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Opinion

Opinion

Gay marriage critics are old news

September 12, 2012

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We are gathered here today to discuss two recent controversies about same-sex marriage. One comes from the world of pigskin, the other from the world of chicken fat.

You are surely familiar with the latter. It unfolded a few weeks ago over comments by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A. In interviews with the Biblical Recorder newspaper and radio host Ken Coleman, he confirmed his company’s opposition to same-sex marriage. “Guilty as charged,” he told the paper.

Cathy’s comments kicked off one of those only-in-America firestorms. Gay rights groups denounced the fast-food chain. Conservatives responded with a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which reportedly drove the company to record sales. Gay rights activists held a “kiss-in” that was less successful. The mayors of San Francisco, Chicago and Boston pronounced Chick-fil-A unwelcome in their towns. Conservative pundits noted, correctly, that an elected official who seeks to punish an unpopular opinion tramples the First Amendment. The Jim Henson Co. withdrew the Muppets from promotional deals with the restaurant chain.

And, oh yeah, some idiot carrying a bag filled with Chick-fil-A sandwiches walked into the Washington offices of the conservative Family Research Council where he shot and wounded a guard. “I don’t like your politics,” he reportedly said.

That’s a lot of furor over one man’s opinion. And you have to wonder why Dan Cathy’s views were news. Chick-fil-A’s conservative Christian orientation has been known for years — it supports groups like the FRC and even closes on Sundays. So Cathy’s comments, objectionable as they are to supporters of marriage equality, did not really tell us anything new.

Which brings us to pigskin. It seems one Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Maryland state lawmaker, recently wrote Steve Bisciotti, owner of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, insisting that he “inhibit” one of his players, Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has been working in support of gay marriage. The Ravens refused, and Burns’ letter brought him a ton of condemnation, most notably from another player, Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, who penned a profane, yet cogent reply online.

For what it’s worth, if the Ravens wanted to punish Ayanbadejo, they theoretically could. Sports leagues have broad latitude to police behavior deemed “detrimental” to the game. John Rocker was banished from baseball for 14 days in 2000 for remarks offensive to gay people, foreigners and minorities. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 in 2011 for using an anti-gay slur.

But the NFL has taken no such action here. To the contrary, Ayanbadejo says he has been overwhelmed by support from his teammates and other players.

Think about that: the NFL is a temple of testosterone, a shrine to manly men doing manly things and as such, you would expect it to be ground zero of heebie jeebies over all things gay. Apparently, it is not.

Apologies to Sam Cooke, then, but a change has come. What else can you conclude when even young conservatives like Meghan McCain now disavow conservatism’s opposition to marriage equality? Or when you consider that in 1995, just 27 percent of us supported it and now half of us do?

This is not to say the battle is won. It is not.

Still, things being as they are, one finds it difficult to worry overmuch about a bunch of people who think buying chicken sandwiches can forestall what seems increasingly inevitable. Every revolution has its dead-enders who bring up the rear, fighting for the lost cause.

But the trajectory of this particular revolution seems clear. So the headline here is not the old news that Dan Cathy opposes this human right, but the pleasant surprise that Brendon Ayanbadejo does not.

— Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

grammaddy 2 years, 3 months ago

20 years from now,our kids and grandkids will look at us and consider us fools that this was ever even an issue. Live and let live.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

So AIDS is specificly and exclusively confined to homosexuals.... this is news to me. Good thing straight folks never get diseases!

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Was your point that straight folks have no risk of any venereal diseases? Fail.

deec 2 years, 3 months ago

"AIDS is one of the top three causes of death for African American men aged 25–54 and for African American women aged 35–44 years in the United States of America.[citation needed] In the United States, African Americans make up about 47% of the total HIV-positive population and more than half of new HIV cases, despite making up only 12% of the population.[26] African American women are 19 times more likely to have HIV than white women.[27]" Wikipedia.

