Not-So-Confidential to Noam Cohen at the New York Times

Comments

1
While I completely agree with you here Dan, it does make one wonder of number of times the Stranger has "characterized" a person or a persons position and not given them a call first. It'd be awesome if you guys did that a little more, too.
2
It seems pretty common right now with Santorum "surging" to downplay just how hateful and bigoted he is. I haven't seen any major news organization really address how extreme his views are.

Instead, they have determined it's his turn on the see-saw with Mitt Romney and they will be totally deferential to him until it is determined it's time for him to get off.

Our media is pathetic.
3
I take exception to Noam terming this a prank. No prank here, no harmless hijinks. There is intent, a true cause and effect at play here. This was no whim, Dan didn't just have a hair up his ass one day. Full story, or no story.
4
The vitriol toward Noam isn't necessary, but it does get one's attention.

That said, it's a great excuse to remind the planet of PRECISELY what Santorum said to draw the wrath of the Army of Dan.
5
"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality—"

In this quotation, Santorum has a bad case of "the free-floating it." In the third and fourth sentences, to what, exactly, is the word it referring? What is not man on child or man on dog? What is one thing?
6
@2

Santorum only "surged"with less that 5.4% or registered Iowa voters. It's merely something to blather about until the next toddler goes missing or theres a spree killing. Or something equally complex to "report."

There are condo board elections that have higher participation.
7
@6: There's multiple reasons I had "surging" in quotation marks.
8
Dan, a suggestion you may want to run by I think Anthony. It may get y'all in trouble or at a minimum extra piss off Santorum.

The Stranger's web system runs off some programmed back end, which I imagine is fairly custom. So all this text--like what you're reading here--is pulled from some database and then custom rendered into the visible format you're reading.

You should ask if, by default, any time that the word "Santorum" appears on the site, in any Slog post or news article or sidebar or whatever, it automatically links like: Santorum.

All Santorum links, all the time, every time Santorum comes up, as a design element.
10
I can totally understand being frustrated by a lack of effort on the part of a journalist to actually contact the party involved in a story, especially another writer / author. Personally I would flaunt any excuse to obtain and employ Dan's phone number.
11
Is it wrong of me to hope he's the nominee for the Republicans? I know there's an off chance he could win, but he's soooooo insane. I mean, I literally believe he's got more diagnosable mental health problems than Newt Gingrich. Isn't there a chance that his nomination would cause some soul searching by the Republican party? We're talking about a guy who wants to legislate sexual acts for EVERYONE, not just homosexuals, and who thinks family grieving involves passing around a child's day-old corpse. The dude just seems like he's on the verge of becoming the equivalent of one of the crazier Roman emperors.
12
You tell it, Dan. I am already sick of Santorum's actual views being papered over by a media who wants another fresh story about the new frontrunner. Santorum thinks something bad and immoral is happening in my life because I have chosen to have no more than three children, and have therefore rendered myself unnaturally incapable of having more. Now, he's entitled to his crazy view, but he wants to make it ILLEGAL for me to do this. Someone that crazy has no business being anywhere near the White House, but more importantly, reporters have no business pretending away his views.
13
Interesting words from the candidate who just declared the most important thing in this election to be "freedom."
14
@8 I was just thinking the same thing, that any Spreading Santorum supporters should hugely increase the amount of linking they're doing in any Santorum-related discussion online, be it blog post or comment thread. While I don't have a blog, I'm doing my best to spread santorum liberally around the internet, and bring the correct definition of santorum to the top of any Google search for the word, "santorum."
15
A basic factual error that Noam should correct; ffs.

This made me think a bit about some of George Carlin's standup, particularly his periodic outine rants about the idiocy of language policing. See, for example, his argument about "nigger's" offensiveness being dependent upon the intent of the person using the word, not inherent to the word itself.

