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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » SF Same-Sex Marriage-a-thon

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Author Topic: SF Same-Sex Marriage-a-thon
Gumdrop Girl
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Yeah, I know we've covered gay marriage several times over already, but this time, SF's defying court orders and going for the gusto.

The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, has given the green light to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, so almost 1000 pairs have been wed in the past several days (including overtime shifts for Valentine's Day).

The SF Chronicle has plenty of news on the topic http://www.sfchronicle.com and you can always check out http://news.yahoo.com ad http://news.google.com

Anyway, your thoughts on the matter?

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froggy_dear
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I think it's fantastic. Even if a court should turn around and find the marriages in violation of law and thus null and void, it has brought a significant amount of attention to the issue. A more direct, more illustrative sort of attention than Massachusetts. By which I mean, people have to look at it and see that it's really happening. It should at least help keep the issue on the fore of the nation's mind for a time.

And one thing that I like is that a number of the stories I read mentioned that the first couple to get married had been together for 51 years.

My point: it's a step forward towards (total)equality and it makes gay marriage a much harder issue to sweep back into the closet.


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by froggy_dear:
Even if a court should turn around and find the marriages in violation of law and thus null and void, it has brought a significant amount of attention to the issue.

I think that's part of the problem I have with it.

You see, this is a cruel hoax. The law of the state of California prohibits such marriages. Voters passed a law (via referendum) on March 7, 2000 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It went by the name Proposition 22, and was put on the ballot after receiving millions of petition signatures statewide. It passed with 62% of the vote.

Why is this important? Because a week ago San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decided he did not have to obey this law, and ordered his staffers to start handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Just a few weeks prior, Newsom took the oath of office which includes a handy little line about upholding the law of the land. With his move last week, he cast that by the wayside.

(An interesting sidenote is just how he was able to do this. You see, only county courthouses can issue marriage licenses, but Newsom has the rare distinction of being the mayor of a single-city county. By virtue of the fact that San Francisco is a city and a county, Newsom is able to make this decision and have it stick. No other mayor out here could do the same thing--San Francisco is the only single-city county we have in this entire region.)

What drives me absolutely up the wall is the fact that Newsom is right. He believes (correctly, in my view) that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution dictates that one cannot offer an institution (like marriage) to one set of people and not another. It's called the "Equal Protection Clause," and I think it's fairly evident that equal protection ought to be afforded to all folks; gay, straight, or anything else, no?

Aside from having a compelling legal argument, Newsom has the courts on his side. We've all heard about the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision, but out here in California we've got a special little group called the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They are a Federal Court located right in the heart of San Francisco. They are known as the most liberal court in the nation, and by virtue of the fact that they are a Federal court, their rulings have national implications.

Had Newsom gone through the appropriate legal forum and offered an appropriate challenge to California's Proposition 22, there is no doubt in my mind that both the state court (who just yesterday refused to grant an injunction against the marriages because the legal brief was missing a colon!) and the 9th Circuit would have sided with him. There is the compelling legal argument, and there is a court which seems more than willing to take that side.

Instead, we have this publicity stunt. We have a mayor who is openly disobeying the law of the state of California without offering any legal challenge whatsoever. We have a mayor who has brought the sort of attention that homophobes can easily point to and rally against. We have a mayor who essentially toyed with the emotions of his constituents (and others too, people came from all over the place to take advantage of this event) by offering illegal marriage licenses. In my view, that makes it a rather cruel and irresponsible act.

Somehow I can't shake the feeling that this is a tremendous blown opportunity. Aside from the fact that any minute the Governor could order the California Highway Patrol (our version of the State Police) to lead Newsom away in handcuffs if he so desired, this act tosses aside the same rule of law that San Francisco so prides itself on following and upholding. Hypocrisy is nobody's friend, and I can't help but think that had Newsom handled this a different way, we'd get the real change we want instead of the empty promise we've got.

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BruinDan, "Not Quite Morrissey," PHOM

¡Siendo padrote no es cil!


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Gumdrop Girl
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San Francisco countersues State of California ov same-sex marriage ban.
NYTimes has the article.

or continue to refer to SF Chronicle.

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if p then not q (negation)
if q then p (converse)
if not p then not q (inverse)
if not q then not p (contrapositive)

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Heather
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Ultimately where I weigh in on this is that whatever flaws exist with the execution of the thing, the effect and the intention far, far outweigh.

