Call Me Queer

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

391px-Stonewall_Inn_1969As you know part of my contribution as a guest blogger has been the fact that I write much from personal experience. This particular blog is one that I’ve thought about for awhile and have had some trepidation in writing because as you will see it touches on a very sensitive topic for most males. As a boy coming of age in the 1950’s one of the unvoiced, but omnipresent topics was male homosexuality. For a male growing up in that period, among the most upsetting epithets you could be called was queer. This was especially disturbing for those entering puberty, which in the 50’s context was coming into the macho essence of your own self worth. If you were queer you were deemed to be less of a male, a wimp, a fag and most essentially a loathsome pervert who did disgusting things with other males. People were bullied and beaten at school while being called degrading names. Even though I was always big for my age, I was a gentle and sensitive boy and while when attacked I would always fight back, I would be throwing punches through tears of frustration and rage at the injustice of it all. As I cried and fought, all those demeaning epithets would be hurled at me by the jeering bystanders. If I had the temerity to be winning, then other boys would attack me from behind. Finally, a teacher or Administrator would break it up, many times though my rescuer would sneer at the fact that my crying was “unmanly”.

At the same time in the 50’s, stories would occasionally appear in the papers and TV, of police raiding homosexual nightclubs and arresting the participants for engaging in lewd acts. These stories were always couched in vague terminology since homosexuality was such a sensitive topic, indeed most discussions of sexuality in general were not considered decent topics for open discussion in the media. Even though my parents were very open about sexuality for the time and I was told the “facts of life” at a young age, they never discussed homosexuality with me. To be honest I never asked because my father was what you would call a “Man’s Man”, or “hale fellow well met”. He was large and had a history as a brawler in his youth. I wanted to be like him have his respect, so although I could ask him anything about sex, I never asked him about homosexuality. Taboo subjects interested me. The mystique surrounding homosexuality perked my interest.  Through reading and from Freud, I tried to get a handle on what this strange “perversion” was and why it was considered so bad that it needed the intervention of law enforcement.  My attraction was always towards women, but I wanted to understand why some men (and some women) were attracted to the same sex. There simply wasn’t enough information at the time to give me any sort of understanding and Freud’s position was among the least helpful. What I did know is that having been called queer and fag, knowing how it hurt, my empathy for those who were homosexual and how they were treated increased. It is the question of do you side with the oppressors, or the oppressed?  What moved me to finally write this piece was a story out of Louisiana in the Huffington Post. It is about the Sheriff’s Office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that has arrested at least a dozen men since 2011 for agreeing to have consensual sex with undercover police officers. What makes this case so bizarre for these times, yet so familiar when its law enforcement dealing with homosexuality, is that they were arrested under a law that had been declared unconstitutional?

“In all of the cases, the men were arrested under the state’s anti-sodomy law, which was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.

“Technically invalid yet still on the books, the state’s “Crime Against Nature” law prohibits “unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same-sex or opposite-sex or with an animal” along with “solicitation by a human being of another with the intent to engage in any unnatural carnal copulation for compensation,” according to Louisiana legislature.

“This is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature,” Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”

However, the Advocate also revealed that none of these cases had been prosecuted by District Attorney Hillar Moore III, whose office could find no evidence of any crime being committed by any of the arrested men.

Obviously, District Attorney Moore had more common sense than the Sheriff’s Office that formulated the “sting”. The statement by Mr. Hicks is thoroughly disingenuous to say the least. Knowing the “law on the books” was unconstitutional they did it anyway as their way of harassing gay men and most probably because of their own distaste for homosexuality. Before SCOTUS rulings such as Lawrence v. Texas , all over this country the police were harassing members of the LGBT community. Some of this harassment was done because of the predominant religious mores of the particular community and some was done because by nature many police officers and District Attorneys in the U.S. see themselves as macho defenders of justice and more importantly public morals.

Even today when being Gay has been favorably portrayed in the media, when there are beloved Gay celebrities and when SCOTUS has ruled in favor of Gay Marriage, there are many who are horrified by the notion of homosexuality and consider it evil. Many of these people are in positions of power today and the vileness, to me at least; of their statements railing against the notion of Gay Rights proliferate even though those rights are now being recognized as Constitutional guarantees. Below are some links that will give you an idea of the amount of anti-gay bigotry that is hysterically increasing in the face of this country becoming far more accepting of people’s inherent right to their sexual preference.

There are many more quotations available, but let me point out that two of those links refer to people who were contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination and other was from a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Clearly the battle for the human rights of the LBGT community is far from over, even though much progress has been made. The fact is there are many in the United States that for religious reasons, personal prejudice and preference will keep battling against what seems to be a rising tide. I write this to emphasize that it is not time to rest in this issue which to me has an importance far beyond just the issue of who consenting adults have sex with. I have written before about the threat that religion of the extreme fundamentalist stripe creates towards the idea of democracy. . This blowback by religionists is taking place in many regions of the world.