I think of this often when I hear "decent people" voice "shock and outrage" over Santorum's "Google Problem." As though the definition's vulgarity could ever ever be as immoral, offensive, repugnant and harmful as Santorum's political positions. Hitting someone where they live--especially with irony--is a very effective counter strategy, which is, of course, what I suspect really bothers these "decent people."
16
Looks like he changed it.

Quoted in Dan's post: "...for his strong criticism of same-sex marriage."

Currently up: "...for his comparison of homosexuality to “man on dog” sex."
17
Cohen updated his post with a correction. Hurrah
18
This is pretty excellent he's making headlines. It gives the nation a chance to remeasure our existing hard-fought civil liberties against the American Taliban that would take them away.

I'm also hoping to hear more from Libertarians and small government conservatives about the importance of social liberties. Bravo Freedom Watch: http://youtu.be/1Gwwmm-cQxU
19
I believe that Dan is the biggest narcissist in this country.
20
We don't have a constitutional right to privacy hth
21
@18, just listened to this clip. I like the idea of couching Santorum's political views as a direct attack on "the pursuit of happiness".
22
Another thing i don't understand on this article is why the author thinks Google should apologize. Is decapitate-the-messenger still a thing?
23
How good of him to correct it - and your rejoinder probably guaranteed more readers for his blog-among-dozens-at-NYT.
24
He bothered to change it, yet still left out Santorum's correlation of homosexuality to "man on child." Why would that be? I wonder...
25
Santorum isn't crazy; he's just inbred.
26
I've seen a number of other pieces recently claiming that the definition of santorum was the result of Santorum doing something other than comparing gay sex to child-rape and dog-fucking (most recently, comparing gay sex to "bigamy, polygamy, and incest"). I always make a point of correcting the record, though I'm not sure whether the authors of the articles ever pay attention to the comments or e-mails.

@5: His statement about the universality of marriage is also patently untrue. Even calling the family/mating arrangements of people in other cultures "marriage" is some pretty heavy cultural projection.
27
@26: It shouldn't be a surprise that his statements about marriage traditions are untrue, I'm pretty sure that Rick Santorum cannot conceive of cultures outside of his own. He's careful to say "as far as I know," because he doesn't know much further than the house next door.
28
Twenty years ago, a bunch of madcap Christians in Oregon asked me—along with every other voter in the state—to consider homosexuality and homosexuals. In all that time, strangely, it seems that these sexual puritans are incapable of understanding the proposition of consent. I mean, you can even find the "consensual gay sex = rape" argument in the twenty-first century.

One thing I know for certain as a parent is that if one does not understand the concept of sexual consent, one should not be anywhere near children.
29
While you are correct about this whole Santorum thing, and the original NYT article was out of line, why don't you fact check before every one of your attacks? Sucks to be on the other end, doesn't it?
30
Santorum thinks it's okay to police various sex acts--since he's so hot for reproductive sex, I'd imagine this means that only strict PIV sex would be allowed, and probably only in the missionary position. He also thinks contraception should be outlawed. Contraception. The fact that he believes this shit is problematic enough, but the fact that he thinks that as president he would 1) have time for this shit and 2) actually be able to carry out these unbelievably invasive (and therefore very expensive) policies is completely insane. You can't run on a platform of fiscal responsibility when you actually want to go into everyone's fucking bedroom and take away their condoms and sex toys and waste time and money putting people through the justice system for giving a blowjob! Why doesn't the media point this out?!?!
31
@11: As far as death rituals go, I don't find the Santorums' taking their dead infant home at all odd. If the body had been burned first, no one would even mention them keeping it forever in e.g. an urn on the mantle, and the weekly ritual consumption by most Catholics of their dead-and-resurrected savior's flesh and blood is about the freakiest death-worship I've ever seen or heard of.

@16: So it's now the truth, but not the whole truth (I think the child-rape bit is the REALLY offensive part: as Dan has pointed out, while bestiality is pretty wacky, were animals able to express consent, they would almost certainly rather be fucked than eaten).
32
ALERT!!! I just did a google search for Rick Santorum and also for Santorum... I can't find Spreading Santorum anywhere on the search results!! Time to start click guys... help! (And someone who is not an anonymous poster can you re-post, pretty please?