Did you see any of the pictures of those being wed? Especially the very first couple to do so, a lesbian couple who have been together for fifty years? Last Sunday, someone emailed them to me, saw them when I woke up, and I was weeping my little eyes out, then brought the laptop to my current girlfriend, who did same (after, mind you, me explaining what I was all weepy over and calling me a sap -- one look and the girl was a goner herself, ha). Much snot in the coffee.

(In the link, they're the first couple on Thursday. And look at those daddies in the first shot on Friday? I'm going to start bawling again. Feck, too late.)

In other words, most of what I've read from those who have gotten married in SF due to this have known it's entirely possible their marriages won't hold up legally and they don't much care. They have just been happy as hell to have been given the opportunity to get married for what it meant to them (which is, really, what marriage is supposed to be about anyhow), and for the feeling of support due to the city's act of civil disobedience, one which DID, IMO, make a very clear statement that marriage being discriminatory based on sex, and law being religiously based, needs to stop and which has gotten a lot of balls rolling.

And seeing so many people being so very happy? Eh. I just can't find too much fault in that.

(And rumour has it that the city of Chicago has been condsidering doing same. Huzzah for my home turf!)

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 02-20-2004).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
Did you see any of the pictures of those being wed? Especially the very first couple to do so, a lesbian couple who have been together for fifty years?

Absolutely, and in fact I'd go so far as to say that anyone who was not at least somewhat moved by the sight of 50-year partners marrying has a heart of stone.

But there is a right and wrong way in all things, and I really do think this could have been handled better. For instance, Sandoval County in New Mexico began issuing licenses to gay couples today. For them this is not an explicitly illegal event, since there is no state law on the New Mexico books that bar such unions. For them, this act is a bold step that has meaning...the licenses will have meaning (until the state attorney general gets involved, anyway) and it's all done in accordance with the law.

In San Francisco, we've got a direct violation of several statutes now. Among them is PC115, which is a felony that comes about when officials knowingly file illegal documents with a government office. Since homosexual marriage is not recognized and Newsom has ordered the alteration of the marriage licenses to allow for it, he's committed a felony.

Which, of course, means he is liable to be arrested if anyone decides to enforce the law. Even your average Joe could go up and file a citizen's arrest on Newsom, assuming the San Francisco Police Department accepts the arrest. (And if they don't, we've got anarchy...a city where the everyone from the mayor to the police department fail to uphold the laws they've sworn to.)

I remain convinced that Newsom had the law on his side before he pulled this maneuver. But I'm equally convinced that breaking one law (or many) to make a point is not the way to go when it can just as easily be handled legally. It certainly doesn't look good, and I'm a bit worried about the precedent it sets. What about when Joe Schmo decided he feels more comfortable carrying his pistol in his pocket when he waits in line for his marriage license? Sure, state law says you can't conceal a weapon around a state building (or anywhere else without a permit, for that matter), but doesn't the 2nd Amendment grant us all the right to bear arms? And can't we now break a state law on our own if we decide it is usurped by a higher one?

Obviously it's a different scenario, but it's things like this that I think lend credence to the whole "slippery slope" argument. I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of us here are on the same side in wanting to see marriage offered equally, across the board, to all who want to take advantage of it. My only quibble is with how it's being handled, really.

But who knows. Maybe New Mexico will get it right!

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BruinDan, "Not Quite Morrissey," PHOM

¡Siendo padrote no es cil!


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Heather
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Butcha know, Rosa Parks broke a law, too.

Point is, that when laws are truly unjust and discriminatory, it is what civil disobedience is, and is supposed to be, to publicly, shamelessly and purposefully break them, respectfully and without malice, in a way that will bring great attention to that.

Again, I'm not sure I can speak to better or worse ways to do what was done. I just know I'm glad as hell it was done, and think it's a beautiful thing. And heck, it's rare for me to feel any allegiance or great love for this country and it's things like this that make me feel this way, so I'm truly grateful to have them happen, not just politically, and for what they may reap, but also personaly.


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Faeryprinces
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Hmm, I read all the replies in this one...and I looked at the pics and I do find it all extremely moving. Personally I just dont understand why "legal marriage" is defined as being between a man and a woman. Isnt being married to someone dedicating your life and love to that person? Why cant gay couples have a "legal" ceremony dedicating their lives to each other? I dont understand the difference between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman wanting that. If you're in love, you're in love...and you should be able to celebrate like everyone else. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through those pictures for that exact reason...you could see the love and adoration in every one of those people's faces. I think its great that this happened, maybe people can open their eyes and see that love is love, no matter who it is between.
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Confused boy
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I heard a very enlightening discussion on BBC Radio 4 Today that relates to Bush's reply on this issue. The BBC has a listen again function that should work well for everyone with broadband and more slowly for others:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?pm

It's a magazine program and the issue at hand begins at about the 33rd minute (you can browse through the program with the fast forward buttons). I highly recommend this. The most interesting thing for me was hearing the President of the Christian Coalition completely unable to defend her beliefs when simple questions were asked.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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sapphirecat
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Funny you should mention it, BruinDan: N.Y. Town's Mayor Charged in Gay Weddings Granted, it's not San Francisco, but still relevant.

