Self Righteous Sunday: Illegal Marriages in Mosquess are Gay

| Sunday, August 22, 2010
This has absolutely nothing to do with WoW, but since I've stopped bothering to post on weekends (barely anyone reads then), I figure this gives me a space to post my liberal socialist terrorist agenda.

The 14th amendment was written to ensure that the children of freed slaves would become citizens, since it wouldn't make much sense to have millions of non-citizens loose in the country, and even less to emancipate the slaves and make their children sub-citizens. Though obviously it didn't quite achieve that second goal. In a sense it was an anti-racism amendment. It seems ironic that now in a climate of anti-Hispanic sentiment people are seeking to repeal it. But obviously that's a purely emotional appeal and shouldn't carry any weight in what should be a fact-based debate.

On the subject of race, isn't it a strange concept? I cannot say I'm free of the idea, since I do see race, but it sure has a lot of arbitrary elements. The Irish were once black and Hispanics were white*; and now Irish are white as can be and Hispanics are somewhere in between. * If you wanted to try to apply genetics or lineage to race, a risky business to be sure, you'd find that most Mexicans have a huge portion of European blood. While Spanish settlement wasn't on the scale of the colonies further north (as far as I've heard), it's not as if they ran off to go intermarry, and even if they were so eager, so many natives had died that the numbers just wouldn't result in a population that was radically different from Spain.

About 8% of children in the US are from illegal immigrants. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But what does it actually mean? It doesn't mean that those 8% are 'anchor babies' who allow the parents to stay legally; they cannot petition for their parents until 18 or 21, making it damn slow. The number doesn't cover whether those children stay in the US either. The relevant numbers for the 14th amendment debate would cover how often parents are given citizenship with anchor babies compared to without (indicating abuse of the law) and whether birthright is causing parents to be deported while children stay here (indicating that the law might be encouraging children to be abandoned voluntarily or otherwise).

I don't think any state should recognize gay marriages. Why should they? Ah, I sound homophobic, don't I? Quite the opposite. I don't think government should care about marriage. It is a religious or cultural ceremony and should remain as such. Should I have any sort of special status because I'm baptized? That would be absurd and a clear violation of the first amendment. Well, at least on the federal level. Rather than state-recognized marriages, we should instead have civil unions, which give the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as the current legal aspects of marriage, open to any two freely consenting adults (I recognize that I'm being arbitrary in ignoring polygamy). Marriage would be a separate institution to be handled on a personal level. If a church wants to allow or deny gay marriages, I think that is the right of the church, but that it is not the right of the state to discriminate.

This not a mosque controversy is ridiculous. It is absurd that the same groups that advocate so strongly for Constitutional rights (they tend to focus on the second amendment) are so quick to throw out the first amendment. The not mosque has the zoning permits it needs. It is on private property (I forgot their defense of property rights). It breaks no laws. Is it insensitive? Hm...

Well yes. It is terribly offensive to complete idiots who are incapable of seeing that Islam and terrorism are not synonymous. But if we are going to throw out amendments whenever stupid people cause problems, we might as well ditch the entire bill of rights, excluding the quartering one, since that never seems to come up.

I'm curious if England had this problem with Irish or Catholic community centers during their much longer period of conflict with Irish and catholic extremists. Perhaps not, since we had the sense to build all our places of worship before some jackass ruined everything. Oh wait, there's already a mosque, a mosque mosque, near ground zero. How insensitive of them to build a mosque so close to the future site of the towers.

My governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, has made this ridiculous statement "I’ve been to Pearl Harbor. I laid a wreath at Pearl Harbor. I’ve been to Auschwitz. I laid a wreath at Auschwitz. I’ve been to Ground Zero, and I laid a wreath there. I do believe that there are special places on Earth that should have a zone of solemnity around them."

How is a place of worship not appropriate for a zone of solemnity? Should we ban all German flags near Auschwitz? Perhaps. And certainly we should make sure the Quinn didn't say any prayers when he was there. Furthermore, there should be no new sushi restaurants in Hawaii, in deference to those who lost their lives.

Terrorists cannot take away our freedom. They can kill us, but they cannot take away our freedom. That's not meant to sound defiant, only to be factual. Only we can only take away our freedom, by ignoring our rights and the rights of our fellow citizens. If this mosque is blocked for any reason other than legality, then the terrorists will have won.


Ratshag said...


Couple thoughts.

When I was growing up in San Antonio, there were some people who made a big deal out of being "Spanish" as opposed to "Mexican", on the basis of being descendants of the original colonists (who were mostly from the Azore Islands). Nevermind that the Spaniards of the day considered Azoreans hillbilly trash...