33
I get it, NYT is just crowd-sourcing their fact-checking! Brilliant!
34
@32, I just googled Santorum and spreadingsantorum.com is still the #1 result. I +1'd it for good measure. No need to worry.
35
I was unfamiliar with Lawrence v. Texas. As late as 2003? Holy crap!

Introducing his Omnibus bill in 1967, Pierre Trudeau famously stated There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.

Yay Canada!

36
@32: Spreading Santorum won't show up if you have safesearch turned on to full blast, only moderate or off.
37
@20--here is the text of the fourth amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

While the word "privacy" does not occur in this amendment, the amendment itself makes it clear that individual citizens have the right to expect that what is contained in their homes, or what transpires in their homes, should not be subject to government observation or interference unless the government has a damn good reason and can articulate that reason beforehand to a presumably objective court. This amendment both assumes and presumes that private ownership and private acts are contitutionally protected, and if that's not a right to privacy--what is?
38
moosefan @34, OMG I thought I was going crazy bc I kept searching for it in different ways thinking--- OMG Google decided to take it down! oh no how will we get it back? You wrote so I went and searched on Chrome instead of Firefox and there it was, safe and sound. I was so relieved I clicked on them like three times each.

I must have child protection on my firefox searching or something??!?

Anyway, keep up the good click fight!
39
A good day's work, indeed.

Thanks for the correction, Mr Cohen.

And ---> @30 FTW. I hear so many conservatives whining about the "Librul Media Bias", but then that very same "Librul Media" goes and whitewashes the VERY OFFENSIVE and COMPLETELY WHACKED-OUT actual views held by this presidential candidate.

So, conservatives, what gives? Is the media only biased when it's telling the truth about your candidates, or what??
40
I was totally unaware that my private sex life, with my partner of many years, was destroying society.

We should probably try to be more careful about that.
41
Just playing devil's advocate here, but isn't saying "In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality—", isn't that contrasting gay marriage with child rape and bestiality, not comparing them? I'm fully on board with Santorum being a horribly bigoted human being, but he did say "It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog" not "It is just like..."

Or am I just reading him wrong?
42
So Mr Cohen corrected it, which means it was an honest mistake, not a veiled attack against Dan Savage. Good to know.

I'd agree with Mr Carlin: the intention of the user is what is really wrong, not the word itself (which can be used for other purposes). I wished more people would realize that social change ultimately means changing people, not words.
43
Santorum's a dick, but what did he say, and did he deserve the viral meanness spread by Savage, known for his mean streak.

"That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing."

It's not pedophilia or bestiality, he said, in other words.

On that basis, Savage sabotaged him forever on the net, comparing him, ironically, to the result of an act that Savage likes.

Savage's effort to destroy someone who may or may not have said what Savage heard, and then to capitalize on it in interview after interview, is the act of a sick soul.
44
In one way, you could look at the Santorum Surge as a positive as it shows a definite dislike of Romney among the base. Romney's Mormonism is a huge problem for the evangelicals, so they're grasping at anything else. All this makes a super-conservative third party try way more likely, which cannot do anything but help Obama.
45
@41, you're right that he technically contrasted rather than likened them, but bear in mind the dog whistle factor. He went out of his way to include those as referents, didn't he? By saying they're not exactly alike he was alluding to the premise that they are somewhat alike.
46
This is going 'round the world, Rick, and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.

xo, Dano!
47
@8: WhirledNutDaily did something like that but with much less sophistication. It was a simple search-and-replace from AP stories to conform their twisted terminology for the word "gay". It had hilariously unfortunate results for the Olympic athlete Rudy Gay.
48
@45, perhaps, but I must admit you're stretching it a little. When Dan writes about Mr Santorum, he directly claims he compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality; whereas in the quote Dan provided himself here, Santorum is indeed saying homosexuality is not pedophilia or homosexuality. After reading that, I did feel like Dan had made here the same kind of mistake that the glitterbombers who thought he had said "tranny" because he despised transgendered people made when they glitterbombed him.

