Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 230"

"Finding Each Other Brought Us the Joy Of Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

My favorite gay muppets go 'gangsta...'

"In The News Today..."

Corvino: The Right Is Wrong About Gay Marriage

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
01.29.2010


Opponents of marriage equality have recently been shifting somewhat away from the “bad for children” argument in favor of what we might call the “definitional” argument: same-sex “marriage” is not really marriage, and thus legalizing it would amount to a kind of lie or counterfeit.

As National Organization for Marriage (NOM) president Maggie Gallagher puts it: “Politicians can pass a bill saying a chicken is a duck and that doesn’t make it true. Truth matters.”

The definitional argument isn’t new, although its resurgence is telling. Unlike the “bad for children” argument, it’s immune from empirical testing: it’s a conceptual point, not an empirical one.

Suppose we grant for argument’s sake that marriage has been male-female pretty much forever. (For now, I’m putting aside anthropological evidence of same-sex unions in history, as well as the great diversity of marriage forms even within the male-female paradigm.) All that would follow is that this is how marriage HAS BEEN. It would not follow that marriage cannot become something else.

At this point opponents are likely to retort that changing marriage in this way would be bad because [insert parade of horrible consequences here]. But if they do, they’ve in effect conceded the impotence of the definitional argument. The definitional argument is supposed to be IN ADDITION TO the consequentialist arguments, not a proxy for them. Otherwise, we could just stay focused on the consequentialist arguments.

What Gallagher and her cohorts are contending is that EVEN IF we were to take the consequentialist arguments off the table, there will still be the problem that same-sex marriage promotes a lie, much like calling a chicken a duck.

Let’s pause to consider a seemingly silly question: apart from consequences, what’s the problem with calling a chicken a duck—or more precisely, with using the word “chicken” to refer to both chickens and ducks?

If I go to the grocer and ask for a chicken and unwittingly come home with a (fattier and less healthful) duck, that’s a problem. But (1) same-sex marriage poses no similar problem: no one worries about walking his bride down the aisle, lifting her veil, and discovering “Damn! You’re a dude!” And (2) such problems are still in the realm of consequences.

If there’s an inherent problem with using the word “chicken” to refer to both chickens and ducks, it’s that doing so would obscure a real difference in nature. Whatever we call them—indeed, whether we name them at all—chickens and ducks are distinct creatures.

Something similar would occur if we used the word “silver” to refer to both silver and platinum. Even if no one noticed and no one cared, the underlying realities would be different.

That might begin to get at what marriage-equality opponents mean when they claim that same sex marriage involves “a lie about human nature” (Gallagher’s words). But if it does, then their argument is weak on at least two counts.

First, one can acknowledge a difference between two things while still adopting a blanket term that covers them both. Both chickens and ducks are fowl; both silver and platinum are precious metals.

So even if same-sex and opposite-sex relationships differ in some fundamental way, there’s nothing to prevent us from using the term “marriage” to cover relationships of both sorts—especially if we have compelling reasons for doing so (for example, that marriage equality would make life better for millions of gay people and wouldn’t take anything away from straight people).

The second and deeper problem is that both the chicken/duck example and the silver/platinum example involve what philosophers call “natural kinds”—categories that “carve nature at the joints,” as it were. By contrast, marriage is quintessentially a social, or artifactual, kind: it’s something that humans create.

(One might retort that God created marriage. That rejoinder won’t help marriage-equality opponents attempting to provide a constitutionally valid reason against secular marriage equality. But it might help explain why they sometimes treat marriage as if it were a fixed object in nature.)

Like “baseball,” “art,” “war,” and “government”—to take a random list—and unlike “chicken” or “silver,” the word “marriage” refers to something that humans arrange and can rearrange. Indeed, they HAVE rearranged it. Polygamy was once the norm; wives were the legal property of their husbands; mutual romantic interest was the exception rather than the rule.

Of course it doesn’t follow that any and all rearrangements are advisable.

We could change baseball so that it has four outs per inning. Doing so might or might not improve the game. But saying “that’s not really baseball!” is hardly a compelling argument against the change (any more than it was against changing the designated-hitter rule).

So too with the claim “that’s not really marriage.” Maybe that’s not what marriage WAS. But should it be now?


***********

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

His upcoming speaking appearances include the talk “Born or Made—and What’s the Difference?” (on research on the origins of sexual orientation) at Otterbein College (Westerville, OH) on Thursday, February 4 at 6:30 pm in Roush Hall. Free and open to the public.

Check out John’s newly redesigned website at www.johncorvino.com.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 229"

"Because Of Love, We're Never Alone In The World..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 228"

"There Is An Intimacy Found Only in Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"It Can Be Like This..."

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 227"

"Love Means Finding Our Way, Together..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."


Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legalized In All States Of America
Floyd Dryden Viewpoints


By Emily Adams - Floyd Dryden Eight Grade Student
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Homosexuality is not a disorder and thus there is no need for a cure." This is a quote from the American Psychological Association. Why should people who are homosexual not have the same rights as people who are heterosexual? Therefore same-sex marriage should be legalized in all states of America.

Most people aren't bothered by same-sex marriage. In a poll using one hundred people, eighty-six of them said that they aren't bothered by same-sex marriage. Currently four states (Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) have same-sex marriage legalized. Nine countries also have legalized same-sex marriage (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Canada). Therefore most people aren't bothered by same-sex marriage, although there are some people who are bothered by same-sex marriage.

Most people disagree with homosexuality because they believe God hates homosexuals, but in the Bible it does not say that God hates homosexuals. In fact there are six things the Lord hates: "The Lord hates haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers" (Proverbs 6:16-19). Although the Bible does say that God does not approve of homosexuality, it also says that it is no greater of a sin to be homosexual than it is to commit adultery or any other sin. God promises the strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all of those who believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation. And so God does not hate homosexuals. Furthermore, although the Bible says God hates hands that shed innocent blood, there are numerous hate crimes against homosexuals.

There are horrible hate crimes against homosexuals and same-sex couples that physically and mentally harm them. Research indicates that 31 percent of gay youth were threatened or injured at school. Kids, no matter what their sexual preference, should feel safe at school. How can they feel safe if they are worrying about if they are going to go home healthy or even alive? On February 19, 1999, in Sylacauga, Alabama, computer programmer Billy Jack Gaither, 39, was brutally beaten with an ax handle. His throat was cut, and his body was set on fire. One of his convicted killers, Steven Mullins, testified he killed Gaither because he was "queer." Should homosexuals constantly be worried about these sick killers and hateful people? Homosexuals are people too, and they deserve to feel safe and as important as the rest of us.

We have already gone through this type of hatred. But when African Americans stood up for their rights there was a huge change. All of this happened because they got sick of being hated and feeling less important, and they did something about it. I don't think our amazing country needs to go through another depressing time. That is why we should legalize same-sex marriage in every state in America.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of essays written by Floyd Dryden eighth grade students in Samantha Davis' class. One essay will appear each week in the CCW through May 12th.

******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"The Truth About Love..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 226"

"Real Passion Grows Out of Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"It Can Be Like This..."



Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein were the first same-sex couple to appear in The New York Times' wedding announcements. Even with a civil union and years together, they still struggle for equal rights.

*****

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 225"

"Love Can Happen In Unexpected Places..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."



The Prospect for Marriage Equality in 2010

Even though voters in Maine turned back its civil marriage law and Democrat-controlled legislatures in New York and New Jersey failed to secure enough votes for their own civil marriage laws, 2010 begins with new momentum for marriage equality on several fronts. Former Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson is making a strong push for marriage equality at the federal level. In Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Olson is representing two couples who were blocked from getting married because of California's recently passed Proposition 8. Olson, along with top Democrat attorney David Boies, argues that Prop 8 violates the United States Constitution.

The trial, which began on January 11, brought much attention to the subject of children of gay and lesbian families, and why they deserve the same rights as those enjoyed by straight couples. One of the central arguments in passing the restrictions on marriage is that heterosexual couples are best fit to raise families. Boies and Olson tackled that issue head on by using experts who detail the fact that children of same-sex couples show no significant differences than those with straight or single parents.

Another central focus of the case is whether being gay is a choice and that whether restriction on the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry is simply the legalization of social stigmas. This subject is explored in LEF's white papers 'Is It A Choice?: The Science of Sexual Orientation' and 'The Only Question That Matters: Do People Choose Their Sexual Orientation?"

Regardless of who prevails at trial, most legal experts believe the issue will eventually be decided by the United States Supreme Court.


The Conservative Case for Marriage Equality

"As one of the nation's top conservative attorneys, Olson has given added credibility to the case for equal rights in his Newsweek essay "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage." "Legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights. It is, some have said, the last major civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed in our two-century struggle to attain the goals we set for this nation at its formation. This bedrock American principle of equality is central to the political and legal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals, and conservatives alike."

Olson's argument is joined by conservative Fox News Contributor Margaret Hoover. She writes on FoxNews.com, "Some Republicans support gay rights, but prefer progress through legislative action or majority rule at the ballot box, rather than judicial action. But what if a democratic election imposes mandates that violate a citizen's constitutional freedom? In the event that majority rule insufficiently protects individual liberty, our system of checks and balances puts forth that it is the role of the courts, to guarantee and protect the rights to individual Americans."

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has developed some of the most outspoken arguments for marriage equality. In a column published by the New York Daily News, Cato Chairman Robert Levy writes, "the primary purpose of government is to safeguard individual rights and prevent some persons from harming others. Heterosexuals should not be treated preferentially when the state carries out that role. And no one is harmed by the union of two consenting gay people." Levy is joined by Cato's Executive Vice President David Boaz who details the anti-gay discrimination in many laws in 'Eat, Pray, Love, Marry - as Long as You're Heterosexual.'


