Queer As Rights - No Religion Allowed

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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Can you continue to deny homosexuals the right to get married, join the military, or any other civil right without quoting anything from scripture, without mentioning the bible/Koran/Torah, or without mentioning God or Jesus?

I'm just wondering how many people would be able to do that.


An essay that might be of interest to some -
'Gay is NOT the New Black'
http://thevitalvoice.com/node/2142

An except
There is an ever-increasing popular notion and phrase that haunts me: "Gay is the New Black.".....
To apply Elle Woods’ feeling about orange being labeled "the new pink," whoever called gay "the new black" is seriously mistaken.

Let me be clear, I see the gay rights struggle as part of the civil rights struggle. To miss that point is to allow the struggle for civil rights to remain fragmented, incomplete, and under the ownership of one particular group... The Civil Rights Movement encompasses gay individuals, women, racial minorities, class struggles, citizenship issues, gender identity, and many other varying categories...

My quarrel with the idea that "gay is the new black" is that it is insulting to me as a gay black man who is politically, socially, and culturally engaged and active inthe (white) gay community, black community, and gay black community. Gay can never be the new black because first and foremost this phrase does not acknowledge the fact that there are those of us who are already gay AND black. We live within the margins, not because we choose to but because society places us there.

What is labeled as ‘black culture" frequently does not acknowledge our homosexuality.... does not overtly accept homosexuality as readily as mainstream (read white) culture, largely due to the proportionally larger role that conservative Christian religion plays in African-American households...

The fact is that black culture is homophobic because America is homophobic.

What is not talked about to the same extent as "black homophobia" is that gay culture is just as racist as black culture is overtly homophobic—because America is still a racist country. And yes, I am aware that I am writing this at a time when our president is a man who looks more like me than any other president we have had, but contrary to the hype, the election of President Obama does not signal the dawning of a post-racist America...

Since gay racism is rarely if ever addressed, it has allowed gay individuals to view gay culture as devoid of racism and therefore it might seem natural to label gay as "the new black."

Indeed, after a few quick comparisons it may seem like a common-sense proposition that homosexuals have taken the mantle of acceptable bigotry from African-Americans. Once upon a time a black person and white person could not marry; now it is not a person’s race that prevents two people from being legally wed but their gender; blacks at one time served in the military under different conditions and pressures than their white counterparts, now gay men and women must serve in the military under different conditions and pressures than their heterosexual counterparts; housing has historically been an issue for both blacks and gays and the list can go on. Yet, I refuse to allow gays to co-opt an identity so frequently discriminated against by gay people...

Queer As Folk, the supposedly monumental breakthrough for gay visibility did not have a single significant character of color during their entire run. When I brought this up in a chat room years ago, this is the resounding response I received: Be glad that we have a gay television show at all! But "we" did not have a gay television show. For me, and the millions of others who looked similar to me and not at all like Ted, Emmet, Mikey, or Brian, we still did not see ourselves represented on television. We had not arrived, our time had not come---it felt like we were still in the back of rainbow bus....

The final sin that gay racism commits is it makes gay culture apathetic and through this apathy, gay racism can become deadly. Alternatively, ignoring or paying attention to an epidemic simply because the face of that epidemic is changing is immoral. Blacks and whites, gays and straights all share in this guilty behavior. For heterosexual black communities to finally start addressing AIDS simply because the face of AIDS has become the face of a young black woman is almost unforgivable—what about all those gay black men who died before? For the gay (white) community to put the AIDS pandemic on the political and social backburner and focus on legislation-gay marriage.. when the face of AIDS is now the face of gay black men...well, that is criminal.

Consider the film industry, when AIDS first hit, there were many movies that dealt with the subject and usually starred white gay male characters. Now that the image is shifting, the number of AIDS-themed films are decreasing and the number of gay romantic comedies and tragedies are increasing. When I spoke to one of my white friends about this he said, "Don’t you think people are getting burnt out on it? I mean people know what to do, wrap it up, what more can you do?" Now at a time when people who look like me are dying... I say no to my white friend, people are not getting burned out, people are dying and still dying. The only difference, my white friend, is that many of them do not look like you...

Gay will never be "the new black" because it does not respect blackness nor does it embrace blackness. Gay cannot love blackness because it does not recognize the complexities and variances of blackness and black experiences....

For too long the voice of the gay community to America has been blindingly white; for too long the image of black America for gay people has been a heterosexual image--neither community has sought to listen to the voice of those of us who are gay people of color.
Hopefully this will be interesting. I once asked someone on the politics board to give me a non-religious answer as to why gays can't marry and I got the "sanctity" and "institution" bs. I want a real reason, or a the very least an admission that is is their own personal issue.