And this, despite the fact that I agree Mr Santorum is an extremist and that his views on sex and the law are indeed regressive and wrong.
49
I meant to say, of course, "... homosexuality is not pedophilia or bestiality." The hand is indeed quicker than the eye...
50
As for the... grammatical confusion of Santorum's statement, it's as @5 says: The multiple "it's" are tripping everybody up.

He's saying, "Marriage is one thing. It's not homosexuality, it's not man-on-dog, it's not pedophilia." That puts homosexuality in the same group, on equal footing with, man-on-dog and pedophilia. All three are things which are "not marriage" and (by implication, etc etc) are ruining society.
51
@28: of course they have no concept of consent. They also believe husbands effectively own their wives and marital rape cannot exist.
52
@50, oh, I get it now. He is saying he is not picking on homosexuality alone (as something that goes against marriage), but on everything that goes beyond the traditional definition, like pedophilia or bestiality; he therefore does include homosexuality in the same group. OK, I did indeed get confused by the "it"-with-two-possible-antecedents here, but reading the whole paragraph and seeing the jist of what he said, I have to agree this is indeed what he is doing.

I therefore take back what I said in my previous comment (#48-49 above).
53
@41: I was a bit perplexed at first too, but then I read it again. The "it" Santorum is speaking of is not homosexuality but rather his own idea of marriage. "It" is not man on child, man on dog, or man on man. "It" is one man and one woman who go to church every Sunday and tell their neighbors that they're bad people if they don't come with. The point he was making is that he's not specifically excluding homosexuality from his view of marriage; he's lumping it in with a bunch of other undesirable things.
But yeah, Santorum is still a huge douchekayak.
54
wow, hivemind
55
@48, I think @50 is correct. "It" refers to marriage, so read it as:

"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. Marriage is not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. Marriage is one thing."
56
Shit. Needed to be quicker on the draw for that one.
57
wow
for such an obnoxious dick danny sure has a thin skin....
58
oh Danny....

Rick did not "equate" homosex with child rape and dog fucking.

Perhaps Junior can explain to you that saying that x,y and z are not A does not mean x=y=z.

You are way too sensitive and way too fucking ignorant and that is an awkward combination.

Maybe you should let the kid or some other middle schooler edit your posts in the future.....
59
@58

I normally don't engage trolls for the same reason that one shouldn't try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

What Santorum is doing is engaging in the logical fallacy known as Meaning By Association: the speaker presents an arguement/product/candidate in association with other thigs to which the audience will respond in a predictable way. The goal is for that response to be transferred to the arguement/product/candidate.

Meaning by association is used all the time in advertising, and can be used either positively or negatively. For example, print ads for luxury items--like expensive cars--routinely show 50-ish, distinguished man with gray around the temples accompanied by a woman who is visibly 15-20 years his junior as they approach the Mercedes in the driveway. The goal is to associate the Mercedes with sexual desirability and the ability to attract a hot, young wife (probably a second wife, definitely a trophy).

A really good example of Meaning By Association used in car advertising goes back to the eighties or nineties, when the tag line used in television ads for Chevrolet was "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet." Note that the ad was not saying that baseball = hot dogs = apple pie = Chevrolet, but the ad *was* implying that they had something in common--that thing being an All-American aura.