Chutney 2 years, 3 months ago

That is correct. However, you failed to include the underlying cause for the tragic numbers of infections among theblack community. Fear of being excluded by religious leaders and the spiritual community that is so very important in black culture causes infected men and women to forgo the use of condoms, since they are taught that such use is sinful.

Promiscuousness and drug use are wide spread throughout American society. Many in the black community refrain from safe sex precautions in an effort to appear to be more in line with their spiritual beliefs, even when they are not. It is the responsibility of the spiritual leaders of the black community to remove pressure from the community to avoid the use of condoms and practice safer sex. Abstinence does not work and never will.

Chutney 2 years, 3 months ago

HIV is a nondiscriminatory disease. Straight people get it too. Actually, more straight than gay people get HIV these days. We've pretty much learned to cover our toys and be safer. Far too many straights think they can't get HIV just because their straight.

Chutney 2 years, 3 months ago

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

somedude20 2 years, 3 months ago

It is still early in the day, but your remark is so stupid that it will be tough to beat. So, I am awarding you now:

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't know much about 21st century medicine or illnesses, do you?

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

So you're now suggesting that promiscuity in the straight community is a direct result of "emulating" the behavior of gays? This is news. I'd like a source, please. (At least a source other than your own experience) Must get your medical information from the same place as Akin.

jonas_opines 2 years, 3 months ago

Should be fun. Last time he posted any form of a citation, just googling it provided many links from the types of fun, cheerful, unbiased sites that you can surmise that he gets his information from.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

Another ridiculous comment from an often banned poster. What a shock.

Wake up Alex.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

What is the matter is LJWorld not supporting its own rules by repeatedly allowing past users back on without quickly removing them, even though it is obvious to everyone else.

Being asked to tolerate the intolerant on this privately owned forum has nothing to do with free speech.

voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

Promiscuous heterosexuals are much more likely to contract AIDS than married homosexuals. So if you're worried about AIDS, SageonPage, you ought to be all in favor of gay marriage.

voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

Peculiar, SageonPage, that you would draw from the alert.org website to support your homophobic proclamations. This is what that very website posts this statement in regard to homosexuality:

"At the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, gay men in many countries were frequently singled out for abuse as they were seen to be responsible for the spread of HIV. This view was fueled by sensational reporting in the press, which became progressively anti-gay. Headlines such as, “Alert over ‘gay plague’”,4 and “‘Gay plague’ may lead to blood ban on homosexuals”5 demonised the gay community. Groups in the USA monitoring homophobic violence reported an increase in incidents when public awareness about AIDS in America increased in the 1980s.6

Homophobia continues to be a major barrier to ending the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. In many countries, Stigma and discrimination prevent men who have sex with men from accessing vital HIV prevention, treatment and care services. Tackling homophobia can help overcome this, and encourages gay men to be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections."

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Also, there's no good reason why monogamous gay folks will get AIDS after 60, if they didn't have it already.

Unless it's from a tainted blood transfusion or other place, unrelated to their sexuality.

preebo 2 years, 3 months ago

Pitts conclusion supported. Exhibit A.

grammaddy 2 years, 3 months ago

Really?! Just a straight jump to fear-mongering. Tell me how it is that lesbians spread AIDs.You obviously know nothing about this. Just more homophobic clap=trap.

Armstrong 2 years, 3 months ago

Nothing shocking aboout Lenny's column. Pandering to the left is not new for Len.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 3 months ago

And I suppose that you don't pander to the right? From your other recent posted responses it certainly seems to be your MO.

Let's grow up, stop with the labels, and add constructively to the conversation.

Armstrong 2 years, 3 months ago

I have nothing to gain by pandering to anyone. If you dont like my posts dont read them.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

I believe Obama indicated he supported civil unions over marriage, per se. I believe that was an attempt to address the issue by permitting the rights afforded to married couples without violating the sacrament of marriage.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Yep.