Last night, there was a segment on the news about how there's going to be some kind of government incentive program for people to get married because "no one wants to get married anymore". All I could do was think about all these very much in love and devoted gay couples and how they do want to get married, but they can't. Makes me so angry.

And your article was very interesting. My step-brothers (twins, btw) are gay as is my best friend from high school. They are all Hispanic, and man has Catholic and cultural guilt done a number on them. I hate to say it but my culture (Spanish/Mexican/Native American Hispanic) is pretty homophobic. I think thats why I feel I have to step up and be very vocal about how this homophobia has to stop already.
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Last edited by riotkitty; 03-09-2009 at 01:09 PM.
There are parallels between the gay rights struggle and the civil rights struggle, but I agree that it's not the best comparison. There really is no comparison. Every argument I have heard against gay marriage is based in religion, or individual reasoning that just seems more visceral than logical (for example, saying, "it's just not right.")
There are parallels between the gay rights struggle and the civil rights struggle, but I agree that it's not the best comparison. There really is no comparison. Every argument I have heard against gay marriage is based in religion, or individual reasoning that just seems more visceral than logical (for example, saying, "it's just not right.")
Originally Posted by gemini

On the first, I agree. I frequently draw comparisons between the two, but I realize they aren't the same. They carry a lot of similarities, though.

On the second, that's most of what I hear as well. I have one friend who is politically conservative (hardcore rightie) who's also an atheist, and opposed to same sex marriage. Essentially what I've gleaned from talking to him about it is that same sex couples gross him out, therefore they should not be encouraged to exist. *headdesk*
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
It's based in fear, there is no logical, rational reason. So people use religion to explain it, because they cannot just come out and admit they are afraid of people different from themselves. It's the same for racism and sexism and … pretty much everything.

And being fearful of people and exaggerating differences is the opposite of everything I learned in church [Catholic] growing up, but whatev …

This is not a bashing of religion, just sayin' that people mess up the true message therein all the time.
What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
what puzzles me most about those who like to quote "scripture" - even though they LOVE to take it out of context (there's a great book out there http://www.amazon.com/What-Did-Jesus...6638551&sr=1-1 about this) is this - for those who use Jesus as their rationale, then how Jesus-like is it to ostracize this group? i mean, doesn't this go directly AGAINST the teachings of Jesus? wasn't his message to love everyone? didn't he love everyone - the lepar, the prostitute, etc?

i can't ever seem to get an answer from the opposition about this......maybe because there isn't one but then again........
common sense is not common.....
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Hopefully this will be interesting. I once asked someone on the politics board to give me a non-religious answer as to why gays can't marry and I got the "sanctity" and "institution" bs. I want a real reason, or a the very least an admission that is is their own personal issue.
Originally Posted by riotkitty
Makes me angry too. I guess churches can do whatever they want as far as refusing to marry gay couples. However, states refer to the union of a couple in the same way - "marriage" and thus I believe it represents a civil contract as well. For that reason, gay couples should be able to get a "marriage" license at City Hall - just like straight couples.
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What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
Originally Posted by Myradella3
Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
I've read that essay in full...it's actually pretty long (unless I'm mistaking it for a different one).

I didn't reread the excerpt you posted, but his overall argument--that gay marriage should remain illegal--is BS. The only valid point he makes is that the gay rights movement has a history of focusing on white middle- or upper-class males, to the exclusion of others. And yeah, obviously the "Gay is the new black" slogan is going to alienate people.

A better analysis of homosexuality among African Americans can be found in bell hooks' books.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 03-09-2009 at 05:34 PM.
What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
Originally Posted by Myradella3
Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT

That's my point. I just made up those reasons but you have a rebuttable. So why does it matter if a person's rationale is in his/her faith, or biology, or in law, or in guts (like the example above or just not liking it) or whatever? If you support gay marriage, you'll find fault with everyone's reason for not supporting it. If you don't support it, your rationale is an deeply set as any feeling or belief that anyone can have.
What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
Originally Posted by Myradella3
Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT

That's my point. I just made up those reasons but you have a rebuttable. So why does it matter if a person's rationale is in his/her faith, or biology, or in law, or in guts (like the example above or just not liking it) or whatever? If you support gay marriage, you'll find fault with everyone's reason for not supporting it. If you don't support it, your rationale is an deeply set as any feeling or belief that anyone can have.
Originally Posted by Myradella3
i see where you're coming from. it is true regardless of what side of the issue you're on - no argument will be sound enough - no matter how sound one might think it is.....
common sense is not common.....
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Regarding biology, there are lots of things we do that we aren't biologically programmed to do. Sit in an office chair for 8 hours at a time, for example. Seems like a tenuous thread on which to base institutional discrimination.