So when Rick Santorum mentions homosexuality in the same breath as child rape and bestiality, he may not literally be saying that they are equivalent, but he is definitely saying that they have something in common, and I scarcely think that thing is something he believes is good.
60
The paradox here is that Santorum opposes sodomy but wants to fill the prison system with sodomites. And prisons are paid for with tax dollars! Somebody should ask Mr. Santorum why he wants to create socialized sodomy farms where the most egregious sodomites can sodomize all day long on the public dime.
61
I see it know, he definitely did directly compare homosexuality with child rape and bestiality. Thanks all for setting me straight.
62
@ 50 et al

Yeah, that's the way definitions work. A thing is that thing, not all the other stuff it isn't. My car is a vehicle propelled by a combustion engine. It isn't an artichoke, or Sumatra, or a bedspring. That doesn't make Sumatra, an artichoke and a bedspring the same things in any way, other than in not being a vehicle propelled by a combustion engine.

Similarly, marriage is a man and woman joining. Has been (with a few isolated tribes or social groups here and there through the millenia acting as irrelevant statistical outliers) as long as there's been a concept of 'marriage.' It's involved that joining as arranged by parents or politics or financial concerns, and still always a man and woman. It's been based on notions of love, and still always a man and woman. It's been a widow marrying a widower or an intentionally or accidentally infertile couple and always (you guessed it) between a man and woman.

Know why? Because marriage is a social institution, not at essence a private one. It serves a key function in creating a stable basis for child rearing and sexual interaction, two human behaviors of such potency that they could rip any society apart without a general social agreement about how they're conducted.

It isn't in the end about the couple. It's about that couples role in the larger group. It isn't about some nursery school notion of fairness. It's about channelling human drives that are creative and helpful when channelled, destructive and chaotic when not. Without such channeling the social stability which makes any grouping of human beings from the tribal to the national level isn't possible.

More concretely, what's required of the law is that it be applied evenly to all citizens, and that the nature of the law allows such an even handed application. We've decided that where choice in ones 'class' isn't present discrimination on the basis of that 'class' isn't just. Even handed in application, segregaton laws negatively affecting black citizens weren't even handed in nature for example. Marriage laws however are even handed both in application and nature. While I respect other adults rights to make romantic choices, I fail to see where those choices imply a burden on anyone else to mitigate their results.

Gay citizens claim that they have no choice in the matter, and perhaps as to inclination they don't. I wouldn't know. But as to behavior they do. And the consequences of their behavior are theirs to bear, just as the consequences of mine are mine to bear.
63
@62

Oh look who crawled out from under the refrigerator to grasp onto the one tiny thing he could and string it out for several paragraphs! How is that sinking realization that Obama will be re-elected and DOMA likely struck down within the next couple of years working out for you =)
64
None of the mis-statements that Rick Santorum equated pedophilia, bestiality and homosexuality are the point.

Neither is the misapprehension that the choice to be romantically involved with a same sex partner entitles you to change marriage for the 97% or so of your fellow citizens who didn't.

Interestingly, Savage seems to have recognized the indefensibilty of his decade long attacks on Mr. Santorum. Several posts in a couple of days defending himself show that he realizes that this defense is required by the circumstances.

Of course it won't wash. I mean, Savage isn't bright, obviously. But a kid could tell you that first no comparison to pedophilia and bestiality from homosexuality was actually made. Basic English, really. Anyone could tell that Mr. Santorum hasn't a snowballs chance in hell of becoming the president, and isn't likely to gain another elected office if he fails at this bid. In that respect he's a private citizen entitled to opinions with which Savage differs, but certainly not a rational target of Savages filthy rage. And anyone could tell that this years long vendetta is a tiny bit of overkill given the circumstance that it post dates Mr. Santorum leaving office, and predates his seeking the presidency.

No, anyone could tell this is just Savage being a petty filthy minded halfwit with a grudge or crush (or since he expressed a wish to have whatever 'hate sex' might be with Mr. Santorum, both) on Mr. Santorum.
65
@64

Blah blah blah, you're losing, learn to deal with it or move to Iran, those are your only options crybaby
66
@65

Superb refutation! Masterful, really. Be honest, you've studied the great proponents of rhetoric from Seneca through Pope and learned from them, yes?

