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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:35 AM
Original message
Straight and I have a question.
I am straight? but very sympathetic to gay and lesbian issues. I wont go into the question mark now. And, don't want to offend, so if you think my ideas are crap, say so, but leave my mum out of it. ;)

Anyway, two ideas.

One, I don't think sexuality is so black and white, gay and straight. While training as a scientist I was struck by how much of the natural world falls within the bell curve. That is to say, there is a peak in the middle of a distribution, where most incidences occur, with tails at both end, the extremes. I postulate the those that are strict gay or hetero are at the extremes and a large body of people are in the middle, with varying degrees of sexuality. I don't mean to offend those at the extreme. I get the sense that those at the exclusive gay end are more tolerant and actualized than those at the other end. Most likely because of a continual hostile environment. Perhaps, this is the problem, those who try to purport a pure hetero face are troubled by their own nature, that is, they are more toward the middle, and take out their frustrations on the gay movement.

Two, the marriage issue. If marriage is framed in a religious shroud, namely, the "sanctity of marriage." Then, how is it, that the constitution justifies defense of marriage. As I recall, the Constitution forbids laws respecting the establishment of a state religion. How about getting rid of marriage as the legal document signifying bonding in the secular sense. Everyone, must apply for a civil union certificate as the only state recognized document granting union rights. After all, these rights are all secular in nature. Health insurance, dental plans, death issues, taxes etc. Then, if you desire a formal marriage certificate, you can still be "married" in the church of your choice. Gays and lesbians probably wont marry in the catholic church, but they can certainly still be formally married in sympathetic churches. The religious maintain their purity within their own group without infringing upon the masses.

Again, I apologize if I sound naive, too much wine tonight, try to be gentle.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Catholic marriage
Something that might be helpful to remember in this discussion, traditional Catholics don't consider ANYBODY married unless they're marrried in the Church. You aren't supposed to take communion if you aren't married in the Church. Since we apparently lost some Latino Catholics on this issue, might want to remind them of the rest of their articles of faith.
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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I would guess it would be hard
to be gay and catholic. As an atheist, I admit, this issue did not enter my consideration. For those that are both gay and catholic, it would be easy for me to say change your faith. But, I realize that this is far too presumptuous on my part. And Arrogant, which is not my intent. Complete acceptance will take time, and the catholic church moves at a snail's pace. The recent reversal regarding Galileo is an example.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Catholics already believe in civil unions
It's already part of their faith to not recognize any marriage as a marriage unless it's in the Church. Gay or straight. Hold them to it for everybody.

On gays, I can possibly see where they might be more comfortable in a parish that actually practices what the Church teaches. That gays are born gay and are children of God, just the way they are. The sticky part is that they aren't supposed to have sex, that's the sin, not being gay. Particularly because marriage is a blessing for procreation, gays can't procreate, therefore there is no purpose for a marriage. Any heterosexual couple is supposed to be open to children, all of them. So if you're not married, you shouldn't be having sex at all. Sure it's wacko, but it's better than the all out hate of homosexuals that some churches teach. And, unforuntately, not all Catholic parishes are as welcoming as they ought to be.
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hraka Donating Member (218 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Gays, marriage, government, and religion
My home state recently passed a law changing our constitution to read that a marriage is between a man and a woman. However, since we all agree that marriage is by the church, and civil unions are by the state, how can this be constitutional?
It is up to each church to decide whom they will marry based on their own beliefs. We have a church in the Portland (Oregon) metro area called the Metropolitan Community Church. It is a homosexual church, for lack of a better term. The pastor is gay. The congregation is mostly gay. They, of course, perform unions between same sex couples. Unions, I might add, that are not recognized by the state.

I was raised Conservative Baptist (now there is an oxymoron). I have been to services at several different churches, including Assembly of God (my grandparents' church - I spent several months of each year growing up attending services there), Southern Baptist (when I lived in Texas), and Jehovah's Witness (I can't be a member not because of my sexuality, but because I have homosexual sex). I am a baptised, born again Christian. I came out as a lesbian at 21 in 1983 and it hasn't changed my belief in God, nor my feelings about the churches themselves. I pray, I repent, I believe Christ is my savior, I try to do good and follow God's law (which are called the Ten Commandments), and I talk openly about my spirituality when asked.

I am not ashamed to be gay or Christian and I respect a church's right NOT to condone my lifestyle. What I DON'T accept is that same church's involvement in politics. The separation of church and state means just that. It was decided by this country's forefathers that the government should be the government and the church should be the church. They purposely kept vague the language of the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) and the Declaration of Independence.

Declaration of Independence, 2nd paragraph: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." This doesn't say my creator or your creator or his creator, it ays "their Creator". This means we all have the right to chose our own concept of a creator.
And how about this: Bill of Rights; Amendment I: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Aren't anti-gay marriage amendments to any constitution, state of federal, establishing religion as law?