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Sapphire Cat, a feline who can be both pink and blue...


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BruinDan
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I tell ya, they must have been reading my response...

Incidentally, somebody out here wrote an article about how he thought he'd start violating state law by carrying his handgun on his hip...and was promptly visited by his local police agency "at the request of the San Francisco Police Department." So they care about law and order, just the laws they choose to enforce, that's all. I stand corrected.

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BruinDan, "Not Quite Morrissey," PHOM

¡Siendo padrote no es cil!


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Heather
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(I'm having a really hard time hearing/reading a comparison being made between violating a law to carry a handgun and more than peaceable civil disobedience to allow fair marriages.)
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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
(I'm having a really hard time hearing/reading a comparison being made between violating a law to carry a handgun and more than peaceable civil disobedience to allow fair marriages.)

It may seem odd, but this guy's whole point was that one entity was specifically mentioned in the Constitution, the other was not. At the very least, its a rather interesting theory. (One that almost got him arrested, to boot!)

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BruinDan, "Not Quite Morrissey," PHOM

¡Siendo padrote no es cil!


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*transient
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I don't see why so many people are against it. Even if they are straight & don't agree with same sex marriage, whether or not homosexual couples marry has no effect on them whatsoever! It looks like they're all being killjoys to me. There's nothing wrong with 2 (consenting) people that love each other wanting to be united. It doesn't hurt anyone, it isn't dangerous, and it's not imposing anything on people that disagree with it. I see much *more* wrong with people thinking they have the right & power to tell others what they can & can't do, just because they have different opinions.
Also, all along I've thought that voting about this subject was kind of ironic - the majority deciding on the rights of a minority? Sounds kind of useless to me. Thumbs up to same sex marriage!

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sweettweet22
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I personally, think that same sex marriage is DISGUSTING- it makes me sick to even think about it- marriage is somethin to be celebrated with two people of the OPPOSITE sex, not of the same..."I now pronounce you HUSBAND AND WIFE"...not wife and wife or husband and husband- so yea- that's my opinion on it all- hope I dind't break any of the guidelines- if so, I apologize

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I'm so confused- I scare myself~ "y do we luv the ppl that HATE us, and HATE the ppl that luv us?"


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Heather
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How might you feel if someone told you that YOUR relationships, and wanting to commit to them the exact same way anyone else can, was "disgusting"?

Yes, you have broken guidelines, but moreover, been incredibly thoughtless, rude and mean-spirited, if you must know. You aware that more than one person who has generously given you their time and help since you've been posting here isn't heterosexual, including myself, who runs the whole site here for your use? Take a second and imagine how reading something like what you just posted might make us feel, eh?

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 03-13-2004).]


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logic_grrl
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It's also worth remembering that well into the middle of the 20th century, many people in the US thought it was "disgusting" for two people of different races to marry.

In their eyes, marriage was obviously meant to be celebrated between two people of the same race, and anything else was sickening and wrong and would lead inevitably to the downfall of society (sound familiar?)

A number of states had laws banning "miscegenation" right up util they were ruled unconstitutional in 1967.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

I have yet to hear anyone give a decent reason why the situation with gay marriage is any different in principle.


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sweettweet22
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I apologize for being rude, and for hurting anyone's feelings, and for breking the "rules"- I won't do it again. I guess I'll jus have to keep stuff like that to myself next time- I apologize

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I'm so confused- I scare myself~ "y do we luv the ppl that HATE us, and HATE the ppl that luv us?"


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Heather
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Better still, how about you use your head and rethink your intense feelings on the whole matter? Flatly, apologizing for being bigoted or intolerant is only so useful and to my hearing, rings pretty hollow, and more times than not, when someone feels the sort of intense disgust or dislike you've expressed, it's not based in logic or even personal experience. I mean, have you met any queer married couples, or a lot of queer couples in general? If not, or if you have and their relationships haven't been gawdawful, what's so scary there?

