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[Gay Marriage]: It Hurts Jesus Real Bad

SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
edited February 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
Maine voters face historic choice on gay marriage
PORTLAND, Maine — For an off-year election, in a state only rarely in the national political spotlight, an upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage has dramatic potential to make history and to roil emotions from coast to coast.

On Nov. 3, Maine voters will become the first in any state with the chance to repeal or uphold a law passed by their Legislature and signed by their governor, legalizing same-sex marriage. The outcome is considered too close to call, and the race is galvanizing activists on both sides of the issue across the country.

The ballot measure, Question One, results from Maine's provision for a "people's veto" — any newly passed law can be subject to repeal by voters if enough valid signatures are obtained to trigger a referendum.

"The stakes are very high in Maine, no question about it," said Frank Schubert, who was hired by gay-marriage opponents in Maine as their top strategist after he coordinated the Proposition 8 campaign last year in California that repealed court-ordered gay marriage there.

Though five other states have legalized same-sex marriage, including four of Maine's New England neighbors, none has done it with the affirmation of a popular vote. Maine could be the first — a prospect which worries Schubert and his allies.

"It would be first time gay marriage advocates would be able to convince the public to be on their side," he said. "It would add to their attempt to convince people that it's inevitable they will win, that it's just a matter of time."

Supporters of same-sex marriage, in Maine and elsewhere, are cautiously hopeful of a landmark victory that they believe would have impact in other states, including California. But they acknowledge that defeat — by an electorate known for its independence and moderation — would be crushing.

"If we lose, it will be a day of tremendous grief," said Judy Chamberlain, who along with her partner of 30 years, Karen Marlin, has been working in the campaign to uphold the marriage law.

Chamberlain, 57, and Marlin, 62, who hope to wed in their church in Brunswick, got engaged in May when the state Senate approved the marriage bill. Marlin replied to Chamberlain's proposal by text message: "You bet."

Their 17-year daughter, Nena, adopted from Russia as a toddler, hopes her mothers get the election result they're working for.

"It would be cool for them," she said. "They've been wanting it so long."

Among the lawmakers backing the marriage bill was Sen. Larry Bliss, an openly gay Democrat who moved many colleagues with personal stories of raising a family as half of a same-sex couple. Initially, Bliss felt the bill was premature, but changed his mind when his longtime partner quit his job and needed to get on Bliss's health insurance.

"If he'd been my spouse, it would have been easy," Bliss said. "Instead the process was appallingly humiliating."

Many Mainers were surprised by the decision of Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, a Roman Catholic, to sign the bill swiftly on May 6 despite having voiced doubts about same-sex marriage.

The spiritual leader of Maine's 200,000 Catholics, Portland Bishop Richard Malone, said he was "deeply disappointed" in Baldacci and legislative leaders, and called same-sex marriage "a dangerous sociological experiment." Catholic churches statewide have taken collections to aid the repeal effort.

Baldacci, a former altar boy, says he is at peace with his decision.

"It's important to have your own faith and connection to God," he said in an interview in his statehouse office. "At the same time, it isn't just that faith you're the governor of. ...You're governor of all the people."

When the marriage bill was introduced, Baldacci argued that gay couples could get needed legal rights through civil unions, but his views evolved.

"I was creating a second-class marriage for certain people, which wasn't right," he said. "I wasn't doing my duty to the constitution I swore to uphold."

Baldacci hopes the campaign, as it gains national attention, will be illuminating and respectful rather than nasty.

"To divide us more, especially during difficult times, would hurt us — leave such scars that they could never be healed," he said.

Both campaigns depict Maine voters as unlikely to be swayed by out-of-state efforts. Yet the No on One campaign — which supports gay marriage — is welcoming volunteers from afar, and both sides are expected to report substantial out-of-state financial contributions when figures are released next week.

No on One's supporters include the Human Rights Campaign and other national gay-rights groups. The other side, Stand For Marriage Maine, is getting major assistance from the National Organization for Marriage, which played a key role last year when Proposition 8 quashed a California Supreme Court ruling that briefly legalized same-sex marriage.

