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Chat about the new domestic partnership registry with Lori Messinger

August 1, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

At 10 am on August 1st, the Lawrence-Douglas County Chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition will host registrations for the first domestic partnership registry in the state of Kansas. Using computers set up in the City Commission meeting chambers, unmarried couples will come to Lawrence City Hall to register as domestic partners. Lori Messinger, a member of the coalition, will take your questions.

Moderator:

Hello. This is 6News Director Cody Howard. I will be moderating today's chat. Lori has arrived at the News Center and we will start in just a couple minutes.

Lori Messinger:

Thanks for having me here. Please bear with me. I am not a great typist!

gert891:

what are the benefits of registering? Do you get any legal rights?

Lori Messinger:

There are no legal rights attached to the registry. Some people who work for businesses that offer domestic partner benefits will be able to access them more easily.

Lori Messinger:

Some of the people who registered did it more for personal reasons--to be recognized by the City of Lawrence. That official recognition is very meaningful, emotionally, to some of the registrants.

JJE007:

It appears as if there is a lot of fear that somehow this changes the world for the worst. It seems a bit kooky. Why do you think some people are in an uproar over this?

Alternate question:
Why does it cost $75?

Lori Messinger:

Re: people's fear, I am not sure what that is about. I think change is scary for people. As you know, this registry really won't change the world. It will just make life a little easier for the people of Lawrence living in unmarried couples/families.

The cost of the registry has been explained to me by the City Clerk and the Mayor as reflecting the cost of researching the ordinance, getting legal advice, and implementing the actual registry. Also, it is front-loaded, in that it costs to register, but not to later "de-register."

jcstepmom28:

So when is the City going to offer domestic partner benefits to employees?

Lori Messinger:

I have not heard that the City is pursuing that. It is certainly something that they could consider in the future. The cost of domestic partner benefits has been shows in numerous studies to be fairly low. However, providing partner benefits has a big pay-off in recruitment and retention. But again, I have not heard that this is being considered by the City at this time.

macon47:

Will this registry be published in the Journal World just like marriage licenses and divorces? once when they register, and then again if they un-register?

Moderator:

Journal-World Managing Editor Dennis Anderson offers this response:

We will run the city's domestic partnership registry listings in the On The Record file in our news section. We will not be running the listings in Society because it is not the purpose of the registry to recognize the partnership as a marriage or civil union.

KULawyer07:

Will the registry be open only to Lawrence residents?

Lori Messinger:

Yes, the registry is only open to Lawrence residents who have lived togther in the city for 60 consecutive days prior to registering.

Moderator:

While trying to get this on the books in Lawrence, what challenges arose due to the state's same-sex marriage amendment passed in 2005?

Lori Messinger:

The City Commissioners were concerned that someone might challenge the registry based upon the anti-marriage amendment. So, they formally requested an opinion from the Attorney General about the legality of the proposed Lawrence ordinance. The Attorney General assured them that the ordinance was proper and did not conflict with the amendment. Moreover, it met the standards for the city's home rule.

cloudbursting:

I don't have a question, but want to thank you for all the work you do Lori! My partner and I just registered online.
Peace,
Chris Taylor

Lori Messinger:

Congratulations, Chris! This was a team effort--all of the members of the Lawrence-Douglas County Chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition worked very hard to help this day happen. We also can't overlook the courage and wisdom of the City Commissioners and the City Staff. They have been great. Thanks for your appreciation--I will pass it along! Peace to you.

Moderator:

Are you aware of any other cities in Kansas attempting to enact an ordinance similar to what Lawrence now has?

Lori Messinger:

I am not aware of any cities that are very far along in the process of enacting such an ordinance. However, I will not be surprised to see a few more pop up across Kansas. This kind of city service is not very costly to the city, and it makes a big difference for residents, businesses, and the community as a whole.

Moderator:

What's on the horizon for the Kansas Equality Commission?

Lori Messinger:

The statewide organization has been very effective in lobbying for anti-bullying legislation (which was signed into law just the other day). We are looking forward to the next legislative session for bills to support and bills we need to keep from being passed.

Locally, the KEC chapter in Lawrence-Douglas County will be approaching different agencies and organizations (for example, the local hospital) and asking them to recognize the registry. And we will be holding a viewing party to watch the upcoming debate sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. That debate will be the first presidential debate in the country to address lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.