Most opposed to same sex marriage will also be opposed to civil unions, if they confer the same legal rights and benefits as marriages.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 3 months ago

Social conservatives are not interested in protecting the freedoms we enjoy. They are all about telling and making rules that force you and I into living the way they want you to live.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

If you are so bigoted that you feel same-sex marriage threatens your traditional marriage, then you probably don't have the most stable marriage to begin with.

gr 2 years, 3 months ago

And how does polygamy threaten your sodomy?

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

What? Only sodomy Missus Bedtime and I engage in, well... there isn't any, really. I guess there may be a couple of positions offensive to missionaries, if you know what I mean. But about polygamy, I'm not sure ~ best ask Willard about that one.

deec 2 years, 3 months ago

If those opposed to gay marriage were actually interested in protecting the institution of marriage, they'd be working to criminalize adultery. Adultery actually does destroy marriages.

daddax98 2 years, 3 months ago

not as much as divorce does. outlaw divorce and then get back to me about this concern for the state of "traditional" marriage

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

deec, don't worry. Give enough conservatives power and they will get around to it.

deec 2 years, 3 months ago

It'll never happen. It would mess with their extracurricular activities as well. It's far easier to blame a blameless group than it is to address the immorality within the straight community.

mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

I dont object to Dan Cathy saying he opposes gay marriage. I oppose his view that children of gay parents are more emotionally unstable and how gay marriage will ruin the country and will bring god's wrath. He has NO evidence about the instability of gay kids (which he probably got from his right wing anti gay groups)( AND where does he think gay kids come from anyway - they come from straight parents) And he really has no idea what god thinks.
THAT's what I oppose from Dan Cathy's interview.

gr 2 years, 3 months ago

"This is not to say the battle is won. It is not."

And when it is, then it's on to Timmy as two moms and two dads.

Oh, wait. Isn't California already promoting such stuff?

And they said it was a slippery slope fallacy. Rather, it's a ride down the slippery slope of our nation's demise. Anyone know what happened to Rome? See anything similar happening here?

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

"Our nation's demise" has far more to do with entitled plutocrats and theocrats dictating their narrow morality upon us all than allowing our friends in long-term, stable relationships to thrive and prosper. As for your little Timmy, I can think of far worse things ~ like forcing him to live under the ironclad rules of a misguided, bigoted theocrat.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

You are a greater threat to the freedom of the readers of this board.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Just like your Baptist friends in Seneca who advocate the same violence against homosexuals ~ the only difference is the scripture that drives them. And unless you stand in opposition to them, you might as well trade your bible in for at turban, because you are just as radical.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, here's your opportunity to publically distance yourself from the freaks in Seneca.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 3 months ago

Why don't you ask little Timmy how he feels about having two moms or two dads. After all, he is the one who counts here, right?

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't we get to tell little Timmy how he feels?

voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

When Rome fell, the Empire had been Christian for a century, and it was adopting Christian attitudes about sex. The sexual license that you're thinking of, gr, occurred while the Roman Empire was at the height of its wealth and power.

fsteacher 2 years, 3 months ago

Excellent points, vertigo! Every single one of them. I especially like your point #5. It seems that everyone forgets that one does not have to be religious to get married. If people feel that the sanctity of marriage is being violated, then they're surely only referring to religious marriages, in which case they should take it up with the individual church, not the government.

One small criticism, though. Many many many of "the Church and its Attendees" do know all of the 9 points you listed, and are quite accepting of gay marriage. My church does, and that's right here in Kansas. Not all of us Christians are blowhards who believe the Bible is 100% infallible, and we do follow the message of Christ. It's sad when we are lumped in with the negative voices who speak the loudest.

heygary 2 years, 3 months ago

What I find most striking in the positions that “Progressives” take is the fundamental lack of consistency in their beliefs. This Pitts article is a perfect example!

Pitts attempts to ridicule Christians because their long held religious beliefs do not sanction same-sex “marriage”. To him they are “dead-enders who bring up the rear, fighting for the lost cause.”

