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May 24, 2012

Comments

Well done, Alan. Always appreciate your approach.

... Malebranche, you're up.

And a large number of blacks / African Americans agree it’s not the same. Less favor same sex marriage than does the percentage of the total population despite trends.

It is a clever tactic to hitch on to the civil rights fight in general. But if it is a civil right to get a marriage license without a bride or without a groom in the same way "interracial" marriage is a civil right, why didn't Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or any other prominent civil rights leader throughout history ever mention it???

Anyway, you are melting.

RonH

You dance around the subject of choice. If their sexuality is not a choice in every instance then the homosexual is not in control over his sexual preference. If he is not in control then it matters not HOW he came to be homosexual, by genetics, by rearing, by environment whatever. This point has little to do with the question of race. No one is offered a choice as to their race either. The question may well be akin to our "letting" the disabled marry, the disabled likely did not have a choice in the matter of their "affliction", their condition may be genetic, it may be accidental but as I said, the point is that he or she most likely was not involved in what made him or her the way he or she is.

Race is immutable.

The choice to go homosexual is mutable.

Are interracial heterosexual couples able to bless society in the same manner as same race heterosexual couples? If yes, then society ought to bless interracial heterosexual couples the same as same race heterosexual couples.

If interracial heterosexual couples weren't able to bless society in the same manner as same race heterosexual couples, society would be justified in withholding an equal blessing to interracial heterosexual couples.

Both interracial and same race heterosexual couples bless society with new generations and hence with its existence, therefore, both interracial and same race heterosexual couples ought to be blessed in the same manner and to the same degree.

Thank you for the citations, they will help me in discussions.

However, the sad thing is that very few people have any interest in thinking this issue through. More than any other, same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general are "argued" based on emotions only.

Even generally Bible believing and following Christians have given in to the social pressure and the propaganda. I'm at a loss at this point.

Spitzer's apology.

Regarding Spitzer's apology.

Spitzer’s study never was the smoking gun it was cracked up to be. It didn’t substantiate conversion therapy as a cure, or even as a safe treatment, for homosexuals in general. By the same token, his apology doesn’t warrant the therapy’s eradication. What he showed us, anecdotally, is that an unusual subset of highly motivated people can find ways to alter their sexual self-understanding and possibly their behavior. Those people have no grounds to say conversion therapy will work for the rest of us. And we have no grounds to say it can’t work for them.

As Alan had said last time out ...
http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2012/03/can-homosexuals-change-their-orientation.html

The national board of the NAACP, prominent civil rights leaders, mentioning same-sex marriage the other day, 62-2.

Daron,

Is this is the piece you are quoting from?

Do you think Alan should cite Spitzer's study after Spitzer's apology without mentioning the apology?

Two thirds of the 42 commentaries published with the original article were negative. Should Alan mention that if he is going to say the article was 'peer-reviewed'?

The group Spitzer studied was self-selected from a larger, cherry-picked, group.

The data studied from this group was self-reported.

The existence of a group that is helped by any treatment is not sufficient, by itself, to permit (let alone promote) that treatment. You also need evidence that the treatment caused the change. You can't get this without a control group.

Assuming evidence that a treatment helps someone, to justify permitting (let alone promoting) the treatment you need to look for harm the treatment might cause those it helped as well as those it didn't help. Does harm occur? How much? How often? What can be done about it?

RonH

Ron H,

As an African-American, I don't particularly care to follow the dictates of the NAACP. They do not represent the many diverse voices that exist within the African American community, nor are they the only prominant civil rights activists that exist. This 62-2 vote in favor of same sex marriage, in my opinion, represents a caving into political and ideological pressures from within and outside of the organization rather than any substantial discourse about the debate. KWM is correct to say that most African-Americans do not see the same sex marriage movement as equal to the civil right movement.

Susan,

I was only responding to Ken. I would think the board members qualify as prominent civil rights leaders.

Regarding what KWM says: 59 percent of African-Americans in this survey express support for gay marriage – up from 41 percent in combined ABC/Post polls this spring and last summer.

RonH

Hi RonH,
Yeah, that looks like it. Good Google.

Do you think Alan should cite Spitzer's study after Spitzer's apology without mentioning the apology?
Probably not. If he reads this I'm sure he won't.
The existence of a group that is helped by any treatment is not sufficient, by itself, to permit (let alone promote) that treatment. You also need evidence that the treatment caused the change. You can't get this without a control group.
Alan is not promoting the treatment. He is using the facts of this peer reviewed study to demonstrate that homosexuality is not immutable as it is often claimed. If any homosexuals can change then it cannot be claimed that no homosexuals can change. That's what Alan reported and that's what the study demonstrates - Spitzer's regrets for his wording or for the spin notwithstanding.

Again, as Alan said, and as the article correctly affirms:

What he showed us, anecdotally, is that an unusual subset of highly motivated people can find ways to alter their sexual self-understanding and possibly their behavior. Those people have no grounds to say conversion therapy will work for the rest of us. And we have no grounds to say it can’t work for them.

Daron,

What he showed us, anecdotally, is that a self-selected subgroup of a self-selected group can find ways to alter their self-reports.

You and Alan say: Since race is entirely genetically determined and sexual orientation is not entirely genetically determined, then homosexuals who want to marry each other are disanalogous to African Americans who wanted to marry whites.

But this confuses two claims.

#1) Some homosexuals can change.
#2) All homosexuals can change.

You and Alan need #2 because if there are any homosexuals who can't change, then they are analogous to the African Americans who wanted to marry whites (even if there are some homosexuals who can change).

But Spitzer doesn't even get you #1, let alone #2.

--

It gets worse; there is no point in trying to show #2 or #1.