Marriage today is really two separate things. There is the public ceremony, which is sometimes done in a church and can get ridiculously expensive, but only lasts a day. In and of itself, this is just a party, and is not legally binding. Then there is the legal arrangement, which has long-term legal implications. Child-rearing, taxes, social security payments, and inheritance, to name a few. The sooner as a society we can learn to separate the two in our minds, even if they are performed at the same time, the better (and saner) I think we'll be. Most gay couples who want to get married are looking for the rights and responsibilities that are the realities of 21st Century life. Whether they have a fancy public ceremony, a quiet exchange in a courthouse, or (like my sister and her husband) a small party in a martini bar with the waiter and bartender serving as witnesses, can be their business.

If the two blocks around the WTC is a "zone of solemnity", why does it contain a porn shop and two strip clubs? Someone should also tell your governor that both Emperor Hirohito and his successor Akihito have also laid wreaths over the USS Arizona, and everyone considers that to be a good thing, not a slap in the face.

Okies, back into glubbernuggin character.

Klepsacovic said...

The funny thing with the hillbilly Spanish: that's most immigrants. Sure there are the highly educated types of come, but for the most part, historically speaking, we're all descended from the unwashed masses who were failing in their home countries.

I agree, it is two separate things. So I suppose all I'm saying is to rename the legal part so we can more easily separate the ideas.

I did not know that the emperors had laid wreathes. That's a pretty touching gesture, which I think only adds to the solemnity.

Leah said...

Disclamer - I read the first reply after I typed up mine, but I'm going to leave it anyways, cause I'm stubborn like that :P and yes, I suppose changing the name might help, since hubby and I were actually married in our hearts so to speak with ceremony and all for a little over a year before we decided that we needed the legal rights that came with it and went to city hall to get our little paper.

I disagree with you on a marriage thing. its not a religious thing, its a secular connection for most people. Imagine that you get married. Gay people can have ceremonies still, there are progressive men and women of religion or even non religious officiators that can perform that symbolic ceremony.

except when i got my marriage certificate, I immideately had an option to file taxes jointly, could be added to my husband's medical insurance, was allowed into a hospital room immediately as family if he was hurt..see where I'm going with it?

Gay couples (or polygamous relationships - cannot exclude those really, as I've met a few that for all intents and purposes might as well be married) regardless of how they feel about each other, regardless of what their intentions towards each other are - don't have those rights. they have to go through a ton of extra hoops to get the same rights that I get simply through a little paper with "marriage certificate" typed on it. And sometimes they still don't get all those same rights.

I'm not a big fan of gay pride. I think those parades they have are ridiculous, shoving their private sexual preferences down people's throats and trying to change your believes to suit them (well some of them do anyways). But I also believe that making laws applicable to some couples and yet not others is far too similar to making white vote count as one, while someone with black skin gets only 5th of a vote, if they get to vote at all.

Anonymous said...

There are no terrorists, there's only your government.

Martin said...

You're wrong about genetics and race: there IS NO genetic component to race. The amount of genetic difference between the average white, black, Asian, Hispanic etc. is less than the average genetic drift between two random people. Geneticists agree, race is a purely social construct. Which makes it all the more arbitrary.

On the mosque, a property owner can do whatever they want with their property. If they want to build a mosque, fine, whatever sizzles their bacon. By the same token, someone should open a gay bar next door and offer ANYTHING GOES marriage ceremonies.

Klepsacovic said...

@Leah: I'm not sure the point of the parades. I suppose some people enjoy them, but they don't seem to say what I think would be most useful: "gay people aren't all that different from straight people".

@Kewi: Unless you're suggesting 9/11 was an inside job, I'm going to have to disagree.

@Zarat: I'd have to see how they're measuring genetic difference, because sure, we can get a ton of genetic difference between two people, but none of it will actually do anything since genes have a ton of redundancy and excess code. If it's going off patterns of gene distribution, then it would mean something. Surely it isn't absolute chance that causes physical traits to group up in what we call races. I agree that race does contain a significant element of arbitrary separation, but to dismiss it as purely social is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting thoughts you have there.

I agree with the marriage thing - I don't really see why a religious ceremony should play any part in the union between two people. I can understand that the idea of a civil partnership is necessary in order to demonstrate commitment but having to associate it with the idea of Christianity or what not is a bit strange now.

Tesh said...

I have no problem with civil unions on civil rights grounds. I am opposed to the implications that leverage those unions into a *legal* definition of "marriage" that may wind up impinging on what I consider my religious views of marriage. Keep the State out of my chapel, thanks.