And finally, this country wasn't founded on religious beliefs. It was founded on freedom from religious persecution. The settlers came here looking to rid themselves of the oppressive rule of the English government and its established church. They wanted the right to worship the way they believed, not the way they were told to believe.

hraka
Pissing off the radical right, one vote at a time.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. ACTUALLY
the "established" religion of the time was relatively liberal. The Puritans were whacked out religious fundamentalists whose ideas were extreme enough that they were considered a political liability. The puritans were "encouraged" to go to the new world and knock themselves out, rather than insinuate themselves into local politics.

However, the founding fathers were much more enlightened and wanted to establish that NO religion would become a "state" religion.
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seaj11 Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. excellent post!
"Declaration of Independence, 2nd paragraph: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." This doesn't say my creator or your creator or his creator, it says "their Creator". This means we all have the right to choose our own concept of a creator.
And how about this: Bill of Rights; Amendment I: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Aren't anti-gay marriage amendments to any constitution, state of federal, establishing religion as law?"

Good point about the wording of the D of I and the B of R. And yes, anti-gay marriage amendments are the UNION of church and state. Now that's a sinful relationship! :-)
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Moonbeam_Starlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. As for your first point
I have long subscribed to that theory. I have known toooooo many straight people who have fessed up to some serious thoughts/desires that involve their own gender to not think so.

And that's not even counting the straight people I know who have had isolated homosexual experiences in the past.

I do think there is a connection between people who are vehemently homophobic and the idea that they may simply be fighting desires for their same gender within themself.

If only everyone would just chill out about sexuality. It's just but one aspect of ourselves, albeit it can be a big aspect. But it's not ALL we're about and that goes for all of us, straight, gay and bi. I always find it so insulting (and I am no longer talking to you here FM) when people talk about gays ONLY in terms of who they are attracted to. Sheesh.

Anyway, about chilling out. If more straight people could just understand that "gay thoughts" are nothing to get all het up about, I think things would be a bit better. I really struggled with this issue for years, because of my own thoughts. Then I just said "screw it, I don't care" and now I simply enjoy my thoughts without really feeling any desire to act on them. Ever since I stopped resisting them I've been WAY happier. Way more relaxed and comfortable with who I am, which is basically straight but definitely with bi tendencies which simply have never been acted upon.

No biggie.
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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Thanks, and I agree
I too, have simply moved on with my own thoughts, but constantly ponder acting on them. Hence the bell curve, we all sit on a distribution between extremes, the problem is that society strongly discourages anything outside the hetero extreme. I wish the hetero extreme could just chill out and let the rest us, majority, just explore our own sexuality in peace.
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Moonbeam_Starlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Very well put, I agree again.
Thank you.
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w13rd0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
4. Dive right in
One) I agree. I do not consider myself bisexual, I've had relationships with men, and I've had relationships with women. I consider the nomenclature, for me at least, fairly pointless, since I think more asexually. The bitsy parts are just tools to assist in a particular type of physical intimacy. But I'm pretty odd. More often than not, I think the concept of "orientation" is just an issue of someone being born with a predisposition, in degrees, toward or away from these "endpoints" we imagine. If one were to quantify, there would be a scale, with -50 being "exclusively opposite sex" and +50 being "exclusively same sex" along one axis, and -50 being "all libido all the time" and +50 being "libido, what libido"; and there'd be another axis for comfort level with same sex and one for comfort level with opposite sex. All of these would factor into defining the "sexual creature" hidden in one's loins. The "predisposition" on certain axis would define a range of points, 0-100? 0-20? That might vary as well. The resulting multi-dimensional graphs would likely be as unique as snowflakes.

2) I believe the government has no authority to be in the business of marriage at all. Two consenting adults should be able to enter into a binding legal contract extending certain civil rights and liberties to the participating entitites. If people want to have little ceremonies in their church or grove or whatever, that's their deal, that should be of no concern whatsoever to the government of the people.
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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks, and I agree
You added a new dimension to my idea, the added axis. Akin to the political compass linked below.

http://www.politicalcompass.org /

Sexuality is far more complex than the radical right wing portrays.

Again, I agree with number two, the involvement of government has been the problem. I wonder what are its origins.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
9. Re: your first point
Based on my prsonal experience, I think the number of people who are technically bisexual (that is, those who have engaged in both homo- and heterosexual sex at some time in their lives) is vastly greater than most "straight" people imagine--especially where men are concerned. And the opposite is true too: a great many people who identify as homosexual have also had at least one hetero experience. So while these people may not identify as 'practicing' bisexual, they are technically bisexual in the sense that Freud talked about.

So, IMO, the terms we use to describe sexuality are fairly arbitrary. It all depends on self-perception, and on whether one is discussing the subject clinically or in a psychosocial sense.