What is the point of trying to show that homosexuality is not always 100% genetic?

The desire to marry someone of the same sex is NOT analogous to being a the African-American in an interracial marriage.

The desire to marry someone of the same sex is analogous to the desire to marry someone of a different race

The desire to marry someone of a different race is, presumably, not genetic.

So, who cares if homosexuality is not always 100% genetic?

RonH

RonH,

You and Alan say:

Do we, now? I think I said no such thing.

But this confuses two claims.

#1) Some homosexuals can change.
#2) All homosexuals can change.


False.
It rebuts the claim "no homosexuals can change".

You and Alan need #2 because if there are any homosexuals who can't change, then they are analogous to the African Americans who wanted to marry whites (even if there are some homosexuals who can change).
False. There are gazillions of reasons a person cannot or will not change their behaviour and that does not make it analogous to a genetic trait. Nor does it have much to do with the nature of marriage.
It gets worse; there is no point in trying to show #2 or #1.

What is the point of trying to show that homosexuality is not always 100% genetic?

Things are always getting worse, aren't they? Whew, scary times.

The point is exactly what Alan said in the first place, and what I have highlighted several times: that there are those who say homosexuals cannot change and there is evidence that homosexuals can change.

The desire to marry someone of the same sex is analogous to the desire to marry someone of a different race
The desire to "marry" someone of the same sex is the desire to do something other than get married.
So, who cares if homosexuality is not always 100% genetic?
You? I'm guessing?
The desire to "marry" someone of the same sex is the desire to do something other than get married.

No word has a meaning independent of its users. And I'll tell you what: if my wife wakes up male tomorrow morning you'll get my marriage license only from my cold, dead hands.

RonH


Mr. Shlemon, it is nice to have your balanced article to help further counteract the extremist claims made by some that no former heterosexual or former homosexual has ever existed and, on a side note, that any therapy/treatment/counseling for people with unwanted same-sex attraction are always harmful.

Marriage has an essential public purpose. Same-sex marriage does not. So let us not be anti-social and support marriage!

I'm disturbed by Mr. Shlemon's train of reasoning in two ways:

1) as an underlying premise, Mr. Shlemon seems to suggest that if race were mutable, then it would have been reasonable to retain laws against interracial marriage. So I'll ask: if race were changeable, would it be okay for the state to prohibit interracial marriage?

2) Many of the arguments in both the original post and the following comments seem to suggest that homosexuality is a binary condition: that is, one either is or isn't. That ignores bisexuality. Could it be that sexuality is a continuum with the extremes being at either end of the scale, extremes we tend to mean when we say words like heterosexual or homosexual? If you concede that there is a sexuality continuum, then it's not about changing versus not-changing as much as simply recognizing that, say, Ms. Heche or Ms. Nixon were, at some level, bisexual. But if you say that there is no continuum, then how do you explain bisexual behavior?

Final question, let's say that homosexuality were found to have been genetically determined and immutable, as you describe race to be: should states then sanction same-sex marriage? Is your reply limited to Mr. Shlemon's post of May 17? If so I can comment there instead.

No word has a meaning independent of its users.
That's right. And the users have long-since defined it.
. And I'll tell you what: if my wife wakes up male tomorrow morning you'll get my marriage license only from my cold, dead hands.
Thanks for telling me what. I sure know something now.

enjoy

You know what! It's good to know what.

Amazing!

But I am glad to see your tacit admission that what you are advocating for is a new thing, a new definition, and not inclusion in what already exists.
That's kind of the point.

Leonard

"You dance around the subject of choice. If their sexuality is not a choice in every instance then the homosexual is not in control over his sexual preference"

Heterosexuals don't have any choice, we were born that way and we have no control over our sexual preference. So, maybe we are on equal footing on that. But how "is" born does not the question of how one "aught" to respond sexually. I don't know of anyone who would want to promote people's "out of control" impulses in any other area than homosexuality. Yet, they seem to be the exception to this rule. Why do you think that is...Leonard?

I read a great article by Frank Beckwith on how the failure to recognize the intrinsic value of standards, such as marriage and justice, lead to a decline in society.

"Since marriage is an intrinsic good, just as justice is an intrinsic good, a culture that does not nourish, encourage, and protect traditional marriage will do so at its own peril, just as it would imperil itself if it no longer understood justice as an intrinsic good. A culture whose institutions do not prize intrinsic value — but instead seek justification by appealing to some instrumental value such as desire, want, pleasure, personal autonomy, or something else — helps atrophy the faculty of noninferential understanding in its citizens. It harms their souls, deprives them of something of great significance, and makes it difficult for them to understand why marriage, or anything else, has instrinsic value.

Republican (small “r”) government results from good citizens civilized by the institutions of family, honest work, and good religion. If, to quote Aristotle, statecraft is soulcraft, then the end of the state should be to produce good citizens and therefore provide a privileged and protected position for these institutions. The state, consequently, should treat traditional marriage as privileged and protected in contrast to other alternatives."

http://www.equip.org/articles/wedding-bell-blues-understanding-the-same-sex-marriage-debate/?msource=EC120504WKLY

I think blind people can't see. Despite all the reasoning, some won't accept the truth. What can we do then?

Hi Billy,
Proverbs 22:10

Daron,

Good verse. Sounds very proactive.

Loving v Virginia says that race cannot, by law, hinder marriage. The man and the woman may be of the same race, or each may be of different races.

Loving upholds the fact that "marriage" is the union of a man and a woman, even if the man is one race and the woman another.

We can say, then, that Loving proves that the law that defines "marriage" as the union of a man and a woman doesn't require that the man and the woman be heterosexual. They may claim to be homosexual, for all the law cares.

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