Schubert, hired to reprise his role in California, has employed controversial TV ads similar to those which helped sway the Prop 8 vote. Among other claims, the ads assert that "homosexual marriage" will be taught in Maine public schools if Question One loses.

Trying to learn lessons from California, supporters of same-sex marriage have responded with swift rebuttals. Critics of the ads — including Baldacci and top legislative leaders — say Maine has no mandated statewide curriculum addressing marriage, and family life programs adopted by local school boards generally enable parents to exempt their children.

"What Frank Schubert is known for doing is using lies to try to scare people," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, who hopes a victory for his gay-rights allies in Maine will bolster efforts to get another referendum on same-sex marriage in California.

Schubert, in a telephone interview, stood by the accuracy of his ads.

"Having an aggressive campaign that focuses on potential consequences, you force people to think about an issue in the way they haven't before," he said.

The rival campaign managers have contrasting backgrounds. The No on One leader is Jesse Connolly, 31, who ran Baldacci's re-election campaign in 2006 and whose father, while a legislator in 1974, led the first attempt to pass a state law protecting gays from bias.

Stand for Marriage's top leaders are a generation older, both with church backgrounds. Marc Mutty is on leave from his job as public affairs chief for the Catholic diocese, and the Rev. Robert Emrich runs the Maine Jeremiah Project, a conservative Christian coalition.

In a joint interview, Mutty and Emrich said the campaign pits rank-and-file Mainers against political and professional elites.

"Our constituency is Ma and Pa Kettle and Joe Sixpack — people not that engaged in the political process," said Mutty.

His modest headquarters in a shopping plaza had no sign visible to anyone approaching — a low profile stemming partly from fears of harassment.

"Everywhere we turn, we're accused of being bigots," Mutty said, describing initial attempts to secure office space that were rejected based on concerns about security or political backlash.

Emrich said he and his wife have received harassing phone calls and mysterious knocks on their door.

"You don't want to talk too much about it because you don't want to scare people off from getting involved," he said.

Connolly says he wants everyone with his campaign, including out-of-state volunteers, to behave respectfully and he's skeptical about the alleged harassment.

"The victimization card the other side tries to play doesn't live up to face value," he said.

On some matters, Connolly and Mutty agree. They say the vast majority of voters already have made up their minds and believe the battle for an edge in turnout will be pivotal.

Among the most fervent campaigners for gay marriage — working the phones, canvassing face-to-face — are same-sex couples yearning for the right to wed.

Jim Bishop, 62, and Steve Ryan, 56, who both work for a Portland-area low-income housing program, have been partners for 34 years and never before have invested so much time and money — more than $12,000 so far — in a political campaign.

"It's an emotional issue for me — you realize you've been discriminated against your whole life," said Bishop, who recalled past travels with Ryan when they would pose as brothers to avoid potential hassles.

Beth Allen, 30, and Valerie Frye, 29, just moved into a wood cabin in the hamlet of Fletchers Landing, a three-hour drive northwest of Portland.

They've been a couple for three years, working for the same social service agency and sharing care of Allen's 5-year-old daughter Fiona. They're engaged to marry next year.

"It makes me nervous what Fiona will have to go through if it doesn't work out," Allen said. "She knows we're a family with two mommies. It doesn't cross her mind that people would disagree with that."

Even amid moving and readying Fiona for kindergarten, they've made time for their first-ever political campaigning; conversations with potential voters have ranged from warm to cold. Allen said one married woman at a local festival told her icily, "I don't want you to have what I have."

Episcopal Bishop Stephen Lane, part of a religious coalition supporting same-sex marriage, anticipates a harrowing election night.

"That will be one of my major concerns on the pastoral level," he said. "Hopes are so high in the gay and lesbian community that it will be devastating if they lose.

The campaign seems so close, said University of Maine political scientist Mark Brewer, that he wouldn't even guess at the outcome.

"Unless someone makes a big mistake, it will all come down to mobilization and turnout," he said.

DailyKos/Research 2000 Poll October 26-8
QUESTION: As you may know, there will be one question on the ballot this November in Maine addressing the issue of same-sex unions. In part, it will read "Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry?" A "YES" vote takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry. A "NO" vote keeps the right of same-sex couples to marry. If the election were held today, would you vote YES or NO on this question?

