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Family Is Rarely a Zero-Sum Game

Comment

Dear Annie: My spouse and I are in a 40-year same-sex relationship. Seven years ago, we had a legal marriage, but my family refused to recognize it. My brother's wife went so far as to write letters to the local newspaper urging repeal of the law. My youngest sister said, "We were ordered not to deal with you any longer." Needless to say, I ended all relationships that did not accept my new husband.

Following retirement, my husband and I moved to another state. I recently heard that my mother is in very poor health. Since I was always the one who helped and organized things in my family, I feel the need to assist. But, Annie, I struggled for 30 years to be able to say "I do." Their lack of recognition makes it hard to have anything to do with them until they first apologize to me and, in particular, to my husband.

Should I take the higher road and contact my mother, or hold to the firm ideal that my spouse is more important and I must put him first? — Gay and Proud Son

Dear Proud Son: There is no reason this must be a zero-sum game. You already have put your husband first. It doesn't mean you cannot stay in contact with people you love (and who, presumably, still love you) within limited, controlled boundaries. If visiting Mom with your husband is not possible and visiting without him is not acceptable, you do not have to see her. But please call. You may not get another chance, and you shouldn't have any regrets.

Dear Annie: I've been married to "Ralph" for 30 years. His hearing has gotten worse, and the TV is so loud that I end up with a headache every night. I have told him this, but he says I'm exaggerating. Yet, in the summer when the windows are open, we have had complaints from the neighbors.

Every mention of his hearing ends in a fight.

He gets defensive, says he's being picked on and generally acts like a 5-year-old. Our 23-year-old daughter is in the process of relocating, and instead of staying with us, she prefers to sleep on a friend's sofa. Ralph is up late every night watching TV. I use earplugs, but our daughter can't use them or she won't hear her alarm. We even bought him a cordless headphone set for the TV, but he tried it twice and stopped.

Even the suggestion of hearing aids sends him into a frenzy of denial. He reads your column. Maybe he'll see himself. — Stressed Out from Loud TV

Dear Stressed: Many people are in denial about their hearing loss. It makes them feel old and unhealthy. But it is a common problem — even rock stars have it — and refusing to address it won't make it go away. You might tell Ralph that the longer he waits to deal with his hearing issues the harder it will be to adjust and the more isolated he will become (and the more irritated you will be). If you would provoke an argument by suggesting he check out the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (asha.org) or the Hearing Loss Association of America (hearingloss.org), leave the information on a piece of paper taped to the TV.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Kansas," who is not interested in sex with his wife because she has gained 100 pounds. My type-A husband also withheld sex from me because of my weight gain.

I told him my weight was the only thing about me that he could not control. When he backed off and accepted me as I was (for better or worse), our marriage was much better, and our sex life improved greatly. I even started losing weight when I felt he loved me for the person I am instead of how I look. — Just Sayin'

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

130 Comments | Post Comment
LW2, Ralph is a child. If he needed glasses, would he not wear them because he would look older? Or would he say that you're exaggerating about his vision? I think Ralph is a candidate for an intervention: bring the neighbors, his friends, your daughter and her friends, everyone who has been driven out by the noise. I don't know if you can mention any of this to Ralph's doctor, so he can schedule a hearing test at his next check-up.

If Ralph says he doesn't need a hearing aid, then tell him fine, you are in charge of the remote from now on. You won't let him have it for any reason, and the volume is going to be set where you like it, period. So he can get a hearing test, and get hearing aids if they're called for, or he can not hear anything on TV again. I don't think it will take long for him to agree to go to the audiologist. Hearing aids are so wonderful and effective now, and small. My friends have adjusted in no time.

Your last option is a "music room" for Ralph with foam covered walls that will muffle sound, and then you could force him to watch TV in there, but that doesn't help you when you guys are traveling.
Comment: #1
Posted by: angoradeb
Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:22 PM
LW1 is taking a chance that the "call home" will be a painful encounter with more personal attacks. But I agree that it's worth taking the chance. Call and tell your mother you love her while there's still time. I'll say a prayer that she's able to hear you and reciprocate.
LW2 - To Ralph, if you're reading this, get with it, buddy. Man up and admit that you have a problem. Stop fighting your family on this and get to a doctor. They're not trying to attack you, they're just trying to make the situation work better for everyone.
LW3, that's nice, but, it doesn't always work out that way. Would you love and accept your husband uncritically, and look forward to having sex with him, if he gained and gained and gained weight, and ended up weighing 100 pounds more than he does today? (Or 150 pounds, because that's the equivalent weight gain on a big-boned man?)
I know that weight is complex, and it can take work to lose it. It can be painfully enmeshed with our other persobnal issues. (Your equating it with issues of "control," as if gaining weight gave you a measure of "control" in the relationship, is an example of this.) But it would be nice if people could stop being defensive about it. I say that having been there... I had a struggle with my weight for years before I found a diet that worked (the grain-free diet, for what it's worth). When I was heavy, I wasn't "pleasantly plump" with "more of me to love," I was fat. It wasn't healthy. It didn't look good. My husband never said a bad word about it but I knew when I looked in the mirror that there was a problem. Excess weight is not something that's inevitable, as you proved yourself when you lost weight.
Comment: #2
Posted by: sarah morrow
Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:39 PM
LW1 is taking a chance that the "call home" will be a painful encounter with more personal attacks. But I agree that it's worth taking the chance. Call and tell your mother you love her while there's still time. I'll say a prayer that she's able to hear you and reciprocate.

LW2 - To Ralph, if you're reading this, get with it, buddy. Man up and admit that you have a problem. Stop fighting your family on this and get to a doctor. They're not trying to attack you, they're just trying to make the situation work better for everyone.

LW3, that's nice, but, it doesn't always work out that way. Would you love and accept your husband uncritically, and look forward to having sex with him, if he gained and gained and gained weight, and ended up weighing 100 pounds more than he does today? (Or 150 pounds, because that's the equivalent weight gain on a big-boned man?)

I know that weight is complex, and it can take work to lose it. It can be painfully enmeshed with our other persobnal issues. (Your equating it with issues of "control," as if gaining weight gave you a measure of "control" in the relationship, is an example of this.) But it would be nice if people could stop being defensive about it. I say that having been there... I had a struggle with my weight for years before I found a diet that worked (the grain-free diet, for what it's worth). When I was heavy, I wasn't "pleasantly plump" with "more of me to love," I was fat. It wasn't healthy. It didn't look good. My husband never said a bad word about it but I knew when I looked in the mirror that there was a problem. Excess weight is not something that's inevitable, as you proved yourself when you lost weight.



Comment: #3
Posted by: sarah morrow
Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:41 PM
LW1-
What the Annies said. I have no experience with that sort of thing, nor any of the gays I know, so I wouldn't know. Mike H, Chris, any other?

LW2-
He's not in denial, he's in refusal. Not the same thing.

He knows damn well what conditon his ears are in. He just doesn't want to accept it - something in his life experience has made him equal hearing loss with old and decrepit.

Yeah, hide the remote. But that doesn't remove the controls on the TV itself, and he'll be pissed enough to get up and use them. Entourage intervention, like Angoradeb suggested, including the complaining neighbours. I don't know what else you can do, it seems you've already used ever argument possible - except to hope that he pays attention to the Annies - and possibly us. (I wouldn't hold my breath, but miracles are always ppossible...)

Comment: #4
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:47 PM
About LW2:

It makes me wonder if there is a TV repairman out there willing to solve the problem mechanically? :) Perhaps it's possible to modify the TV set so the volume is, ah....lets say, permanently adjusted? That way, when hubby turns the volume up to 10, it's really at 5.

This simultaneously solves the loud-tv problem and convinces him that his hearing is getting dramatically worse. You can't tell him you've adjusted the TVs, of course. Just let him freak out privately when he realizes he can't hear the TV at its loudest setting. That oughta get him running to the doctor. A truly stubborn person needs to realize things on their own....so, I say, help him.

Oh -- and it's possible to wear earplugs and still be awakened by an alarm clock. They make vibrating alarms for deaf people. They're called "shake awake" alarms and you slip them between the mattress and box spring, or, under your pillow. The vibrate feature on any cell phone works well, too.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Johanna
Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:54 PM
LW1: I don't think that the Annie's exactly answered his question - note he's wondering if he should assist, not just contact her. I'd say obviously contact her, tell her you love her, etc., but I certainly wouldn't "assist" someone who has rejected me.

Lise. A person doesn't need to be gay to understand and empathize. If your family completely rejected you because your husband wasn't to their liking (for ANY reason - race, religion, sex, WHATEVER), would you then go out of your way to assist them in time of need?
Comment: #6
Posted by: Steve C
Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:08 PM
LW2- Most of the newer model TV's should come with closed captions. The LW should say SHE wants them on because the actors talk too fast (or whatever). That should solve the blaring TV issue if not the problem of his immaturity.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Lucy
Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:27 PM
Why not evict the TV? Put the TV outside, and tell him to watch it in the yard. Then he'll have to put up with the police coming to arrest him for making a racket at night.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Roger
Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:34 PM
* * * * PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT * * * *

LW3 refers to the second letter on 16 January 2012.

Comment: #9
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:35 PM
Two words. Wireless headphones. Gosh, how hard is that?
Comment: #10
Posted by: BusBizness
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:20 AM
Re: BusBizness

Four words. Read the whole letter. Gosh, how hard is that?
Comment: #11
Posted by: SopSop
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:26 AM
LW3 - Your weight is the *only* thing he can't control about you? That's . . . creepy.
Comment: #12
Posted by: SopSop
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:27 AM
LW1 - I would contact your mother, but I wouldn't go out of my way for her. She hasn't just rejected your husband...she has rejected YOU...her own flesh and blood. Don't be surprised if your mother doesn't welcome your phone call with open arms.

LW2 - Oh, man, I don't envy you. My father is losing his hearing and he refuses to accept it. Everything is, "WHAT?" after you ask him a question. You ask a second time and it's usually followed by, "HUH?" The TV is so darn loud that if I call my mother, she has to take my phone call on the other end of the house or else I can't hear her.

Raplh, if you're reading this, please accept that you have a hearing problem. If you're afraid that a hearing aid will make you look old, how do you think having everything so loud makes you look? You don't have to get those big, chunky, everyone-knows-you-have-them hearing aids anymore. There are small, discreet ones that go right inside your ear these days. Nobody has to know. What would you do if one night your wife fell and yelled to you for help and you couldn't hear her?
Comment: #13
Posted by: Michelle
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:27 AM
Re: SopSop

#11 - LOL!!
Comment: #14
Posted by: Michelle
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:29 AM
I think Steve C. has the right inflection on this -- there's a difference between calling and assisting.

Now, it's possible that facing her own mortality has made LW1's mother realize she was wrong.

So... contacting mom may in fact lead to a reconciliation with the family, the apologies that LW1 deserves, which could then in turn lead LW to taking a more active role in the family again.

LW1 should also talk to his husband and the two should really think about what they could live with. Will LW1 regret not taking a leadership role during his mother's health crisis? Even if nothing else changes in the family? See, if LW1 is afraid that he'll regret it for the rest of his life, then that's about him and his feelings -- screw the rest of the family.

But if he feels that calling is enough, or even a visit or two, without assisting in the care or arranging things, then that's all he should do.

It's a sad situation all around, but LW1 should realize his family made their choice -- if they've woken up and realized they were wrong, this is the perfect opportunity to let them express it; but if they stubbornly cling to their bigotry even in the face of a serious health crisis, then LW1 should rightly continue to put himself and his husband first.

Let's put it this way -- if it were LW1 or his husband having the health crisis, would any member of his family come to help? If the answer is no, then LW1 should not be a martyr here. LW1 should spend his time and energy on the true family he has -- the people in his life who love and support him and his husband for who they are.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:30 AM
LW1--"My youngest sister said, "We were ordered not to deal with you any longer."" Ordered by whom? Your family sounds unreasonable and ridiculous. What I can't understand about those who oppose same-sex marriage is their motives. A gay marriage has no impact whatsoever on anybody else's marriage; if someone opposes marrying a person of the same gender on principle or religious grounds, then I suggest that person not marry someone of the same gender. Who are they to force laws that prevent others from doing so? Coupling with a life partner is a basic human right. For religious conservatives who spout the so called sanctity of marriage, then I suggest they lobby the government to outlaw divorce instead of trying to PREVENT legitimate marriages. Oh but wait, that would inconvenience them... My advice is to send Mommy Dearest a note in which you forgive her for her ignorance and unwarranted hatred over the years and then leave the ball in her court. And congratulations on your 40 year anniversary!

