Law School Discussion

This is why affirmative should remain in tact

PNym

  • ****
  • 610
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #140 on: September 04, 2007, 10:14:51 AM »
I don't even know what to say to the argument that gays can marry members of the opposite sex. It's so intellectually dishonest that I'm sort of speechless.

Straight people can marry people they are sexually attracted to. That's the underlying motivation in this day and age for getting married, generally speaking. Most straight people I know try to avoid marrying people to whom they are not, have never been, and will never be sexually attracted, because that doesn't make for a good marriage by pretty much anyone's standards. Gay people cannot marry people to whom they are sexually attracted. That's inequality. 

I'm sorry, but I believe your argument has no bearing on the issue being discussed.

Polyamorous people are restricted to having one spouse - they can't marry the people they're sexually attracted to.

Necrophiles aren't allowed to marry the corpse they're sexually attracted to.

Zoophiles aren't allowed to marry the animal they're sexually attracted to.

A person's sexual attraction to something (multiple people, a dead person, or an animal) isn't sufficient to justify allowing that person to marry that thing. You could argue that the law is being inequal by prohibiting these types of unions, but I don't think you could convince many people that such a policy is morally unjust.

BTW, I bring up these examples not to equate homosexuality with polyamory, zoophilia, or necrophilia, but to show that the principle that sexual attraction is sufficient to justify a legally-sanctioned marriage between parties will not win many converts. People can call a relationship of whatever basis, on sexual attraction or otherwise, whatever they see fit, but that's not the same as saying that such an arrangement should be recognized by the state as having legal enforceability.

Furthermore, if you define "intellectual honesty" as "providing an argument consistent with his premises and largely undisputed facts," as I believe the term is commonly defined to be, I don't know how you can characterize my statements as intellectually dishonest, either.

If we separate the state action from the "institution of marriage" which is what right-wingers get all het up (no pun intended) about, then there's no argument that "marriage is historically meant to be this that and the other." The state should perform civil unions (with the normal benefits of civil marriage) for everyone.

I could probably agree with you on this point. As a general principle of good governance, I don't think politicians (the state) should attempt to fine-tune its bureaucratic rules to provide certain special interests groups privileges at the expense of other groups, because, while such an approach may earn the politicians votes, it also sets groups against each other for such political favors, and unnecessarily byzantinizes the legal code.

Because I think the abovementioned principle is a wise one, I think we could find common ground if you modified your idea by proposed the stripping the institution of marriage of all statutory and regulatory benefits, and conferring a similar title to gay couples wanting it.

However, an analysis of the cost that the private sector would need to bear in order to re-adjust current marriage-based arrangements would go a long way in convincing me the merit of this approach.

And I don't think that the state can really justify performing marriages for the children. Otherwise, why would they so willingly perform unions that won't result in offspring, like third marriages in the old folks' home? Marriage has gone beyond silly little economic calculations, clearly, and attempting to "find a reason" to let gays marry is clearly just hemming and hawing, out of what motivation I can only assume is homophobia.

One possible reason why the state doesn't regulate marriages on the basis of fertility is because doing such a thing would be an incredible regulatory burden. If such a policy were enacted, a marriage proposal to a menopausal-age woman would require fertility testing in order for the state to validate that marriage; this would be fairly intrusive, and costly for the state.

However, a proposed marriage between two members of the same sex clearly can't produce offspring, so no such process costs are required to be incurred to evaluate whether or not that proposed marriage would be a fertile one.

As I've mentioned before, I support civil unions, provided that they are held as legal arrangements distinct from the arrangement of marriage. Since non-governmental parties, such as insurance companies, may have arrangements based on the assumption that a marriage is between two members of the opposite sex, likely capable of bearing offspring, it strikes me as unfair to usher in same-sex couples into these arrangements by governmental fiat when the assumption that marriage is between a man and a woman has been largely valid for marriage as long as anyone can remember.

As Sowell mentioned in another article, and as I alluded to in one of my responses, marriage is not a "right" as much as a covenant where the state restricts the right of the marrying individual to arrange their life as they see fit. Without a prior arrangement, or, in some cases, regardless of such an arrangement, the state by default automatically confers to a spouse such things as a share in the other spouse's property, inheritance rights, and alimony/palimony in the event of a divorce.