Moderator:

That's all for today's chat. Our thanks to Lori for joining us.

Lori Messinger:

Thanks for having me on this wonderful day!

Comments

DonnieDarko 7 years, 1 month ago

DonQuipunch: Define "deviance", please.

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stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 1 month ago

...wondering if any of these disgusted individuals have ever taken part in any kind of sexual activity other than good old missionary style intercourse...

because, of course... anything else is regarded by some as deviant...

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DonnieDarko 7 years, 1 month ago

KS: "Disgusting" is better used as a label for people like Ted Haggard.

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stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 1 month ago

and... I think it's fair to say that ignoring one's own deviances while proclaiming in another's truly is bigotry...

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stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 1 month ago

CORRECTION and... I think it's fair to say that ignoring one's own deviances while proclaiming disgust in another's truly is bigotry...

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DonnieDarko 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey, DonQuipunch: You used a big word a few posts back--"deviance". I'd still like you to define it for all of us, since it was at the core of your post.

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guesswho 7 years, 1 month ago

People who are disgusted by this seem to be disgusted by the 'sex' issues, not the love & commitment issue. There is a new study out documenting 237 reasons why people have sex. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-sex01aug01,0,649209.story?coll=chi-newsopinion-hed).

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DonnieDarko 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm disgusted by cowards who make simplistic, blanket statements (almost always regurgitating the latest "talking point" or sound byte that they've heard on the FOX "news" network) and never back them up with any sort of facts or reasoning.

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MadJohn 7 years, 1 month ago

Per the "deviance" issue: Pick up a science journal. The genetic basis of homosexuality is now virtually beyond debate - specifically reference the hypothalamus and the twins study out of UCLA. The director of the Human Genome Project predicts proof positive within two years.

Those who discriminate based on inherent circumstances of birth will have a lot of accounting to do.

Enjoy your special rights while you can, straight folks - your time is running out.

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stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 1 month ago

DonQuipunch What I said was no argument in favor of any kind of sexual activity... What you continue to do is talk about everyone else's' deviances but you're own... Or... are you claiming that you don't take part in any sexual activity that others might consider deviant?

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 1 month ago

Anyone has a right to be "disgusted," but for the life of me I don't understand how this registry concerns non-registers. Aren't there more pressing issues to be disgusted about (e.g., war, poverty, famine)?

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irishdevil99 7 years, 1 month ago

Me, too, lounger! Good for Lawrence!

I used to be an ignorant person who actually thought that homosexuals couldn't really have normal loving relationships of the same sort that married heterosexual couples do. I have since met many people who have made me realize how very wrong I was. While I hope for the day when equal rights allow homosexuals the opportunity to get married, I am very proud of Lawrence for taking this step.

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lawgal 7 years, 1 month ago

to all of you who seem to find this remotely offensive:

this has nothing to do with you. the queer people of america do not take offense when heterosexual couples marry and obtain legal rights, therefore it should not offend you when these individuals register. I identify as a heterosexual and I recognized the privileges I have because I was born loving someone of the opposite sex. I am proud to say that I support this and if you don't, then shut up. These people have every right to this registry, it doesn't give them any legal rights (though it should) therefore you have no reason to be so rude. Get a life!

ALLY 4 LIFE!

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kuhusker 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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ddayot 7 years, 1 month ago

if it shouldn't be a big deal, why is it such a big deal......

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Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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geppetto 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't get why some get disgusted by this. I really don't. I think it is their right. So much for "American Freedom"

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righthand 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, why does this need to be reported? Is this really news? Why is anyone's sexuality an importsant issue? Sex is nearly THE most bottom feeding activity of a human being, right above the digestive system. It is an important part of human life, obviously, but it is a far cry from some of the more admirable human traits such as love and charity. Furthermore, the only sexual act that is truly important is the one that has as its purpose creating human life. ANything else is just window dressing, no matter the orientation. People who find importance in their sexuality are flirting with narcissism and reckless, selfish vanity. Such behavior is deviant from the purpose of humanity, again, no matter the orientation.

Always seek LOGIC first!

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irishdevil99 7 years, 1 month ago

I think that changes in civil rights -- whether because they're being taken away or because they're being newly given -- is definitely news. And it's VERY clear that it's a change that people care about (in one way or the other).