“MOSCOW — A new law banning “homosexual propaganda” in Russia is raising concerns about the state of human rights in a country already notorious for silencing dissent.

The legislation is vague but its intent is clear: It is now “illegal to spread information about non-traditional sexual behavior” to minors (under 18), and there are hefty fines for those who disobey. Foreigners are also subject to fines and can be deported.”

This crackdown in Russia is now being pushed to further extremes and affects visitors there:

“In an even wider crackdown in Russia over expressions of homosexuality, gay athletes and fans will be prohibited from displays of affection and the wearing of pro-homosexual rainbow pins and badges during the 2014 Olympics. Violators face steep fines and jail time, foreigners will face similar penalties plus deportation.”

Much of this Russian zeal to crackdown on homosexuals stems from pressure coming from the Russian Orthodox Church upon Putin and other Russian officialdom.  In post Communist Russia the Orthodox Church has been a major player and has undergone a tremendous resurgence. It has definitely been an important political player and Putin et. al. have courted their support. The Russian Orthodox Church probably outdoes the Catholic Church in its opposition to homosexuality. However, homophobia in Russia has a long history and in 1933 Stalin also came down hard on homosexuals and led one of his characteristic purges.

“In 1933, Joseph Stalin added Article 121 to the entire Soviet Union criminal code, which made male homosexuality a crime punishable by up to five years in prison with hard labor. The precise reason for Article 121 is in some dispute among historians. The few official government statements made about the law tended to confuse homosexuality with pedophilia and was tied up with a belief that homosexuality was only practiced among fascists or the aristocracy. The law remained intact until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union; it was repealed in 1993.”

On Friday Professor Turley even posted a blog about the situation in Russia.

Another example of “legal” homophobia around the world are the attacks on homosexuals by various African Governments and the draconian penalties for being homosexual that are being imposed:

“More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalizing homosexual acts, and despite accounting for a significant percentage of new infections in many countries, men who have sex with men tend to be left out of the HIV response.”

As we can see there is still significant oppression of homosexuals around the world and I haven’t even gotten into the dangerous situations in many other countries for those who don’t meet the standard heterosexual criteria. In the U.S. Russia’s anti-homosexual laws have drawn praise from a source that seems a surprise, but then again maybe not a surprise at all:

As the hub of the Soviet Union, Russia was reviled for rights abuses by many U.S. conservatives during the Cold War. Now some are voicing support and admiration as Russian authorities crack down on gay-rights activism. The latest step drawing praise from social conservatives is a bill signed into law Sunday by President Vladimir Putin that would impose hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the gay community to minors.

“You admire some of the things they’re doing in Russia against propaganda,” said Austin Ruse, president of the U.S.-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. “On the other hand, you know it would be impossible to do that here.” Ruse, whose institute is seeking accreditation at the United Nations, plans to travel to Russia this summer to meet with government officials and civic leaders. “We want to let them know they do in fact have support among American NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on social issues,” he said.

Among others commending Russia’s anti-gay efforts was Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.”Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth,” LaBarbera said on his website.

In a sign of Russia’s evolving stature among some U.S. social conservatives, the Illinois-based World Congress of Families plans to hold its eighth international conference at the Kremlin’s Palace of Congresses in Moscow next year. Past conferences in Europe, Mexico and Australia have brought together opponents of abortion and same-sex marriage from dozens of countries.”

My premise is that the battle for the right to be of different sexual orientation is a subset of the battle to impose a religious based morality on people under the color of law. The issue of Gay rights is just one aspect of this threat. It has assumed almost a center stage in the battle to theocratize governments because for males all over the world, the idea of not being “man enough” hits at the core of their being. I reject the whole concept that a male’s self worth should be tied up in his sexual preferences and experiences. Many who have known me view me in macho terms. As the son of a “man’s man” I learned how to interact with other males and can talk sports, cars and women with the best of them. There is a swagger to my walk and with my height and large head many friends called and call me “Big Mike”. I played many sports and while never a good athlete I was competent as a player. Those who really know me best though see my more sensitive, feminine and in many ways better side. I’m a bit of a gossip; I love Broadway Musicals; loved Judy Garland and Peter Allen and I cry copiously in both joy and sorrow. Yes those are clichés used regarding Gay men, but these clichés apply to me as well.

I believe that for the human race finally to learn to live together peacefully and harmoniously we need to learn to stop making these distinctions about what is the natural state for perhaps ten percent of all of humans and indeed animals. Our sexual drives are complex and the need to satisfy our sexual urges is what drives us to interact with others. Sexuality needs to be viewed in its true sense as a spectrum of responses humans make in the search for pleasure and fulfillment. A good part of sexuality is curiosity and indeed one of the reasons humans have progressed so far is that we have an insatiable curiosity. This leads me to my own confession which I alluded to in the title and in my opening of this blog. In the 60’s and in the early 70’s I was an active participant in what was known as the sexual revolution. For the homosexual community the opening battle for their rights could be said to have occurred in the Stonewall Riots. I had many gay friends and acquaintances when those protests began on June 28th 1969. I even knew some who directly participated.