If gay couples want to restrict their private arrangements in a way analogous to how the state restricts the private arrangements of heterosexual married couples, I don't see why anyone should oppose making such an arrangement easier to legally enforce, especially if it discourages the promiscuous lifestyle that had led to the spread of AIDS in the gay male population.

The primary argument against gay marriage is that it would conflate homosexual marriage with heterosexual marriage, and some people have moral objections to that idea. Making civil union arrangements distinct from marriage arrangements undercuts that argument, since civil unions, while similar to marriage arrangements, are distinctly different.

My opposition to gay marriage is clearly not because I am a "homophobe."

FWIW, some opposition to gay marriage may come from the eagerness of its proponents to say that anyone who opposes their position is a homophobe. Self-righteous ideological zealotry doesn't win many converts, regardless of whether that ideology is religious or secular.

PNym

  • ****
  • 610
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #141 on: September 04, 2007, 10:31:02 AM »
So, assuming, just to give dude the strongest case possible, that the rate of HIV infection among gay men is much higher than it is in the general hetero population, and that there was a time in the seventies when risky, anonymous sex was considered acceptable and the norm among certain communities of gay men, and that there is a segment of the population of gay men who may still practice anonymous, risky sex today, do you guys still think it's fair or right to call homosexuality in general a "deathstyle"? Do you really think that will lead to more understanding about the risks of certain types of sexual behavior, and won't contribute to homophobia, and hatred and misunderstanding of gay people who are perfectly responsible about their sexual behavior? Do you think that was a reasonable or helpful word for him to use?

Well, the real question is what Sowell was alluding to when he mentioned "the homosexual lifestyle." Numerous conservative commentators have equated that term with risky, promiscuous sex. I assume that Sowell was using that term in that context, because he mentions that gay activists were referring kids to gay bars. If gay bars are a place to "hook up," versus finding an monogamous partner, then referring kids to gay bars would be propagandizing the risky lifestyle of promiscuous sex.

If the "AIDS educators" are merely providing facts about AIDS, behaviors that contribute to its spread, and proportion of certain populations that are infected, then I don't think anyone would object. But if they are NOT advocating responsible sexual behavior, then you can see that there is reason to object their presence in the classroom.

And if not, why all the quibbling about whether or not there is a higher rate of infection among gay men?

The original point of contention was that Sowell's views are not to be trusted because Media Matters alleged that Sowell thinks *only* gay people get AIDS. However, in Media Matter's analysis, there's nothing in the quoted sections of Sowell's article that suggests he holds this conclusion.

A few posts later, seventhson took exception to Sowell's characterization of the "homosexual lifestyle" as a "deathstyle," assuming that "homosexual lifestyle" referred to practicing homosexual sex in general, and promiscuous sex in particular.

S/he attempted to refute the characterization of homosexual sex as a "deathstyle" by providing statistics showing that the majority of AIDS cases were amongst heterosexuals. However, since the straight population is much larger than the gay one, these statistics don't have as much bearing on her argument as statistics comparing the infection rates amongst gays to the infection rates amongst non-gays.

t...

  • ****
  • 2365
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #142 on: September 04, 2007, 11:31:19 AM »

And there's a big assumption in there that gay bars = risky sex. People of all sexual orientations do meet people at bars just to hook up, but people also go to bars looking for people to actually date, or to just hang out and have some drinks. I think it's an unfair judgment, and seems based on the stereotype that homosexual = promiscuous, period. Are straight people who pick people up at bars for one-night stands engaging in a deathstyle?

Wait, straight people hook up at bars? Straight people are promiscuous?

::shocked::   :o

7S

  • ****
  • 1702
  • Self-determination.
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #143 on: September 04, 2007, 12:16:09 PM »

And there's a big assumption in there that gay bars = risky sex. People of all sexual orientations do meet people at bars just to hook up, but people also go to bars looking for people to actually date, or to just hang out and have some drinks. I think it's an unfair judgment, and seems based on the stereotype that homosexual = promiscuous, period. Are straight people who pick people up at bars for one-night stands engaging in a deathstyle?

Wait, straight people hook up at bars? Straight people are promiscuous?

::shocked::   :o

straight people don't have sex. They rub their noses together.

7S

  • ****
  • 1702
  • Self-determination.
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #144 on: September 04, 2007, 12:49:39 PM »
A few posts later, seventhson took exception to Sowell's characterization of the "homosexual lifestyle" as a "deathstyle," assuming that "homosexual lifestyle" referred to practicing homosexual sex in general, and promiscuous sex in particular.