Marriage Equality Abroad

Nations across the world are extending rights for gay and lesbian couples. This month, predominately Catholic Portugal became the sixth nation in Europe to enact marriage equality. The action is significant, considering that until 1982, homosexuality was illegal. In Ireland, a nation with a simarly Catholic population, leaders are working to establish civil partnerships that would afford many of the legal benefits of marriage, similar to those established in Britain. Austria's Parliament enacted a civil union law which took effect on January 1st.
In Latin America, Uruguay became the first nation to establish civil unions, though marriage equality still remains illegal in the country. In Argentina a court ruling has allowed the first same-sex marriage, which took place on December 31st. In Mexico City, its city council extended its current civil unions law to provide full marriage rights in North America's largest city.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"It Can Be Like This..."

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

"The Truth About Love..."


Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?


Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color.


Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.

Emma Goldman, "Marriage and Love" in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 224"

"Twenty-five Years In Love and Counting..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 223"

"Becoming One in Heart, Mind and Soul..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"In The News Today..."



Same-sex couples Paul Katami (L), Jeff Zarillo (2nd L), and Kris Perry (2nd R) and Sandy Stier pose for photographs before the start of their trial in San Francisco, California January 11, 2010. California's ban on gay marriage went to trial on Monday.

At California Gay Marriage Trial, Marriage Is Not The Only Flash Point

Lawyers for two same-sex couples, over nine days of testimony, have examined general attitudes about modern marriage, homosexuality, and whether sexual orientation warrants special legal protection. They seek to overturn Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in California. Defenders of the ban are up next.

By Michael B. Farrell Staff writer
January 22, 2010
San Francisco

On Friday, Day 9 of the federal trial challenging California’s gay marriage ban, lawyers for two unwed same-sex couples are expected to call their final witness: a psychologist to testify on the nature of sexual orientation.

That expected testimony illustrates how the case, in which the major thrust is that California's Proposition 8 violates the right of same-sex couples to equal protection under the Constitution, is in fact about so much more. Thus far, it has also been an examination of modern marriage, contemporary attitudes about homosexuality, and the idea that sexual orientation warrants special legal protection. Indeed, it is a case designed to prompt to US Supreme Court challenge and resolve the divisive nationwide debate over gay marriage.

On Thursday, one of the most controversial witnesses took the stand.

Hak-Shing William Tam, a Chinese-American leader in San Francisco and executive director of the Traditional Family Coalition, joined the case as a supporter of Proposition 8, but lawyers contesting the ban called him as part of their effort to show California's marriage initiative was driven by animosity toward gays and lesbians.

Mr. Tam said he supported Proposition 8 because it’s very “important for the next generation to understand the historical importance of marriage. It’s important our children won’t grow up to fantasize or think ... 'should I marry Jane or John?' ”

But in his testimony, he also acknowledged that he promoted the idea that voting against same-sex marriage could blunt the “gay agenda,” and that allowing it would lead to legalized prostitution, incest, and polygamy.

For supporters of same-sex marriage, Tam is a symbol of what they say are discriminatory attitudes behind Proposition 8.

Efforts to show a pattern of hostility
Since the trial began Jan. 11 in the US District Court for Northern California, lawyers for the two couples have called to the stand psychologists and historians to try to show a pattern hostility that limits the political power of gay and lesbian Americans.

"Gays and lesbians do not possess a meaningful degree of political power. They are not able to protect their essential interests," Stanford University Prof. Gary Segura testified Wednesday, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “There is no group in American society who has been targeted by ballot initiatives more than gays and lesbians.”

Proposition 8 opponents aim to demonstrate that gays and lesbians are more vulnerable to discrimination and therefore merit greater legal protection against discriminatory laws. Thus far, however, the Supreme Court has been unwilling to grant "suspect class" status to sexual orientation, as the court has applied to race, religion, and ethnicity in deciding other equal protection cases.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"In The News Today..."

Corvino: No Asians?

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
01.22.2010


Not long ago a friend approached me for relationship advice. He’s a white guy who was contemplating dating a black guy, and, as he put it, “I thought you could give me some insight since you’re in an interracial relationship.”

His query took me by surprise. To be honest, I had forgotten that I’m in an interracial relationship (though I’ve been in one for eight years and counting).

It’s not because I “don’t see color” or anything like that. Of course I see color. People who don’t see color in this society are blind to an important feature of others’ experience.

Maybe it’s because I frequently don’t see Mark’s color. That’s partially a function—for better or worse—of our intimacy. But I suspect it’s equally a function of the fact that Mark is Asian.