When news of the protests reached the media I cried in joy at the unity in fighting back against police repression and the corruption it engendered. In the following days I shared the sense of triumph coming from those protests with my Gay friends. To me looking back this was the opening shot of the fight for Gay freedom. Since I was so openly a supporter of freedom from oppression for the Gay community it was inevitable that a few years later one of my Gay male friends would proposition me. That this occurred was well known in my social group and there was good natured pressure on me to at least give it a try. This pressure arose partly because at the time I was involved in a ménage with two women and they playfully taunted me that what was good for the goose, was good for the gander. It was with much fear and trepidation that I took my male friend up on his offer. My experience was a good one and there was pleasure to be had, but it also confirmed for me that my sexual preference was for the female body. So it goes and it matters not if it had led me on a different relationship path. It was said back in the day that one could be a married man for years, but if a man had even one homosexual experience he was a queer. That is frankly nonsense and is believed by ignorant people. Admittedly I gave into peer pressure and in a sense I can’t claim that my experiment was one of courage, but I would also be lying if I denied that I was curious about the difference between gay and straight sex. The truth is that there is really very little difference except body structure and the limits that imposes. The underlying reality though is that normal human interaction between individuals doesn’t differ to any great degree and depends primarily on the personality of the participants. I look back upon my experiments in sexuality with warmth and a certain amount of pride that I was able to satisfy my curiosity along with the pleasure it brought.

However, that is not my point. What one does with their sexuality, provided it is consensual and among peers, is nobody’s business but that of the participants. One’s sexuality neither defines ones character, nor does it define one’s self worth. Those “paragons” of morality, who would call those whose sexual practices don’t conform to their own “evil,” are to my mind somewhat crazy. Why should any of us care how people get their pleasure as long as it harms no one?

In many places of the world, in many eras of civilization’s long history, religion has made sexuality a target of hatred. Some, but certainly not all religions target sexuality as a means of gaining political power. In many eras through history religion and government have had a symbiotic relationship, with religious belief being used to assist the powers that be in retaining their power and their positions atop a society’s hierarchy. We see in the Gospels of Christianity for instance a Jesus who disdains wealth, abjures the rich and would even break bread with those looked down upon by society. Jesus never once deals with homosexuality. Yet the Roman Catholic Church began under the control of the Roman Emperor and so the emphasis of Jesus strictures to “turn the other cheek” or the difficulties of a rich man getting into Heaven were downplayed and the Pentateuch’s sexual rigidity was brought to the forefront. I don’t mean to single out Christianity in this respect, because we see the same pattern existing in all great religions. Economic disparity and oppression are hard to justify morally and certainly would put any religion on a collision course with the elite’s power that they seek to share, so sexuality becomes an easy focus. Those with political power and wealth don’t mind sexual repression since it never interferes with their own pleasures and it certainly helps to keep the common folk down. Since most places throughout human history have been dominated by Alpha Males repression of homosexuality has found approval, but no more so than repression of women’s rights. The irony is that some of the most “Alpha” of males like the Spartan Army and Alexander The Great were probably gay, or at the least “Bi”. Then of course they were pagans and in many of those religions sexuality was of little import.

The prejudice against the LBGT community is a real evil that we face simply because it is a prejudice against the reality of human nature. To demonize people for their sexuality, their sex, the color of their skin or for their ethnicity is the real evil in this world. I support, nay demand, full citizenship rights for the LBGT community and if in your opposition to that natural state you want to call me queer, go right ahead, I’ll wear the mantle proudly.

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

525 thoughts on “Call Me Queer”

  1. Tony wrote: “If I wish to abstain from driving 200 mph in a legal race (and I do), my prohibiting others from that activity amounts to be privileging my desires over theirs. Why don’t THEY have the right to compel ME to race?”

    Because outside of esoteric religious beliefs, there is such a thing as objective reality, and within that objective reality, there is such a thing as objective harm.

    Tony also wrote: “Why are you so exclusive in your wish to compel others? Why limit the arena to promiscuity?”

    I’m not and I don’t. I’m only talking about it because it came up in this thread and is directly related to this post.

    The Mayor Bloomberg soda thing seems like a good idea to me, from what I know of it. I like it because there’s no moral showdown. There’s no public shaming. There’s no confrontation. It’s imaginative and just tweaks the law along the quirks of human behavior, without enabling. Neat!

    If my friend calls me up and says he’s going to kill himself, I won’t say something like, “I disagree with your plan, but I respect your right to carry it out.” I have to try to pick my friend up, dust him off, pour as much compassion into him as I can, and later, if he’s receptive, help him develop his resilience.

    David wrote: “Vesper Virgin apparently lives in Asia. In what country and city do you live Vesper Virgin?”

