to three percent of the population that self-identifies as lesbian or gay."

Only 2-3% now? What happened? I thought the number of gays/lesbians was around 10%.....well that's what they told us before....Guess turns out, there were alot of confused "Anne Heche" types out there...

24 posted on 12/01/2009 1:22:08 PM PST by uncitizen (I'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore!!)
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To: stuartcr
Not at all, but I guess those that are for same-sex marriage probably think it’s un-American to not let them get married too.

They have no grounds to believe that.

Every time the gay crowd gets what they want, someone else's enumerated rights get thrown in the garbage.

25 posted on 12/01/2009 1:22:16 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: uncitizen

That’s been the latest push,

to “up” their numbers to 10%.

It must have been a huge talking point this year,
because a lib-in-law tried to inject it into conversation
wherever she could.


26 posted on 12/01/2009 1:23:21 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: stuartcr

You seriously need to get into a bible study.
Your understanding is about a millimeter deep.


27 posted on 12/01/2009 1:23:58 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I stand corrected, I was thinking about religious beliefs being trampled, not liberties. Personally, I don’t think much about religious liberties, as I just believe in God. I guess I would if someone forced me to join a specific religion.


28 posted on 12/01/2009 1:25:56 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: MrB

Well it seems to me that they change the percentage of gays to fit whatever their current purpose is. When they wanted us to accept them, they said they comprised 10% of the population. Now that they have to fight to get same sex marriage pushed thru, suddenly the number has dropped to ~2.5%. So, see, not that much of an impact really....


29 posted on 12/01/2009 1:27:26 PM PST by uncitizen (I'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore!!)
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To: stuartcr

Taxpayers are also being told that we must have socialized medicine in America because “it’s the Christian thing to do” even though there is no charity in forced taxation.

Again, the entire nation is being made to hold to the moral teachings of the Religious Left.


30 posted on 12/01/2009 1:28:00 PM PST by a fool in paradise (The myth of man made global warming is science fiction.)
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To: uncitizen

And within that alternative lifestyle, the number who want to settle for monogamy are but an even smaller subset.


31 posted on 12/01/2009 1:29:15 PM PST by a fool in paradise (The myth of man made global warming is science fiction.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

I never looked at it that way, I was pretty much doing what I was supposed to.


32 posted on 12/01/2009 1:32:21 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: MrB; stuartcr

If you’ll take a gander at his home page, you’ll find he’s hostile toward you and I even participating in public life.


33 posted on 12/01/2009 1:32:31 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: MrB

I agree with the understanding. I’m sure that if I get the desire to study the bible, I will.


34 posted on 12/01/2009 1:33:56 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: a fool in paradise

I imagine that will change, when/if the other side gets in power.


35 posted on 12/01/2009 1:36:20 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: Mr. Silverback

?? Which paragraph is that?


36 posted on 12/01/2009 1:37:41 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: Mr. Silverback

I see.

The ol’ “America wasn’t founded as a Christian nation” and “Christians are fascists”, etc.

Incredible.


37 posted on 12/01/2009 1:48:39 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: uncitizen

I’ve come to the realization that divorce is as destructive to society as gay “marriage” and general promiscuity.

Whenever the human male has the opportunity to get it elsewhere, the human female is degraded, as is society in general.

Of course, I should have not resisted this understanding, ever, as the Source of Truth said so Himself.


38 posted on 12/01/2009 1:51:32 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: stuartcr

Everything between “Douglas” and “Some taglines.”

I’ve been a conservative long enough to know that “religious people imposing their religion on others” is code for “people of faith daring to express an opinion.” For example, even when one takes the position (based on scientific fact) that a fetus is a human and chopping them up asnd throwing them in the trash is a bad thing, it’s called “imposing religion on others.”


39 posted on 12/01/2009 1:53:38 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: MrB

Yep.

And not to take cheap shots at a tragic death, but...it’s always interesting to see a conservative quoting a blithering drunk anti-capitalist. And then quoting a hardcore pro-abort spouse of a Planned Parenthood board member to boot!


40 posted on 12/01/2009 1:59:53 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Well, I guess if you consider quotes by Lewis and Goldwater as hostile toward you even participating in public life, then I guess you’re right. Sorry, too bad they aren’t around, you could tell them your self.


41 posted on 12/01/2009 2:02:06 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: Arthur McGowan

The government has already done that to most of the western States, land that properly should be returned. But my interest is that this is the capital of the United States. It should not look like Mogadishu, with drug gangs, scum like Marion Berry running the place, and a general disdain for the rest of the country in looking like crap.