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JJE007 7 years, 1 month ago

Um, dude...righthand, quit beating the sex drum here. It's gross. Have a little charity and remember that the registry isn't about sex! Don't you get that?

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tvc 7 years, 1 month ago

I like sex with my "righthand" the best. ;)

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Christian Hinton 7 years, 1 month ago

righthand:

"Always seek LOGIC first!"

As if human beings were logical creatures. Logic is an important part of the way we process the world, but it cannot account for the entirety of human interactions and decisions, and should not be looked to as such. We will always be ruled by the innumerable forces, chances, coincidences, and nuances that make up existence, all of which cannot even nearly be described as logical, and much of what we consider logic in our lives is post-rationalization.

And as far as your opinions on sex being the "nearly THE most bottom feeding activity of a human being," I have to disagree. Being in a relationship with the woman I love, with whom I want to spend the rest of my life, I have found that sexuality can be an incredibly meaningful and spiritual testament to a relationship. Is this something you have experienced? I am curious.

The base instinct may be low, but the act doesn't have to be.

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Christian Hinton 7 years, 1 month ago

Americorps:

I agree with you about hate, but I wonder:

There may not be hate in your comment, but is there judgmental pride?

Though it is not as if I am one to point fingers - this merely was the first thought that crossed my mind upon reading your comment.

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 1 month ago

Laugh all you want, but this IS a civil rights issue.

I'm not saying this is the same civil rights issue as the one this country experienced in the 1960s; it's not accurate to call it equal to what African Americans experienced back then. But the theme certainly is frighteningly parallel: A minority group in America being denied equal---not "special"---rights just because they're different and not part of the so-called norm. That should be THE moral issue everyone's concerned about, not what goes on behind closed doors.

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 1 month ago

b3, if you're going to be sick, please aim away from me.

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Grundoon Luna 7 years, 1 month ago

DonQuiPunch, you are the utmost hypocrite. Your moniker is a variation on a disgusting, sadistic, degrading sex act and you have the nerve to make disparagging remarks about others' sexual preference. You are a complete arse.

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Grundoon Luna 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and B3? Last I heard, the Supreme Court struck down all sodomy laws so your comparison to rapists and murders is totally idiotic.

Get your minds out of the gutters and leave these folks sex lives to them. Those of us that don't oppose this could not care less about what they do in their bedroom. We care about the injustice of the discrimination they suffer. Get a life of your own and let other lead theirs in fairness.

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gphawk89 7 years, 1 month ago

"Are you aware of any other cities in Kansas attempting to enact an ordinance similar to what Lawrence now has?"

I can't imagine any other city in KANSAS doing this. Maybe on the coasts, but not KANSAS. I predict the little island of Lawrence will be alone in this regard for quite some time.

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ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

b3 and DonQ,

Is someone holding you down and forcing you to read the articles in the paper about the Domestic Registry?

Didn't think so.

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ndmoderate 7 years, 1 month ago

R_T spews:

"For anyone to deny this is an agenda is out of touchperiod."

So. If the Gay Agenda (tm) is real, then what are its goals?

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irishdevil99 7 years, 1 month ago

b3 says: ":Get your minds out of the gutters and leave these folks sex lives to them:(Azure_Attitude). I wish that I could, but they keep throwing it in my face."

They're throwing it in your face? That's awful! I'd hate to have anyone throwing their sex lives in my face. I guess I'm lucky that I don't have that problem. I only hear about domestic partnership registries in my LJ World subscription, and here online... which is a) something I can avoid if I choose, and b) not actually talking about their sex lives. But if they were throwing it in my face, well, that would be something I couldn't avoid, right? I mean, some horrible person must be tying you down and telling you in graphic detail about all the deviant SeX they're having! Showing you pornographic diagrams and propping open your eyelids so you can't look away!

I feel for ya. It would be awful to have people's sex lives thrown in your face.

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EXks 7 years, 1 month ago

b3 and DonQ,


rub your beer guts....... grab a Schlitz & take your blood pressure meds, look in the mirror and straighten your toupee, crank up a Hank Williams record and pretend its 1955. There now, feel better....LOL!