So, maybe start by considering the people who've helped you out here who are queer? Many of whom bring you the advice they do based on very healthy and loving relationships -- which as you know all too well, certainly aren't guaranteed by being heterosexual, dysfunctional relationships come in all flavors and orientations. Maybe give a thought to how unfair it is to those of us who are queer to be denied the same rights.

For instance, the right to the same healthcare heterosexual couples can be eligible for? The right to have legal unions which would entitle us to take care of our partners should one of us pass on? The right to love as freely and gladly as anyone else and celebrate that with our friends and family?

Maybe think about things like logic girl has brought up: that very recently -- and in some parts of the world still, people felt like you did about interracial marriages, or marriages where one partner was wealthy and the other was poor. Or hey, how about the fact that until very recently, it was considered perfectly acceptable to rape or physically abuse a spouse. Or that plenty of people in the world are still forced into marriages they don't want and aren't allowed to marry those they love, even when they are heterosexual?


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sweettweet22
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I know it won't undo what has already been said, and I know you still won't care, but I'll apologize again, and you're right, I shouldve thought about that, because my parents are interracially married (if that makes sense...lol)- I apologize if my opinions were harsh- but regardless of who/what the people are that are helping me, they still have helped, and I'm thankful for that- but I jus have one question- not meaning to sound rude or anything...jus a question...it doesn't even have to be answered, I jus wanted to know aren't I entitled to my own opinion?- once again, not meaning to sound rude

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I'm so confused- I scare myself~ "y do we luv the ppl that HATE us, and HATE the ppl that luv us?"


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Heather
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Sure, you are.

But people are also entitled to call you on it when that opinion is flatly injust in terms of human rights and kindness, especially when it isn't even recognized that that is something which isn't simply a matter of opinion. All the more so when you're essentialy a guest in someone's home, enabled to be here by their generosity, and are then calling them or their relationships or their fight for human rights disgusting and sick.

In other words, if anyone comes here stating that someone of a given race, gender or orientation -- or being out in those things -- is "disgusting," you can bet your bottom someone is going to call you on it, because bigotry just isn't okay, and neither is enabling it.

It may simply BE a fact of plenty of human life, but that doesn't make it okay or acceptable, anymore than gross violence is okay or acceptable. If you want to tell me how bigotry -- discrimination based on things like gender, orientation, race, nationality, socioeconomic strata, the works, based on no real logic whatsoever -- can be beneficial, I'd be more than glad to listen to why you feel that way, but good luck with that.

You'd basically be the first person in history to prove such.

I do have to say I am earnestly curious in WHY someone might hold such an opinion. In other words, what exactly are you envisioning which makes you feel so disgusted? Because I truly can't even imagine, nor do I imagine what you imagine is anything like the queer relationships most of us have (which are, really, no different than heterosexual relationships). Does it look like some of the photos linked in the frist few posts? And if so, what is it exactly that is so threatening and terrifying in them?


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sweettweet22
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well, I didn't see the pictures (I aint even know there were...but I don want to see them either- don't mean to sound rude), any ways...to tell you the truth, I don exactly know why I have such a "strong" opinion on "them"- I mean there's this girl at my scool who is a lesbian, and one day, she was all touchy feely with me sayin that she liked my a**...and I was like...well...scared- I mean I jus felt EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE- and ever since than, she's been givin me weird looks, and tryin to touch me...and each time, I jus kinda "run away" (lol)- I guess you can say...ummm...she intimidates me- I'm not sure if that's my reason, but yea...when you mentioned the interracial thing, it made me think, but this is quite different (don't you think?)...well I hope that wasn't too hard to understand- I don't have anything AGAINST them, but I guess that incident(s) has made me a lil..ummm..I dunno the word...so yea- but I apologize AGAIN if I offended you or anyone else in any way, I hope this will not affect the advice that you have given me, because it really helped, and I have another thing to ask/ need advice on...but I"ll post it in the support groups..once AGAIN- sorry (apology accepted?)

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I'm so confused- I scare myself~ "y do we luv the ppl that HATE us, and HATE the ppl that luv us?"


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Heather
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Yet you've purportedly had TERRIBLE experiences with heterosexual men who have seriously abused you, and I haven't once heard you say that there is anything "disgusting" or sick and wrong about men or heterosexuals because of those experiences.

So, apparently, one woman you don't know well is sexually forward with you in a way that makes you uncomfortable (and yet, you apparently refuse to address it, so she continues likely in part because you haven't made clear you aren't interested), and that experience is, you think, possibly reason enough to dislike those of us who are queer (myself inclusded, so please don't use the word "them" when referring to those of us who are queer, especially since it's not an us vs. them situation), yet abuse and rape by men you trust isn't reason for the same feelings about them?

