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My First Political Rally And March


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When are you going to Paris? For University?

I'm in Southern France at the moment... Paris is beautiful though, you'll no doubt have an amazing time.

I will be in Paris Feb 18 to 21. For fun, I was already in Berlin and decided against going east and instead take a rather affordable flight to Paris and enjoy the city for a couple of days.

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In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, President-Elect Obama said, "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

Not wanting to drag this thread too far off topic, but how could people possibly desribe Obama as a raging lefty as some tried to do during the last election? His views really are those of a moderate conservative.

Back on topic, I'm not quite sure where I stand on the issue of gay marriage. I of course agree with Michelle in that I'm "all in favour of rights for Homosexuals, in terms of compensation, benefits & pensions". But so much of this seems debate seems to depend on semantics as far as I can see; how exactly is marriage defined?

Within the church:

My 'liberal instincts' (what a horrible phrase, sorry), the fact I'm not gay and my general dislike of religion makes this difficult for me to have an opinion on. As far as I can see, the people this really affects are gay people who are also religious.

I mean, if I were gay, I'd be quite happy to shun a religious service and, to be frank, setting myself up against religion in such a way would probably be something I'd be more than happy to do. From my point of view the church not letting me wed in the eyes of God wouldn't bother me.

But being gay and Christian means you'd have to let go of one huge side of your personality in the most important moment of your life. From my point of view this whole debate shows how nonsensical much of religion is; but the people who this affects don't think that at all, have great affection for the church and God, and feel left out in the cold. In other words, this isn't as simple as the atheist v Christian argument we have all the time; it's a Christian v Christian argument and neither side wants to see their church become something they don't want it to be.

I don't have a view regarding gay marrige within religious institutions. That seems to me to be an internal debate amonst religious people that has little to do with atheists like me.

Outside of the church:

Civil marriages outside of the church should of course be allowed and the church shouldn't weigh in on this issue as it's really got nothing to do with them.

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Not wanting to drag this thread too far off topic, but how could people possibly desribe Obama as a raging lefty as some tried to do during the last election? His views really are those of a moderate conservative.

Or, his views are like many other people's, in that they can't look at things truly objectively, and look at things through the "veil" of their "religious beliefs." Obviously, everyone's religion is different. Why would a Hindu believe a christian wedding ceremony would be any more valid than their own? Do fundamentalist "christians" believe Buddhist weddings aren't valid? I believe they don't, because I think fundie "christians" believe everyone else's religion is invalid anyway.

In my opinion, people who think marriage is "holy" should then be AGAINST divorce. Why aren't fundamentalist "christians" in the US trying to ban divorce?

Whether one marries in a religious or civil ceremony, it isn't valid in the eyes of the law unless there is a marriage certificate, that's the bottom line, at least in the US; it doesn't matter if a judge, Shinto priest or Rabbi performs the ceremony, or if there is even a ceremony at all; it is not valid legally unless there is a marriage certificate. And that's what gay people should be able to have, a marriage certificate. For nearly 6 months, gay people in California had the legal right to marry, and that right was taken away.

Prior to the Nov. 4 election I would hear fundamentalist "christians" on NPR saying crap like "for 5,000 years, marriage has been defined as between one man and one woman." That is such bullshit. If you've ever taken a sociology class, you would learn that throughout history, marriage has also been between one man/several women, one woman/several men... same-sex marriages occurred in native American cultures and in pre-Christian European cultures (the spread of Christianity really destroyed a lot of cultures, didn't it)... Even today, in different parts of the world, you have arranged marriages, 12-year olds being betrothed to 30 year-olds, etc.

Rob, you bring up another point that I've had discussions with other people about; there are gay people who are very much into their christian religions, so they would like to be married in the "eyes" of their respective christian sects. In my opinion that's another issue entirely. It's a situation of wanting to have their cake and eat it too. You can't force a private organization to change its policies. I guess some gay people have trouble within themselves, reconciling their religious beliefs with their sexual orientation.

Personally, I wouldn't want to belong to a club that wouldn't want me as a member, anyway.

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:mellow: This wouldn't have all heated up if California had followed New Zealand's lead and called this a "Civil Union" act...Thus removing the word Marriage but retaining all the rights that word involves.

In NZ this bill was adopted so to give hetrosexual couples in a de facto relationship the same rights, but soon this managed to cover those in a homosexual relationship as well...Really it is all to do with property rights in the end.

So in NZ only hetrosexual couples may still legally "Marry" per say. Whilst those in a non binding hetrosexual and/or homosexual relation ship can also receive the same marriage rights as a "Civil Union" couple.

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