As to the second topic, you're right, of course. The government has zero right to intervene in an area that is acknowledged by the government's supporters to be religious in nature.
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onedgeinak Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. Agreed
I have to agree with both points. I do not respect labels and agree that most persons fall between the two extremes. On the second issue, it all goes with the word "marriage." I strongly agree with civil unions...oops, I forgot, here in Ohio there is now an amendment to the Constitutional outlawing those too. ;(
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hraka Donating Member (218 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. Dear Straight, you've already answered your question.
I agree (to your 2nd point). Marriage IS secular. Any couple who has been "married" by a justice of the peace has actually had a civil union. The government needs to get out of marriage, as well as a plethora of other "moral" issues and get back to upholding the laws of the land and our freedom.

Now, to your first point. I know people who are gay, bi, straight, transgendered- both male to female and female to male - as well as at least 2 who were male, had sex changes to female, and now consider themselves lesbians. To lump all homosexuals together as a "type" is like saying all people of a same race are alike. We share certain inherant characteristics, but I have less in common with a lesbian in Texas than I have with my straight neighbor in Oregon. (I say this from experience. I've lived in 3 different areas of Texas and my northern ways and dress made me an obvious stand-out, more so than my dialect.) If this were true, my dance card would be full and, trust me, it's not.
Sexuality is learned, born, forced, acquired. Don't worry about sounding naive. The world could use a lot more naivete and a lot less of what we have now - cynicism and hate.
(Oh, and to add my personal point here. How is gay "marriage" ruining the sanctity of marriage. Is your marriage (not you personally, but you get the point) so fragile that it is affected by someone else's? Get counseling and stay out of my bedroom and off my body!

hraka
Pissing off the radical right, one vote at a time.
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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. The Sanctity of marriage
Thanks for the response, it is well taken. I agree, how does gay marriage alter the sanctity of marriage. What the hell is sanctity anyway?

The dictionary says it is a quality or state of being holy or sacred.

Certainly not something a secular society should be promoting. And if gay marriage is not sacred, what about divorse, adultery, etc. Not very sacred occurances, and given gays can't marry, they are occuring only with hetero "sacred" marriage.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
14. I completely agree
society is so restrictive about the "norm" and the "not norm", that we can only comfortably assign two roles to sexuality and tend to align ourselves exclusively with one or the other.

The fact of the matter is that we all have our own bodies and our own sense of what gives us pleasure, so it's not a huge stretch to think that the mechanics of sex mostly work no matter who is doing what to whom.

I think that anyone who is comfortable with their own body and doesn't have hangups is probably going to be comfortable with other people, regardless of gender. On your bell curve, if you take away society's ingrained expectations, most people tend to one side or the other of the curve in what they want sexually.

Where the bigger picture fits in is this: gays are prejudicially considered "weak" or "abnormal" by the larger society. Nobody consciously wants to align themselves with weakness or vulnerability, which is one aspect of distaste that heterosexual people feel about gays. The entire social structure of the gay community and the process of meeting people is so different for someone who actively seeks that experience that it can even turn off someone who IS 100% gay. Conversely, (at least speaking for men), someone straying from the gay side of the curve over the hill to the other side faces complications from expectations of what their behaviors should be in order to be "attractive" to someone of the opposite sex, and those often include goals that are larger than simply getting laid.

We like to bond with people, and society and innate behavior demands that a sexual bond with someone of one sex or the other remain exclusive, thus furthering that divide.

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Adamocrat Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. Heterosexuality isn't NORMAL, it's simply COMMON
I live by that motto.

I was honestly shocked senseless by the number of people who voted for the various anti-gay amendments this year. Feeling the collective hot steam of the nation's breath on the nape of my neck was... uncomfortable. I wondered where were all of the "gay friendly" people when we all voted? Who else hid under the bedsheets for a few days?
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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. I think you are right
Humans are just too complex a creature for such black and white definitions to hold. That is the problem with the religious right, they tend to think in these terms, good vs bad, gay vs straight etc. Reality is rarely this simple.

I suspect many "gay friendly" people, or overtly gay and in the closet people voted republican. Many people pick some small selfish issue and vote along those lines eg "vote your pocket book." I find this troubling and terribly selfish, especially considering how dangerous this administration is too us all.

Peace
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. Sexual Orientation Issues...
I believe that in my case I view gender and sexuality as fluid aspects of my own life. I'm in a happy relationship with a woman, but I do have bisexual inclinations myself. I view the rigid assignment into camps as a by-product of Judeo-Christian conditioning. Asian cultures tend to have a more liberal view of sexuality.
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hollywood926 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
19. Yes, you are so right about the first point...
I would have sworn otherwise until I actually fell in love with a man (of all things!) a few years ago. No one was more surprised than I was.

Still, I think it's unlikely to happen to me again, but I now realize that anything is possible and we are foolish to think we are completely one way or the other.

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