LW2--"Every mention of his hearing ends in a fight." Well maybe a fight is what you need to bring (and not a post-it taped to the TV as the Annies' suggested.) Your husband is in deep denial. The facts that your daughter is sleeping elsewhere, you're sleeping with earplugs to blot out the television and your neighbors are lodging complaints are all indications that your stubborn ox of a husband can't hear the damn TV. Does he need you to draw him a picture? Maybe you need to learn to sign. It's time for your husband to face the fact that he is no longer a spring chicken; he's hard of hearing and needs to go see a doctor about hearing aids. The current models are microscopic and can't be detected by casual inspection. Each and every time your husband turns on the TV, turn it off, even if you have to do it a hundred times! Tell your husband that his hearing loss has become a problem and that you're considering joining your daughter when she relocates!
Comment: #16
Posted by: Chris
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:55 AM
LW1: Keep in mind that your mother rejected you years ago. She hasn't picked up the phone, either. Give a try, but keep that in mind. You have my sympathy.
Comment: #17
Posted by: happymom
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:21 AM
Re: Chris-'A gay marriage has no impact whatsoever on anybody else's marriage'. i agree with you. if my own marriage is so fragile that the gay couple up the street can threaten it just by getting married themselves, then my own is likely not worth defending.
Comment: #18
Posted by: alien07110
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:35 AM
Re: BusBizness I was going to suggest headphones, but she said he tried them twice and then stopped using them.
I use them sometimes as our TV is strange. You can hear it better in the bedroom than you can when you are in front of it in the living room. The speakers are mounted in the side, so the sound doesn't come directly at you. Now I hook the sound up to my little BOSE CD unit and can hear it much better. Maybe her TV has side speakers as well?
Comment: #19
Posted by: sarah stravinska
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:36 AM
The letter from the gay man sounds as though his mother accepted the relationship up until they got married.
Comment: #20
Posted by: sarah stravinska
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:42 AM
"Getting angry at two gay people getting married, because it's against your beliefs, is like getting angry at someone for eating a donut when you're on a diet."

LW3 - Sounds like your husband does control your weight, too, since you lose weight for him when he's nice to you.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 5:09 AM
Re: Zoe

Actually, it sounds like LW3 is the controller here, refusing to lose weight until husband is nice to her.

In keeping with her example, I have decided to not bathe or brush my teeth or wear clean underwear as a test of my spouse's love. I want to be loved for the person inside. But I still want sex, by the way. On the outside. The smelly dirty outside.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 5:33 AM
lw1 - If LW is retired & in a 40 year relationship, then Mom must be in her 80's at least. Suggest he visit her one more time to give them a chance to reconcile and to say goodbye. If he succeeds he won't regret it, and if he fails, he'll know for all time it wasn't his fault, he tried.
LW2 - drop the issue of hearing aids for now. Insist that when you go to bed, the volume on the tv is muted & Ralph watches the closed captioning or uses his head phones or toughs it out or whatever. Make the issue that you need it quiet to sleep and stick to that. Call his doctor and tell him/her to include a hearing test at Ralph's next visit. Getting the word from the doc will be another message to Ralph. If Ralph can't hear the tv, I'm sure he has trouble with normal conversation. Stop enabling him. Don't repeat things slowly and loudly that he misses. Best not to repeat more than once but always use a normal conversational level and speed. Let him get the idea that you & daughter are talking about him when he can't hear you. My dad was like Ralph, and my mom did talk about him and not in a complimentary way, and that inspired him to put his hearing aids in. I know it wasn't great of my mom, but the Ralphs of the world are frustrating to be around & can bring out bad qualities in the people around them.
Comment: #23
Posted by: kai archie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 5:59 AM
Re: Steve C
No, I wouldn't, but I might want to, since *I* would still love them. But I have never been "completely" rejected by my entire family for any reason, so I don't know for sure how I would react. Being neglected and shoved aside because they don't find me socially acceptable, THAT I know, but it is not the same as a complete rejection and shunning.

But I don't agree with the Annies when they assume that the family still loves him. When you truly love people, you accept what they are even if you disagree. A lot of people have emotional attachment, yes, but it is not necessarily love, and when the person becomes socially unacceptable, that defective attachment turns to hatred.

A perfect example is the Shafia trial in Ontario. By all accounts, the man appeared to love his daughters very much - as long as they towed the line and were good little girls according to his Afghan standards. When they started adhering to North-American standards and refused to behave as if they were still under the Taliban, he murdered them. With the help of his son and wife #2. They were found in a car that was pushed in the river. The man shows no remorse, no grief, only rage. He would do it again in a minute. That is not love. That's emotional attachment turned to hatred.

This is this kind of virulent, malignant bigotry I have no experience with, at least not from an entire group in a position to shun me. So far I've only run across the hypocritical, wimpy (un)kind, that smiles in your face while stabbing you in the back. Which is bad enough.

And you're right, the issue really has nothing to do with homosexuality rather than intolerance. But in today's society, it is gay couples who are most likely to be subjected to what the LW is complaining about, although I'm sure there are still many dark spots where inter-racial marriages are not accepted at all, and trigger the same kind of reaction.

@BusBizness
Six words: "He tried it twice and stopped". Second paragraph, last sentence. Not hard to find.

@Chris
"What I can't understand about those who oppose same-sex marriage is their motives. A gay marriage has no impact whatsoever on anybody else's marriage;"
It has an impact on their own sexual insecurity. People who are confident of what they are don't perceive different sexualities as a challenge to theirs.

"Who are they to force laws that prevent others from doing so?"
That is the very essence of insecurity and intolerance, to demand control over others to force them to do the same as them, so that it validates what they do. If everybody is the same, then they're all "statistically" normal, right?

Comment: #24
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:08 AM
Re: sarah stravinska
That's because until then, she kept hoping they'd break up, that this was "just a phase" and that he would "come to his senses", marry a nice girl and give her grandchildren. Once there are marriage papers, not only it becomes permanent, but they can no longer pretend the live-in boyfriend is only a roommate. That's when the shit hits the fan.

We've seen versions of this from women who wrote in to say they couldn't understand why the in-laws turned off them three minutes after the wedding. The gist of it is, "Oh shit, now we're stuck with him/her for REAL!"

Comment: #25
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:19 AM
Re: Lise B.

It may also be that the family is highly offended by the term marriage being associated with two men. My grandfather is like that. He happily accepts gays but the minute the term "gay marriage" comes up, he gets offended. Not to the extent that LW1's family is at all (he wouldn't break ties with, or argue with, a gay married couple), but he feels that the word "marriage" is for a man and a woman only. And that two men (or women) getting married is a bastardization of it.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:31 AM
My three teens all wear hearing aids. We had to get new sets in the fall, so I am up on the latest technology. First of all, the husband needs to have his hearing tested. If he passes, he gets everyone off of his back, so maybe that would be an incentive for him to "prove" he is fine. Since he probably NOT pass, he should look into different types of hearing aids. Lyric aids go right into your canal and stay there for three months at a time, until changed by a professional. It's like an IUD for your hearing, you just forget about them until you need a new set. Starkey has a super tiny aid called the AMP, it's made for people like this guy. It's invisible, cheap, and less of a hassle to program. He needs to know that he does not have to have a huge ugly hearing aid. In the meantime, he should try a neck loop. I think it's a much better choice that ear phones, especially since it's wireless. Finally, the TV should always be set to use closed captions. Once you get used to them, they really help with understanding all of the spoken language. I have normal hearing and I still watch TV with CC. You don't realize how much you miss until you start using them.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Stephanie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:27 AM
@Zoe, that's okay, then, because I'm not planning to "gay marry" Ike, I'm just planning to flat-out regular marry him. ;-)
Comment: #28
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:40 AM
Re: Mike H

Are you really getting married?? Congratulations!

And come on Mike everything you do is "gay" something. Going gay grocery shopping. Wearing gay clothes. Gay watching tv. Gay brushing your teeth. ... You know, everything sounds more fun when you put "gay" in front of it! LOL

Re: Stephanie

Good idea for LW2! She could say "well obviously ONE of us has a problem with our hearing, so why don't we both go see a doctor! if my hearing is the problem I'll stop nagging about it." Never know, it might work!
Comment: #29
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:51 AM
@SopSop: I completely agree!!! That is SO creepy! But, as my Lenten resolution is to not be judgmental, I will try to look at it from another angle. Some people like to be controlled, and if she's ok with it, who are we to judge… but I'm still judging. It's creepy.

@LW1: Can someone please explain to me what the big f*cking deal is about gay people? I just can not understand why some people act like it's the end of the world. So your brother likes dudes.. so what? Is that really reason to completely cut off contact? It's not like he rapes children, or eats people, or beats animals (all unforgivable, in my opinion!) so who cares? Why are people so offended by it? I agree with, Steve C.: Call.. but don't assist. If they're such bigots, they don't need your help. If you are reading this: sorry you got stuck with such a crappy family.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Casey
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:57 AM
“What I can't understand about those who oppose same-sex marriage is their motives. A gay marriage has no impact whatsoever on anybody else's marriage; if someone opposes marrying a person of the same gender on principle or religious grounds, then I suggest that person not marry someone of the same gender. Who are they to force laws that prevent others from doing so? Coupling with a life partner is a basic human right.”

Bravo, Chris. You summed that up much better than I could.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Casey
Thu Mar 1, 2012 8:02 AM
Re: Zoe

I'm with you on the "gay" thing. Isn't it normal to associate "gay" with everything a GLBT person does?

It reminds me of a hilarious blog post I read once about a male couple raising an adopted son. The whole post was about a typical day and how "gay" it was (tongue in cheek, of course). Making breakfast, getting the kid off to school, working, doing laundry, eating dinner, helping with homework.

He ended the post with something like, "Now if you'll excuse me, I've spent so much time doing gay things today that I lost track of time and will miss the world-wide gay conference call to discuss things such as 'the gay agenda' and 'ruining the family unit.'" Boy, you should have seen the wingnuts' responses. I think some of them actually believed in the world-wide conference call whose purpose it was to ruin the world. Or whatever they think.

BTW, Mike, Mazel Tov on marriage!
Comment: #32
Posted by: AgLee16
Thu Mar 1, 2012 8:11 AM
Re LW2 - for years, this was my dad - his hearing was damaged back in the 1970's when he was in the military, and it got progressively worse as he got older. Finally, finally, about 5 years ago, he admitted he could not hear, and got hearing aids. But as another poster said, hearing aids these days are very small and discreet. The ones my dad has even have bluetooth capability, and he can tune into the TV, the radio, or his cell phone right through the hearing aids, and adjust the volume to his liking without affecting the actual TV, radio, or what have you. The technology available today is ctually pretty cool. I hope that "Ralph" will look into it.
Comment: #33
Posted by: C Weisinger
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:23 AM
Ok, Zoe, AgLee16, you caught me out -- everything I do is gay. I gay drove my gay car to the train this morning for my gay commute to my gay job, and now I'm on a gay lunch break while I eat my gay sandwich. Later on I'll use my gay computer to write up gay reports on my gay accounts, and then gay manage my staff.

Tonight I'll probably go to my gay home and gay vacuum while Ike gay cooks me dinner, and then we'll watch gay TV on our gay couch.

And, yes, we're seriously planning a summer 2013 ceremony. We had to postpone a bit because we wanted to make sure Ike's citizenship was in place prior to the ceremony, and because we also wanted to give some extra planning time for friends from Asia who want to attend. Many thanks for the well wishes!
Comment: #34
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:46 AM
Ok, Zoe, AgLee16, you caught me out -- everything I do is gay. I gay drove my gay car to the train this morning for my gay commute to my gay job, and now I'm on a gay lunch break while I eat my gay sandwich. Later on I'll use my gay computer to write up gay reports on my gay accounts, and then gay manage my staff.

Tonight I'll probably go to my gay home and gay vacuum while Ike gay cooks me dinner, and then we'll watch gay TV on our gay couch.

And, yes, we're seriously planning a summer 2013 ceremony. We had to postpone a bit because we wanted to make sure Ike's citizenship was in place prior to the ceremony, and because we also wanted to give some extra planning time for friends from Asia who want to attend. Many thanks for the well wishes!
Comment: #35
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:47 AM
Ok, Zoe, AgLee16, you caught me out -- everything I do is gay. I gay drove my gay car to the train this morning for my gay commute to my gay job, and now I'm on a gay lunch break while I eat my gay sandwich. Later on I'll use my gay computer to write up gay reports on my gay accounts, and then gay manage my staff.

Tonight I'll probably go to my gay home and gay vacuum while Ike gay cooks me dinner, and then we'll watch gay TV on our gay couch.

And, yes, we're seriously planning a summer 2013 ceremony. We had to postpone a bit because we wanted to make sure Ike's citizenship was in place prior to the ceremony, and because we also wanted to give some extra planning time for friends from Asia who want to attend. Many thanks for the well wishes!
Comment: #36
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:47 AM
LW1: It's certainly up to you to decide whether you want to assist your mother in her end-of-life stage, or decide whether your help is even wanted by your siblings. I cannot derive from the letter where the siblings were ordered to cut off contact from the LW, write letters urging repeal of pro-gay laws, etc., although my guess could be the father (who is not spoken of, but is probably deceased) or the mother. It should not matter what their motivations are – deep denial, the fact that they didn't get to pick his life's partner (i.e., wife), religious or otherwise – it's now time to set aside the differences.