And regarding the original laws of our country, our forefathers thought of a lot when they wrote our laws. They didn't think of-- or regard-- homosexuals. You may remember they also didn't consider another minority as worthy of rights. We've since fixed that oversight.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT

That's my point. I just made up those reasons but you have a rebuttable. So why does it matter if a person's rationale is in his/her faith, or biology, or in law, or in guts (like the example above or just not liking it) or whatever? If you support gay marriage, you'll find fault with everyone's reason for not supporting it. If you don't support it, your rationale is an deeply set as any feeling or belief that anyone can have.
Originally Posted by Myradella3
i see where you're coming from. it is true regardless of what side of the issue you're on - no argument will be sound enough - no matter how sound one might think it is.....
Originally Posted by Misses_Jai
Myradella and I had this discussion on the politics board so I will avoid repeating myself too much.


How I see it, there is never a good enough reason to take away someone's civil right. I see marriage between two human beings a civil right.
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As has been said, there certainly ARE non-religious arguments against gay marriage, but what difference does it make whether the arguments are religious or not? Someone for gay marriage isn't going to accept any argument against it. And why is religion any less valid grounds for holding a position than anything else?

There are also religious arguments FOR gay marriage and gay rights - so would those be also unacceptable?

To compare Blacks and gays is just silly and betrays a complete lack of understanding of history. Why would gays need to piggyback on Black struggles? Just make your case without trying to attach it to something that's not relevant.
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As has been said, there certainly ARE non-religious arguments against gay marriage,
Originally Posted by Amneris
Like what? I have not heard a sound-non-religious argument. Usually it is pseudo-science-grasping-at-straws argument. I know of non-religious people against same-sex marriages, but they were also homophobic.

I do not think religion should be the basis for making laws, but if there is a religious argument that will help alter people's bigotry, that is OK with me.
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Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

As has been said, there certainly ARE non-religious arguments against gay marriage,
Originally Posted by Amneris
Like what? I have not heard a sound-non-religious argument. Usually it is pseudo-science-grasping-at-straws argument. I know of non-religious people against same-sex marriages, but they were also homophobic.

I do not think religion should be the basis for making laws, but if there is a religious argument that will help alter people's bigotry, that is OK with me.
Originally Posted by iara
The OP didn't say the argument had to be sound,just that it had to be non-religious, and what is a sound argument will depend on the person evaluating it, but some of those arguments were already touched upon in this thread.

I agree that religion shouldn't be the basis for making laws.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I also think that when you say "gay is the new Black" you imply that the gay struggle has displaced the Black struggle - that there is no need for a Black struggle or the gay one is more serious, pressing or worthy of attention, and certainly it suggests that the two cannot co-exist. So yes, that will alienate people.
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What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
Originally Posted by Myradella3
thats what i was thinking. i think im the one riotkitty is talking about regarding her previous thread. to me, saying "well thats not a real reason" isnt much of a rebuttal.
I'm not going to try to come up with an argument because well, I'm for gay marriage and I'm not religious.

But, it seems like the author of the article is perpetuating the ostrasizement (is that a word? doubtful) of gay black men from being able to identify with any sort of group. He says they struggle to identify with the black community because the black community is homophobic. They also struggle with being able to identify with the gay rights community because they are typically white. By singling out one particular group - gay black men - doesn't that just continue to make it difficult to be able to come together with either the black community or the gay rights community? Or am I totally missing something? I would think that if you joined with both the black community and gay rights community to try to bring about change it would be more beneficial that just saying "Hey, here I am over here all by my lonesome complaining about being by my lonesome. No one wants to play with me."
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What reason would be acceptable? For example, if I said I was against it because biologically men and women were made to go together or that original laws in this country were intended for only women and men to marry or anything else along that line, won't there be an argument against that logic? Isn't this one of those issues for which there will be no answer that supporters will understand or accept as valid?
Originally Posted by Myradella3
thats what i was thinking...
Originally Posted by subbrock
Those reasons are very easily argued against (what about intersex people, people who are infertile, and computers and clothing and all the other things we use that aren't "biological"? what about slavery, voting rights, and miscegnation laws?). Not only have I never heard them cited prior to reading this thread, but they're so weak that I would have to assume that anyone presenting them is simply trying to cover their homophobia.

The non-religious arguments that I have heard are: All marriage should be abolished, and providing gay marriage rights delays the achievement of that goal; and, Gay marriage will raise taxes for everyone.

When Prop 8 was put up for vote, it was officially found by the CA government that gay marriage would not increase taxes. As for the first one, like it or not marriage is currently an extremely important institution that affects social status, visitation rights in hospitals, and more. While that's not a direct rebuttal, it's something important to consider before you deny a particular group of people rights based on your radical sociopolitical views.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 03-10-2009 at 12:37 AM.

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