I must recant. Sofia, I am sorry. I did not follow my own advice and I wrote off the top of my head and did not go to a source.
Sofia, I said 20% because I could almost swear that I have read 60 Million articles by 60 million different gay people in the last ten years( or maybe it just seemed like60 million articles by 60 million different gay people) but , anyway, I decided to go to a source.
Judge Richard Posner quotes sources in his book-Overcoming Law- specifically in the article- "Economics and Homosexuality"
Judge Posner says:
"Data from a large sex survey being conducted by a group at the University of Chicago headed by William Laumann of the Sociology Department. The survey concludes that only about 2-5% of sexually active men and 1-2% of sexually active women are currently homosexual.
Then, of course, the brilliant Judge Posner, anticipating objections writes:
"The usual objections to inferring the percentage of homosexuals from surveys is that the"Closeted" homosexuals will conceal their sexual preference from however skilled an interviewer. If so, this would imply that the more tolerant the society, the larger the percentage of homosexuals that would be revealed by surveys.
There is no such relation.
In fact, surveys of sexual practices in Scandanavian countries which are more tolerant of homosexuality than the United States is, reveal a lesser frequency of homosexual behavior than the US survey data do."
There are some data for you, Sofia!!!
D' Artagnan- If Posner is right, how many gay votes will Bush lose?
I don't think many of them voted for him anyway.
But, the Christian Coalition( 30 Million votes??) would fall away in large numbers.
A thoughtful, polite discussion regarding gay rights ....... my thanks to all.
As others have said (above), I think use of the word "marriage" has almost become the issue.
I strongly believe that gay people ought to have the right to become legally united to a chosen partner. I personally don't care what the union is called, as long as it represents the full legal counterpart of civil "marriage".
THE FULL LEGAL COUNTERPART.
The Church, on the other hand, can decide whatever it likes regarding its own use of the word "marriage".
As far as social "tolerance/acceptance" (words I dislike), this cannot be legislated, and as with racial, ethnic, gender, and religious differences, it will take people time to become comfortable with this expression of diversity.
(The reason I dislike the words "tolerance" and "acceptance" when used in this context is that they seem to suggest people of a "superior" persuasion putting up with people of an inferior one.)
Well, yes, but as a bisexual male, I fully believe in tolerating all of the inferior and benighted hetero and homosexuals out there. I realize we can't all be perfect.
Listen Hobitbob. Just because you have a much larger dating pool is no reason to go around with your nose in the air.
Why does it take so long to remove out-dated and unfair laws?
Relationships are formed solely on the consent of two people; it is no one's business but the consenting adults who agree to form a partnership. As usual, government legislating morality becomes absurd in its strenuous and tyranical self-righteousness.
Scrat you point is well taken, but marriage comes with a number advantages such as work benefits, reduced insurance costs, inheritance rights etc. A legally recognized marriage makes those benefits available.
And that is just one reason why I favor a reform more sweeping than most liberals in this area; a civil union established by the government (I prefer that the states do this, but that's a detail), providing all legal benefits associated with marriage and (here's where I go further than most) available to any number of
consenting adults, regardless of gender.
I see no more reason to limit such unions to pairs of individuals than I see to limit such unions to one woman and one man. If any group wants to form a cohesive, nurturing and stable family unit, why not recognize them as a family unit in a legal sense?
Scrat, that is exactly the point I made earlier in this discussion. . At least in New England marriages were only civil unions in the early 17th century.
Marriage is a civil bond -- it's merely whether one can obtain a license or not. Otherwise, the ceremony is not specifically religious -- a judge or a captain of a ship can perform the ceremony for instance.
Diane's comments reminded me that there is another tack government could--and perhaps should--take; simply do away with government involvement in the issue. If no one received special (or different) treatment under the law simply for being married, the issue would be moot.
I think Scrat's suggestion is well taken. No special privileges for anyone.
I must, however, indicate that I have changed my mind.
Why? I just saw a great play by one of the leading writers in our country- Edward Albee, who is gay.
The play was the Tony Award Winner- Who is Sylvia/
In the play, a man falls in love with a goat.
Albee's character makes a well reasoned plea that he not be discriminated against because, well, he was really in love with that goat. The love was not platonic but sexually consumatted.
Albee's message of tolerance obviously could be widened and probably will be:
It's no one's business how I express my sexuality.
Bestiality? Why not?
Man-Boy Love? The Greeks did it, why not us?
Necrophilia? The dead body wouldn't know it.
Just why, why,why, can't I marry my sister???
The Puritans continually try to limit our freedoms.
Free sex for all, anytime, anyplace with any man, woman , beast , child or dead body...
And please don't go quoting those ridiculous old fashioned religious norms to me.
And that old saw about the family being the basis of Society?
Bourgeois attempt to control free spirits.
Italgo - Years ago when the Internet wasn't even called the Internet and AOL version 1.0 ran under a separate GUI called Geoworks (remember that, folks?) I had a run-in on-line with a man who called me a bigot because I did not recognize pedophilia as just another lifestyle choice.
But, let me ask you a question... does the fact that any good idea can be taken to a harmful extreme mean it should be taken nowhere at all? I have a brother-in-law who--besides all the other things that make him who he is--happens to be black. It wasn't too long ago that people thought letting whites and blacks marry was going too far.
At the core of this issue lies our societal norms, which are and must always be evolving. I think we have to watch where they evolve and consider what harm or positive effect a given change might have; drag our feet or plant them firmly where we think it best to do so; but in the end (to quote Jethro Tull) "the train, it won't stop going... no way to slow down."
hello, folks, we're talking about consenting adults.
Scrat wrote: "and (here's where I go further than most) available to any number of consenting adults"
On the issue of medical benefits alone , this would be a nightmare, unless a system could be devised where not all partners in a multi partner union would be eligible for benefits. Then again, it can be argued that a family with eight children pays no more for health care than a family with two children, and that might not seem fair. If our definition of family evolves to include 1 or 2 adults and some or no children, we will just need to allow our health care system to support that definition.
Sophia wrote: "Allowing these people the right to marry doesn't have to signify our personal approval-- It just means we won't expend any energy denying them equal rights under the law."
I, too, agree with this statement. Personally, it's very uncomfortable for me to see a sixty year old person marry a twenty year old, but I certainly would never advocate denying them the right to do so.