Yes, I would definitely contact mother and let her know that you love her and all that she has done for you. Then ask if there is anything you can do for her. Her answers will determine your course of action.

Being straight, and admittedly opposed to homosexuality (very strongly), I will say the only reason I can think of for people to push for anti-gay laws is religious. In that they fear being judged by God as an entire group (of Americans), and that ALL AMERICANS will go to Hell, just because they live in a country with homosexual-friendly laws anywhere.

Lise: While I agree that LW1's family has unfairly shunned him for his sexual orientation – again, probably moreso because of their personal embarrassment and inability to get him to date someone to their liking – the example about the former Middle Easterner murdering his own children for embracing "sinful" American standards and rejecting their former Afghan ideals – doesn't quite follow. True, he (just like LW1's family) have rejected someone from their own family, but it just doesn't connect with me.

LW2: I'll go along with those who say that "Ralph" is simply in denial about his hearing. The TV set is only going to get turned up louder until either he gets several citations for disturbing the peace or he can no longer hear, even with the TV up full volume. The Annie's are correct: Get him into a hearing specialist now. He'll balk, more than likely, before finally crying and saying, "ALRIGHT, GODDAMN IT! I HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM! ARE YOU HAPPY?!"
Comment: #37
Posted by: Bobaloo
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:58 AM
I agree with Zoe that many people, including myself, think marriage is between a man and a woman. I would be OK with Civil Unions between gays and lesbians even if that had all the rights and privileges of marriage. I know that doesn't make much sense, but I guess it goes back to the Bible and my religious upbringing. I have no problem with gay relationships. It's nobody's business what people do behind closed doors, whether homosexual or hetrosexual. I've heard/read that a lot of gays use the "behind closed doors" argument regarding discrimination, so I don't understand the gay parade freak shows. I don't go around saying that I am hetrosexual and proud of it, and I don't understand why if it is just one aspect of who they are, some gays have to make a point of announcing it to the world. I'm not saying they should be in the closet, but if it's no big deal, it should only come up when talking about your partner, telling people so they stop trying to set you up with the opposite sex, etc.
I'd be interested to hear the gay posters take on those parades. Not the ones where people are marching for equal rights, marriage, etc, but the freak shows like in San Francisco. The posters appear to be in long-term relationships, go about their lives, and just happen to be gay. Do they think that type of parade helps or hurts changing peoples attitudes?

To people that think it is a sin, what about adultry, fornication, divorce in some religions? Why single out gay sex? All sins are equal, and I'm sure many of those people have committed those "sins", especially fornication. I read recently that 90% of Americans have premarital sex. And those are just the sexual sins. Everyone commits those and many, many sins, so again, why pick on gay sex?

I tried to make sure and put "some" in front of gay. I realize that the situations I mentioned do not apply to all gays - no doubt it is the minority in many cases.

Hope I don't get flamed for this post. I tried very hard to make it clear that I am not against gay relationships.

Sorry is this posts twice - I got an incorrect captcha error even though I'm sure I entered it correctly.
Comment: #38
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 10:21 AM
Has LW2 tried introducing her husband to someone who successfully wears a modern hearing aid and loves it compared to when he couldn't hear properly? I would suggest finding a man five years older than hubby, but who looks ten year younger. Have a get together at the house, and cue all her friends to make comments like "Gary seems so much younger now that he has his hearing aid." Single women could go even further with their comments, so its obvious that hearing aid wearing Gary is perceived as youthful and attractive, while hubby comes off as an old man constantly asking people to repeat themselves.

If that scenario is too elaborate, she should at least make a point of bringing around people happy with their hearing aids to let him know what he is missing.
Comment: #39
Posted by: Girl Scout Leader
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:08 AM
For the record, I personally do not have any problem with gays getting married and calling that marriage a marriage. I'm of the "live and let live" variety - if it doesn't hurt others, do whatever you want.

Re: C Meier

I used to be put off by Pride parades until, honestly, I grew the eff up. It's not something I would choose to participate in - sort of life sexapalooza or whatever - my sex life ain't public and I'm not interested in any one else's. Anyway, what I realized is the pride parade isn't about me and my sensibilities, or what I think is okay to talk about publicly. It's a celebration of being "allowed" to be out of the closet, and being able to be who you are publicly. And you know what, as long as they aren't hurting anyone, they can do whatever the heck they want, and it's not up to me or you to tell anyone when it's okay for them to talk about sex or relationships. You don't have to listen if you don't want to, but you don't get to say "it should only come up when talking about your partner, telling people so they stop trying to set you up with the opposite sex, etc" because that's how YOU feel, you know what I mean?

I don't know if you are male or white, but you are straight, so you can't fathom what it's like to have others view you and your actions as sinful or wrong for no reason. If you're white as well you probably have no concept of bigotry or discrimination. I could be wrong of course. But it's easy to think "well I don't go around saying I'm heterosexual!" when you are part of the majority, and you are what people naturally assume you to be.
Comment: #40
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:25 AM
@C Meier, you won't get flamed from me, although I do disagree with a few of your points. But we can certainly discuss differences in a civil fashion.

"Marriage" isn't a word owned by the religious, and frankly not all religions view "marriage" the same. BIblically speaking, marriage was often between one man and several women, so "traditional" marriage isn't even what a lot of people who claim they support "traditional marriage" think it is.

Religious marriage is something that is indeed best left to the churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques. Civil marriage, however, is a right, a status, granted by the government. (And some religions are perfectly fine with marriage for same sex couples, by the way -- so why should your religious view of marriage trump theirs?)

An atheist man and an atheist woman can go to city hall and have a ceremony that doesn't once reference the word "God" at all, and they are still married. Not "civil unioned", but married. If atheists can be married in the eyes of the country, then I should be able to be as well.

So, I disagree that people of a particular religion "own" the word "marriage". Civil unions create a "separate but equal" status that won't work -- we've seen too often that "separate but equal" ends up being "separate and not really equal" too many times. (I would say, however, that if heterosexuals gave up the word marriage entirely, if the ONLY status that ANYONE was offered was "civil union", then that would be fair as well.)

In terms of "gay parade freak shows", the vast majority of public gay parades are not "freak shows". There are very few of those, and very many standard Pride parades. So if you are seeing more published about the freak shows, that is because there is a bias in reporting to deliberately make you uncomfortable with gay people.

Does everyone who marches in a gay pride parade act in a decorous, genteel fashion? Certainly not. But the vast majority of participants are not nude or dressed provocatively or riding on giant floats that look like genitalia. The few participants who do "push the envelope" are invariably the ones who are highlighted by those who hate gays and don't want us to have equality.

I regularly attend the annual Boston Pride parade, and the overwhelming majority of participants are religious groups marching in SUPPORT of us. Political groups and politicians, non-profit groups, local businesses, families with children, and other community groups -- like the gay flag football league or a gay marching band. And most gay parades are of this sort, NOT the "freak show" sort.

But, C Meier, I'd also like to point out that even IF a small part of the community does act out in a "gay freak parade show" -- heterosexuals do, as well, and how come people don't complain about those as much? If I turn on a news report or do a web search about Mardi Gras or spring break parties and parades, I can see all SORTS of straight men and women exposing themselves, acting in a lewd fashion, even engaging in physical intimacy out in the open, over and over again, in public. Should we suggest, then, that heterosexuals in general don't deserve certain rights because of the lewd public behavior of a small subset of straight people? Should I hold you responsible for their actions? Why are "straight freak parade shows" okay but "gay freak parade shows" not?
Comment: #41
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:32 AM
Re: Zoe-

With all due respect, I think I do have the right to say "it should only come up when talking about your partner, telling people so they stop trying to set you up with the opposite sex, etc" because, well, that's how I feel. Nobody has to agree with me, but I have the right to voice my opinion. But I appreciate your response because that's how people learn if they are open minded.

Comment: #42
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:37 AM
Heh.

My dad and my uncle both had bad hearing. My uncle used to keep the tv volume up so high that everyone else got a headache.
Then he had surgery on both ears, bringing his hearing almost back to normal. Oh my. You should have heard him going off on everyone else for BLARING that noise, even though the volume was always lower than he had kept it at before the surgery.
My dad's hearing was bad, but mostly, he just didn't listen. I got so tired of repeating everything that finally, when he would respond with "huh?" I would say "I asked you where you hearing aid is." Almost every time, he would then respond to what I had originally said.
Both he and my mom kept the tv so loud that I couldn't sit in the same room. They thought I was being childish, but it was actually painful. A couple years before my mom died, I did put in a surround sound system, with a speaker on each side of her chair, turned all the way up, and all the other speakers turned off. It would definitely be worth looking into for the LW. Those systems don't cost much anymore, and it's more likely to get a positive result than anything confrontational, since that has already failed repeatedly.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Shirley
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:45 AM
@Zoe, #40, that hits the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned, about why just being okay with gay people "behind closed doors" isn't good enough. Not that it's about sex at all, really -- it's about the default assumption that everyone is straight until proven otherwise. Easy enough to assume that all of us are deviant perverts who prey on children, break up families, and can't be monogamous, if all of us are hiding, pretending to be straight, because everyone assumes we're straight.

So we HAVE to come out of the closet, and be vocal about who we are, in order for people to realize that the bigoted stereotypes about us aren't true, and that we do absolutely deserve to be treated as full, equal, citizens of this country.

Plus, as long as high school kids are bullied and tormented for even "appearing" to be gay... as long as gay teens and 20-somethings commit suicide at a rate up to 4 times higher than their straight peers because of the hate and bigotry they face... then I don't think we have any choice BUT to keep speaking out and living our lives "out of the closet".

But I happily look forward to the day where it truly doesn't matter whether I'm gay or straight.
Comment: #44
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:49 AM
Re: C Meier

Sure, you can have your opinion, but you can't forget that it's just an opinion and it's certainly not one that many people share. I personally don't think that anyone has the right to tell anyone that they should not say or do a certain thing, or can only do or say a thing in the right context (that they define, of course) as long as the thing they are doing or saying isn't hurting anyone. So we'll have to agree to disagree on that point.

And yeah, Mike H. made a really good point about how much we see hetero sex. You probably don't even notice it. Magazines, posters, books, movies, tv, sports games, commercials - so much romance, so much sex, so much nudity. And yet what makes you uncomfortable, what makes you protest the most, is some gay people and their friends and family having a fun parade that doesn't come close to the amount of hetero sex/nudity we see every day, all around us, yet do not register because we are so used to it.
Comment: #45
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:57 AM
Er, sorry, when I said that "not many people" share your opinion, I meant that there are many people who DON'T share it. I know there are many others who do.
Comment: #46
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:59 AM
@C Meier, as an aside, I should make it clear that I really am only talking about civil marriage. I fully, completely, unreservedly support the right of any individual religious group to make and enforce its own rules about who can get married within their own congregation - but only on its own followers.

If the Roman Catholic Church (for example) doesn't want to support marriage equality, I don't want to force them, and I certainly don't want to force them to hold ceremonies that they don't agree with. By the same token, however, I don't think the Roman Catholic Church has the right to impose its dogma on people who aren't Roman Catholic. (Would the Lutherans accept only being allowed to marry couples that the Catholic Church approved of? Would a Baptist Congregation agree to only marry couples that followed Mormon rules?)

It's an important point to remember because I think part of the trouble some people have with marriage equality is that they can't help but think of religious marriage as the same thing as civil marriage, but it's not. (As in my example of the two heterosexual atheists getting married above).
Comment: #47
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 12:02 PM
Re: Mike H-
To claify, when I said that I believed that marriage is between a man and a woman because of my religious upbringing, I meant just that. Not if it is a relgious ceremony or if the couple is religious - just that is between a man and woman. And as far as marriage in the Bible including more than wife, that was in the Old Testament, and I think Jesus said in the New Testament that that was wrong, altough I could very well be wrong about that. It's been a long time since I went to parochial school.

I see your point about spring break, etc. being very lewd, but I don't think that is OK either. But I agree that the the "freak shows" are the ones that the media show, and most participates in the parades or other events do not act/dress that way.

As I said to Zoe, I appreciate your input, as it enlightens me and makes me think. You never know - you might change my mind.
Comment: #48
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 12:19 PM
Re: C Meier and anyone else

if you google images search for "Marriage according to bible" there is an image that comes up. It's a table form, pinkish in colour, with man/woman symbols (like what you'd see on a bathroom door) that shows what various books describe as an acceptable marriage.