Yes 47%
No 48%

http://www.protectmaineequality.org/page.cfm?ID=151&CFID=34756750&CFTOKEN=62073788

Nail biter.

Kind of snuck up on me since I haven't been following the news lately.

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
Being walkers with the sun and morning.
Speaker on
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Posts

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited October 2009
    It's been all over the papers in Maine for months, really. I tend to not read the articles, but I've been seeing the headlines for a while. It will be interesting to see which side wins.

    iglidante on
  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I love the way they get all crafty with the question so you think "Yes I'm for gay marriage, I'll vote yes! Crap!"

    Chanus on
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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Chanus wrote: »
    I love the way they get all crafty with the question so you think "Yes I'm for gay marriage, I'll vote yes! Crap!"

    To be fair, the reverse could be true as well. "No, I don't want to let those [blanks] marry! Crap!"

    OremLK on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Chanus wrote: »
    I love the way they get all crafty with the question so you think "Yes I'm for gay marriage, I'll vote yes! Crap!"

    Apparently that doesn't affect the other side voting "no," though? You have to ask yourself which side is more likely to be stupid and not read the question, and this thing could be won or lost on that alone.

    UncleSporky on
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  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Touché

    Chanus on
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  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Chanus wrote: »
    I love the way they get all crafty with the question so you think "Yes I'm for gay marriage, I'll vote yes! Crap!"

    Apparently that doesn't affect the other side voting "no," though? You have to ask yourself which side is more likely to be stupid and not read the question, and this thing could be won or lost on that alone.
    Exactly, which is why we should be wording it to confuse the opponents of same-sex marriage. Let us use their blind stupidity for political gain once in a while. :P

    Bama on
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    I love the way they get all crafty with the question so you think "Yes I'm for gay marriage, I'll vote yes! Crap!"

    Apparently that doesn't affect the other side voting "no," though? You have to ask yourself which side is more likely to be stupid and not read the question, and this thing could be won or lost on that alone.
    Exactly, which is why we should be wording it to confuse the opponents of same-sex marriage. Let us use their blind stupidity for political gain once in a while. :P

    I know you're half-joking, but, or, we could make the best effort not to screw with the voting process and deceive voters about, well, anything.

    OremLK on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    OremLK wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    I love the way they get all crafty with the question so you think "Yes I'm for gay marriage, I'll vote yes! Crap!"

    Apparently that doesn't affect the other side voting "no," though? You have to ask yourself which side is more likely to be stupid and not read the question, and this thing could be won or lost on that alone.
    Exactly, which is why we should be wording it to confuse the opponents of same-sex marriage. Let us use their blind stupidity for political gain once in a while. :P

    I know you're half-joking, but, or, we could make the best effort not to screw with the voting process and deceive voters about, well, anything.

    Right, both sides like to assume the other side is the dumber one. It's best to keep things neutral - even if one side really is more likely to get confused on the ballot, you probably shouldn't try to take advantage of that.

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  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I guess all I meant was "Are you in favor of gay marriage?" would have been a much simpler question, and wouldn't lend itself to either side claiming they were fooled.

    Chanus on
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  • YamiNoSenshiYamiNoSenshi A point called Z In the complex planeRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaker wrote: »

    "It's important to have your own faith and connection to God," he said in an interview in his statehouse office. "At the same time, it isn't just that faith you're the governor of. ...You're governor of all the people."

    <3:^:

    YamiNoSenshi on
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  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    "Everywhere we turn, we're accused of being bigots," Mutty said.

    That's because they are bigots. Just because Yes on One supporters use nice words like "Marriage Matters" and "Preserve Marriage" and other euphemisms, it really all comes down to this:
    Allen said one married woman at a local festival told her icily, "I don't want you to have what I have."

    Melkster on
  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    "Everywhere we turn, we're accused of being bigots," Mutty said.

    That's because they are bigots. Just because Yes on One supporters use nice words like "Marriage Matters" and "Preserve Marriage" and other euphemisms, it really all comes down to this:
    Allen said one married woman at a local festival told her icily, "I don't want you to have what I have."