Mind you, what I'm not saying here is that it should be. Instead that any one person making you uncomfortable, or even assaulting you, cannot possibly represent the whole of their orientation, gender, class or creed personally or in their actions. Suggesting it's logical to discriminate against an entire group of people for the actions of one is exactly the opposite of logic.

Think about it. For real, the whole works. Because when we realize we've formed a strong opinion somehow and and yet have a hard time even listing one concrete reason why we feel as we do, that's a red flag for us to seriously reevaluate those opinions because it's pretty likely they aren't sound.

We're not looking for apologies here. What we're looking for -- what I'm looking for -- is for people to think and realize that discrimination and bigotry aren't something to excuse or apologize for, they're something to work hard to get rid of. And there's no real need for you to feel obligated to post in this thread again -- it's just stuff maybe you should give some deep thought to, and bear in mind when you're here getting help, especially at a board which is here at all because of a queer woman.


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sweettweet22
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correction...I NEVER said you were queer, and yes I did tel lher to leave me alone (sorry if I didn't mention that)- and I understand that you don't need my apologies, so I guess I won't apoloize any more- and it's jus this feeling- and I geuss that feeling of mine is offensive to you- so I won't say it anymore- so..I dunno- I guess I won't be getting any advice from you or anyone else here huh?-

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I'm so confused- I scare myself~ "y do we luv the ppl that HATE us, and HATE the ppl that luv us?"


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Milke
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Miz Scarlet referred to herself as 'queer'. That's cool, it's not meant as something derogatory, and she's allowed saying that. However, this topic is about gay marriage, we're not debating whether it's okay to be gay or not, or how good or bad any orientations may be.

It's become very clear that you have some issues you need to address if you wish to be able to use these boards civilly and exist as a kind person. It's common enough for many people to find they've got prejudices they're not very proud of, and that doesn't have to be a big deal. What's important isn't how much you can apologise for that, it's your ability to work through it and get over it. We're not here here to chastise you, rather, we'd like to help you get over bigotry and biases. Intimidating as that may sound, it's a really worthwhile thing to do, so let's take it up in a thread that exists for that purpose, and let this one get back on topic.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this grey


Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 8067

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quote:
I guess I won't be getting any advice from you or anyone else here huh?

Wrong - we try to help everyone on the boards.

But in return, we ask that people using the boards try to respect and listen to other people's feelings.

And sometimes we're going to challenge you to think twice about your feelings and prejudices.

That's not about punishing you or scolding you - it's about asking you to think.

It's pretty easy to absorb prejudices from the society round us, and it doesn't mean you're wicked or evil.

But part of becoming a grown-up is learning how to think critically about your own reactions and be open to hearing other people's views too.

Sometimes, it can be easy to apologize, but hard to listen to what people are actually saying.

For example, you could think about whether it's really logical to be prejudiced against same-sex marriage because of one lesbian who's been hassling you, when you've had far worse experiences with heterosexual people abusing you.


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Maharet
Activist
Member # 3806

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Getting back to the issue. The image that will stick most strongly in my mind about the "Marriage-a-thon" was of two women quietly crying in each others arms after being told they were 10 minutes late -- the mayor or whoever had been ordered to stop issuing licences. And the guys who were told they had to stop filling out the forms when they were half way through. I confess I don't know if this was in New York or San Francisco, but it must have sucked so very very much.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I just want to chime in with what logic has said, sweettweet: NO ONE on the boards here is going to go without help or get substandard help because of opinions they may hold, no matter how abhorrent anyone may find them, unless those opinions prevent them from being able to be respectful to others at the site, prevent others at the site from being able to safely use the boards, or result in guidelines being continually broken. And in those instances, any user in that situation will simply find their use terminated.

And yes, having someone say to me, in what is essentially my virtual home, as a queer person (I idnetify that way myself) in same-sex relationships that should I ever want to create a legal commitment to them is sick and disgusting is offensive, just as, should I say to you that you wanting to do the same with your heterosexual relationships is such would be offensive and disrespectful. And perhaps even more so, given how much time, energy and cash I devote to supporting a group of people (teenagers, you) in their relationships who a large majority of the populace thinks are totally incapable of having them: I give you and your relationships a large measure of respect, the least I expect back is the same respect.

OT: Maharet, I think we're really JUST beginning this process, and my gut tells me that whether some parts of this country like it or not, and whether or not it takes time, in less time than we likely think, everyone is going to get their turn should they want it.


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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