Like many Americans, I tend to think of color in terms of a black/white paradigm. Living in Detroit, as Mark and I do, tends to reinforce that paradigm. “Interracial” means “black and white.” I’m well aware that it’s a false paradigm, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t common and powerful.

It doesn’t follow that people don’t notice Asians, don’t stereotype Asians, or don’t discriminate against Asians. All of the negative stuff still applies (in varying degrees). The difference, I think, is that when we white people make efforts to be more sensitive to race issues, we sometimes forget that there are more than two races. It’s not so much that Asians are invisible; it’s that discrimination against them is overlooked.

The gay Filipino-American comedian Alec Mapa is currently touring with a show entitled “No Fats, Femmes, or Asians”—highlighting a phrase he sees commonly in personals ads.

Mapa retorts that he objects to the idea—I’m quoting from memory here—“that belonging to a certain class of people makes you inherently unfuckable.”

I missed the next ten minutes of Mapa’s routine as I pondered the moral implications of his analysis.

Put Fats and Fem(me)s aside for the moment, and let’s focus on the “No Asians.”

Having been with Mark for nearly a decade, I recognize that the sentiment is common. Growing up, Mark was painfully aware of the fact that there were (virtually) no Asians in the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog or other standard markers of our notions of beauty.

Before we started dating, lots of guys told him, “You’re cute, but I don’t date Asians.” For that matter, people have told *me* that “I’m not into Asians, but Mark’s cute—you’re lucky you found each other.” (Yes we are, thank you.)

On the one hand, I think personal tastes are just that. For example, I’m not into beefy, muscular guys. Give me a cute scrawny nerdy type over a football player any day. Other people have the opposite preference. To each his own.

What’s more, there are some guys who are really into Asian guys (the slang term is “rice queens”). More power to ‘em, I say.

I would add that people get enough grief about their sexual tastes—especially LGBT people—that the last thing I want to do is give them more. Sexuality is a gift to be enjoyed, not an occasion for affirmative-action programs. As I’ve sometimes explained, “I’m not into women sexually, but that doesn’t make me sexist.”

On the other hand, our notions of beauty don’t arise in a vacuum, and some of our preferences are premised on false—and morally troubling—stereotypes. They’re hurtful. And the social structures that lead to them are an appropriate subject for moral scrutiny.

So my advice to people contemplating—or consciously avoiding—an interracial relationship? Keep an open mind. Listen and learn. And wherever you find love, celebrate and enjoy it.



***********

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

For more about John Corvino, or to see clips from his “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” DVD, visit http://www.johncorvino.com/.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 222"

"Love and Togetherness..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Truth Is Freedom..."


"One has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Artist's Corner"

"Anywhere"
Oil on Canvas
William Cash

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 221"

"This Is Our Happy Family..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Truth is wherever you find it..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 220"

"When You Love Someone..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"In The News Today..."

Corvino: Don’t Let The Perverted Analogy Trip Up The Gay Debate

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
01.18.2010


The Gay Moralist is a philosophy professor by day, and today’s column is a logic lesson.

Consider the following two exchanges:

Jack: I can’t support gay marriage because it violates my religion.

Jill: Some people’s religions teach that interracial marriage is wrong.

Jack: So, you’re saying that opposing same-sex marriage is just like racism?!

Jill: I should be allowed to marry whomever I love.

Jack: What if you love your brother? Should you be allowed to marry him?

Jill: So, you’re saying that homosexuality is just like incest?!

Exchanges like these have become familiar—so familiar, in fact, that it would be handy to have a name for the fallacy they contain.

Take the first exchange: Jill never said that opposition to marriage equality is “just like” racism. Rather, she used the analogy to interracial marriage as a counterexample to the implied premise that “Whatever a religion teaches is right.” In other words, she seems to be saying that citing religion doesn’t exempt a view from moral scrutiny.

Similarly, in the second exchange, Jack never said that homosexuality is “just like” incest. Rather, he used the analogy as a counterexample to Jill’s premise that people should be allowed to marry anyone they love.

Analogies can be tricky. They compare two things that are similar in some relevant respect. That does not mean that the two things are similar in EVERY respect, or “just like” each other. In both examples above, the second party is misreading the first’s analogy to have far broader implications than intended. This is a fallacy, whether the misreading is deliberate or just careless.

Although people sometimes use the term “fallacy” to denote any false belief, philosophers reserve the term for faulty (but plausible-looking) patterns of reasoning. We give fallacies names to make it easier to spot and avoid these faulty patterns.

As far as I can tell, the specific fallacy described here doesn’t have a name. But it’s common enough to merit one. Some colleagues have suggested “Fallacy of Misreading,” which seems too broad, or “Fallacy of Being a Dumbass” which probably won’t catch on well.

I’d like to propose “Fallacy of Perverted Analogy.” The name captures the central problem: twisting an analogy to mean something broader than intended. In addition, “perverted” suggests something potentially non-consensual—which is appropriate here, since the fallacy is committed not by the originator of the analogy but by a second party. (Beyond that, I relish the thought of accusing certain marriage-equality opponents of perversion.)