    Sorry, my current continent is as specific as I get. 🙂

  2. DavidM: Do you think this is good or bad for the children?

    I don’t think it is a single-valued situation; it can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing. Is it a good thing for parents that can’t stand each other to “stay together for the children?” Or put another way, for them to lie to their children, and to teach their children by example a horrible example of misery in marriage? Or would it be better for the children to understand the truth about life, that, say, cheating on your spouse is likely to end your marriage and harm your children? That people are imperfect? Would it be better for the children if their parents moved on to loving relationships and they learned, by example, that marriage can work? That sometimes divorce is the right thing to do and will lead to greater happiness?

    What is better for society, two people miserable with each other, cheating on each other, lying to each other and letting their misery and desperation spill over into their other relationships with co-workers, customers and neighbors, or two people neutral or happy apart, or happily re-joined to somebody more compatible with them?

    Children survive. Even in divorce, both parents typically still love their children, and as long as their parents meet their care and financial responsibilities, the children can grow up emotionally stronger with divorced parents than with embattled parents. When you look at divorce, do not think the choice is between divorce and a happy marriage. The “marriage” is gone, the choice is between divorce and two miserable adults that do not like each other forcing a lie upon their children, lying to each other, non-intimate and usually angry. That is what they are teaching their children about “marriage.”

    I think it is the wrong message. Once love is gone, what is best for the children and for the couple is separation and moving on.

    1. Tony C wrote: “Once love is gone, what is best for the children and for the couple is separation and moving on.”

      Here is another statement showing the difference between how you and I understand love. You think of love as some titillating feeling that might be gone. I think of love as an act of my will, a rational decision I make to live sacrificially for my spouse and to lay down my life for her good. In the context of marriage, the concept of “once love is gone” is foreign to me because the only way it can be gone is if I decide to break my oath and not live up to my responsibilities.

      This also is a reason why you support gay marriage and I do not. Homosexuals consistently conflate love and lust in the manner you have done here. When marriage is based upon erotic feelings of romance, there would be only a few lucky individuals in the entire world who would have a lifelong marriage.

      By the way, while you might point out some exceptions for why divorce would be the right move, we also can speak of generalities. Statistics do show that in family situations where the women are stuck having to raise children alone, the lives of the children tend to be economically depressed, with higher rates of poverty and crime in the future of that child.

  3. davidm2575.
    believing that races are different is code words for racism. If you are merely talking about the way they look or that one race may have certain proclivities to certain illnesses, that is one thing. The claim that the blacks have abandoned marriage is a blatant racist statement coming from someone in a society that “enjoys” an almost 50% divorce rate. If whites have a 50% divorce rate, have whites abandoned marriage? Do poor whites have a significantly higher rate of marriage or significantly lower percentage of out of wedlock children? Maybe I am just foolish.

    1. rafflaw wrote: “believing that races are different is code words for racism.”

      I really do not understand the need to tag others a racist or a homophobe. It seems to be just so you can smugly hate them. It is no different than the way Southern Democrats predominantly used the word n*gger to refer to Blacks to create a stereotype upon them from which to express their disdain.

      If you want me to be racist, you will have to change the definition to be something other than when someone thinks one race is superior to another race. I think men and women are different from each other in many ways, but I do not think one sex is superior to the other. We call men stronger because of their greater muscularity and strength, and we call women the fairer sex because of their greater beauty. One is not better than the other, nor does one have rights which the other does not have. In regards to race, it is the same thing. A football or basketball team will likely higher more black athletes, while a swim team will likely hire a white athlete. Is one race superior to the other? No. Do whites have natural rights that blacks do not have? No. We all have the same legal rights and the same opportunities in life. Equality is meant to be understood this way.

      rafflaw wrote: “If whites have a 50% divorce rate, have whites abandoned marriage?”

      Yes, I think that is strong evidence that they have. The SCOTUS wrote that in New York state not long after independence, the area had not a single case of divorce in over 100 years. Such indicates how much we have changed in regards to our value of marriage. Marriage is suppose to be a lifelong commitment, and a 50% divorce rate clearly indicates an abandonment of marriage.

      Right now, single parent families are the 70% norm for the Black community. Whites appear to be trying to catch up with them in this area. I am pretty sure that with the adoption of gay marriage, they will catch up. Do you think this is good or bad for the children? Do you think it is good or bad for society?

  4. David M:

    can you explain that article you linked to that set OS off? I looked at and it appears that DC had a total birth rate of about 7,000 babies in the specified period of which about 3,600 were non-marital. Compare that to Idaho (with a population of 1.6 million. By comparison DC has 632,000 +/-) which had 8,210 non-marital births.

    That works out to 1 non-marital birth per 195 people in Idaho and 1 non-marital birth per 176 people in DC. That is about a 10% differential which is what the margin of error is for DC.

    But then this article from NBC News says the following:

    “Blacks struggle with 72 percent unwed mothers rate

    Debate is growing in and outside the black community on how to address the rising issue”

    1. Bron, I’m not sure what you are struggling with in your math, but I hope you are not assuming that DC is 100% Black in your analysis.