This comes the day after Muslims attack the U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya (killing 4 Americans) because a film being produced in the United States was perceived to have insulted Prophet Mohammad. Our embassy’s official responses was "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," adding that it condemned the efforts by "misguided individuals" to hurt the feelings of Muslims and our President’s response was “the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others”.

I am not a particularly religious person and, as such, have no dog in this hunt. I do, however, abhor inconsistency! My mother use to say “charity starts at home”. Perhaps the same should apply to “respect for religious beliefs”.

deec 2 years, 3 months ago

Attempts to turn the U.S. into a theocracy like those in the Middle East with a different brand of god at the helm should be vigorously opposed by freedom-loving Americans. Denying gays the right to marry is not a religious issue. It is a matter of equal civil rights. Marriage is a civil contract.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Bigots rightfully deserve ridicule and tolerance is a two-way street. When you use your religious beliefs to justify bigotry and intolerance upon others, you will fail to receive my tolerance or respect. Simple as that. Keep your faith within yourself, your home or compound, and we have no problems.

asixbury 2 years, 3 months ago

Legalizing gay marriage does not trample on freedom of religion in any way. Freedom of religion can dictate whether you personally are involved in homosexual acts or not due to your religious beliefs. Freedom of religion cannot push those beliefs on other people who do not agree. Therefore, preventing gay marriage due to one's personal religious beliefs would be going against freedom of religion, not the other way around. There are religions in America that have no problem with gay marriage; what about their rights? What about the rights of people, such as myself, who have no religion?

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Some on this board would be quick to state that without your religion (or more specifically, their religion), you have no rights in the new Amerika to come.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Nope. It's a bitter medicine of another flavor: uneducated, rabid Christianism.

asixbury 2 years, 3 months ago

What policies have the Obama administration put in force that would lead any rational person to believe they support Sharia law? Absolutely none. This is a non-issue and another lie propagated by extremists. Obama is not a Muslim. Even if he were, who gives a damn. I would prefer Presidents not to have a religion as to avoid nonsense such as the numerous issues brought up on this board.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

None of these are "Sharia Law." Fail. Once again.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

And not rolling over to Israel's every wish, no matter how extreme, isn't Sharia Law ~ it's sound foreign policy. Sounds like you need to read up on yet another subject.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

"His policies left to themselves will produce Sharia Law" is simply not supported by your argument. Bending over backwards to support Israel in any manner is counterproductive to US interests. And making this an issue whilst discussing same-sex marriage is an attempt to misdirect, but it shows just how convoluted your thought patterns are. I'm still waiting for you to provide statistics supporting your statement that promiscuity in the straight world is being caused by homosexuals. Still waiting. Nothing.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Pastor_Bedtime wrote: "And straights NEVER get VD." SOP wrote: "If and when they do it is usually because they emulate the behavior of homosexual men who have multiple partners." em·u·late/ˈemyəˌlāt/Verb: 1.Match or surpass (a person or achievement), typically by imitation. 2.Imitate

So now what's your spin to try to look less foolish?

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

You didn't support your statement. How specifically are straights emulating gays? Maybe they are emulating the behavior of promiscuous straight folks.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

"If and when straights get aids it is due to promiscuity obviously and the point stands"

You forget that straights can get aids from non-sexual activity ~ including blameless scenarios like blood transfusions. There are books containing information on this subject and they would help you become better informed.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

I do support bringing back the veil. You know, the nice attractive ones from the forties or like Jacqueline Kennedy wore to the funerals. Some of us are at an age where a little coverage and mystery would be to the good of society.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

Sure, but what are the odds that the men who should wear them will?

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking of full out burkhas for the men---

gr 2 years, 3 months ago

"1. If Jesus did not mention a subject, it must not be essential to his teachings."

I do not recall Jesus mentioning even once in the New testament anything about copulating with a dead dear.

Why do some say it is wrong?

Is it because they are bigots?

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