I understand that not each religious person takes each piece of religious documentation literally, but it does put things in perspective - that going on the bible's word to decide for everyone what is okay to do and what is not (marriage-wise) doesn't really mean anything.

I guess I don't really understand being against something because a book tells you to be. And it's not even being against something, but only if it's under a certain name, or only if it's broadcasted too loudly. But like I said, I don't "get" the motivation. I am glad you are trying to keep an open mind about it, though.
Comment: #49
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 12:47 PM
I am opposed to heterosexual marriage.

I mean, I don't care what heterosexuals do behind closed doors, I just don't see why they have to throw it in my face all the time. Can't even go to the movies these days without seeing the hetero's slobbering all over the screen, what's up with that? Why can't they just keep it to themselves?

They even have Las Vegas, a whole city devoted to their wanton behaviour. But that's not enough, no, they have to come home and have hotels with hourly rates and vibrator stores and the whole bit. What's that all about?

Look at George Clooney, respectable on the surface, but forever trotting about with a new girlfriend of the week. Absolutely unnatural. I mean, I'm not totally surprised--how can the heaters and hetero-hoes make each other happy when they are having to deal with body parts they've never owned? It's unnatural, trying to make a wee-wee happy when you've never even owned one.

And then there's MTV. Britney and Cher and everything in between, throwing their ta-ta's about, I mean, really. If they want to make a political message, like equal rights for bedazzled vajayjays, well, that's ok, but do they have to do all the rest?

And the parades, don't get me started. Rose Bowl, St Patrick's Day, and everything in between, they've got some majorette prancing about in tight skirts that are so short they're guaranteed to go home with more yeast than the bakery. What's that all about?

I'm with you, CM.
Comment: #50
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:06 PM
in the above, "heaters" = "heaters".

@$#@! spell check
Comment: #51
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:09 PM
the freaking thing did it again
"heaters" = "heteros"
h e t e r o s
(see if it gets through this time)
(bet whoever invented spell check is gay, he can't even spell the "h" word)
What's up with that?
Comment: #52
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:12 PM
Re: Jpp

Those were greatest 3 posts in a row! LOL

Also, yeast. Ew.
Comment: #53
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:16 PM
#48, C Meier, and you know, that's fine for you to believe whatever you want about what marriage "is" -- as long as you don't try to impose your religious upbringing's definition of marriage on other people.

That's the issue, here -- in a country based on freedom of religion, your particular version of marriage, based on your religious upbringing, shouldn't be imposed on people who have different religious beliefs.

That's also what I mean when I say that one religion doesn't "own" the definition of marriage. Your belief of what marriage is, based on your religious upbringing, shouldn't be allowed to impinge upon me or my rights, when I don't share your religious belief.

But again, by the same token, I would also agree with the reverse -- that I shouldn't be able to force your Church to hold my marriage ceremony, nor would I disallow you from marrying the opposite-sex spouse of your choice, based on my personal upbringing and religious belief.

The government should be "religion-neutral" in how it treats its citizens. In essence, you've been given a "special right" by the government that I don't have (ie, to get married to the consensual adult partner you are in love with) based on your particular religion, and that's not right. In fact, it should be considered unconstitutional.
Comment: #54
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:25 PM
@Jpp, well, it's not me, I'm not a hater... I mean, heck, some of my best friends are straight.
Comment: #55
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:28 PM
Jpp-

I have tried very hard to make my posts a cival discussion, and I as I stated, I am open minded. I don't think mocking me was necessary even if you disagree with me.
Comment: #56
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:30 PM
Re: Mike H ~~~ Bitey Fish is happy that you and Ike are getting married. Is Bitey Fish invited to the wedding?

Comment: #57
Posted by: Piranha in Pajamas
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:31 PM
Re: Mike H

I don't try and impose my beliefs on anyone else, as I wouldn't want anyone to impose theirs on me. I have no problem with birth control, and I certainly wouldn't want a Catholic telling me I can't use it. (Too old to need it now anyway.) I simply wanted to state my opinion.
Comment: #58
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:42 PM
@C Meier, and I absolutely, completely, unequivocally support your right to have that opinion and to express it. And, for what its worth, I think you expressed yourself well and certainly without being offensive in any way.

Comment: #59
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:47 PM
Objecting to someone else's marriage based on your religion is like being angry at people for eating a donut while you're on a diet.
Comment: #60
Posted by: wkh
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:48 PM
whk #60. That makes no sense at all. Being angry at people for eating a donut while your on a diet means that you're angry because they are doing something your can't. Since I can get married, that wouldn't apply.

This may show up as posted by Piranha in Pajamas since that is what shows up above where I type the comment. Actually posted by C Meier. Creators needs to get their sh*t together.
Comment: #61
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:59 PM
JPP, you are hilarious. Thanks for the laugh and your point is well taken. Mike H, congrats on your upcoming ceremony. Best wishes to you.
C Meier, and anyone else with religious objections to same sex marriage, you're free to believe as you do. Just keep religion out of the the law.
Comment: #62
Posted by: Annie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:03 PM
Re: wkh

Hey! I already said that today ;)

Re: C Meier

Actually, it makes perfect sense. And btw, if you're on a diet, you can still eat a donut. No one is suggesting that straight people are jealous because they can't get gay married! The point is that getting upset or offended because someone else is doing something that has nothing to do with you and does not affect you at all in any way is as silly as getting mad at someone for eating a donut because YOU don't want to eat a donut.
Comment: #63
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:09 PM
@Cmeier, Zoe, and Mike H.: I am absolutely disgusted at the conversation between you three. You disagreed on one of the most controversial topics in America (second only to abortion) and you did it in a non-confrontational, respectful, intelligent, open dialogue kind of way. Vile. What happened to the good ole days of mud slinging and flaming on BTL???

Disclaimer: Since Steve Jobs never invented a “Sarcasm” font, hopefully my sarcasm came through. I am really impressed with your dialogue!
Comment: #64
Posted by: Casey
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:15 PM
With regard to C Meier's statement: "I don't go around saying that I am hetrosexual and proud of it, and I don't understand why if it is just one aspect of who they are, some gays have to make a point of announcing it to the world." I do go around saying that I'm heterosexual. I wear a wedding & engagement ring. I have pictures of my family in my workplace & my fb page. I go out in public with my spouse & my kids. I talk about my family vacations with my coworkers & friends. I talk to my health care providers about the medical insurance I get via my spouse. I tell my friends about my weekends & events my spouse & I attended. When I hire someone to work on my house or my car, I give them my spouse's number as a contact. C. Meier, do you get the picture? These are just a few of the ways we say every day what our sexual orientation is, and we heterosexuals can do it freely without concern that anyone will think ill of us for it.
Comment: #65
Posted by: kai archie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:24 PM
Re: Zoe
Yeah, I know... sigh. If they're so religious, why can't they follow Jesus Christ's very precepts and learn to live and let live? Unless someone's behaviour is causing someone else harm, let God be the judge of what is a sin and how much!

@Casey
Some people don't feel all that secure in their own sexuality, anything that is different from the norm becomes an attack of what they are, or worse yet, what they are trying to be. It has been theorized that the more virulent the homophobia, the more likely that person is deep in the closet. Check my answer to Chris.

@AgLee16
And that's ANOTHER THING that drives me crazy - people taking everything literally. Psychologically speaking, normal children start being able to perceive the difference between literal and figurative meanings at around age 9 or 10. Apparently, some people never get there.

@C Meier
"I would be OK with Civil Unions between gays and lesbians even if that had all the rights and privileges of marriage."
I don't think there is any other kind possible besides a civil union. Doesn't bother me either. How could love be wrong?

As for gay pride parades - As a trained classical singer, dancer and vintage jewellery renovator, I have been surrounded all my life by gays (mostly males), and the ones I have seen who would be caught dead in an event like that are few and far between. I personally ignore it and, if some gay boys and lesbian girls wants to impersonate RuPaul, Mado Rock or the Village People, and shake their g-stringed booty and naked boobs, well... it attracts tourists, which is always good for business. Just one more festival in festival-central Montreal. My only concern about it is that there are always lots of ignorant idiots who will think that this is what being gay is all about.

@Mike H
My only reference to gay pride parades is the Montreal one, which is pretty wild, especially after I compare it to your description of the Boston one. Good point about Mardis Gras and spring break hooplas!

Comment: #66
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:31 PM
@C Meier
I don't think Jpp's post was intended to mock you, but it was intended to show how things are from the perspective of the other foot. Kai archie (post #65) expresses the same differently. You just don't realise how much heterosexual sex IS being shoved in the face of people who might object to it - there is a reason why some religious sub-groups refuse to own a TV.

@Jpp
LOL!

Comment: #67
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:44 PM
Wow for those of you saying there's no hetero equivalent to a gay pride parade, where the heck have you been on Halloween the last 10 years or so? Adult Halloween parties have become dubbed Heteroween, Hookerween, Slut-o-ween, etc. It's basically a brazen display of heteronormativity and some might say misogyny. And there's always Mardi Gras. I don't think those girls are flashing boobs and shaking feathered booty to get beads from gay men and lesbians.

The fact is heterosexual people don't notice how much hetero sex is shoved down our throats weekly (looked a a store magazine rack during checkout lately?) because it's NORMAL to us. Just watch some prime time tv. Go to a baby shower. A bachelorette/stag party. There's plenty of hetero sex out there and that's not counting all the perfectly innocent ways such as a wedding ring and talking about events families attend together etc. But if a gay person talks about their gay spouse in the EXACT same way, it's "shoving it down throats." Whatever.

Zoe, sorry I missed your donut comment. And for those who think that's more of a jealousy example, let's say it's more like vegetarians being pissed off at the meat eaters of the world. Last I heard most of you thought they could suck it. And make no mistake, the majority of them go on that diet for moral or religious reasons.
Comment: #68
Posted by: wkh
Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:12 PM
wkh, your post #68 was brilliant. The carnivore/vegetarian analogy is a good one. In fact, it would be MORE appropriate for the vegetarians to speak up when they see a meat-eater at a hot dog stand, because they'd (or so they'd argue) be speaking up on behalf of the cow that can't speak for itself. In gay marriage, absolutely no one (or animal) is being affected (unless you count the goats that everyone insists will be the logical next step if we allow gay marriage, but don't get me started on that).

CM, sorry if I offended you, and I suppose to a degree you're right, I was mocking you. But consider it a light ribbing. I was just trying to point out how the "extreme" gay behaviour that people speak of--the parades and the like--are no worse than anything that heteros do. The only diff is that you are so used to seeing it that you don't even notice it. Let's face it, Madonna's a bigger tramp than anything you'll ever see at a gay parade.

I do appreciate the lengths you (and others today) have gone to to keep the discussion civil and respectful.

...and Lise, please be careful. To refer to heterosexual sex as being shoved in our faces, oh please, so graphic, and during the dinner hour. (Dare I mention we're having sushi tonight?)

BAD JPP BAD BAD



Comment: #69
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:12 PM
Re: Jpp

Ain't it interestin' that Madonna is the Queen of queens to so many gays.... the non-virgin Mary, sort of. hee hee hee hee hee hee

Comment: #70
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:20 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette

I think that's one of the reasons the gays like her (and Cher). Someone who is so unashamedly brazen in her sexuality, particularly a member of a group (females) who have been trained to keep their sexuality under wraps, is appealing to a group of people who've been told to be ashamed of their own.

Comment: #71
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:25 PM
Re: Jpp

I don't know... the amount of leather chaps I am lead to believe are purchased and worn by gay men probably represents the same number of cows eaten in all of Texas!

Actually, considering that they are assless chaps, maybe it's more like 2/3 of the cows eaten in Texas.
Comment: #72
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:31 PM
@ Zoe #26

"It may also be that the family is highly offended by the term marriage being associated with two men. "

This is perhaps the most ridiculous objection to same-sex marriage. People who lob this argument are confusing what their religion views as a "marriage" with the legal contract that governments recognize as a marriage. Sorry, but marriage is little more than an array of legal protections; a contract. While personally, I couldn't care less what they call it as long as it's equal, why should there be separate but equal institutions for what our government recognizes as a lawful partnership contract between two consenting adults?

@ Bobaloo #47

"Being straight, and admittedly opposed to homosexuality (very strongly), I will say the only reason I can think of for people to push for anti-gay laws is religious."

Why so strongly? But, before you explain, please remove religion from your argument as I don't share your religious beliefs. Since not everyone shares the same religious beliefs, it's unfair for members of one religion to force laws that limit others from doing things that go against those religious beliefs. Especially in a country that supposedly has a separation of church and state. Would you agree? If not, I welcome your explanation.

@ C. Meier #38

"I agree with Zoe that many people, including myself, think marriage is between a man and a woman. I would be OK with Civil Unions between gays and lesbians even if that had all the rights and privileges of marriage."