It’s worth distinguishing this fallacy from others in the vicinity. This is not the fallacy of “false analogy,” which involves the analogy’s originator comparing two things that are NOT similar in the intended relevant respect.

It’s related to “Straw Man,” insofar as the person committing the fallacy now attacks the bad misreading (i.e. straw version) of the opponent’s argument rather than the actual argument. But it seems that “Perverted Analogy” occurs before “Straw Man.” Moreover, even if “Perverted Analogy” is a subspecies of “Straw Man” it’s specific enough to deserve its own name.

Same with “Red Herring,” which refers to an irrelevant point that throws one off the track of the main argument. That’s surely happening here, but in a precise way worth naming separately.

So, by definition, one commits the Fallacy of Perverted Analogy when one misreads an opponent’s analogy to make a far more sweeping comparison than the opponent needs or intends.

A nice example appeared at Mirror of Justice, a Catholic legal theory blog, last month. In a Christmas Eve post, Michael Perry observed that moral theology must take experiential evidence seriously, even though doing so is often difficult because of visceral reactions to the unfamiliar:

“I fully understand that for many of us this is hard to do – for some of us, impossibly hard: those whose socialization and psychology have bequeathed to them a profound aversion – I am inclined to say, an aesthetic aversion (though, of course, they do not experience it that way) – to unfamiliar modes of human sexuality. (Black bonding sexually with white? Yuk! Female bonding sexually with female? Or male with male? Yuk squared! ….)”

Perry was using aversion to interracial coupling as a familiar historical example of how visceral reactions make it difficult to appreciate the unfamiliar. But Robert George wasted no time in accusing Perry of tarring gay-rights opponents as “the equivalent of racists.” Only by perverting Perry’s analogy could one infer such an equivalence assertion.

There are, no doubt, many other examples of the fallacy—on both sides of the debate. Because I’m eager to name and fight the fallacy, it would be useful to collect these. Readers can post links to their favorite examples in the comments section.


***********

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

He will be debating marriage equality with National Organization for Marriage President Maggie Gallagher at Oregon State University on January 21 at 7 pm in Austin Auditorium of the LaSells Stewart Center.

For more about John Corvino, or to see clips from his “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” DVD, visit http://www.johncorvino.com/.

"The Poet's Corner"



"La Vie en Rose"
(Life Through Rose Colored Glasses)
By Edith Piaf

Quand il me prend dans les bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose


When he takes me in his arms
and speaks to me softly
I see the world through rose-colored glasses

*******

"A life lifed in fear is a life half-lived..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 219"

"Our Happy Family..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"In The News Today..."


Why I’m Joining the Fight for Marriage Equality
By Margaret Hoover
January 15, 2010


If you are uncomfortable with gay marriage, I encourage you to pay attention to the landmark civil rights trial which began this week in California.

This week a landmark civil rights court case began in California. The federal trial Perry v. Schwarzeneggerchallenges the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. Two couples argue that they have a constitutional right to marry, and that California’s law denies them due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment, relegating them second-class citizens.

You may think, “San Francisco liberals at it again! Hijacking the courts, inventing new constitutional rights!” Stop there. The lead counsel in the case is George W. Bush’s Solicitor General, who successfully arguedBush v. Gore before the Supreme Court in one of his fifty-five performances before the nation’s highest judicial body. He is Theodore “Ted” Olsen, a founder of the Federalist Society, constitutional law expert, and one of the most respected conservatives in America.

Mr. Olsen thinks constitutionally guaranteed rights ought to transcend left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican divides (he even recruited legal opponent David Boies as co-counsel). I agree with him. And as a proud Republican representing a younger generation of conservatives that cherish individual freedom, I am honored to join the American Equal Right’s Foundation’s Advisory Board.

I encourage everyone, but especially Republicans, to consider Mr. Olsen’s arguments on the merits, both in hisopening statement and throughout the trial’s ensuing three weeks. The plaintiff’s counsel seeks to convince Judge Vaughn R. Walker that the Supreme Court has already decided in Loving v. Virginia, Turner v. Safely, and in Lawrence v. Texas among others, that the right to marry is a fundamental right currently denied to an entire class of American citizens. This is unconstitutional.

We Republicans have often found ourselves on the wrong side of civil rights struggles since the 1960s, but there was a reason that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father is said to have supported Republicans.

Republicans were historically the party ever-expanding freedom to disenfranchised minorities, from newly liberated slaves to giving women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony was a Republican. By supporting theAFER trial we have an opportunity to establish our historic credibility on civil rights issues once again. But we should support marriage equality because it is the right thing to do.

