Feb 8, 2013
commented on Vote No on Seattle School Levy 2
When I heard that some of my Wedgwood neighbors opposed Prop 2, I did my due diligence to search out and read the opposing arguments. I was disappointed to find exactly this kind of argument. You have to wade through specious arguments about mismanagement and unnecessary costs to taxpayers just to find the substance of the argument, which amounts to:
-- do something else; you figure it out
-- I think 650-student schools are too big
-- I am overlooking, ignoring or rejecting SPS's data about enrollment projections, so
Sending in my ballot today with "yes" on both.
Jan 7, 2013
commented on Archbishop J. Peter Sartain Is a Bigot
@1, without splitting semantic hairs, yes. That said, there are important distinctions that one can make about whether the origin of the bigotry is a set of unexamined assumptions handed down to the person through tradition (e.g. former Senator Haugen's position prior to her vote for SB6239), or if it is instead a bigotry so fiercely active that it requires the person to rationalize it as something else. Sartain's bigotry is of the latter strain. There is also a third possibility which is not terribly uncommon: stupidity. Clearly Sartain is not an idiot, which makes his strain of bigotry all the more vicious. He is a bad man.
And those are the three possibilities I've observed in the opponents of marriage equality: ordinary and well-meaning people who are steeped in a bigoted tradition; vicious people motivated by baser impulses to dominate and exclude; and deeply stupid people who can't really articulate a coherent thought.
Dec 8, 2012
commented on Who's Marrying the First Gay Couple? Judge Mary Yu
Judge Yu finalized the adoption process for the Meat Weapon family. We often speak well of her when reviewing the photos from that day, one in which she cradles our then 5-month-old daughter. She became a significant part of our family history when she made us a family, and Meat Weapon Jr. still loves the official "adoption bear" judge Yu gave her that day. I'm so glad she'll get this honor, and grateful she's willing to take the first red-eye shift.
Nov 6, 2012
commented on I Called the Top Individual Donors to Reject Gay Marriage to Let Them Explain Their Opposition
Define "hateful." Define "crazy."
Clearly these reasons, like all anti-74 rationalizations, are rooted in anti-gay animus. There's an assumption that homosexuality is deviant rather than within a normal variance of human sexual expression. The change in cultural attitude toward glbt people from "deviant lifestyle choice" to "normal sexual variant" triggers fear and/or loathing in these people. Why? Because their anti-gay prejudice is entrenched.
And yet they are not introspective enough to reflect honestly on their own assumptions and motives. Is that insanity or stupidity? Or both? Or merely an aspect of the human condition?
One problem with correctly identifying these people as "hateful bigots" is that the terminology tends to flatten them into caricatures. Ordinary monsters never live up to our monstrous expectations of them. This is what they look like.
Aug 24, 2012
commented on Dan Savage vs. Brian Brown: The Dinner Table Debate
@102 Re: "Anthropologists have studied tribes of hunter-gathers living in remote regions of the Amazon rainforest and the island of Borneo. Is it really so far fetched to assume that, in the distant past, people who survived using similar tools formed similar societies?"
Your assertion was that people had been getting married longer than they had been making laws, which is a) not a testable hypothesis, and b) doesn't sound like a reasoned assumption at all. If other [nonliterate or preliterate] societies included similar institutions, then they would also probably include traditions resembling law, much like other nonliterate societies from more recent history have demonstrated. It is more reasonable to assume that marriage, in its various forms, has always been a civil institution, as it has been in our own Western traditions.
That is, earliest extant texts on marriage as a civil institution::ancient nonliterate marriage-like traditions as earliest extant legal texts on other topics::ancient nonliterate law-like traditions on other topics.
It may well be the case that marriage, like law, is a "universal human institution," as you put it. It does not follow that that universal human institution everywhere and always excludes same-gendered pair bonds, because that is demonstrably untrue. It has always been a constant that it involves one man, one or more women, and babies, but only if you disregard all the times that it involves some other configuration that doesn't conform to that constant.
Brian and Maggie have faith in one definition of marriage, and that definition has not been a constant across time and culture, as they like to believe and restate ad nauseum. John Corvino addresses this adequately in the book he co-wrote with Gallagher.