Then you are against gay relationships. Sorry. And for the record, I also don't like gay pride parades. But then again, I don't wear leather chaps with my bare ass hanging out or a shiny thong while I ride atop a giant jock strap float. I find these spectacles deplorable and not at all an accurate depiction of gay men and women. Like all factions of society, the gay community has those who personify the extremes; gay pride parades tend to attract those and the media is only all too happy to fixate on them as if their behavior were the norm.

@ Jpp #50

My thoughts exactly. And the children...the icky, whiny, annoying children these breeders bring into the world....why isn't there a law restricting THAT? Enough already! ;-)

@ Mike H

All of your posts were exquisite today!

@ Piranha in Pajamas #57

Not if you think his gifts are cheap!

@Wkh #60 (and Zoe!)

Exactly!!! And C. Meier #61 - your logic is wrong (as it has been all day.) You absolutely COULD eat a donut if you were on a diet, you simply CHOOSE not to.

Okay, I'm off to attend an all male orgy, do a bunch of drugs, and stay up all night listening to Trance music while I dance with my shirt off with some random trick I'll pick up on Craigslist... Adios










Comment: #73
Posted by: Chris
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:36 PM
@BiteyFish, I'm a little reluctant to invite you, only because Ike is so very very fond of sushi.

@Annie, many thanks!

(I should make it clear that I do live in a state where there IS marriage equality, so when I talk about not having equal rights, it's due to the lack of recognition at the federal level.)

@Lise, every city does Pride a little differently, and there IS usually some aspect where it gets a little "over the top", but I've found that more and more of the parades and day-time celebrations are getting more and more "family friendly". In part because those of us who are in long-term monogamous relationships and especially those with kids are more and more visible in our community.

I'll also freely admit that a lot of the gay rights movement in the past HAS included an element of being "in your face" about sexuality. The thinking, as I understand it, is that because we were being demonized and marginalized because of our sexuality, because we were being "locked out" of the "normal" institutions of family, marriage, society, that we would CELEBRATE our difference in an extreme way. I can understand that, although I don't completely agree with it.

@kai archie, exactly -- when I say I'm "out", it means I *never* shy away from making it clear that I'm gay or in a relationship with a man IF it is a natural part of the conversation or IF a straight person would normally mention their wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. That, however, is enough for some people to think I'm "pushing it in their face". It's really not that, it's just that I'm not going to lie or hide or mumble to try to dodge the truth to make someone else feel more comfortable.

It also means that I participate in Gay Pride events, support gay groups and non-profits, shop at gay or gay-friendly places when I can, etc, etc.

@Casey, sorry if our inoffensive conversation offended you! ;-)


Comment: #74
Posted by: Mike H
Thu Mar 1, 2012 4:38 PM
Opposed to homosexuality? Strongly? Logging in as bobaloo? Who'd of thunk it.
Comment: #75
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 5:21 PM
@Bobaloo
"Being straight, and admittedly opposed to homosexuality (very strongly), I will say the only reason I can think of for people to push for anti-gay laws is religious."
What Chris said. If you (anyone) want to live in a country ruled by religious laws, please go there. Have fun.

I guess we'd better add all the other laws from the bible into U.S. law too:
Commandment 2 - there shall be no images created of anything in heaven - how should that be punished?
Commandment 4 - no work on the sabbath - have fun enforcing that.
Commandment 7 - no adultery. Luckily, the bible punishment for this is death, otherwise jails will be overcrowded.

Anti-gay laws are not in the 10 commandments, they're just lumped in with hundreds of others, e.g.
Death penalty for a woman who is not a virgin when married (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
Death penalty for cursing a parent (Exodus 21:17)
etc

It's astounding that there are so many people who think the bible's laws should also be the country's. If you want to follow all the laws in the old testament PLEASE do, but why are you making us? Our forefathers went to great lengths to assure that that nightmare would never happen. When you do start following all the old testament laws, you will find yourself most comfortable in an orthodox jewish community, since you also won't be allowed to eat non-kosher food, trim your beard, etc. etc. Enjoy.
Comment: #76
Posted by: Steve C
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:21 PM
Re: Mike H ~~ Bitey Fish is secretly hoping you will invite Bitey Fish to be a bridesmaid at your wedding.
Comment: #77
Posted by: Piranha in Pajamas
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:35 PM
LW2..there is a simple solution...invest in a set of TV headphones...my husband also has a hearing loss, and the loud TV was making me miserable, until we bought a set of Sony TV headphones. There is a transmitter on the top of the TV which wirelessly links to the set of headphones...he can turn up the headphones as loud as he likes, and the TV itself can be on mute or set at a reasonable volume. No more frustration for either of us!
Comment: #78
Posted by: Jenell Mahoney
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:43 PM
Oh Jenell. Oh poor, sweet Jenell. You don't know where you've gone.
(lovely name, by the way)
Comment: #79
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:50 PM
Re: Jenell Mahoney
Gee, thank you so much, without you, we have missed that essential conclusion. What would we do without you. Evidently what YOU have missed is the part where it says, "he tried it twice and stopped." Last part of the last sentence, second paragraph. Try to read better than your husband hears.

That is, if you bother to read the comments eventually, since you obviously haven't yet.

Comment: #80
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:56 PM
Oh Jenell. Poor, sweet Jenell.
Comment: #81
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 6:59 PM
Mike H and others:

Sometimes the Bible is mentioned here in regard to marriage and other matters. I notice that big, sweeping statements have often been made about different topics in regard to the Bible, such as today, about a man with multiple wives being common. I'd like to throw in my two cents' worth on that, as that I have studied the Bible for most of my life and there is always more to consider than what appears on the surface, and I wish to defend it due to centuries of misrepresentation by a lot of people.

I'm sure we all know that Adam and Eve were married and they were one man and one woman; that is the standard for marriage in God's viewpoint. Jesus, when on earth, restated this when discussing marriage, divorce, remarriage. (Matt. 19) So why was polygamy allowed for a time way back when?

First, God did not institute polygamy, the first man mentioned as having more than one wife was one of Cain's descendants, Lamech (Gen. 4). However, when the Flood came, Noah and his three sons each had one wife, not multiple. Any polygamists at that time died off.

Now, forward to the time the nation of Israel was founded; there were some polygamists, but it was much more common for men to have one wife. The Israelites were well known to be hard headed, so they were allowed to continue the practice, although it was regulated by the law God gave thru Moses. I think that's interesting, some seem to feel that the Bible is anti woman, not at all. Here's one or two examples:

Exodus 21:10, 11: If he should take another wife for himself, her sustenance, her clothing and her marriage due are not to be diminished. If he will not render these three things to her, then she must go out for nothing, without money.

Deuteronomy 21:15, 16: “In case a man comes to have two wives, the one loved and the other hated (loved less), and they, the loved one and the hated one, have borne sons to him, and the firstborn son has come to be of the hated one, it must also occur that in the day that he gives as an inheritance to his sons what he happens to have, he will not be allowed to constitute the son of the loved one his firstborn at the expense of the hated one's son, the firstborn.

And so on; women and children were protected under this Law, not overlooked or mistreated. In fact, God feels very strongly about these ones being mistreated. (Exodus 22:22-24)

Back again to the first century, the apostle Paul stated that each person have their own mate, singular; men that wish to have responsibilities in the congregation have only one wife, if they are married at all, which they do not have to be. So when Christianity was founded, the standard of one man and one woman marriage was put upon those who would be disciples. Pretty simple.









Comment: #82
Posted by: jar8818
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:04 PM
LW1: Good advice, call your mom. I am sure that she loves you and I am sure that your husband would support that.
OT: I am SO happy that my beloved cousin was able to come out to our family without all of that ridiculous drama. We accept him and love him for the beautiful person that he is. If you can find love in this world, that is wonderful.
LW2: I DRAGGED my mother to a hearing specialist. NO way I was going to put up with having to shout every word and then hear her say "Quit shouting!" any longer. The answer is cochlear implants. Search for this on the Internet. The device is implanted inside of your ear and is not visible from the outside.
LW3: Two friends of mine in the past 3 years have passed away due to morbid obesity. One was 42 and the other was 44. I know that losing weight is hard, but your health is your wealth.
Comment: #83
Posted by: PuaHone
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:11 PM
Steve C:

Again, don't just pull things from the Bible without finding out the context of laws and what was actually going on; and just lumping things together. It can easily give a mistaken impression of the real meaning.

Comment: #84
Posted by: jar8818
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:13 PM
Well that's well and good but where does hat leave our dear sweet Jennell?

Comment: #85
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:15 PM
jar8818 - Really. Please read the WHOLE bible, not just the parts you like. It's easy to pull out quotes that justify ANY point of view - because the whole thing is so completely random. You can justify slavery, disrimination, treating women and children as property; even killing for dozens of horrifying reasons. Like I said above:

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 says that a woman must be stoned to death if she is not a virgin on her wedding night
"But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."

1 Timothy Chapter 2
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence"

We can all quote baloney from the bible - it's filled with it. Most people today have evolved to a far higher set of moral standards than are on display in that frightful thing. Thank goodness.
Comment: #86
Posted by: Steve C
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:29 PM
Re: jar8818

Between all the text in all the books in all the versions in all the languages of all the bibles, you can fully support OR condemn just about anything. Deciding what you do and do not interpret literally just opens up thousands more possibilities for what is a sin and what isn't. But of course, each person believes his or her interpretation is the right one.

Here's a pretty easy code to live by:

Does it hurt someone else? No? Do it if you want to!
Comment: #87
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:41 PM
Re: Jenell Mahoney & Co.

Uh wow, no need to be so hard on Jenell... She isn't the only one to have made that mistake and was trying to be helpful!
Comment: #88
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:44 PM
jar8818

The meaning of the bible verse I quoted crystal clear. Interesting how you don't respond by explaining "in context" how it's OK to stone a woman for not being a virgin.

How do YOU interpret Exodus 21:17 "And he that curses his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death"?
We don't need any context to understand this. Unless you mean that "back then", this was necessary because of reason X. If you say that ANY of the bible's laws needn't necessarily be followed today because it's a 'different time', then you have to say that about ALL the laws. Not just the ones you dislike. You can't pick and choose which parts of the bible you think everyone should pay attention to. The bible doesn't work that way.

And even IF it were true that you need to look at it from some angle to get a positive meaning, it wouldn't matter. Because it's just as easy for an evil person to pull quotes to justify their point of view. All kinds of genocide and mutilations and subjugation has gone one for thousands of years by people who thought they were following religious teachings.
Comment: #89
Posted by: Steve C
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:44 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette:
I actually have hearing loss in both ears due to hereditary nerve damage. Hearing using a hearing aid is not the same as merely turning up the volume. Wearing a hearing aid requires an adjustment in the way your brain functions. The gentleman does need to see an audiologist and or an MD to diagnose the type of hearin gloss he has. He needs to be encouraged to do this then supported during the adjustment period. There are also devices that can be purchased that merely amplify sound and fit into your pocket. Theaters use them. They are relatively inexpensive. Hiding the remote won't get it.
Comment: #90
Posted by: HelenE
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:48 PM
It appears that a lot of you didn't read my entire posts. In my response to Mike in #48, I said "I see your point about spring break, etc. being very lewd, but I don't think that is OK either." I am not immune to it because I am used to it, as many of you stated. I see it everywhere and don't like it.
Re; Chris #73 (Quote of me) "I agree with Zoe that many people, including myself, think marriage is between a man and a woman. I would be OK with Civil Unions between gays and lesbians even if that had all the rights and privileges of marriage."
"Then you are against gay relationships". Not true. Just because I am against gay marriage doesn't I am against gay relationships. The word marriage is important to me as noted below because of my religion. And why should religion be left out of the discussion like you said to Bobalo if you don't protest, vote against, etc. gay marriage because you do believe in the separation of church and state?
Re: Annie #62 (related to response to Chris) "C Meier, and anyone else with religious objections to same sex marriage, you're free to believe as you do. Just keep religion out of the the law" I don't sign petitions or protest against gay marriage, and I wouldn't vote for someone just because they opposed it because I DO believe in the separation of Church and State.
Re: Chris #73
"And C. Meier #61 - your logic is wrong (as it has been all day.) You absolutely COULD eat a donut if you were on a diet, you simply CHOOSE not to."
Chris - YOUR logic doesn't make sense. If you CHOOSE not to eat a donut, why would your be angry at someone who IS eating a donut. And besides the donut issue, I do not recall any other comments I made that had anything to do with logic - just my opinions, views and thoughts, so why the "as it has been all day".
Re: Lise #66
"I would be OK with Civil Unions between gays and lesbians even if that had all the rights and privileges of marriage."
I don't think there is any other kind possible besides a civil union.
A Civil Union (as usually defined, even if there is no such thing at this time) is different than a Civil Marriage, at least in the US. The word "marriage"" is a very important distinction to a lot of people, including me, as I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Re: Kai Arche #65 Like I said in my first post, bringing up the fact that your are gay in normal conversation is fine (talking about your partner, etc.). I don't see where the situations you mentioned and what I said are any different.
Sorry these comments aren't s polite as my previous ones, but if people attack me or make comments that indicate they didn't read what I actually wrote, I tend to do get irrate.
Too bad not everybody can't hold a civil conversation like Mike. You know the old saying "you catch more flys with honey than with vinager" Maybe you should try it - you're much more likely to change peoples mind if you don't attack them.
Comment: #91
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:54 PM
Well i guess we've been told.