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irishdevil99 7 years, 1 month ago

gop,

In what way are the gay and lesbian folks "getting all in your face about their chosen lifestyle?"

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 1 month ago

This debate---er, argument---has reached laughable proportions. If any lifestyle is "getting all in your face" it's the heterosexual one. TV shows, movies, commercials, magazines, beer ads...you'd have to live as a hermit in a cave to avoid being bombarded by heterosexual sex, whether it's implied or blatant. Sex sells, right? I suppose, then, it's only natural for some heterosexuals to assume that homosexuals are all about sex.

And please, let's not get into the whole mistaken belief that sexual identity is a choice. If you're still stuck on that theory, you might as well question gravity.

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introversion 7 years, 1 month ago

Keep the gay man down!

Right guys?

Right?

Hello?

Uh...

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EXks 7 years, 1 month ago

News flash!!! R_T, b3 & DQ....rumor has it the gay agenda folks plan to build a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge over the Kansas River.....000000hhhhh woe is me, the gay agenda!!!

Better start packin yer bags fellers!!!

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George_Braziller 7 years, 1 month ago

Can anyone translate this into something that makes sense or tell me what was the intended point? Dude (or dudette) if this is what you think then you should rip from every magazine every print ad for perfume, cars, and even deodorant. It's all based in "narcissism and reckless, selfish vanity" if that is how you define it. If you can't even relate to your sexuality then I feel very sad for you.

"People who find importance in their sexuality are flirting with narcissism and reckless, selfish vanity. Such behavior is deviant from the purpose of humanity, again, no matter the orientation."

righthand (Anonymous) says:

Yes, why does this need to be reported? Is this really news? Why is anyone's sexuality an importsant issue? Sex is nearly THE most bottom feeding activity of a human being, right above the digestive system. It is an important part of human life, obviously, but it is a far cry from some of the more admirable human traits such as love and charity. Furthermore, the only sexual act that is truly important is the one that has as its purpose creating human life. ANything else is just window dressing, no matter the orientation. People who find importance in their sexuality are flirting with narcissism and reckless, selfish vanity. Such behavior is deviant from the purpose of humanity, again, no matter the orientation.

Always seek LOGIC first!

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Mr_B9 7 years, 1 month ago

I really wish some rational person could explain the importance of this registry. It appears to me it holds no legal binding. Therefore what is all the rhetoric about? Personally I think there is an adjenda here not yet discussed. Remember this is a progressive city.

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 1 month ago

Usually when a group of people think that another, smaller group of people has an "agenda," it means that the first group is afraid of and feels threatened by the second group. Chalk it up to fear, ignorance, or plain-old paranoia, but it's sad nonetheless.

I have a confession: I get a thrill from reading the comments posted by those who share their ignorance with the rest of us. No matter how hateful, ugly, and downright nasty they can be, they show the casual reader the danger of what such views can do to a person. In a sense, the anti-equality folks are their own worst enemies. The majority of readers who scan the vile comments will want to disassociate themselves from these people, not join their forces. I can't help but think of Fred Phelps. Yes, I realize it's not fair to lump him and his family with LJ-World posters, but here's the thing: After years of his poison, he has actually done more good than bad for the gay community. No one wants to be associated with Phelps' message...yet he keeps going and going.

So, keep going, you anti-equality people. Show us what you've got.

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George_Braziller 7 years, 1 month ago

I guessing that your idea of a "feminist agenda" would include a woman's right to vote or have a job. Wait, let's just not let her be able to own property then you can REALLY teach them a lesson.

"right_thinker (Anonymous) says:

Something akin to the feminist agenda, a distrastrous one at that, although percieved as successful, to trivialize the role of the male as husband and father."

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snickers2 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't really care. But since I am not a lesbian, I can't help but think they just don't know what they're missing. Men are so cool, so different from women---physically and emotionally. I just love them. I sure don't feel scared or threatened by gays or Fred or Christians---However, I do feel threatened by terrorists who cut off people's heads.

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righthand 7 years, 1 month ago

GitS and the like:

You are completely misunderstanding my points. My question is, for lack of a better phrase, what is the big deal? Why is someone's sexual nature important to the great mass of humanity. I understand the spirituality factor involved in the sexual act. I just don't find it a valuable news item. I also find it more than a bit rediculous to ponder others' sexual activity. My point about the sex act is the truth. What other reason is there for it? That is the starting point. Then sensuality, emotions and so forth. Why is everyone a junior psychologist when it comes to sex? It is truly baffling. I am touched that some of you were so intrigued by my comments as to have concern for my sexual well-being. Really touched.