I'm just....I'm just overwhelmed by your brilliance, Muddy.
67
I don't need to re-read your one tiny argument that for some reason still takes you several paragraphs to lay out to know that it is silly and incorrect. Everything you say is just blah blah blah and then you run away like the sniveling little coward you are when anyone challenges it, bye bye now =)
68
But in fairness-

Yes, Obama will likely be re-elected. Short of a major financial or foreign policy blunder anyway.

Yes, the United States is socially de-evolving. In trying to be nice and accepting and tolerant, we're refusing to stand on our culture and ask of dissenters that THEY accept it or leave.

But no, not Iran. Don't like desserts, really. Our house in Italy is our bolthole if progressive ideology sickens our nation too badly. More progressive in theory, in fact they're very aware that social and religious influences can complement each other to the betterment of both. American progressives could learn a thing or two from them really...
69
"Don't like desserts, really."

Correction, don't like deserts. Desserts are one of the reasons I love spending time in Italy.
70
@69

Oh good! Then you can run away in real life just like you do online! That won't last long either though, just FYI.

Yeah and since you so frequently tout your own intellect, nice job spelling pal =)
71
@70

You're right. A few generations of progressive thinking have brought Italy to the brink of bankruptcy, as with Greece, Portugal and Spain. This kind of half baked thinking is so unworkable it collapsed the Soviet Union (remember the USSR?) and China wisely steered away from it before they suffered the same fate. I'd imagine that kind of thinking really won't last long in Italy and they'll re-embrace the intelligence of conservative thinking. Very perceptive of you.
72
Ha! No need from my advocacy after all, said devil is making the claim himself now: "Santorum denies equating bestiality and homosexuality" http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/05/sa…

Sorry bigot, no dice. But they do keep burying his comparison to child rape, which is fucking aggravating.
73
@ 71, things started going to pot with Reagan.

I think, somewhere deep in your subconcious, you realize that making up your own facts is a losing proposition. What will it take to bring it up to your concious thought? And how hard will it be on you, I wonder?
74
It looks like Santorum was saying that homosexuality ISN'T the same as man-on-dog or man-on-child.

Still, the article is wrong. I googled Santorum the other day and Spreading Santorum was the SECOND link that showed up. The first was about the senator.

Santorum is wrong too. Previous societies have upheld an idea of marriage that was one man and several women. Other societies have had looser ideas of what marriage was. However, OUR society is based on the nuclear family. That is why making it easier for more people to form nuclear families would be a good thing for all of us.
75
@73

About one thing you're sort of right. The USSR was partly brought down by their stupid Marxist economic theories. Partly they were brought down by visionary foreign policy enacted by Reagan.

And of course, we went from 18% to 7% or 8% interest rates and high inflation to a standard 5% in his presidency. We went from 14% unemployment to a boom in our economy. The Carter recession ended in large part because Reagan, like Kennedy before him, understood that one of the primary jobs of any leader is to inspire citizens to do for themselves, to be proud and independent citizens of the greatest nation on this earth.

Unlike the current empty suit in the Oval Office, Reagan could and did lead this nation. When compromise with the opposition was needed, he compromised. When principles needed held, he held them. Mr. Obama could learn a thing or two about leadership from former president Reagan. But that would mean he was interested in leading rather than what was good for Mr. Obama.

And Americans realized again just how good a place this was, just how lucky we were to have been born as citizens of the greatest country on the planet under this president.

The end of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear armageddon, prosperity at home, a renewal of pride and love of this nation in her citizens- these qualify as 'going to pot' with you?

The left hates Reagan so deeply precisely because he proves how wrong they are about nearly everything. They despise an effective leader because since FDR (an effective traitor, but still effective in leading the nation onto the road to its own eventual destruction) you haven't had one. Hell, George Bush could get his job done with Congress, yet you hate him passionately, even irrationally. Your president can only whine about how he would do stuff if only those meany Republicans would LET him.

