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Friday, August 28, 2009

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Thomas

Jenny, thank you for your thoughtful and beautiful post. As a gay male in an almost twenty year relationship with the love of my life, I think back to my youth often and how difficult it was for me to accept who I was. As a man now in his early forties, I ache not so much for my rights and dignity but for those of gay children. You are correct, no one chooses their sexuality. It is easy for many heterosexuals to dehumanize and hate gays because they are ill informed about sexuality and how it is NOT a choice (and how homosexuality is found throughout the natural world hence it IS natural). Ultimately, you are correct it is about empathy. It is amazing the evil that has been by those who clearly lack it.

Jessica

Beautiful post and couldn't agree more. :)

Lyn

"It’s unassailable, really, as it's a statement of personal belief."

True, but in a representative democracy, it's not how a responsible public official should go about imposing public policy. It basically comes down to "It's my OPINION and I'm ALLOWED to have OPINIONS. How DARE you critique my FEELINGS? Nah nah."

Public policy should be based on facts, not pixie dust, and on measurable, assessable impacts. Gay marriage doesn't harm anyone. The lack of it does.

Tiffany

As a person who has worked with a wide range of populations, from the homeless and victims of domestic violence to liberal activist groups to traditional religious organizations, I think your assessment is primarily based on lack of empathy. It's surprisingly narrow to speak in terms of the need for empathy from one side of a debate only, and entirely ignore the framework and belief system that informs the reactions of the other "side".

Lyn

Tiffany - How should "empathy" for "the other side" be expressed? One could, for example, recognize that their "framework and belief system" says it's not ok to marry someone of the same sex, and thus, _not propose policies that force them to marry someone of the same sex_?

So, ok, I promise not to propose any public policies that would force people to marry someone of the same sex. I also promise not to propose any public policies that would force people to attend weddings of gay people.

Why isn't that good enough? How much more empathy do they need?

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