Gays and lesbians are our friends, neighbors, doctors, colleagues, sisters and brothers. Does it sit well with you that because of their sexual orientation, a factor outside one’s control, that they should have less rights and protections in the eyes of the law? While increasing acceptance of gays marks my generational experience—Ellen DeGeneres is welcomed into the living rooms of millions of Americans daily, an impossibility in even my childhood— many who are older than me fear that if gays and lesbians can marry, what’s next? They worry that homosexual marriage degrades the integrity of heterosexual marriage. They fear that their children might be exposed to alternative lifestyles that will impact them negatively, or argue that the purpose of marriage is procreation. If you are uncomfortable with gay marriage, I encourage you to pay attention to this trial, the plaintiffs, the defense and the spectrum of experts, historians, psychologists, economists, political scientists, who will testify as to the effects and detriment of Proposition 8. In the words of NAACP chairman Julian Bond, “The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.”

Some Republicans support gay rights, but prefer progress through legislative action or majority rule at the ballot box, rather than judicial action. But what if a democratic election imposes mandates that violate a citizen’s constitutional freedom? In the event that majority rule insufficiently protects individual liberty, our system of checks and balances puts forth that it is the role of the courts, to guarantee and protect the rights to individual Americans.

That’s why the Supreme Court, in 1967 Loving v. Virginia, legalized interracial marriage –six years after our current president was born to an interracial couple. At that time 73% of the population opposed “miscegenation.” How long would it have taken to change popular opinion, for the minority to democratically win their constitutional rights? As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously asserted, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

For those of you who would label me a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) for taking this stand, I direct you to Vice President Cheney, whose conservative credentials are impeccable, and who answered a question on the topic before the National Press Club audience on June 1, 2009 by saying simply, “…freedom means freedom for everyone.”


Margaret Hoover is a conservative commentator and Fox News contributor.

*******

"Truth is wherever you find it...


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 218"


"True Love Lasts Forever..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Remembering The Sacrifice for Truth and Justice..."

"I Have A Dream"
By Martin Luther King, Jr.


Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.
Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior, Pocket Books, NY 1968


Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

********


I am certain Dr. King would acknowledge that today, his same gender loving brothers and sisters are the "New Negros" in America and he would speak out boldly on our behalf, just as he defended his openly gay friend and confidant Bayard Rustin (in glasses behind Dr. King above) without whom the March on Washington might have never been...



"Freedom delayed is freedom denied"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 217"

"There Is An Intimacy That Comes Only With Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth About Love..."



In today's excerpt - happy couples. It turns out that how couples handle good news may matter even more to their relationship than their ability to support each other under difficult circumstances:

"Numerous studies show that intimate relationships, such as marriages, are the single most important source of life satisfaction. Although most couples enter these relationships with the best of intentions, many break up or stay together but languish. Yet some do stay happily married and thrive. What is their secret?

"A few clues emerge from the latest research in the nascent field of positive psychology. Founded in 1998 by psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, this discipline includes research into positive emotions, human strengths and what is meaningful in life. In the past few years positive psychology researchers have discovered that thriving couples accentuate the positive in life more than those who stay together unhappily or split do. They not only cope well during hardship but also celebrate the happy moments and work to build more bright points into their lives.

"It turns out that how couples handle good news may matter even more to their relationship than their ability to support each other under difficult circumstances. Happy pairs also individually experience a higher ratio of upbeat emotions to negative ones than people in unsuccessful liasions do. Certain tactics can boost this ratio and thus help to strengthen connections with others. Another ingredient for relationship success: cultivating passion. Learning to become devoted to your significant other in a healthy way can lead to a more satisfying union.

"Until recently, studies largely centered on how romantic partners respond to each other's misfortunes and on how couples manage negative emotions such as jealousy and anger - an approach in line with psychology's traditional focus on alleviating deficits. One key to successful bonds, the studies indicated, is believing that your partner will be there for you when things go wrong. Then, in 2004, psychologist Shelly L. Gable, currently at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her colleagues found that romantic couples share positive events with each other surprisingly often, leading the scientists to surmise that a partner's behavior also matters when things are going well.

"In a study published in 2006 Gable and her coworkers videotaped dating men and women in the laboratory while the subjects took turns discussing a positive and negative event. After each conversation, members of each pair rated how 'responded to' - how understood, validated and cared for - they felt by their partner. Meanwhile observers rated the responses on how active-constructive (engaged and supportive ) they were - as indicated by intense listening, positive comments and questions, and the like. Low ratings reflected a more passive, generic response such as 'That's nice, honey.' Separately, the couples evaluated their commitment to and satisfaction with the relationship.

"The researchers found that when a partner proffered a supportive response to cheerful statements, the 'responded to' ratings were higher than they were after a sympathetic response to negative news, suggesting that how partners reply to good news may be a stronger determinant of relationship health than their reaction to unfortunate incidents. The reason for this finding, Gable surmises, may be that fixing a problem or dealing with a disappointment - though important for a relationship - may not make a couple feel joy, the currency of a happy pairing."

