Gay Marriage Made Legal in New York State

I came across this set of postings on Facebook on this issue, which I thought interesting. There were some more abusive postings that I have left out. This string illustrates how difficult it has become to dialogue across the values divide in America. It starts with a posting of this quote from  New York Republican Senator Mark Grisanti, who represents Buffalo:

“I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”

Comment:  Weeell… that statement would apply to other people who have wives, or are planning to marry one. Homosexual “sex” and “marriage” are a different sort of animal altogether. How long before the state of New York legally condones bestiality? Or sex with three-year-olds? It’s a slippery slope. And if you think these other kinds of “relationship” are unlikely to be legalized… wait about 20 years. Because 20 or 30 years ago, the thought that homosexuality would be offically condoned by state governments in this country would have seemed laughable.

Comment: you’re a ridiculous bigot. heinous crimes against children have nothing to do with loving relationships between consenting adults.

Comment:  the sad part about your statement is that i doubt you will ever see how sick your words are. get help.

Comment from original poster:  It’s cool, dudes, I grew up in the south, I coexist peacefully with many conservatives. Everyone play nice and debate responsibly.

Comment: I know and respect many conservatives, too. Not one of them would equate homosexuality with “sex with 3 year olds” or “bestiality”. This is terribly sad.

Comment:  I think the slippery slope argument doesn’t hold water… Condoning abuse (bestiality, pedophilia) can’t be equated to granting legal rights. I think the whole “marriage” definition as it pertains to the bible is a more valid argument, if not one I agree with at least one that I can understand.

Comment: Geee, and the thought of having to give up your slave or let a woman vote or not make six-year old kids work in a factory is laughable too.

Comment: Not accepting the slippery slope argument at all. You would probably use the same argument against interracial marriage if we were having this conversation in 1967.

Comment: I believe that my stance on the issue is the conservative one: Marriage is a religious rite. The government shouldn’t be involved. I fully respect anyone’s right to consider certain marriages not “real” according to their religion becausethey’re between divorced people, to someone outside the faith, or because their religious text defines marriage between a man and woman. Singling out a group and equating their private personal lives with horrible crimes, however, counts as bigotry and my policy is to complain when that shows up on my facebook feed. I hope every is having a great day!

Comment: You know, I was really upset when they let black people drink from the same water fountains as my fellow whites. I thought, “WHAT’S NEXT!?!?! Are they going to let Arabs vote?? Will women be allowed to have jobs!??! At least I can rest knowing that gays will never be allowed to legally marry!” And now I’m fuckin’ boo hoo hoo’ing all over town & all over my trousers about my precious straight white male rights.

Comment from first commenter: Being African-American is not a moral issue. (That is to say, one’s racial heritage has no moral implications whatsoever. It is not “right” or “wrong” to have any given ancestry.) Holding slaves is a moral issue. Segregating water fountains is a moral issue. Moral issues involve the choices that people make. It is a choice, for instance, to resort to insult and innuendo in the place of reasoned argument when debating an important issue.

Comment from first commenter: And , i do think you’re right on a certain point–the foundation to this whole discussion does need to be God and His design for human persons. Unfortunately, there is no time to go into such a discussion here, and if i were just to toss off a line or two i would reap more of the kind of hate-speech that we’re seeing here. “Religious nut,” etc. Some discussions probably are better reserved for in-person interaction.

Comment: You forfeit “reasonable argument” when you equate gay marriage to bestiality and pedophelia.

Comment from original commenter: Not at all. Reasonable argument is not defined by whether the person you’re interacting with holds your postions on the issues.

Comment: you say that moral issues involve the choices people make, by which i assume that you are one of the people who believe that homosexuality is a choice, yes? can you please tell me why you believe this? can you tell me *why* anyone would choose to be gay? and then please consider this: that being gay is NOT a choice, no more a choice than what race you are, that homosexuals are born that way. you may not believe that, but please take a moment to ponder what the implications would be if that were indeed the case. now let me ask you another question – what business is it of the government’s whether a couple of having ‘straight sex’ or ‘gay sex’, as long as it is between two consenting adults of legal age. the argument that gay marriage is a ‘moral issue’ is a fallacy. this is exactly the sort of ‘keep the government out of my life and my choices’ issue that conservatives should be supporting. what two adults do together is no one’s business as long as no one is being hurt. and since when is our government in charge of legislating morality? there are countries where legislature is based on a moral, religious code. and we are currently fighting a war with those countries, over religious extremism. a christian theocracy is no better than a muslim one.

Comment: Guess what? If your idea of morality comes from terms decided upon by some higher authority in order to keep you in line, that’s no morality, pal. That’s just nothing but bullshit. It turns out that if your idea of what’s morally right is derived from some sort of pre-determined code of behavior, it has absolutely nothing to do with actual right and wrong.

You do the “right” thing because your all-knowing and capable deity commands it and you will be punished for not abiding. The rest of us do the right thing because we are concerned about the well-being of our fellow humans. There is no reward for us other than the fact that we understand that the only reason we exist is to help each other.

Comment:  mindful of the perils of Matthew 7.3 (logs/motes) and of our mutual friend’s admonition to be polite, I can’t help feeling your original comment on the posting lacks a certain Christian charity and humility. Let alone doubt. Moreover, I can’t recall anything in the four Christian Gospels that Christ expressed a view on homosexuality. Did I miss it? Are you therefore relying on Judaism and the Old Testament for your views? And I guess I follow Karen Armstrong’s view that the Golden Rule trumps everything: love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no greater commandment that this. Mark 12.31.Rabbi Hillel who knew far about the Old Testament than I do is also quoted in this story: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” Finally, I can’t help think that conservative focus on gay rights is wholly disproportionate to its marginal presence in the Bible and at the expense of issues of social justice, the poor and the immense difficulty of the rich camel-like getting through the eye of the needle into heaven

Comment: Christ said nothing about homosexuality… that’s all Leviticus… and it’s pretty much the only thing in Leviticus that people try to cite and apply to modern life. The rest of the stuff in there about wearing more than one type of fabric, touching the flesh of a pig (there goes football), stoning people for working on the sabbath, or either killing your daughter or selling her into slavery for losing her virginity before her marriage are all conveniently and correctly ignored for being the arcane and foolish nonsense rules that they actually are. But YOU BETTER NOT BE GAY BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO.

This is Senator Mark Grisanti:

Footnote: The last but one comment is very much in line with the view of this blogger

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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