Comment: #92
Posted by: Jpp
Thu Mar 1, 2012 8:06 PM
Good grief. C Meier, if you can't tell the difference between discussion with disagreements and actual attack, you should probably avoid making anti-gay-marriage comments on internet forums. Maybe try having that convo with your dog or something.
Comment: #93
Posted by: Zoe
Thu Mar 1, 2012 8:24 PM
Mike H - I would pay to see Bitey in one of those horrid bridesmaid dresses, you know, chartreuse with a big bow on the butt and puffy sleeves.
Let's make a deal - you can marry what ever sex you like if you don't force Catholics to pay for birth control. You know that Catholics are not preventing anyone from getting birth control, they just don't want to pay for it. It baffles me that people have somehow forgotten that there is the organization called Planned Parenthood whos sole business is providing birth control of all kinds. Sheesh, people. It's not that difficult. Marry who ever you want, where it is allowed and don't force people to do things that's against their moral code especially when there are easy alternatives.
Comment: #94
Posted by: Claudia
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:04 PM
C Meier - do you know how much energy I devote on a daily basis to wondering if my expression of my heterosexuality is offensive or too out there for the people around me? Exactly none. A large part of that is because I know that nearly anything I am personally likely to do is well inside cultural norms. Another big part is that I'm heterosexual. I'm not worried about accidentally messing up or tripping someone's bigotry meter or suddenly discovering that the person I am talking to is actually disgusted by my heterosexuality and may take some action against me. Do you think gay people have that same feeling of comfort in their daily lives? that is why is so damn arrogant and ignorant of people to talk about acceptable ways that others can reveal that sexuality in public. You're not against gay relationships as long as people keep them in the box you think they belong in, right? And are careful not to reveal them in a way that makes you uncomfortable.
Comment: #95
Posted by: kai archie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:06 PM
Re: C Meier

I'll be honest. I really just don't understand the hang up about the word "marriage." I mean,what would the difference be if you have a civil union, and a civil marriage, and both carry the same rights, responsibilities and privileges? Personally, I think what should happen is that everyone gets a civil union (since marriage stumps some folks) by law and then couples may appeal to their own religious communities for marriage. Clergy should be unable to perform unions (as it is a legal distinction) and justices of the peace and judges would be unable to perform marriages (as they are religious distinctions). If couples want to make the big ceremony about the union and call it a marriage, fine! If they want to do a small union ceremony and have a big church wedding, also fine!

That being said, I think you were unduly harsh on the commenters you responded to. It was not, for example, unreasonable for Annie to make the assumption that if one opposes gay marriage on religious grounds that they would also not oppose it legally. This is a fairly anonymous forum, and we wouldn't know that you don't work that way unless you tell us.

After re-reading all of the comments you responded to, I couldn't find them being nasty or impolite. In some cases, like the donut example (which wasn't bad, but can be interpreted many ways and can get confusing), you're discussing the same situation and in completely different ways. In others, you assume that because a commenter disagrees with you that they must not have read your post. That's not the case.

Comment: #96
Posted by: AgLee16
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:19 PM
Re: Claudia ~~~ Bitey Fish is very excited thinking about the chartreuse dress with the big bow. If the dress was the color of wasabi, Ike might think Bitey was sushi and try to take a bite of Bitey, but then Ike would get a big surprise and hilarity would ensue!
Comment: #97
Posted by: Piranha in Pajamas
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:31 PM
Re: HelenE
Why are you telling me this? I never disputed his need to see a specialist and get himself installed with whatever technology is available. Problem is, he doesn't wanna go. When it comes to hearing aids, he wants to hear none of it - pun intended. And yes, I know, hiding the remote won't cut it. I'm not the one who originally suggested it.

Puahone managed to drag her mother to the specialist, but daughters can have more success with mothers than wives with husbands. The poor LW seemed pretty much at het wits' end.

@C Meier
Well, someone will have to enlighten me on the subject, because here in Canada, when you go to City Hall to get married, it is a civil union, marriage, wedding (all interchangeable terms), as opposed to a religious wedding (marriage, union) in a church.

P.S.: I have re-read what I wrote to you and, frankly, I can't for the life of me see anything in there that could be possibly be construed as an attack and not good enough for me to measure up to Mike H's high standard - since you seem to think he's the only one who's polite.

Comment: #98
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:53 PM
@Claudia
Ooooh, I would love to see Bitey in a dress like that. And I wouldn't worry about the tons of sushi at the reception, Bitey will love that! After all, sushi will be made of FOOD fish, not pirahnas!




Comment: #99
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 10:02 PM
@C Meier
If you understand the separation of church and state, like you say, then how can you be (mildly) against gay marriage because of religious reasons? Your thoughts (like most who are in this position) don't actually make sense. If you don't want to be part of a religion that approves of gay marriage, then don't. But why would you feel the need to oppose people of the same sex being legally married? It has NOTHING to do with you, or your religion.

And marriage being between a man and MORE than woman WAS in the OLD testament, like you said, correct. ALSO, the only place you see a law barring homosexuality is in the OLD testament. So ... are you planning what everyone else in the country should do by following the old testament or not? If I were you, I'd actually read the old testament before saying you want everyone to follow it's examples.
Comment: #100
Posted by: Steve C
Fri Mar 2, 2012 12:32 AM
steve, 76...if we are going to bring the ten commandments into this, can we please include 'thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy god in vain'? yes, i know you didn't, but you did bring up the bible and there is reason to include this one.

claudia, 94- somehow i would hope the cliche that gay men have excellent taste in women's clothing would apply here. i can't imaging mike putting anyone in an ugly dress, unless it was for a halloween costume.

and to anyone who thinks dragging the hard of hearing person to a specialist is the answer...not. i don't need a specialist to tell me i can't hear. i already know that. but my insurance will not pay for hearing aids, so it doesn't matter how high-tech and undetectable they are. i can't afford one. why should i inconvenience myself to have a specialist confirm what i already know? i have better things to do with my time, such as asking you to please face me when you are talking to me, as i can't hear you when your back is turned. perhaps you can hear, but you certainly don't listen.
Comment: #101
Posted by: alien07110
Fri Mar 2, 2012 4:52 AM
@Chris, thank you, that was very sweet of you to say.

@Jar8818, Steve, etc -- I think it's pretty clear to most people that the Bible is filled with messages that require interpretation, and not everyone, for example, reads Paul's part of the Bible as definitively as Jar8818 does. If the Bible were simply all written as "thou shalt nots" it would be one thing -- but it's not. There's even plenty of contradiction in there. This is why there are so many denominations of Christianity, so many interpretations, and so many people who call themselves Christian who ignore some parts of the Bible while adhering quite strictly to others. There's still quite a bit of variety of marriages in the Bible, and there's no clear unequivocal "only this way is right" message -- there are indicators, allusions, references, but it's not the same as a clear-cut "Thou Shalt Not".

But that's, again, why freedom of religion is so important. I'm not going to tell anybody that their way of interpreting the Bible is wrong or right, that's up to them. I do not, however, want any one person's interpretation of the Bible to be forced upon me through government legislation. These issues do need to be separated for us to live in a fair, free, and just society.

@C Meier, as much as I do appreciate how calmly you've discussed this issue, I will say that just because you think that the word "marriage" should be reserved for only the union of a man and a woman, that doesn't mean that you have the right to force that on the government, which is supposed to represent all people. I am getting married to my partner in a little over a year, and it will be a marriage in every sense of the word. If you decide not to accept that, it's fine, but you shouldn't be allowed to stop me, either. That's really the only issue I have -- trying to suggest that I have everything BUT the word "marriage" still relegates me into a second-class status which I will not accept.

Frankly, my seven-year relationship with Ike has already lasted about as long as the average heterosexual marriage.

But, again, I support your right to believe what you will, to think what you will, to define marriage however you want, for yourself. As long as that is not legislating to prevent me from having equal opportunity and equal rights.

I have had plenty of conversations with family and friends who are of a more conservative, traditional bent, and these are not easy attitudes to change. Some friends of the family whom I adore come from a very evangelical background, and although they were lovely when I came out of the closet, they also struggled mightily with the word "marriage". We had some long conversations about the issue, and also got together plenty of times when the issue never came up, but they would just enjoy my company and later, Ike's company as well. As they got to know us as a couple, their understanding of our issues and our struggles grew, and now they are almost as excited to attend our wedding as we are.

Even if this is an issue in which you can never quite see eye-to-eye with me, C Meier, I still appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns and your opinions, and I do hope I've been able to do so respectfully.
Comment: #102
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:58 AM
Re: alien07110
I have a spare set that I will give you if they will work for your loss. They are Widex B2. You'd have to get them re-fitted and get new molds, but they are digital aids, very small.
Comment: #103
Posted by: Stephanie
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:01 AM
Zoe & AgLee "Attack" was problem too strong a word to use. I was just irritated by some responses to my posts that brought up things that I thought I had been clear on (i.e. not imposing my beliefs on others, not immune to exibitionist hetro sex, etc.) And I know I wrote a lot of long posts, but is people are going to comment on them, they should actually read all of them. (See response to AgLee and Steve below).
Re: AgLee #96 "In others, you assume that because a commenter disagrees with you that they must not have read your post." I said "It appears that a lot of you didn't read my entire posts." In my response to Mike in #48, I said "I see your point about spring break, etc. being very lewd, but I don't think that is OK either. "I am not immune to it because I am used to it, as many of you stated. I see it everywhere and don't like it." How exactly am I implying that posters that say hetrosexual sex is also everywhere disagree with me? Maybe they do disagree in the sense that they don't mind it. But I thought it extremely clear that my issue was that other posters said that I don't notice it because it so common, and I stated (before they posted) that I do see it, am not immune to it, and don't like it.
Kai Arche #95: "I'm not worried about accidentally messing up or tripping someone's bigotry meter or suddenly discovering that the person I am talking to is actually disgusted by my heterosexuality and may take some action against me. Do you think gay people have that same feeling of comfort in their daily lives?"
Probably not, but they should have. But if they are afraid of "accidently" revealing their homosexuality to someone, then why would SOME go out of the way to annouce it? No one has given me a good reason to change my opinion that if being gay is just one aspect of who you are, why make a big deal about it? And if I'm uncomfortable with that, at least I don't discrimate, because I'm not comfortable with extreme public sexual behavior of hetrosexuals, either.
Re: Steve #100 "If you understand the separation of church and state, like you say, then how can you be (mildly) against gay marriage because of religious reasons?" I can certainly be against something for religious reasons but not oppose it's being legal. I fail to see why that is so hard to understand. In fact, that is pretty much the whole point of separation of chuch and state - not legally imposing your religious beliefs on others.
Steve #100 continued "But why would you feel the need to oppose people of the same sex being legally married?" I said in #91 "I don't sign petitions or protest against gay marriage, and I wouldn't vote for someone just because they opposed it because I DO believe in the separation of Church and State." If Steve saw the sparation of church and state part, how could he have missed the rest?
AgLee #96 "That being said, I think you were unduly harsh on the commenters you responded to. It was not, for example, unreasonable for Annie to make the assumption that if one opposes gay marriage on religious grounds that they would also not oppose it legally. This is a fairly anonymous forum, and we wouldn't know that you don't work that way unless you tell us."
I responded to Mike somewhere above "I don't try and impose my beliefs on anyone else, as I wouldn't want anyone to impose theirs on me. I have no problem with birth control, and I certainly wouldn't want a Catholic telling me I can't use it." Meaning I wouldn't want birth control outlawed because of Catholic beliefs just like I don't oppose gay marriage because of my religious beliefs. Again, I thought that was pretty clear.
Comment: #104
Posted by: C Meier
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:14 AM
@Bitey Fish, there might be all sorts of hilarity, but please understand that Ike has never met something that lived in the water that he didn't enjoy eating. We'll have to make sure we put a big "do not eat" sign on you or something.

@Claudia, @Alien, while Ike and I do regularly watch "Project Runway", I'm not going to pretend I'm quite as good as fashion as some of my fellow gays. I do okay, though. We'll most likely be in tuxes, not dresses, though. :-)
Comment: #105
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:22 AM
@C Meier, to respond to your question "if being gay is one aspect of who you are, why make a big deal about it"?