  5. @Otteray:

    There is NOTHING racist in what David said. You, and others, are just so used to nobody daring to criticize Blacks for anything, that when it happens you guys go all apoplectic. Let me explain BIGOTRY to you with a multiple choice:

    1) A black guy moves into my neighborhood. He is nice, polite, well-groomed, and daily walks his little Yorkie around the neighborhood. His yard is well kept, he is quiet and drives a nice car, and seems to pay his bills. I tell a neighbor that he must have gone to college as an affirmative action student.

    2) A black guy moves into the neighborhood. He seems to have no job, sleeps all day and stays up all night. Random vehicles frequently pull up to his doorway, and he runs out, stays a few seconds and runs back in. His pants, sag, and I could just swear a see a bulge in his back pocket. He has three vicious pit bulls, and there is a strong funky ganja-like odor. A neighbor says she thinks he is a drug dealer, and I call her bigoted for assuming that.

    Now, in which of those scenarios am I a bigot? The answer is BOTH! Because both are based on preconceptions about black people which ignore the reality in front of me.

    It is just as bigoted to NOT recognize reality about people, as it is to to refuse to recognize realities about someone because of their color, or other status. Which is why and how MikeS made the initial mis-step in this post. Therefore, YOU are a bigot for assuming David is one, without any reference to the actual illegitimate birth rate in Washington. Which is:

    50.1% of Washington DC is black as opposed to 13.1% nationwide. The District of Columbia had the highest rate,[unwed mothers] at 50.8 percent.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  6. Holy crap!
    I can’t believe David actually wrote this down and threw it out for the whole world to see; but on second thought, yes I can:

    “The truth is that what you say might hold true [regarding unwed parents] for Washington D.C. with its high population of blacks, but for most of the country, this is not true.”

    Racist as well as homophobic too, eh?

    1. OS wrote: “Racist as well as homophobic too, eh?”

      No. A racist is someone who believes one race is superior to another. I do not believe that. However, I do believe in racial differences, just like I believe in differences between males and females but am not a sexist for knowing what is in plain sight for everyone to see.

      I’m tempted to quote for you Thomas Jefferson’s view of race distinctions from his Notes on the State of Virginia, and expound upon the meaning of the word equality in the Declaration of Independence from the writings of John Locke and Robert Bellarmine, examining its meaning of subjugation and standing before the law, but you have admonished me to be concise.

      It is clear that the Black culture among us has abandoned marriage to a much greater degree than other ethnic groups, the reasons for which apparently are not related to racism, and I am not a racist for pointing this fact out. Those who do not admit to this fact may be foolish.

  7. DavidM: You are a hypocrite for claiming you are not interested in something (controlling people’s behavior) while you advocate for it (controlling people’s behavior).

    DavidM says: I recognize a concern about diseases spreading through a community, but you say it is a desire to control others. Why do you not recognize the problem of diseases spreading through a community being of public concern?

    Your proposal (or advocacy) is that this concern warrants passing laws that control the behavior of others. Which is apparently your first desire, when it is not the only means of addressing a problem, or indeed proof that the “problem” is any of your business or needs to be addressed at all.

    I think obesity is a problem in this country, it causes disease, shortens life, and creates tons of medical bills and injuries and diabetes than we would have in a fit society; in fact it is far more epidemic and damaging that promiscuity by orders of magnitude.

    Obesity, more than any other major cause of disease and ill health, is 100% a matter of personal choice. Genetics may vary the efficiency of one’s metabolism, but ultimately people CAN eat less and become non-obese, without exercise.

    Do I think people should be legally controlled to prevent obesity?

    No. Not at all. If obesity is a problem due to choice, so be it. If education and information does not do the trick, so be it. If that indirectly costs me more in tax money to pay their medical bills and buy their insulin, so frikkin’ be it. My belief in their freedom is not conditioned upon how many dollars their freedom costs me; I think it is wrong to legislate such personal choices as whether or not you get a slice of birthday cake or are allowed to drink a milkshake.

    The problem may indeed be a problem, but to me the greater issue is the distinction between government as a servant and government as a parent. The government is not our parent. Society is not our parent. In my view the government is there to ensure our freedom of choice, and to protect us from coercion, exploitation, fraud and deception.

    And to provide a large number of collective services that virtually all of us need and it can provide at near cost, like roads and sanitation and safety and health inspections (to name a few of dozens). But providing services for the general welfare does not cast them in the role of parent, they remain a servant helping us, the people, their master. That is how government should work, in my view.

    1. Tony C wrote: “You are a hypocrite for claiming you are not interested in something (controlling people’s behavior) while you advocate for it (controlling people’s behavior).”

      How have I advocated to control someone’s behavior?

      Tony C wrote: “Your proposal (or advocacy) is that this concern warrants passing laws that control the behavior of others. Which is apparently your first desire, when it is not the only means of addressing a problem…”

      Is this what you were meaning by hypocrite? If so, then it is a gross misunderstanding on your part. This is not MY proposal or my advocacy. I was simply explaining that Vesper Virgin had a reasonable point about the concern of public policy that you were not acknowledging. You make it sound like a free for all that uncivilized societies do is just fine. That seems irresponsible to me.