Turning D.C. into a federal reserve will do nothing to reform the government. Federalism would do a lot for that. But a lot of self respect comes from being clean, tidying your room, and acting like a civilized person. Something our capital needs to do to.


42 posted on 12/01/2009 2:08:27 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: MrB
That’s been the latest push, to “up” their numbers to 10%.

It must have been a huge talking point this year, because a lib-in-law tried to inject it into conversation wherever she could.

That push has been pushed for a long time now, ever since "The Kinsey Report" came out. They were using this number over 20 years ago, and its just as bogus then, as it is now...

the infowarrior

43 posted on 12/01/2009 5:55:30 PM PST by infowarrior
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To: BuckeyeTexan
This...

The D.C. Council could have side-stepped such conflicts. Council member Yvette Alexander proposed an amendment that would have granted individuals and institutions the right to distinguish between same-sex relationships and man-woman marriage, based on religious convictions. The amendment was rejected.

And this

"Marriage equality" in D.C. would bring few tangible gains for gays and lesbians. Under a domestic partnership law in effect since 2002, D.C. same-sex couples already have access to almost all the available benefits of marriage. Nor are there many couples lining up for these benefits. A 2008 study reported only 802 registered D.C. domestic partnerships, in a city with 250,000 households and 3,500 same-sex couples,

are clear indications of what is really going on here. It is nothing less than a ham-fisted assault on traditional religious belief, and no honest, rational person can conclude otherwise...

the infowarrior

44 posted on 12/01/2009 6:02:18 PM PST by infowarrior
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To: uncitizen

I think the 10% figure goes back to some mendacious number-crunching by Kinsey, who had an agenda.


45 posted on 12/01/2009 6:35:49 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

It was basically BS, i know.


46 posted on 12/01/2009 6:40:21 PM PST by uncitizen (I'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore!!)
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To: stuartcr
Well, I guess if you consider quotes by Lewis and Goldwater as hostile toward you even participating in public life, then I guess you’re right. Sorry, too bad they aren’t around, you could tell them your self.

Let's examine this, shall we?

As I said, "imposing their will on others" is a hoary old codephrase for "daring to express an opinion." This codephrase is employed even if people of faith or their allies ( like this guy) use arguments that have absolutely nothing to do with religion to speak on issues that are not religious in nature.

So let's look at the circumstances under which a vaunted statesman like Goldwater might use such a phrase. Can you even tell me what specific issues Goldwater was commenting on when he said that? Because unless he was talking about a Catholic-sponsored law to make everyone eat fish on Fridays or a Jewish-sponsored law to shut down public transport on the Sabbath or something in that vein, he was doing exactly what I said: Falsely accusing citizens because they didn't agree with him. Maybe he should have just called them "bitter clingers" to boot.

BTW, according to one website I found the quote on, Goldwater gave the speech it comes from on 15 September, 1981. A big issue that year, as you may recall, was the confirmation of Sandra Day O'Connor, and Goldwater was ticked that the Moral Majority had dared...dared!...to oppose a nominee who had pro-abortion votes on her record. Despite the fact that abortion is not a religious rite, no religious belief is necessary to despise it and governments of every stripe from theocratic to atheist had banned it, Goldwater asserted that this was a case of a "religious faction" "imposing it's will" on others. In other words, he made a false accusation, and made it to shut people up who had every right to speak.

Don't get me wrong, he wasn't all bad. He hated the UN and helped create the Air Force Academy, among other good things. But in his later years, like our current crop of congressiweasels, he was willing to paint the free speech of honest, loyal Americans as an exercise in tyrannny and extortion.

So...either you really think that it's OK to do that sort of thing, that it's even conservative, or you don't. If you don't, take the quote off your page so no one mistakes it for your opinion. If you do, don't whine when you're called on it.

47 posted on 12/02/2009 5:47:37 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: Verginius Rufus; uncitizen

Yeah, Kinsey’s counts of homosexuals and other sexual deviants in the population were greatly inflated because his survey pool was almost exclusively drifters and inmates.


48 posted on 12/02/2009 5:52:55 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: stuartcr

Don’t know why that text in my post is showing up red.


49 posted on 12/02/2009 5:54:30 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (We're right! We're free! And we'll fight! And you'll seeeeeeee!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Actually, I included it on my page because I liked how it sounded. I did not research it like you did. Thanks for the interest in my page. I enjoy whine...and cheeses.


50 posted on 12/02/2009 6:58:54 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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