    So if I don't want you to have my last, delicious, exquisite cookie, I'm a bigot?

    I jest.
    Get your dirty hands off my cookie.

    Chanus on
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Anyone who can watch the video of the (Republican) WWII veteran speaking in favor of gay marriage and still vote against gay marriage has no soul.

    KalTorak on
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    How is the Maine the first state to do this? Both Massachusetts and California had their same-sex marriage laws challenge in open voting. Mass kept it on, Cali repealed it.

    JustinSane07 on
  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    On Nov. 3, Maine voters will become the first in any state with the chance to repeal or uphold a law passed by their Legislature and signed by their governor, legalizing same-sex marriage. The outcome is considered too close to call, and the race is galvanizing activists on both sides of the issue across the country.

    There's conditions there that make it unique, I think... it's the use of "and".


    Edit: Though, essentially, it's pedantic sensationalism in that sense... "Hey! It's technically the first because the ballot is on green paper!"

    Chanus on
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  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Anyone who can watch the video of the (Republican) WWII veteran speaking in favor of gay marriage and still vote against gay marriage has no soul.

    Wait what?

    I need to watch this.

    Melkster on
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Anyone who can watch the video of the (Republican) WWII veteran speaking in favor of gay marriage and still vote against gay marriage has no soul.

    Wait what?

    I need to watch this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrEbJBFWIPk&feature=player_embedded

    KalTorak on
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Well now I'm crying.

    (Thanks KalTorak.)

    Melkster on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    What would be the best way to find this on Youtube, because I suspect "gay marine" might find other things.

    To hell with the work filter, I think I'm just gonna iphone this one.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Melkster wrote: »
    "Everywhere we turn, we're accused of being bigots," Mutty said.

    That's because they are bigots. Just because Yes on One supporters use nice words like "Marriage Matters" and "Preserve Marriage" and other euphemisms, it really all comes down to this:
    Allen said one married woman at a local festival told her icily, "I don't want you to have what I have."

    Can't we have some sort of compromise where consenting adults get to marry whoever they want and the douche nozzles still get to condescendingly say shit like "I'll pray for you".

    It's not perfect, but hey it'd be a net win for everyone. :)

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Forar wrote: »
    What would be the best way to find this on Youtube, because I suspect "gay marine" might find other things.

    To hell with the work filter, I think I'm just gonna iphone this one.

    Try searching for "Philip Spooner"

    KalTorak on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Try searching for "Philip Spooner"

    Thank you, I found it, and it is indeed beautiful.

    "I have seen with my own eyes the consequences of a caste system, that makes some people less than others, or second class. Never again."

    Anyone that tries to argue that isn't worth arguing with.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    How is the Maine the first state to do this? Both Massachusetts and California had their same-sex marriage laws challenge in open voting. Mass kept it on, Cali repealed it.

    I believe it was the procedure by which this came about that makes it different than Mass or CA. I think it was passed by their state legislature and signed by the governor, then opposed by the people's veto thing.

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  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I liked the part where he talks about someone asking if gays should have the same rights and he says "what the hell do you think we were fighting for?"

    Delzhand on
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  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    Oh please. No one in Maine will give a fuck about a WWII veteran.

    You need Bob Marley to pick a side and then they'll listen.

    JustinSane07 on
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Oh please. No one in Maine will give a fuck about a WWII veteran.

    That's OK - I have a feeling most of the anti-gay money and activists didn't come from Maine either.

    KalTorak on
  • SpoonySpoony Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Oh please. No one in Maine will give a fuck about a WWII veteran.

    That's OK - I have a feeling most of the anti-gay money and activists didn't come from Maine either.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/10/despite-claims-anti-gay-group-in-maine.html

    You'd win that bet, Kal.

    75% of Yes on 1's funding has come from out-of-state and the overwhelming bulk of that cash came from the National Organization for Marriage. The second largest donor is the Catholic Diocese of Portland, which has provided 80% of Yes on 1's in-state funding.

    The Catholic Diocese has pissed a lot of people off since they're giving half a million dollars to Yes on 1, but are closing five churches since donations and attendance are down.