      Personally, I think there are better ways to deal with the problems caused by sexual promiscuity. In regards to laws on prostitution, I think I mentioned in the past that I kind of like the way it is dealt with in the city of Amsterdam. I admit that I find it a little shameful to my sensibilities that people there have live sex in a public establishment in full view of everyone, but I’m not out there advocating that the government must stop it. I like the fact that they zone such things in their red light district and mark it off so people can know they are entering a sex zone so-to-speak. I think it is more responsible to regulate the sex trade in a way that tests prostitutes regularly for disease, that allows them to operate in specified zones, creates a safer environment, and educates them and the public on the risks involved with what they are doing.

      Also, I always prefer education and perhaps even moral preaching to laws which condemn and punish people.

  8. Well, IMHO, it would take a real childish person to wake up one day, philosophically speaking, and finding themselves in the middle of a functioning society, conclude that the whole thing was simply arranged to maximize their own personal pleasure, and that any and all pre-existing rules which interfered with that end, were immoral. Which opinions seem to be the root of Libertarians on the left and right. I guess society will blink out of existence when the Libertarians all croak, having no further reason to exist.

    The righty Libertarians think the whole universe centers around their being granted a particularly low tax rate, if taxed at all; while the lefty Libertarians think their meaningless org*sms and various altered states of existence are what makes the galaxies go round. Which is why I asked way up above how come there weren’t any extant Libertarian countries on the planet. I suspect that if there ever was a Kingdom of Whateverdude, it probably fell pretty quickly to whichever nearby and better-disciplined country needed some lebensraum.

    Those on the left can’t go into paroxysm quickly enough when contemplating and inordinate disparity in income. They rightfully recognize that all that inequality is going to come to a bad end one day. Meanwhile, they encourage that exact same kind of bad result when they thump their chests and flail branches around in favor of people doing whatever feels good to them at the time. Which results, and is always going to result in poverty, massive illegitimacy, disease and societal breakdown for people who don’t start out as rich movie stars. Poor People get out of poverty by doing dull, vanilla things like working, saving, going to school, behaving themselves, and taking care of their families.

    I really love the way one very “non-judgemental” person here takes delight in stating that the Bible Belt has more STDs and illegitimate births than elsewhere, which if true, would be nothing but a “post hoc, ergo procter hoc” conclusion. But if true, he also takes no notice of the fact that the Bible Belt also has large poor black populations which might totally skew the numbers. Because those populations have been getting massive Liberal assistance in getting to where they are, via monetary benefits to have illegitimate kids, among other bad incentives. Plus, their STD rate is about 3 to 4 times that of white people. For the time being. In short, MiKeS complains of a result, which if true, might be the result of his own political actions.

    Meanwhile, the gay male population has experienced about 32,000 marriages in TOTAL since 2004, while EACH YEAR since then that same number have gotten infected with HIV. Which, assuming them sane, means that gay men seem to prefer 10 to 1 getting AIDS over getting married. A fact I don’t think gets near enough airtime.

    Which also means that MikeS is certainly no hypocrite, because he is doing all he can to help gay men get exactly what they really seem to want! Darn those mean old cops who broke up the poor gays out there cruising the park for sex with strangers!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. By the way, OS, you can’t just look at birth in an unmarried household. Look at these census numbers for children under 18 in the household:

    % with children under 18 present in family:
    66% – married couple
    26% – female present household (15% have unmarried partner present)
    8% – male present household (41% have unmarried partner present)

    I don’t mind your Clintonesque “it takes a village” perspective, but the basic foundation of the village/community/tribe is the family. I am truly amazed by the anti-family sentiments that I have seen consistently expressed by you and Gene H, both of you highly respected professionals in society.

  10. David,
    One more thing. You have written thousands of words when you only have a half dozen points to make. Volume does not equate with clarity of thought and expression, as Elaine has pointed out.

  11. David:
    Wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start. How about this:
    “People for the most part are born into this world through the family structure.”

    No, they are not. More babies are born outside wedlock than to married parents, according to latest census data.

    “Society is framed on the basis of this family structure, and many relationships in society are based upon the recognition of the family structure.”

    No, it is not. As Gene and several others have pointed out, the community is the basic structure of our society. Humans are social pack animals, and whatever you call it, tribe, clan, or something else. the community is the basic structure. Marriage is an artificial construct.

    My time is limited and I have to run an errand. I do get tired of making the same points over and over to the logically and legally challenged.

    1. OS wrote: ” More babies are born outside wedlock than to married parents, according to latest census data.”

      Are these the facts according to Dr. Charlton Stanley? I thought you were not allowed to have your own facts.

      The truth is that what you say might hold true for Washington D.C. with its high population of blacks, but for most of the country, this is not true.

      In any case, being born to an unmarried woman does not mean that you are not raised in a family. It is a fragile or fractured family, but a family nonetheless.

      OS wrote: “As Gene and several others have pointed out, the community is the basic structure of our society.”