Suzann Pileggi, "The Happy Couple," Scientific American Mind, Jan/Feb 2010, pp. 34-36.

"In The News Today..."

Black, Gay and Indisputably African

The draconian anti-gay legislation being considered in Uganda brings to mind a South African gay nightclub, an answer to the homophobes' claim that it is un-African to be black and gay.


By Douglas Foster

January 10, 2010

When word began to whip around the world that the Ugandan parliament would take up a bill making lesbian or gay sex a capital crime, my thoughts went first to a nightclub I frequented when I lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, a few years ago.

It was always a revelation to spend an evening at Simply Blue. The club was a collecting spot for Africa's gay diaspora, and its patrons came from every part of the continent. The age range was wide, class lines were smudged, and there was a symphony of languages. The very existence of the place posed an answer of sorts to the claim of homophobes that there was something un-African about being black and gay.

To get to Simply Blue's curved bar and large dance floor, patrons had to climb a long flight of stairs and go through a security pat-down. You could always spot newcomers because they usually sat off to the side in the shadows, on broken-down couches, their eyes wide and jaws slack. Many of them literally had had the idea beaten into them that they were part of a cursed, despicable, tiny minority.

There was the middle-aged man from Zimbabwe, formerly married, whose brother had plotted to have him killed because of the shame he'd brought to his family when he'd switched to dating men. There was a young Nigerian who lingered on the sidelines for weeks before inching out onto the dance floor, but then moved in an explosion of long-suppressed joy at finding himself dancing in public across from another man. I met an older fellow, a soft-spoken farmer from Uganda who'd raised his children before leaving his home, his wife and his country. He'd finally decided he couldn't live to the end of his life without having the chance to express his truest self.

One night at Simply Blue, I found myself in a long, confusing and infuriating conversation with an evangelical preacher from Soweto, who was the guide for a group of conservative, anti-gay white American evangelicals traveling around the country. He belonged to a sect that inveighed against homosexuality.

Here's how he reconciled the two halves of his existence: He felt an irresistible need, he said, to occasionally be in a place like Simply Blue with other black gay Africans because it helped him feel less strange, and a little less lonely. But he was also proud that he had so far stayed true to his theology by never acting on his desires. He watched -- but never touched.

I thought about that preacher's story -- about the intensity of the pull he felt and also about his shame and self-revulsion -- in the context of the three American anti-gay evangelical pastors who recently took their message to Uganda, and now seem shocked at the proposed law introduced in the wake of their visit. They participated in the March conference that sparked the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009, though they insist they had no intention of inspiring legislation that calls for the death penalty for homosexuals. But by posing as experts who offered testimony about how gay men rape teenage boys and how homosexuals are plotting to destroy marriage and the family, they helped build an explosive device and light a fuse.

One of them, at the time of the conference, announced that these sorts of revelations were like a "nuclear bomb" that would eliminate the entire country of homosexuals. They can't now disclaim responsibility for the bomb having been detonated.

South Africa is far from nirvana for lesbians and gay men: There's certainly no shortage of homophobia within its borders. But it's the one place on the continent -- and one of the few places in the world -- with a constitution that explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In 2007, when I spent a year in Johannesburg, I heard the deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Dikgang Moseneke, address the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. In his speech, he paid tribute to liberation heroes like the late Simon Nkoli, a courageous black revolutionary and an out and proud gay man. Nkoli, like the men and women with less well-known names who regularly turn up at Simply Blue, countered the lie that same-sex attraction is a relic of colonialism.

The theme of homophobic African politicians is that gay identity is a perversion imposed on black people by white oppressors. The historical fact is the reverse, of course: Legal prohibitions on homosexuality were originally imposed by white colonial rulers. So it's no small twist in the plot that the new wave of threats to Ugandan gays should be reinforced by American religious extremists.

The proposed legislation places in stark relief the persistence of deadly prejudice. The roots of hatred can be traced to myriad traditions -- indigenous and foreign, white and black. What's more important than identifying the sources of the poison is to find the antidote. The first step is listening to the voices of African lesbians and gay men, and taking our cues from them about how to offer the most effective support.

I've been logging on daily in recent weeks to the Box Turtle Bulletin, the website widely credited with alerting Americans to the Uganda legislation, and also to Gay Uganda, the distinctive, irrepressible blog of a partly closeted young gay blogger who's broken important news, and provided bracing perspective, ever since the anti-gay panic began to build in Uganda. "I am fighting for our lives and freedom in my country," the Gay Uganda blogger wrote on New Year's Day, as government officials and preachers called on Ugandans to join in a nationwide demonstration against homosexuality on Jan. 19.

"I want to stay home in 2010," the blogger wrote. "I would love to be here, as a Ugandan, who is free and not persecuted for his sexuality. I would like my family to grow, my family to know, my family to accept me."