76
Slate did the same thing.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology…

They say the retaliation was because he "has a problem with homosexual acts". A lot of commenters have objected but there hasn't been a correction.
77
That article also goes with the false premise that it was a google bomb and not a legitimate neologism that people google in and of itself.
78
Seattleblues, I don't know that it is the wisest thing to engage with you here. But you appear to be intelligent and articulate, and entitled to your own opinion. Some here seem to be trying to deny your right to dissent with them. As long as people are civil, there should be room for a variety of opinions to be voiced in a discourse.

I note that you seem very invested in maintaining a certain traditional definition of marriage. But surely you are aware that marriage traditions have changed more than once over the course of history, and that much of what you yourself probably see as important to keep (such as the idea of a companionate marriage, or that women should enter into marriage freely and as equal partners, perhaps even the right to divorce) are relatively new aspects and do not follow historical precedent dating back more than two hundred or so years.

So where does the fixative get sprayed on civic/social institutions? It has been in a constant state of change for pretty much ever.

More importantly, what difference does it make to you, your family, or society in general if any two individuals want to marry? Your marriage isn't invalid, the family unit is still the same as it was before. No one will force you to have a gay marriage, or your church to perform one.

Times change and customs, institutions, and laws change with them.
79
@SB, at least you've realized that your days are counted. That's more than one can say of many a colleague of yours.

Your curious jump from Santorum to gay issues to economical problems in Italy is indeed quite amusing. As they say around your little house in Italy, se non è vero è ben trovato... Sarebbe ancora meglio se ci fosse un po' di verità, ma quando non ce n'è, non ce n'è. :-)
80
@78, good luck!
81
You know that if you google 'santorum' you get the definition.

Did you also know that if you google "google problem" with those quotation marks, the entire first page is all about santorum? Delicious, no?
82
@81 Please don't say "delicious" within ten words of "santorum."
83
@ 73, you ought to know that I only ever read the first few sentences of your posts, just to get the sense of which way the nonsense wind is blowing you, and don't bother with your entire posts. You might think I'm getting a voyeuristic thrill watching your mental masturbation, but the truth is quite the opposite, just as it is from your view of things.

@ 78, don't give him any more encouragement. Intelligence does not go hand in hand with honesty, integrity, or a desire to arrive at the truth of things. You can find that out the easy way (by listening to me, ankylosaur, venomlash, Rob in Baltimore, and others) or the hard way...
84
Oops, that first paragraph is @ 75, not myself...
85
@64: How exactly is allowing same-sex marriage going to change marriage for us straight folks? A cookie isn't any less tasty just because some weird kid you don't like also got one.
And Seattleblues? You have no standing with which to critique the arguments of others. The closest you come to an actual watertight argument supported by evidence is a few flimsy assertions bound together by an appeal to emotion.
86
Yikes, as someone who was raised Mormon, I felt a sort of mounting panic at how familiar many of these arguments sounded. Hell, even oral-between-marrieds wasn't kosher for years and years. DETOX! DETOX!
87
Seattleblues, it's really a pity to see how you carefully avoid the real question of the whole discussion -- what is the real harm to straight marriage if same-sex marriage becomes legal? (posed, in its last incarnation, by venomlash above) -- while repeating the claim that there is 'harm'... You even prefer to claim that America is going downhill just because she is choosing to disagree with your opinion.

Anything except reassess your own prejudice. Or even try to justify or defend it logically.

Anything but that.

88
@64 I have to wonder why you come to this column. Are you just trolling, or do you really love being in a place where almost no one agrees with you?

And anyway, I have not yet seen any compelling arguments as to how gay marriage changes marriage for everyone who isn't gay. Or any arguments that aren't based on religion (get the fuck out) or complete, unfounded opinion (in which case at least own it for what it is and stop acting like it's fact).

Like, MA has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, and was the first state to legalize gay marriage! Years ago! Shouldn't it have fallen apart by now?

The South, clinging to the values you yourself espouse, has the highest divorce rate out of anywhere.