So... yeah, split 'em up. Civil (legal) rights for whomever wants 'em, keep the religious "marriage" nomenclature and froofarah in the churches and leave those to whomever wants 'em... keeping the separation of civil and religious. Seems to make sense to me.

LarĂ­sa said...

@Leah: I think that the Gay Pride parades are important. The way they have developed over the years is a statement of how much better the acceptance has become. It used to be some very odd thing; nowadays all political parties, trade unions and other organizations are represented there. It's not just for gays/lesbians/transsexuals etc etc, but for EVERYONE who believes in everyones right to their own sexuality. Where I live, Sweden, we've come far in those aspects. I'm afraid this is not the situation in many parts of the world, for instance in Easter Europe, where homosexuals are harassed and actions like those parades are considered illegal.

They definitely serve an important role for changing attitudes. It's not about forcing your sexuality on other people.

Anonymous said...

Gay Marriage Controversy is caused by the fact that its advocates and haters are talking about two different things.
The marriage is not only "a religious or cultural ceremony". It is a legal act. It affects ownership etc. An advocate of gay marriage typically promotes this aspect of marriage. And the gay marriage hater seeks to defend religious-or-cultural-ceremony.

Gay marriage advocate could be thinking along following lines.
Where is the family there always can be a divorce. Normally, all the property that family has accrued has to be split evenly so that no party is unfairly stripped of property. Heterosexual families are granted this fair treatment by the law. But homosexual families, while they exist, are not recognized by law and the citizens participating in them, are not getting the protection. So, one of their human rights is essentially denied.
So, the only solution is to recognize gay marriage under the law and apply the standard divorce procedures to it.

The gay marriage hater thinks along quite different lines, e.g.: the God made the woman to be a man's wife, he didn't just created another man to fill in that role. So if goverenment recognizes the gay marriage, it is against God's will and my religion. Hell, this means that government imposes the law which takes away my religious freedom!

Leah said...

@ Larisa.

it may be that way in Sweden. In new York and San Francisco though, its a blatant flaunting and pushing and show of how superior they must be for having this particular sexual preference. I never had any sort of prejudices against different preferences then that of my own, until I lived in New York for a while. At one point I also hang around with so called "leather community" and my god... all of them claim its all about equal treatment, but what most of them really mean is we want to be treated better then the rest, because of what we are, because we are just so speshul. notice that there are no straight pride parades. and even mentioning one gets you flamed.

I was talking to my husband the other day and it seems like solution is so simple - separate state from religion, give every relationship euqal legal rights as long as they go through the same legal proceedings to finalize their agreements and voila - problem solved. and then he said something that was like a light bulb going up.

what your regular gay couple wants - equal legal rights - is not the same thing that activists are fighting for. they WANT religious believes to be changed to include them, they are not just trying to change the laws, they are trying to change everything and that just will not work... which is exactly what they want. as long as they keep on fighting, they will keep on getting monetary support. if the fight is won? money ends.

this is just a comedy skit, sure, but what it represents is unfortunately far too close to the reality.

Klepsacovic said...

@Larisa: I feel compelled to remind you that Sweden is much, much different from America (not to suggest that either is homogeneous). It's not just laws, but society, traditions, and just the way people think. So what you call a pride parade we might call a parade and what we call a pride parade you might be terribly offended by.

@Leah: While I'm sure it's not your intention, be wary of generalizing a population from what is clearly an extreme element. I've met a few gay people in my few years of life and none have been even remotely close to 'leather' and even those most 'flaming' among them I doubt I'd see at one of the outlandish pride parade. They're not closeted, they're just perfectly normal people who are not represented at all by the more extreme elements.

As for straight pride parades, I like to think of every day as a straight pride parade.

Analogue said...

A little late to the party but though I might regret it, here's some differing points of view:

On the mosque: did we let Hirohito build a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor? Even now after the Japanese have apologized that would not go over well. We have a disagreement with proponents of a particular interpretation of Islam, not necessarily the entire religion. Those who object to the mosque are not sure whether the mosque builders are members of the Islam-worldview that wants Western civilization destroyed. The circular argument here is that if they weren't "that sort of Muslim", they wouldn't be so insensitive as to build their mosque at ground zero - and note, pieces of the hijacked plane crashed into the building at this site which to me makes it hard to argue it's not ground zero.

Gay marriage opponents get confused because there are two separate issues; whether or not homosexuality is a sin, and whether or not gay marriage is ok (or even possible). From my beliefs, homosexuality is a sin, but don't feel special, gay people, because so is adultery, promiscuity, gluttony, disrespecting your parents... some of which I'm pretty well guilty of and I don't have room to judge.