Git S: post rationaliization... followed by learning from such. Logic, whatever its basis, serves to make us BETTER than we were or are. Your statements sound similar to the argument that compares human men to lions in the wild in that we are naturally inclined to have several partners, therefore we should. Logic dictates that I have the mental superiority to to know that i shouldn't cheat on my wife, regardless of my innate desires. Logic also dictates that civil rights based on a sexual preferences and behaviors whether homosexual or heterosexual is a slap in the face to those groups who had tremendous life struggles and suffered greatly so that they could truly gain the rights due to them. I doubt I need to cite examples. Sexuality is a selfish pursuit. All people strive to be satisfied by the act, to indulge. That is human nature. So, I suppose sex has two purposes then. I stand corrected. But a civil right to having a certain sexal preference, that is silly. Some of the comments posted here would compare this decision today tantamount to the liberation of the Nazi Death Camps. I just think there are many more important struggles in the world than being respected for your sexual preference.

Also, why are so many afraid of the word "deviant?" REsearch the meaning of the word. WHat does it really mean?

For the few of you who took the little seventh grade stabs at me, wow, I feel a time warp coming!

Thanks, though... very entertaining!

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 1 month ago

righthand:

I see where you're coming from, but you're holding onto one common error: being gay or straight is not a "preferrence." The only preferrence in the matter is to be who you truly are or live a lie for many years and cause tremendous suffering to yourself and your loved ones. Also, being gay or straight isn't just about sex. There's more to you than straight sex, right? So much more makes up the human being that you call yourself. Yet if the majority of your country denied you rights just because they don't like the thought of you having sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex, you'd see how this is a civil rights issue.

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irishdevil99 7 years, 1 month ago

RT: You keep talking about how sexuality shouldn't be a big deal. If you don't think it should be, why do you care so much that only people who practice the same type you do should be allowed to be recognized by the state?

Besides, in the examples I've seen of people who would really want to take advantage of a registry such as this (or, God forbid, homosexual marriage), it's not because they're obsessed with the sex part -- it's because they're in love and want to spend their lives together and have it legitimized as such. How many people do you know who've wanted to get married to someone because the sex was good? I'd posit that those marriages wouldn't last.

Answer me this: If society dictated that you could marry someone of the same sex, but any relationship you had with someone of the opposite sex could not be so recognized, what would you do? Would you say, "okay... it was really just my choice to like people of the opposite sex anyway, so I don't mind if my partner can't get insurance, or if we won't have visitation rights to see each other in the hospital, or if we can't get the tax benefits of marriage." Or would you speak out, say that it wasn't fair... maybe even lobby for (gasp!) heterosexual marriage?

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Christian Hinton 7 years, 1 month ago

righthand:

Perhaps I should clarify. My argument in no way meant to "compare human men to lions in the wild in that we are naturally inclined to have several partners, therefore we should," though it may have sounded similar. Nor am I condoning unfaithfullness. What I meant was that the vast, vast majority of the actions we take and decisions we make are illogical, based largely on things which we cannot define - subconscious preferences, arbitrary choices, and the like. In any case, I feel that we often delude ourselves into thinking that we are guided by logical decisions in finding reasons for our actions after the fact - in other words, post-rationalizing.

Now, I did say that logic is an important part of how we process the world, and I do believe that. There are many actions which we do consciously think about before hand and logically decide upon. For example, you choose not to cheat on your wife because you know that to be betrayal. But these decisions, though often important, are vastly outweighed by the innumerable other illogical decisions we make.

And your definition of sex is purely selfish - you're right. But do you really only seek your satisfaction? I would posit that sex becomes more than what you have defined it to be when one's goal becomes chiefly to satisfy one's partner and to satisfy both individuals. It can be a powerful testament to the strength and devotion of a relationship, and a sign of trust to your partner. It can be much less, and often is. But not always.

It seems that your definition of only trying to satisfy oneself ignores the fact that there are two parties involved. It is truly base if one partner considers the other merely an object for his own satisfaction.

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