      No, gene said the tribe was the basic structure of our society. Right. You think I believe that? Go ask someone on the street where his tribe is, and he will ask you what third world country you are from. We don’t have tribes here. Some of the things you guys say are so unreasonable that I don’t respond to them. Repeat them all you like, but until you cause them make logical sense, they will not be accepted as truth.

      OS wrote: “Marriage is an artificial construct.”

      No, marriage is a construct based in biology, based upon being born male and female, based upon an innate biology that brings the two sexes together to produce children, and to work together to raise that child. There is nothing artificial about it unless you believe in gay marriage, then it can be anything you want it to be. Marriage is based in nature and biology, except when you insist on including homosexuality in its definition.

      OS wrote: “You have written thousands of words when you only have a half dozen points to make. Volume does not equate with clarity of thought and expression, as Elaine has pointed out.”

      I write a lot because I am trying hard to communicate. At this point I am kind of giving up for awhile. I get tired of this too. You want conciseness, so let me give that a try for a bit. I just think you will next accuse me of making cheap shots and not articulating my concepts very well.

  12. DavidM: On the contrary, everything you express is specifically about a desire to control others. First you say it isn’t, then you defend controlling others as being in the public interest. You are just a hypocrite, David, whether you know it or not.

    1. Tony C wrote: ” On the contrary, everything you express is specifically about a desire to control others.”

      I recognize a concern about diseases spreading through a community, but you say it is a desire to control others. Why do you not recognize the problem of diseases spreading through a community being of public concern?

      As Vesper Virgin pointed out, you are the one for government healthcare. I am in agreement with her that you are not making sense here. Call me a hypocrite if you like, but it does not help me understand your perspective any better. It doesn’t help me either because you have not said how you think I am a hypocrite.

      And I am not expressing MY LAWS nor about what I think the laws ought to be. I am speaking to what our laws are here in this country and how the healthcare reasons for them seem to be reasonable.

      Vesper Virgin apparently lives in Asia. In what country and city do you live Vesper Virgin?

  13. VV: Then let me re-iterate my opinion: There is no way to reconcile your desired right to control somebody else against their will with the idea of freedom when what they want to do does not infringe upon YOUR freedom to do as YOU wish. If you wish to abstain from sex and you are free to do that, then your forcing others to abstain from sex amounts to you privileging your point of view on sex over their point of view. Why don’t THEY have the right to compel YOU to have sex?

    If I wish to abstain from driving 200 mph in a legal race (and I do), my prohibiting others from that activity amounts to be privileging my desires over theirs. Why don’t THEY have the right to compel ME to race?

    Over-eating is harmful to one’s health; we know that. If I compel others to avoid that harm and diet and remain thin, what gives me the right to do that, and denies them the right to make me eat more?

    Why are you so exclusive in your wish to compel others? Why limit the arena to promiscuity? I can name a hundreds of things that we routinely engage in that are statistically harmful to our health, including driving over 25 mph, or listening to the radio while driving, or driving at night at all. Should we allow anybody to drop out of college? It harms them. Yet you single out promiscuity alone. If your principle of “protecting people from themselves” were to apply to all aspects of life, we would have no freedom at all, the government would be our masters and we their slaves.

    1. Tony C wrote: “There is no way to reconcile your desired right to control somebody else against their will with the idea of freedom when what they want to do does not infringe upon YOUR freedom to do as YOU wish.”

      I think you are mischaracterizing Vestal Virgin’s position. It is not reasonable to assume that she has a desire to control somebody else. She just recognizes that sexual promiscuity leads to certain health problems that ends up being a problem for all of society.

      The local health departments are taxpayer funded. When they treat someone for an STD, they will usually ask who that person has had contact with and send someone out to talk to those people and check their health. Same thing with them, they ask who they have had contact with. Consider also all the spouses of everyone involved having to come in for treatment. In the end, you have a doctor, one or more nurses, a secretary, a social worker, and treatments for a whole string of people. When a person considers all the tax money that is spent on sexually promiscuous behavior, it can really add up. If the case involves something like prostitution or drugs, then you also have taxpayer funded policemen, their administrative people like dispatchers, secretaries, etc., and then the court system with lawyers, judges, court recorders, buildings for court include electricity, janitors, etc. Surely you get the idea.

      You know, even in countries like Amsterdam that legalize prostitution, they still highly regulate it, determining where it will take place and various other factors about it. Surely there is a reason that every civilized government on earth has in some way expressed an interest in dealing with sexual promiscuity. It has to do with how it affects all of society when a significant segment of society engages in it.

      The situation is not unlike someone who is unclean. For the most part, the government is not going to step in and arrest you because you left a towel on the floor in your bathroom. However, if you consistently are unclean in leaving dirty dishes to pile up, food left on the sofa and floor, pet excrement all over the place, and you create a habitat that is basically unlivable due to the diseases growing in the house, they will take action to evict you and remedy the situation. At some point, an unclean habitat becomes a problem for all of society.