Most of the gay refugees from all over the continent who gather at Simply Blue once felt the same way. They were migrants to South Africa not by choice but by necessity.

And now they're part of a burgeoning mass of women and men across the continent who reject the impossible, insulting, ahistorical, cruel and utterly false choice: Are you African, or are you gay?

Douglas Foster is a professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Stephen Christopher Harris..."



"One, who enters the places of evil repute has no right to complain against a man who speaks ill of him."

Ali - "A Hundred Sayings"

"The Artist's Corner"

"Marriage License"
Acyrlic on Canvas
Joe Phillips

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 216"

"A Home for the Two of Us..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Stephen Christopher Harris..."


"Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he's right with God."

Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

"It's Not So Funny..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 215"

"Our Happy Family..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"In The News Today..."

Corvino: Fighting Gay Dehumanization

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
01.08.2010

The column that follows is about anal sex.

Some friends have urged me against writing it, not because readers find frank discussions of anal sex “icky,” but because the offending comments’ source—Peter LaBarbera—is unworthy of serious attention.

In one sense these friends are quite right. But for reasons I hope to make clear, LaBarbera’s most recent ugliness needs answering.

LaBarbera is the president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), one of the nastier anti-gay groups. In a recent letter at his website, he discusses how Matt Barber at Liberty Counsel (a right-wing legal group) is threatening to boycott the Conservative Political Action Conference unless CPAC drops the gay conservative group GOProud as a co-sponsor.

LaBarbera writes,

“It boils down to this: there is nothing ‘conservative’ about — as Barber inimitably puts it — ‘one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it love’.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

LaBarbera’s post led Liberty Counsel to deny that Barber had ever said such a nasty thing, prompting a sharp rebuttal from LaBarbera, followed by Barber’s admission that he had indeed made the comment privately years ago (and had given LaBarbera permission to quote it). This back-and-forth was interspersed with some barbs between LaBarbera and Randy Thomas, president of the ex-gay group Exodus International, at Thomas’s Exodus blog. (Thanks to Pam’s House Blend for exposing the imbroglio.)

I’ll focus here on LaBarbera, since he was the one who saw fit recently to post Barber’s words and to defend them repeatedly, calling them “a brutally honest and necessarily accurate description of homosexual sodomy.” He also challenged Thomas to “cite chapter and verse in the Bible” explaining why their use of these words is wrong.

Chapter and verse? Let me try.

Exodus 20:16: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” (Hint: it’s one of the Ten Commandments, and it boils down simply to “Don’t lie.”)

Look, Peter—and I know you’re reading this—NOBODY calls it love when a man “violently cram[s] his penis into another man’s lower intestine.” Nobody.

We sane people call that rape.

Indeed, the “violent cramming” of a penis into any bodily orifice, male or female, is rape. Not love. The description is not merely uncharitable (about which we could both cite many verses), it’s a blatant falsehood.

Frankly, I’m not surprised you missed this simple, obvious point, because when it comes to homosexuality, you wouldn’t know truth if it violently crammed itself into your—oh, never mind.

Now one might argue that we shouldn’t bother with LaBarbera. Indeed, a Christian friend of mine told me just that, stating that LaBarbera’s comments are “no more worth writing about than the graffiti on men’s room walls.”

And I wish I could ignore them. I really, really do. If only the sentiments underlying them weren’t so pervasive and harmful.

I’ve been defending gays and lesbians against heterosexist distortions for two decades. And one of the things that has saddened and angered me most is our opponents’ continued tendency to reduce our lives, our commitments, and our intimacy to bare mechanical descriptions—and false ones at that.

Why do they do this? Perhaps it’s because of a fundamental lack of empathy (a trait that forms the core of The Golden Rule, another biblical principle).

Or perhaps it’s because they know that dehumanizing us in this way is an extremely effective tactic. As LaBarbera himself writes at the Exodus blog, his and Barber’s “colorful and dismissive” language are precisely geared to “re-stigmatize shameful homosexual behavior.”

Stigmatize, it surely does.

By spreading their lies about “violent cramming” and such, LaBarbera, Barber and their ilk have visited needless suffering upon countless LGBT people, particularly LGBT youth.

Among the unspoken casualties of such stigmatization is that it makes it harder for us to have frank conversations about the relative risks of various sexual practices, for fear of feeding such nastiness. The upshot is more silence, and shame, and—paradoxically—risk.

All of which LaBarbera and Barber can answer to their Maker for, when and if Judgment Day should come. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).


***********

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

He will be debating marriage equality with National Organization for Marriage President Maggie Gallagher at Oregon State University on January 21 at 7 pm in Austin Auditorium of the LaSells Stewart Center.

For more about John Corvino, or to see clips from his “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” DVD, visit www.johncorvino.com.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 214"

"Together in the World..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

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