S/he attempted to refute the characterization of homosexual sex as a "deathstyle" by providing statistics showing that the majority of AIDS cases were amongst heterosexuals. However, since the straight population is much larger than the gay one, these statistics don't have as much bearing on her argument as statistics comparing the infection rates amongst gays to the infection rates amongst non-gays.

Firstly, I would think that the name "seventhson" would easily identify me as a dood. Secondly, you cannot provide statistics as to what amount of people in the world are gay.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the stats show that 90% of HIV/AIDS cases are a result of heterosexual sex, which is distinctly different from claiming that "the majority of AIDS cases were amongst heterosexuals." I tried to show that it is foolish to label a certain disease as a homosexual deathstyle if the most common way of spreading infection is through heterosexual sex. There is no justifiable basis for Sowell's argument. Furthermore, those two statements are distinctly different because sexual orientation is not always an indication of a future sexual act. It is important to distinguish between being straight,gay or bisexual and participating in hetero- or homosexual sex.

7S

  • ****
  • 1702
  • Self-determination.
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #145 on: September 04, 2007, 12:50:17 PM »
This is true.  I learned about the birds and the bees from David the Gnome.

I loved this cartoon. Some of the episodes are on Youtube.

PNym

  • ****
  • 610
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #146 on: September 04, 2007, 08:55:09 PM »
But that's not my question. My question is, for those of you supporting Sowell, whether you think that was a productive or reasonable way for him to phrase the issue, or if you really think that because he says after the fact that he was referring to some specific subset of the gay community, it's unreasonable for people to interpret his words as bashing anyone who is gay. To call something "the homosexual lifestyle" and then say that it doesn't actually apply to all or most homosexuals doesn't make much sense.

Well, I agree he could have worded his article a little more diplomatically. But at the same time, the point of his article was not to make diplomatic overtures towards homosexuals, but to argue against gay marriage by pointing out the fundamental flaws in the rhetoric used to advance that issue, and the promotion of homosexuality in public schools under the guise of AIDS education.

Anyways, I think the point he makes is significantly more important than the rhetoric he uses. Undiplomatic rhetoric has characterized political debate for centuries. Even today, people on opposite sides of the political spectrum regularly employ blunt language (I'm sure you can think of more than a few lefists who regularly demean people who follow an organized religion). Complaining about choice of rhetoric employed by a pundit doesn't take anything away from the argument s/he is making.

And there's a big assumption in there that gay bars = risky sex. People of all sexual orientations do meet people at bars just to hook up, but people also go to bars looking for people to actually date, or to just hang out and have some drinks. I think it's an unfair judgment, and seems based on the stereotype that homosexual = promiscuous, period. Are straight people who pick people up at bars for one-night stands engaging in a deathstyle?

I guess you do have a point. I thought it could be commonly assumed that such places are full of people looking for easy, promiscuous sex. Gay bathhouses, gay adult theaters, and gay saunas haven't historically been places to look for anything other than easy sex, so I assumed that gay bars would be much the same. After all, straight people also go to bars to look for easy sex (amongst other reasons). But I don't know enough about gay bars in order to say that all people who go to them are engaging in irresponsible sexual behavior, and Sowell probably doesn't, either.

Still, I do agree with Sowell's conclusion that passing out information about these places to public school students is completely inappropriate. Taxpayer-backed promotion or denigration of any lifestyle has no place in a public school, especially if such activity is under the guise of something else (For that matter, I'd feel uncomfortable if a religious group began to proselytize in a high school). That most public school students are under the drinking age makes such activity doubly inappropriate.

And yes, I think that straight people who engage in one-night-stands are engaging in risky behavior, as are people who have sex with prostitutes, take intravenous drugs, etc. etc. I don't know if I'd call such behavior as comprising a "deathstyle," but I do agree that making such choices is inherently riskier than alternative choices.

Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #147 on: September 05, 2007, 08:53:45 AM »
I once knew a guy who was straight. 

Leo

  • ****
  • 276
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #148 on: September 11, 2007, 06:45:42 PM »
Wanna hear a scary story?

Some of the people here will become policy makers.


7S

  • ****
  • 1702
  • Self-determination.
    • View Profile
Re: This is why affirmative should remain in tact
« Reply #149 on: September 11, 2007, 06:49:41 PM »
Wanna hear a scary story?

Some of the people here will become policy makers.



 :D