      Of course, if education could be used to keep these kinds of problems from happening, I’m sure Vestal Virgin and others would favor that solution rather than the government having to fix the problem. It is not about their desire to control others.

  14. One more thing before I go to bed. It’s freakin’ late in Asia! Heterosexual and homosexual man has such good friends they let him engage in self-destructive behavior.

  15. Bron: But then why dose government have a right to be involved with health care?

    I think because it has become a source of oppression, both financial and physical. When your life is literally at stake, demanding money to save it is, in my mind, equivalent to being robbed at gunpoint. If your child or spouse’s life is at stake, it is the equivalent of being blackmailed with a video of somebody holding a gun to their head. Health care is not a transaction you can just walk away from without intolerable and catastrophic consequences. It is not the equivalent of buying a big screen TV.

  16. Tony,

    Let me just restate my position. We’ve gotten far removed from the starting point, and people may make assumptions rather than scroll up. Maybe this is a problem with this thread. The volume of comments is huge, and the arguments stray from the original points, and this leads to confusion about what people are actually arguing for.

    Just so anyone who might read this is clear:

    I am adamant supporter of same sex marriage! I am a sexual minority myself!

    I am also an adamant opponent of using sodomy laws to persecute sexual minorities!

    Now, that being said, the state acts legitimately when it discourages, by means of the law, all people, both homosexual and heterosexual, from engaging in behavior that increases their risk of contracting HIV. The issue gets some real word focus when you consider the CDC’s statistics on the number of new HIV infections, an epidemic that left wingers seem happy to let occur undisturbed, for fear of appearing homophobic or through love of sexual libertarianism. (The right, for its part, seems to want to use this as a way to justify and revive sodomy laws.)

    Let me restate my point about the value of human life. The value is (1) intangible, unquantifiable value as a human being, and (2) socially productive value (emotional value to family members, economic productivity value, etc.) When someone commits suicide, both of these are lost. When someone makes reckless decisions with their body short of suicide–and this is the reason why we’re having this debate–both of these are degraded. There’s something cold and deeply anti-human in viewing suicide merely as a choice, just as there’s something cold and deeply anti-human about letting people harm themselves in drastic ways, just because they themselves are the victim. Like I said somewhere above, I think this is a foundational difference in our thinking that isn’t going to be overcome by debate.

    You said my hypotheticals about “everyone doing it” were invalid because it is unlikely. My hypotheticals illustrated, by way of extreme example, something that takes place in less extreme cases on a smaller scale. The point wasn’t that things like that might happen. The point is that we aren’t simply discrete beings unconnected to everyone else around us. We do operate in a collective social context. We do operate in a collective economic context.

    Nonetheless, here, no extreme hypothetical is really needed. The infection rate is already extreme.

    All I’m saying is that the government acts legitimately when it steps in with some laws–not laws that single out sexual minorities–but nondiscriminatory laws that discourage this from happening. They could be as simple as different bar closing times, for example.

    Here’s the future for newly infected people:

  17. Bron:
    I consider myself a moral and ethical person. We have a moral obligation to other people, if for no other reason than they are alive. The Christian Bible is full of cautions about our responsibilities to the sick, the weak, the hungry and to children. Those are pretty good suggestions for any place and time. What it has to say about greed, selfishness and indifference to the plight of others is not favorable.

    Those who would dump it on private charities miss a basic element of demographics, economics and human psychology. First of all, such giving is hit or miss. Second, a large percentage of our population does not participate in religious organizations or organized charities. Third, many who could give, refuse to do so. As Dr. Roy Grinker wrote in The poor rich: the children of the super-rich, the very wealthy tend to be obsessed with money, and fear others will take it from them. A recent study at Boston College confirms what Grinker observed thirty or forty years ago. Recent studies show that poor people are more likely than the well-to-do to give money they cannot afford to give, in order to help out.

    Many who would donate are very cautious about giving to large charities because of wasteful spending to a degree that would make the Pentagon blush. Only the government has the power to extract funds from everyone and not let them wiggle out of it. Why do you think the obscenely rich object so much to ANY tax? Only government can make sure benefits are distributed evenly all the way from Maine to Alaska. For instance, every poor family receiving SSI and Medicaid benefits gets exactly the same.

  18. I have a question for those who use the “reproduction” argument as an argument against same sex marriage.

    According to the Census data, National Center of Health Statistics, and studies done by Pew Research, the number of couples who opt to be childless is rising rapidly. In 2010 the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history. Childlessness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5, versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.

    Research shows that having a permanent companion was a more important factor for marriage than reproduction. Sex may be another matter altogether. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center Report, 44% of married couples report being fully satisfied with their sex lives.

    More than 50% of couples over 65 years old report having sex more than once a week. It ain’t about reproduction, folks.

    And by the way, LGBT couple can and do have children. Additional research shows that a child raised in a two-parent home is better adjusted than one raised in a single-parent home. One reason is that a single parent has to juggle time constraints, while a child in a two-parent home usually gets more attention with everything from homework, to getting to Little League practice.

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