That said, gay marriage should be a separate issue like you've pointed out, the question being whether marriage is a state-run affair at all. From a utilitarian point of view, marriage is good for society; ideally it gives children a stable home, is a civilizing influence for men (they need a job to provide for family, they get sex at home and not in some brothel) and a security for women (they get a guy to squish the spiders and bring home a paycheck).

This view may or may not be totally irrelevant in today's world where apparently women don't need men, men don't need wives, children don't need mother and father, etc. I'd argue that the father-mother-children structure is still the best and most stable, regardless of what is made to work or fits any particular circumstance, but you'd probably say bias.

From the point of view of "this is best for a society" then the society does have incentive to promote this type of marriage. That makes it not about denying rights to a particular homosexual couple, because the issue is bigger than that.

Leah said...

sorry Khep it really wasn't. not much anyways. I guess I'm generalizing the activists, the people that are the most in your face in a parade.

you see, personally i don't care how you get your pleasure, as long as you're not hurting anyone without their consent. it just annoys me when people try to make it out to be more then what it really is, like it actually has any bearing on how you should be treated outside of the bedroom so to speak. Maybe its a kneejerk reaction with some people, but I've actually met quite a few who acted almost exactly like Jim Carry in his skits. and they are the ones that are ruining it for everyone else IMO, as unfortunately, they are the most visible.

One of my best friends in WoW is gay. I had no idea for a while because he didn't think it made any difference, and I only found out in passing, when he mentioned ex boyfriend (it was in context of our conversation at the time) and you know what? it didn't make any difference. It shouldn't. but some people think it should. and not all of them are straight. which is sad.

Klepsacovic said...

@Analogue: Of course we didn't, we wouldn't, and we shouldn't (if hypothetically he were still alive). By the analogy he was a senior member of the Taliban.

"We have a disagreement with proponents of a particular interpretation of Islam, not necessarily the entire religion."
And I'd probably join in a protest if a member of Al'Queda tried to build a mosque or if a Wahhabist was planning to build one.

Pieces of the hijacked plane most likely fell all over New York. Does that make the entire city hallowed ground? Should we remove any already existing mosques?

What irritates me is that the same faulty generalization fuels both 9/11 and the opposition to the mosque. The terrorists did not differentiate between civilian and military targets, grouping them all as evil Americans. The same is happening when Muslims in general are grouped in with the terrorists. If we cannot fight that irrational grouping, are we really able to claim any moral high ground? If anyplace, I actually think near ground zero is the ideal place for a cultural center, for there is no better place for Muslims to show what their faith really is and to pay their respects to the fallen.

@Leah: "it just annoys me when people try to make it out to be more then what it really is, like it actually has any bearing on how you should be treated outside of the bedroom so to speak."
I agree that this is a silly thing, but I think it has evolved almost as a defensive mechanism, to carry the fight to anywhere. Why? Because how long have we heard of a gay lifestyle, gay agenda, gay conspiracy? I imagine most gays would prefer to remain in the bedroom, so to speak, but that is a lost cause as haters have already dragged it out.

Responding to Analogue on the gay part again, I do think that all children need a male and female direct role model, but that doesn't mean they must be parents. For various reasons the nuclear family has become the standard in America, meaning that single parents are totally on their own. If there are not enough parent figures in general, then surely a gay family is at least better than an orphanage. In fact they are more or less as good as a straight family (this has been studied), but even if they were not, they seem preferable to the alternative of no parents.

Ratshag said...

@Analogue -

No we didn't allow Hirohito to build a shrine at Pearl Harbor because (a) he didn't own the property, and (b) he hadn't filed for the required zoning permits, and (c) in 1942 we were too fucking busy throwing law-abiding US citizens whose ancestors happened to be Japanese into Fucking. Concentration. Camps. Paranoid xenophobic hate-mongering was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

As far as gay pride parades go, yeah, there's some bizarre over-the-top stuff in some of them. But you know what? Some Mardi Gras parades have bizarre, over-the-top celebrations of heterosexual behavior. Some Easter parades have bizarre, over-the-top celebrations of violence and bloodshed and human sacrificing. Some Columbus Day parades have bizarre, over-the-top celebrations of organized crime. If my personal religion was the subject of continued discrimination (fortunately the Catholics and Protestants lost interest in burning us at the stake several centuries ago), I'd probably be doing some bizarre and over-the-top celebrations in the Unitarian Pride Parade. Dressing up like Ralph Waldo Emerson and flagrantly denying the pre-existance of Jesus with Susan B Anthony, or something. Okay, now I'm really glad there isn't a Unitarian Pride Parade.... My point is, some people do weird shit when they get to be in a parade. So what.

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