So unless you come back with some actual logic (you know, facts, data, objective points) that isn't based on religion, opinion, or some appeal to morality/"family values"/whatever buzzword you feel like using, just go wank into your bible, okay?
89
All of you seem confused.

America is a center right nation, with a majority of her citizens identifying as Christian. Even with our leftward shift, we're still far to the right of most of the rest of the world, thank God. Even with much vaunted separation of church and state (a term which appears nowhere in the Constitution, by the by) we still can and do enshrine Christian values in our laws through the democratic process.

I don't have to defend marriage to you. I don't have to defend our economic system, or our majority Christian beliefs. If you don't like marriage as practiced here, or are bigots about Christianity, or hate that some prosper while you don't you have a choice- Move. Canada apparently does it so much better. All right then, move there. Germany too is the heaven of progressives. Another possible destination.

But here's the deal if you stay. We in the majority don't owe you anything. If you want change YOU must demonstrate what you think the problem is and why it's important to anyone but you. YOU must demonstrate how your proposed solution will solve your presumptive problem. And YOU must convince enough of your fellow citizens to democratically pass your notions.

And you don't get to attack real marriage, marriage between a man and woman, to prove your point. If you haven't the evidence that not having gay marriage is a compelling civil rights problem needing legislative or judicial redress that's your problem. Attacking real marriage won't solve it for you.

You also don't get to attack Christianity. A majority of our citizens identify as Christian. While we cannot cite the 10 commandments in criminal code, we can and should vote for those who share our values and write legislation or vote on it accordingly, all without any Constitutional problem. All law is subjective, reflective of social mores and cultural predispositions, including marriage. Deal with it or move where your ideology is more congenial.

Thanks awfully.
90
Yes, clearly everybody is confused. America is for republican conservative christians, everybody else get the fuck out and start your own country. Duh!
91
@89: Bitch please. I'll attack Christianity all I want to. What's to stop me?
92
@91

Try to understand what was written.

You don't get to attack real marriage- as an excuse to justify gay unions erroneously being called marriage.

You don't get to attack Christianity- as a justification for erroneously calling gay unions marriage.

Obviously you and every other liberal have every right to hate families and Christianity and morality as private opinions. You have every right to vote based on that hatred, or write bitter screeds attacking this country and what it stands for. And you have the obligation to accept the popular will as elections show it or relocate where you can tolerate the national politcal climate.
93
Seattleblues, conservatives don't have to consider gay people to BE married if they don't want to. I have aunts who are divorced and remarried. The Catholic Church considers them to be still married to their first husbands (or in one case, widowed) and living in sin with another man. AND NO ONE HAS INFRINGED ON THE CHURCH'S RIGHT TO BELIEVE THIS. The government says "married" the Church says "not really married." It works.
94
@ 92, keep trying. The truth may be scary and fantasy nice, but it's better when you embrace it. Give it a try.
95
I agree that it is ambiguous from the transcript whether Santorum was
equating or contrasting homosexuality with bestiality and child rape. English
is a tricky language in that meaning is conveyed through spoken intonation as well as other language elements. I wonder whether there is a recording of the interview?
96
91

Nothing!

This is Gaymerica!

Anti-Christian Bigotry is the State Religion!

Indulge yourself, you ignorant smug hatemongering little Nazi prick...
97
@92: The "erroneously" bit is entirely your opinion. Need I remind you, nearly every argument you have made against same-sex marriage was made against interracial marriage.
You need to bring some facts to the table, because, as much as this may pain you, your views do not determine reality.
98
@95 Maybe that sentence is ambiguous, but throughout that entire conversation, Santorum makes that link. Hell, his argument is (paraphrased) Catholic priests raped children because of gay sex. It's pretty cut and dry.
99
Seattleblues, you buttplug is three sizes too small.
100
Bahahahaha Seatteblues you are my favorite internet troll. Your parodies of an inbred conservative are really well written!

But too literate to be true. Delicious troll.