The answer is, as long as we are treated like second class citizens, we HAVE to make a big deal about it for anything to change. If we are quiet, silent, invisible, hidden, then nothing ever changes. In fact, it's only BECAUSE so many of us have come out in the last two decades that we've been making any progress towards equality at all.

The single biggest factor in whether or not a straight person will support equal rights for gays is whether or not they KNOW an out gay person.

Every straight person in American knows at least one gay person. Probably several. But if those gay people are closeted, then the straight people don't realize they know gay people. And so they don't realize how unfair and unjust the discriminatory laws and practices of their state might be.

Also, for me to be able to live my life honestly, authentically, healthily, I have to be able to talk about my partner in the same way a straight man might talk about his wife. If I'm out with Ike, I'm not going to introduce him as my "friend", because that's not the whole truth. If I introduce him as my "partner" (or after next year, "husband"), that's simply being truthful in the same way any other heterosexual gets to live their life.

It's easy to think that my "gayness" is OVERLY important to me, because I do talk about it quite a bit. But that's only because society at large treats me differently BECAUSE of it.

If there were zero difference in how society treated gays and straights, I'd have no need to talk about being gay as much as I do. I *need* to be vocal about living life honestly as an out gay man because of the injustice in our society. It's a small thing, but it's important.

Here's one other thing to consider, C Meier -- gay youths are abused and victimized at a higher rate than straight youths, and without openly gay role models, they can lose hope or feel like there is no future for them. As an out gay man in the workplace, for example, I've provided an example of a gay man in a good career, well-respected by his peers, in a stable, monogamous, long-term relationship, for a whole slew of younger gays and lesbians who may have never realized that such things were possible for someone living life out of the closet.

If the occasional straight person is a little uncomfortable because they think I'm "making a big deal" of being gay, I think that's frankly a small price to pay given all the other good reasons for me to be out of the closet. I hope that makes it a little more understandable?

Comment: #106
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:49 AM
>>I personally don't think that anyone has the right to tell anyone that they should not say or do a certain thing, or can only do or say a thing in the right context (that they define, of course) as long as the thing they are doing or saying isn't hurting anyone.<<
By that reasoning, do you support the concept of three or more people in a marriage?
I think the government should get out of the "marriage" business. Couples - whether heterosexual or homosexual - should register their domestic unions with the government. And then, if they choose, they can have the union blessed as a marriage by whatever institution subscribes to their particular definition of marriage.
Comment: #107
Posted by: Chrispy
Fri Mar 2, 2012 9:39 AM
Re: Mike H ~~ Bitey Fish has also never met something that lived in the water (or on the land) that Bitey Fish didn't enjoy eating! Bitey and Ike can sit next to each other and wear matching signs that say "DO NOT EAT ME."
Comment: #108
Posted by: Piranha in Pajamas
Fri Mar 2, 2012 10:10 AM
LW1: I completely disagree with the Annies. You're not the one dying so you're not the one who should be in a race to right the wrongs you've done in this life. If your mother reaches out to you then I say go to her but if not then know she died as stupidly as she lived. Your mother's choices have nothing to do with you and everything to do with her. Your looking for excuses to step back into your own personal hell. Your family decided you were dead to them the second you made the decision to live your life for you. They're horrible people. Get some therapy.

LW2: Kick him out or unplug the tv. You have other options than suffering.
Comment: #109
Posted by: Diana
Fri Mar 2, 2012 11:48 AM
@BiteyFish, you know, Ike also enjoys eating lots of things that lived on the land as well. Perhaps you should sit together; it might be the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.
Comment: #110
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Mar 2, 2012 12:07 PM
@ jar8818 and others quoting the Bible

Does it not occur to you folks that the Bible was written by men; it has been translated and re-translated and all sorts of people's agendas have been written into it over the centuries. Quoting the Bible as if it were pure knowledge passed down from heaven is just plain ludicrous. Sorry. And before anyone lambastes me, please let me say that I've read the entire Bible and studied it thoroughly; my father was a priest and I grew up with a very strict religious (Orthodox) upbringing. Sorry, but I've concluded that religion is little more than a mechanism for controlling the minds of those in the population who can't or won't think for themselves. The world and everything in it is highly complex; we're not going to solve its problems by praying to the sky.
Comment: #111
Posted by: Chris
Fri Mar 2, 2012 3:22 PM
Re: C Meier
"if being gay is just one aspect of who you are, why make a big deal about it? And if I'm uncomfortable with that, at least I don't discrimate, because I'm not comfortable with extreme public sexual behavior of hetrosexuals, either."
You know, there is one thing that you should remember: the wildest gay pride parade only happens once a year. The blatant display of hetero sexual messages from publicity (television, newsprint, billboards), to movies, to pop songs, to vernacular, to people making out in public, to the fashion industry attempting to turn every female above the age of 8 into a whore... that is 24/7, 365 days a year. In all perspective, methinks the most flamboyant of gays are a lot more discreet than that!

Be careful that your position be not be interpreted as in, "Hetero sex is all over the place, oh well, ain't nothin' that can be done about that, but GAY sex , OYE VEY, now that's the straw that breaks the camel's back!"

Comment: #112
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Fri Mar 2, 2012 6:21 PM
Re: Chris
"it has been translated and re-translated and all sorts of people's agendas have been written into it over the centuries. "
Yeah, hasn't it? The Bible telephone game!
Comment: #113
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Fri Mar 2, 2012 6:33 PM
Chris:

I don't know what Bible you studied, but it is far from ludicrous. And why do you think people have altered it over the centuries? The Dead Sea Scrolls are available to look at online now; I don't read the language but it's already been attested to by scholars galore that the message has not been altered over time, save for a few variations in spelling.

I have studied the Bible for decades and see what power it has had in my life and others that I know. Jehovah's Witnesses live in over 200 lands all over the earth, we keep striving to live by Bible principles and we have a brotherhood and a peace that no one else has achieved. Racial, ethical and national boundaries mean nothing to us.

I have met Witnesses from other areas and other countries and we all believe the same things, we are friends the instant we meet. People in general cannot do this on their own strength, it is impossible, but we have achieved it because of God's direction and influence of holy spirit.

Hitler and others tried to wipe us out, didn't work. They are all dead. We are insulted and mocked, imprisoned, and killed, but we grow by leaps and bounds every year. But again, it's the unity we have all over the world that stands out like nothing else. If people were really able to do this on their own, then why haven't they already? Why has there been such trouble all thru history in the first place?

I will say that not every religion that claims to follow the Bible really does so, just do like Jesus said and look at their actions. We always endeavor to make our teachings fit the Bible not make the Bible fit what we want.

1 Corinthians 2:14 came to my mind; "But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually." Some people do just this, that's why the Bible makes no sense to them.

Of course, you have every right to your opinion and feelings, but I will always defend the Scriptures when they are attacked.

Comment: #114
Posted by: jar8818
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:41 PM
Re: Lise #112 There may be only one wild gay pride parade a year in Canada, but that is not true in the US.
"Be careful that your position be not be interpreted as in, "Hetero sex is all over the place, oh well, ain't nothin' that can be done about that, but GAY sex , OYE VEY, now that's the straw that breaks the camel's back!" Nowhere did I say that they shouldn't be able to hold those parades. In fact, in my original post, I didn't even say that I didn't like them, just that I don't understand them. (The main reason why is in my response to Mike below). It wasn't until someone brought up all of the blatant hetrosexual images that are shoved in our faces that I said that both bother me. If fact, since I don't have to watch the gay pride parades and I can't really avoid the hetro images like the billboards, fashion, etc., I have less objection to the parades than the others. And to once again make it clear in case somebody missed it, I am talking about the flamboyant gay parades with nudity, etc.
And, Lise, I am not insecure about or ashamed of my sexuality. I am very passionate with my husband. I just think that it should be private, whether between hetrosexual or homosexual partners.
Mike: I agree with what you said in #106. When I said "if being gay is one aspect of who you are, why make a big deal about it?" I was trying to shorten up my post because I had previously said what I don't like is the flamboyant parades as noted above in my response to Lise. I said in my first post that I understand why gays would march for equal rights, and support that. And as I also mentioned before, I don't think that talking about your partner, etc. is "making a big deal" out of being gay.
You make a really good point about being a role model for gay youth that are often victimized and abused. But that victimization is one of the main reason I don't think the flamboyant parades and other "in your face" gay images help gays to suceed in getting the rights that they want or stop that kind of abuse, so I don't understand them. As you yourself pointed out in #41, the most outrageous things are the most likely to get publicity. If that's what straight people see the most, that is what many may think most gay people are like. And if they object to that (whether right or wrong), I think that increases the discrimination, victimization and abuse.
Zoe #40 "you are straight, so you can't fathom what it's like to have others view you and your actions as sinful or wrong for no reason. If you're white as well you probably have no concept of bigotry or discrimination" I have been discrimated against because I am female. Not just in general. In a specific situation.
I lived with my husband before we were married, and put up a lot of crap from my mom since she thought it is a sin. I don't have kids, so most people probably figured I used birth control. Some people would view my actions as sinful and wrong when I don't think it is. I don't think that there is anything wrong with smoking pot and freely admit that. What about divorce, tatoos, eating pork, etc., etc. People that are subject to discrimation and bigotry don't have a corner on the market regarding others thinking that their actions are sinful or wrong. I do see that the difference is in gay marriage not being allowed when the other things I mentioned, except pot, are legal, but you only mentioned actions being viewed and sinful and wrong, not whether or not they are legal.
Comment: #115
Posted by: C Meier
Sat Mar 3, 2012 12:47 PM
Re: Mike H ~~~ Bitey Fish looks forward to a beautiful friendship with Ike!

Bitey Fish hopes you and Ike will take a nice canoe trip on the Amazon for your honeymoon. Bitey could be your tour guide.
Comment: #116
Posted by: Piranha in Pajamas
Sat Mar 3, 2012 12:47 PM
Re: C Meier
To tell you quite frankly, I do think displays of physical intimacy ought to be kept private, whatever the persuation.

Those who do not like the flamboyance of the most decadent gay pride parades can always stay home. And even if gay pride parades happen more than once a year in the States, they won't be into your face every three minutes. Flamboyant displays of hetero sexuality, however, are everywhere, into your face and unescapable.

You did say "I don't go around saying that I am heterosexual and proud of it". There are other ways of doing that besides words or public displays of sexual behaviour, and you will have been guilty of them same as everyone else, without even realising, because they adhere to the norm, they are part of everyday living and par for the course.

Comment: #117
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Mar 3, 2012 3:21 PM
Someone up above mentioned that the New Testament does not condemn homosexuality; actually it does.

1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 does; Romans 1:24-27 does too; some say Jesus directed to accept all people, etc. It's proper to be kind and respectful to all people, yes; but Jesus does not accept as disciples people who refuse to follow his guidelines. The well known verse, John 3:16, says that we have to exercise faith in him to be in line for salvation. That does not mean we make our own rules and it's fine. He also said at John 17:17 that God's word is truth, which includes the Law that Israel was under from Moses' time till Jesus was on earth. It said there that same sex relations were not approved.

There is such a thing as right and wrong; the hitch is that there is a growing trend for everyone to decide for themselves what is right and wrong, and that just doesn't work. That's what Adam and Eve did and the result of that is the trouble and violence filled world we live in right now. We were not made to decide those things for ourselves. (Jeremiah 10:23)

We do have free will, but that does not mean there are no negative consequences to our actions, it's a law of life that each person reaps what they have sown.

Comment: #118
Posted by: jar8818
Sat Mar 3, 2012 7:53 PM
Re: Lise #117 No, I do not go around saying I am proud of my heterosexuality. Sure, it comes up in conversation by talking about my spouse, etc., but that is not the same as saying I am proud of it. I also said several times that I see nothing wrong with gays talking about their partner freely, calling them their partner, not their friend, talking about any kids they might have (I know didn't give the example before). In other words "part of everyday living and par for the course." By saying I don't feel there isn't anything wrong with that, I don't know why it isn't obvious to you that that isn't what I mean by announcing that your proud of your sexuality, whether gay or hetro.

Same thing to whoever (I forgot who) said earlier that they do announce that they are straight by talking about their family, dealing with medical issues, etc. They also missed the most important part of my statement - I don't say I am PROUD of my sexuality.
Comment: #119
Posted by: C Meier
Sat Mar 3, 2012 8:03 PM
Maybe the New Testament does condemn homosexuality, but Christianity comes from the words of Jesus, and he never actually spoke about homosexuality. He didn't even write the Bible, yet he influenced the beginning of a new religion.
Comment: #120
Posted by: Paul
Sat Mar 3, 2012 9:15 PM
Paul:
Do you really think that the Son of God would go against anything his Father had said in previous centuries? Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law in the Old Testament, not destroy it. Matt. 5:17. He loves the Father more than anyone in the universe, it is splitting hairs to say he doesn't disapprove of homosexuality just because he didn't say something specific about it.

