Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Just don’t say you’re “sick”

Posted by Ron Coleman on December 8, 2008

Calling in “gay”:

Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to “call in gay” Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it’s wise to encourage skipping work given the nation’s economic distress. . .

“We want to get the conversation going in the community that gay is not bad,” Craig said. “For kids to hear that in a positive light can be life-changing.”

The irony is that the people who think they’re all about openness, tolerance, understanding, communicating, and open channels utterly don’t get it.  As I argued a couple of weeks ago, “we’re” not “anti-gay.”  We’re not against them.  We don’t remotely think they’re “bad.”  We are their friends.

We — people who, for example, may have supported Proposition 8 — just don’t agree with their political agenda, we don’t accept their perspective of how what they want politically is a “right,” and we aren’t prepared to turn over our culture (however much of it “they” are responsible for) to celebration, endorsement or even explicit acceptance of behavior that we believe in good faith is private, but either morally wrong, religiously forbidden or, for many of us, viscerally offensive.

They think we think they’re bad, or that they can’t do their jobs, or that we shouldn’t be friends with them.  They think we’re “against” them, but except to the unfortunate extent they have allowed their political goals to be coterminus with their persons, they are the ones who are mistaken.

It seems as if we really aren’t communicating at all.  And calling in “gay” isn’t going to start the conversation they want, because that isn’t the conversation anyone needs to have.

Believe me, I’m not obsessed with this topic, but someone is.  And that’s the point, too:  If you leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone regarding your private lives.  Just show up for work like the rest of us, dress as flamboyantly as you like or as straight as you like, and really, we won’t think you’re “bad” or anything.

It’s a lot simpler than you think.

UPDATE: Good sideways elucidation of the issues here, via Mox Ie.

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7 Responses to “Just don’t say you’re “sick””

  1. As you know from your general legal studies, marriage is not just a secular civil right but also a secular civil obligation requiring those who are willing to assume both legal and financial obligations for those to whom they have pledged a faithful union. Marriage is therefore as much or more of a common good as it is a civil right.

    Although a few heterosexuals seem unable to imagine sexual activity between gay men or women wearing wedding rings, marriage is not about sex. Marriage is about love, commitment, family, and shelter from the storm. It’s about history; uncles and aunts; nieces and nephews. It’s about children. It’s about having a place in the world.

    Those who wish to deprive men and women whose sexual tastes are not their own of the comfort, benefits and rights of marriage, and to deprive society of its considerable legal benefits, are nearly as mysterious to me as those who believe themselves to be “friends” of people whose existing rights they voted to terminate.

    (I bear you no ill will, Ron, but I’m here to take away your right to practice law because the majority of Bar Association members believe your activities in regard to the rights of gays are morally wrong. I can quickly find Biblical references to support the majority’s view but it should be enough that the majority believes your conduct to be immoral. I like YOU, mind you. I simply disagree with your “agenda.” So I hope you won’t be feeling animosity toward me after I relieve you of your bar card).

    I am certain it will not surprise you that I am a woman of no small worldly experience. From that vantage point, I am here to tell you that if people could be barred from marrying because of the nature of their sexual preferences, heterosexuals would have to cede the institution to gay women.

  2. . . what I meant to write was — “although a few heterosexuals seem unable to STOP THEMSELVES FROM IMAGINING sexual activity” — etc. . . .

  3. Hi, Vickie. I don’t believe the majority determines moral truth any more than you do. Thankfully membership in the political lobbying group called the American Bar Association is not required to practice law in this country. I quit the ABA twice because its majority decided I had no right to harbor a different opinion regarding abortion, and I’m not going back. I don’t really think you want to debate my on biblical grounds, though. Really!

    Marriage is not merely “about sex” but sexual union is one of its axiomatic fundaments by moral, religious and legal rights. Your description of marriage — “Marriage is about love, commitment, family, and shelter from the storm. It’s about history; uncles and aunts; nieces and nephews. It’s about children. It’s about having a place in the world” — could just as easily describe any number of intimate social institutions which overlap with family relationships. Marriage includes all these things but it is, and has been broadly understood since the dawn of civilization until just about yesterday, the union of a man and a woman; even accounting for polygamy, there has never been less than one man and one woman and, to the extent of multiple spouses of the other sex, those have never been regarded as married to each other.

    You may say you want it to be otherwise, and that the “right” invented by the California Supreme Court out of whole cloth the day before yesterday was a “preexisting” right that was “taken away” by a mean California democratic process no better than a bunch of George Wallaces. You may say it, but that doesn’t make it so. As I say in the post I link to in this post, if you want to extent the rights of government-sanctioned union to members of the same sex, I will have that conversation, but not if you insist on historical and cultural premises I know to be false, or that I cannot be a man of good will for disagreeing with you.

    (I don’t really get your last point! Maybe it’s just as well?)

  4. Jane Coleman said

    As you know from your general legal studies, marriage is not just a secular civil right but also a secular civil obligation requiring those who are willing to assume both legal and financial obligations for those to whom they have pledged a faithful union. Marriage is therefore as much or more of a common good as it is a civil right.

    It is neither a “secular civil right” nor a “secular civil obligation,” at least not in New Jersey the last time I looked. It does have a dual legal nature, though: it is both a contract between two parties and a status conferred by the state. You might well ask what business the state has in conferring that status altogether, a point which seems always to get lost in these discussions. Maybe it gets lost because the answer is damning, having absolutely nothing to do with my “rights”: The state has an interest in marriage because marriages produce children and families which are the building blocks of society. We want to have a society in which children have a mother and a father and we want the state to have a means of keeping track of those individuals.

  5. […] Ron, […]

  6. Brian G. said

    I’d be curious of your reaction:

    “If we are to let the Bible define what “traditional marriage” should look like, then our marriage laws should be amended as such:

    A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)

    B. Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

    C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

    D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

    E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

    F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

    G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)”

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/12/10/12118/336/767/671488

  7. Jack said

    “marriage is not about sex. Marriage is about love, commitment, family, and shelter from the storm. It’s about history; uncles and aunts; nieces and nephews. It’s about children.”

    Let’s assume marriage is not about sex. Lets’ say marriage can just do without it.

    Then where do you get all the family, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and children from?

    I’m waiting to see this trick.
    Will it be on pay-per-view?

    “Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives.”

    You can still do that in Nevada ya know.

    “In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female.”

    I think you have to go to Arkansas for that to still work.

    “Since marriage is for life…”

    You telling me? And how.
    Now, tell me one I don’t know…

    “If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law.”

    Just so everyone is clear, I’d give one shoe not to have to marry my brother’s wife.
    But does it have to be a dress pair, or can I get off with a combat boot?

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