    Spoony on
  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Oh please. No one in Maine will give a fuck about a WWII veteran.

    You need Bob Marley to pick a side and then they'll listen.

    A lot of Rastafarians are bigots, too. :P

    Yes, I know that's the wrong Bob Marley.

    Chanus on
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  • KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2009
    Political correctness has gone too far. You can hardly spread bumf about Muslims in order to get more political power without being called a careless bigot, and when you try to make an invented version of the universe more important than human reality, lo and behold they get it into their heads that you are "non-secular".

    Seriously, next time I hear some bowtie-wearing slush-head telling me that Christians or right-wingers are going to become second-class citizens I am going to respond "oh if only".

    If some soft-skinned, indulgent "pillar of society" feels under some duress from political correctness, feminists or "the gay agenda", I can safely assume it's a counter-attack.

    Best of the luck to the people in Maine. I wish I could be there to help.

    Kastanj on
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  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Spoony wrote: »
    The Catholic Diocese has pissed a lot of people off since they're giving half a million dollars to Yes on 1, but are closing five churches since donations and attendance are down.
    So what you're saying is that a large portion of the funding for the Yes on 1 campaign is coming from mass murderers?

    Bama on
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    Spoony wrote: »
    The Catholic Diocese has pissed a lot of people off since they're giving half a million dollars to Yes on 1, but are closing five churches since donations and attendance are down.
    So what you're saying is that a large portion of the funding for the Yes on 1 campaign is coming from mass murderers?

    Booooo-urns!

    KalTorak on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Spoony wrote: »
    The Catholic Diocese has pissed a lot of people off since they're giving half a million dollars to Yes on 1, but are closing five churches since donations and attendance are down.

    Tend to your flock and stay the fuck out of politics.

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    We've come so far since Catholic priests served in the House. No, wait, we haven't.

    Captain Carrot on
  • SkannerJATSkannerJAT Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    They still had to get the signatures from in-state right? So there is support for it still. Now whether people care enough to show up for the vote is another matter.

    SkannerJAT on
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Well, you see, the Catholic Church has a personal vested interest in this law because if it was passed, they would be required to marry homosexuals in their churches. Wait, no, no they wouldn't. Let me try again...

    Well, you see, the Church has a vested interest in this because, if passed, they would be barred from speaking against homosexuality from the pulpit. Wait, wait, no, they wouldn't. Hmm...

    Well, see, the Church has an interest in this because the Church doesn't believe that illicit marriages should be sanctioned by government even when the participants aren't Catholic, just like they oppose civil divorce for non-Catholics. Wait, wait, no, they don't. They've made clear that just because the Catholic Church doesn't believe in divorce, it doesn't mean it should impose that will on ALL people, including those who aren't Catholic. What else could it be...

    Well, see, the Church has an interest in this because... because... um... it attracts bigoted episcipol priests? It's a marketing ploy? They've got a clergy labor shortage and this is a great way to spread the anti-gay message?

    I really have no clue.

    Melkster on
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    The church has a vested interest because it's against their beliefs. That's it, that's all the reasoning you need. It doesn't make them right, but it's what they choose to believe.

    Now, the fact that they diverted what, 500k to this while closing down churches is the part that's deplorable.

    JustinSane07 on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Except for the part where they don't do shit about divorce.

    Captain Carrot on
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    They also don't do shit about red meat on Fridays anymore either, so what's your point? The church has decided to let a few things slide in the last 2000 years and not others? Big deal. Trying to figure out why the church is against gay marriage is like looking for the meaning of life. It's not the worth the effort and you probably won't like the answer.

    JustinSane07 on
  • ChanusChanus Ribbit! Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Except for the part where they don't do shit about divorce.

    Except vilify it for as long as they could...

    Chanus on
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  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Chanus wrote: »
    I guess all I meant was "Are you in favor of gay marriage?" would have been a much simpler question, and wouldn't lend itself to either side claiming they were fooled.

    But that's not the same question. I can be against gay marriage but still recognize their rights to marriage, or I can think it's not my place to decide even if I'm still against gay marriage.

    Lilnoobs on
This discussion has been closed.