The Bible also does not say, thou shalt not shoot people with a gun. Does that allow for that type of murder but not others? Of course not, it's the principle of not murdering, doesn't matter how it's done.

In Matt. 5 again, Jesus said not to look at woman with a passion or else it's like committing adultery in your heart. If that is wrong, then any kind of passion that's not directed toward your own opposite sex mate is wrong too. God gave us brains to reason with. (Romans 12:1, 2)

Jesus also said, still in Matt. 5, if your hand or eye is making you stumble, cut it off and throw it away or else your whole body will be thrown into Gehenna (eternal destruction). That doesn't sound like Christians can do whatever they want, or whatever feels good and it's just fine, does it?

I will say again, the real issue is that the world at large wants an anything goes attitude and it wants to do whatever it wants to do. Our imperfection makes us feel that way and something may feel good for a while, but as someone said, the body is a good slave but a terrible master. Our hearts are treacherous (Jeremiah 17:9, 10) and have to be controlled. We reap what we sow, that's a life law just the same as if you jump off a high building, you go downward.

God has strict moral laws and there are those who don't like hearing that. Colossians 3:5-8 says that on account of many things, including fornication, covetousness, etc., the wrath of God is coming. And the Colossians are said to have been those things in the past but they changed.

The apostle Paul had to change his way of thinking to be used as an apostle, did he not? People today have to meet the requirements to please God and if someone says you can do whatever you want and follow your heart and all that, they are lying to you.
Comment: #121
Posted by: jar8818
Sun Mar 4, 2012 6:31 AM
jar8818 "We do have free will, but that does not mean there are no negative consequences to our actions, it's a law of life that each person reaps what they have sown" There are a lot of stories in the Bible about people committing sexual sins, like Abraham's daughters getting him drunk and sleeping with him hoping to get pregnant (which they did). They also deceived him about which son was which. And these are people that actually spoke to God and would have no reason to question his laws, like now some question the Bible because it was written by men, translation, and interperation. And I don't recall that God punished them (on earth). And what about Job, who obeyed and loved God, but suffered many, many things because God was testing him. But I never did understand that one, since I believe in a loving God, and that seems very cruel.

And then there's the verse in the Bible "judge not yet ye be judged", and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". (These might not be exact quotes since I ddn't look them up, but I'm certain that I got the meaning right.)

Most, if not all, Christian denominations interpret the verse "Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law in the Old Testament, not destroy it." to mean that since he has fulfilled the law, we don't have to and they no longer apply. (I'm not talking about the Ten Commandants.) If that's not the case, than we shouldn't be cutting our hair, eating pork, getting tatoos (you might be against that too, but you appear to just be very focused on God's moral laws.)

I agree that homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament, but it up to God to judge, not us. That is why I accept homosexual relationships and other things that go against my religion, and don't think that they should not be legal.
Comment: #122
Posted by: C Meier
Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:11 PM
jar8818 "We do have free will, but that does not mean there are no negative consequences to our actions, it's a law of life that each person reaps what they have sown" There are a lot of stories in the Bible about people committing sexual sins, like Abraham's daughters getting him drunk and sleeping with him hoping to get pregnant (which they did). They also deceived him about which son was which. And these are people that actually spoke to God and would have no reason to question his laws, like now some question the Bible because it was written by men, translation, and interperation. And I don't recall that God punished them (on earth). And what about Job, who obeyed and loved God, but suffered many, many things because God was testing him. But I never did understand that one, since I believe in a loving God, and that seems very cruel.

And then there's the verse in the Bible "judge not yet ye be judged", and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". (These might not be exact quotes since I ddn't look them up, but I'm certain that I got the meaning right.)

Most, if not all, Christian denominations interpret the verse "Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law in the Old Testament, not destroy it." to mean that since he has fulfilled the law, we don't have to and they no longer apply. (I'm not talking about the Ten Commandants.) If that's not the case, than we shouldn't be cutting our hair, eating pork, getting tatoos (you might be against that too, but you appear to just be very focused on God's moral laws.)

I agree that homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament, but it up to God to judge, not us. That is why I accept homosexual relationships and other things that go against my religion, and don't think that they should not be legal.
Comment: #123
Posted by: C Meier
Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:12 PM
Whoops, I meant Isaac, not Abraham.
Comment: #124
Posted by: C Meier
Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:18 PM
Re: C Meier
I think you really are missing my point, but whatever. You are also missing Mike H's point when he says that a lot of gays felt they NEEDED to say they were proud of their sexuality, to compensate for the guilt-induced shame that has accompanied homesexuality for centuries. Flamboyant gay pride parades are part of that, and so I think we can allow them that.

As far as I'm concerned, I know full well that this display of decadence does not represent the majority of gays, but if the flamboyant ones want to have a one-day hoopla with floats and drag queens in full regalia to let it all hang out (and up), hey - we in Montreal are used to festivals.

"I agree that homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament, but it up to God to judge, not us. That is why I accept homosexual relationships and other things that go against my religion, and don't think that they should not be legal. "
We certainly are in agreement about that. I really don't think you are intolerant at all, but you just seem to have a hangpup about the word "marriage". C Meier, it's not worth it. Marriage, wedding, union, it's all the same thing, really. Gay marriages don't happen in the church, so what does it really matter what word is used to call it?

One of the most touching "gay" stories in my personal memory... One of my best jewellery customers was a store named Drags (hee hee). The owner was a gay man named Dale and the place was unflippin'believable... Huge, huge, huge, with enough room for countless racks of period clothing and some 20+ jewellery showcases. It was an institution in Montreal, and supplied theatres and films. He bought a LOT from me, and I started selling to him right when he got his first location until the day he died.

His long-time partner was named Robert, and the two were really devoted to each other. That was before the time of legal gay weddings, so they were never married. Just the same, their relationship was the epitome of what a marriage should be about.

Unfortunately, they had contracted AIDS, and that was before the advent of antiretroviral drugs. They died within two weeks of each other. When one of them went, the other just stopped fighting. Ah, I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes just thinking of it. I miss them both still... they had become friends, not just customers.

I cannot imagine a God of love condemning love.

I wish more people would remember that the Bible, as God-inspired as it may have been, was nevertheless written by faiillible men, and is therefore flawed. Worse yet, its interpretation canNOT be anything else but flawed, since it is also conducted by faillible people. Because of that, we all should pay more attention to "Judge not lest you yourself be judged" and "Throw not the first stone", than about anything anywhere condemning homosexuality. Indeed it is not for us to judge.

But I know you agree on that.

Comment: #125
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sun Mar 4, 2012 4:05 PM
Bitey Fish belongs to the Temple of the Holy Mackerel, which began allowing gay marriage 50,000 years ago. Bitey Fish wishes you humans would make more of an effort to catch up.
Comment: #126
Posted by: Piranha in Pajamas
Mon Mar 5, 2012 8:05 AM
C Meier #122:

Actually, it was Lot's daughters that got him drunk and ended up having sons by him. God does not condone drunkenness or incest, but to be technical, there wasn't a law from God yet about such things. That came 400-500 years later in Moses' time. The Bible sometimes just reports things so we will know something, in this case, where the nations of Ammon and Moab came from. I don't know what you mean by deceiving him as to whose son was who.

As for Job, the Bible itself explains why he suffered. Job 1:6 to about 2:10 says Satan the devil is the one who had a beef with Job and God knew that Job would stay faithful so he allowed the test, although it was severe. Job's faith in spite of losing absolutely EVERYTHING always boggles my mind, and he thought God was behind it! He still didn't quit believing. Amazing. Sure shows us something, huh?

The verse about, judge not lest you be judged, don't you think that's more about being too hard on each other, too picky, since people sure have that bent. When GOD says that something is wrong, like murder or lying, it's not wrong to repeat that. That's all I have been doing on this thread. I am not making up anything here, it's been in the Bible for centuries.

The statement, let him that is sinless cast the first stone, is in John 8:1-11 which is considered very iffy as being inspired. I just looked it up on Yahoo search, and there are a number who agree that it's a later addition. We should be careful to not be judging and picking on each other, yes, but again, if I say that adultery or lying is wrong, that's not judgmental. I'm simply repeating what God has said about it.

You are right about the Law of Moses not being in force anymore; do you realize that that Law was between God and the nation of Israel only anyway? Not all of mankind. (It was to guide and protect them until Jesus appeared. Galatians 3:19, 23-25) But we sure can learn a lot about how Jehovah feels about things. He does have high moral standards back then and now both; I still fail to see how others read the New Testament and miss that. It's not all love love love and do whatever you want to.

I wonder how many have noticed this: John 3:16, one of the most well known verses in the world, says that "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him **might not be destroyed** but have everlasting life."

2 Thessalonians 1:6-9-This takes into account that it is righteous on God's part to **repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you** but, to you who suffer tribulation, relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels  in a flaming fire, as he **brings vengeance** upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. These very ones will undergo the **judicial punishment of everlasting destruction** from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength.

The New Testament talks about God having to bring destruction on wicked people just like it does in the Old Testament. Jesus spoke of how the last days would be like the days of Noah and of Lot. I don't know how anyone misses reading that.

I fully agree that it's not our job to judge others, but once again, if God has already said a certain action is wrong it's not being judgmental to repeat it.
Comment: #127
Posted by: jar8818
Tue Mar 6, 2012 3:15 PM
Lise:

The Bible was written down by men who were all imperfect but it was inspired by God so it's not flawed. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17: All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,  that the man of God may be FULLY COMPETENT, COMPLETELY EQUIPPED for every good work.

As for the gay issue, see #118, it's right from the Scriptures, how can anyone say that God does not disapprove of homosexuality and a bunch of other things too? And that people had to change at least some of their ways to become an approved Christian? I just don't get that.

Comment: #128
Posted by: jar8818
Tue Mar 6, 2012 3:25 PM
@C Meier, in some ways, the flamboyance of the most flamboyant gay pride parades was at first a reaction to the discrimination of the larger society. That's why, as we gain greater equality, the parades are actually toning down. But the original "In your face" intent -- it's an understandable reaction to being bullied, and lots of people react that way, not just for the gay issue. ("You complaining about my singing? I'll just sing louder!")

But you've also tapped into a longstanding dispute within the gay community itself, for there have always been those among us who insisted that the only way to gain equality was to be as "like" heterosexuals as possible. The Mattachine Society, a 1950s gay rights organization, insisted that their representatives wear gender-appropriate clothing (men in suits, women in dresses) during protests. But the more flamboyant among us, including the drag queens, didn't feel like that approach was working, and that we needed to make noise and be ourselves and that we deserved equality no matter what we looked like or what we did. That's why you have the Stonewall Riots in 1969, including a lot of drag queens.

And you know, both sides are right to a degree, and I think we need to celebrate all aspects of our community, and not pretend that all of us have to act like straight society wants us to act. But plenty of us aren't flamboyant either, and probably act more straight than most straight men.

@jar8818, I will always support your right to believe your interpretation of Scriptures; however, I know many thoughtful Christians who don't agree with some of your statements, and they have their reasons and scriptural justifications to do so.

My own study of the Bible from when I taught Sunday School also leads me to some disagreements, but I also rarely like to get too deeply involved with such discussions, as I'm uncomfortable with the idea of trying to argue a believer "out" of an aspect of their belief, and I believe everyone's belief is personal.

I will say that translation is trickier than you might think, and there are lots of places where common jargon and metaphor and "slang" from the past is lost, so certainly the understanding that first and second century Christians had of the Scriptures may never be fully recovered by people today.

But since I don't believe in Christianity or the Bible, it's a little easier for me to be dispassionate about it. I know many gay Christians who have struggled with their spirituality. I'm very encouraged that there are a growing number of Christian congregations out there that are accepting of their gay brothers and sisters, some actually embracing them and including gay marriages as part of their celebrations.

I applaud all efforts by gay men and women to reclaim a spiritual path that they can believe in and that also fully supports them for who they are. I don't believe that the Bible necessarily precludes gay men and women from leading full and complete spiritual lives along with finding appropriate same-sex relationships; but I understand and accept that some Christian denominations agree.

I'll close with the real nub of my issue with all of this -- one I keep repeating not because I think people are disagreeing, but because I just really want to make sure everyone understands my only point of contention -- and that is that I don't believe people of one particular religious persuasion should affect my equal rights in how the government -- which should be "religion neutral" -- treats me. So I support the right of any church to refuse to perform my wedding ceremony; but I vehemently disagree that a church has the right to force the government to fail to grant me the rights to a civil marriage. They should be considered separate things.
Comment: #129
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Mar 6, 2012 6:33 PM
whoops, meant to say, above, second to last paragraph, "but I understand and accept that some Christians denominations DISagree".
Comment: #130
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Mar 6, 2012 6:39 PM
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