Personally, I have very mixed feelings about hate crime laws just as I have mixed feelings about conspiracy laws. Both are ways of increasing the punishment associated with a crime based on the nature of the victim, rather than the act itself, or based on judgmental presumptions about the motive for the crime. Obviously, the most prevalent hate crime laws are those that provide penalties for killing police officers that are more severe than those for killing others regardless of whether or not the individual's status as a police officer was part of the motive for the crime.
Saying that such laws are introduced solely as a way to raise money is a little too conspiratorial for me, but I do believe that the NRA uses (and hopes for) meaningless legislation primarily as a fund raising vehicle and believe that other special interest groups do the same.
True believers share a disregard for objective analysis. Many years ago, one of New York's top medical examiners was married to a leader in the development of addiction treatment programs. All of a sudden there was a shift in the reporting of deaths as being related to drug use. When his wife shifted her focus from addiction treatment to child abuse, autopsy reporting went through another change: every death of child was being linked to abuse and every death was leaked almost immediately to the press.
This pattern was never officially investigated and no charges were ever brought. However, when it came time to appoint a new CME and this individual was the obvious selection, his appointment was quietly killed and he ended up in a much lower profile job in a suburban community. In my mind, that was government operating at its best, and allowing hate crime bills to die quietly may be the same.
I think the history of hate crime legislation originated in the civil rights movement where actions against individuals were literally used in an attempt to terrorize a much broader community. A mild example might have been the police officer who followed my mother for two hours as she drove around town, pulled up behind her in front of our house, and handed her a ticket for driving 26 mph in a 25 mph zone. My parents were civil rights leaders, and the message was clear -- don't mess with the system.
While I believe that the terror aspect of crimes increases the severity of the offense, I fear the subjectivity involved in classifying the crime based on motive. I am willing to live instead with the inherent flexibility allowed in sentencing. However, the other purpose of Federal hate crime laws has been to provide a Federal venue for prosecuting what would otherwise be local crimes when the local authorities may actually be part of the problem. That was clearly the case in the civil rights movement, but I am not convinced that a similar situation exists today.
Long-term benefit to a society encompasses added value to culture, arts, enlightenment ... by benefit did not limit the influence of a behavioral variation (the one we are discussing just happens to be sexual in nature) to procreation.Quote:
The fundamental basis for arguing that homosexuality "has no long term benefit to society" is that it does not result in procreation. Needless to say, most sexual activity does not result, and is not expected to result in procreation.
I draw attention to the word "if".Quote:
and if a non-heterosexual lifestyle has no long-term benefit to society
I ask the question "if" ... "if" there is no added value, then is there any reason to create an environment that would tend to make the behavior more prevalent rather than less prevalent?
Have there been any studies to investigate whether this behavior is beneficial or not beneficial for a society?
Also presumptuous to determine that "questioning" the value of a particular behavior is automatically a "condemnation" of same.Quote:
Do we therefore condemn it as having "no benefit?" There is an extreme presumptuousness and arrogance involved in assuming that any form of behavior has "no long term benefit to society", particularly when that behavior is important to a large portion of our society and does not injure others.
We are discussing, rather, whether it is of benefit to society to encourage more of this behavior, rather than less. We are also discussing whether those who may have a religious conviction as to the unacceptability of such behavior have to accept public schools countering those religious convictions.
Did I suggest "outlawing" homosexual behavior? ... or am I totally losing my mind?Quote:
There is no question that the number of homosexuals exceeds the number of hunters. Are we willing to see our own activities outlawed simply because the majority of the population finds them objectionable and unnecessary?
I think my position was:
I don't think you can say that "compassionate acceptance", without "endorsement" is equivalent to suggesting this behavior be "outlawed".Quote:
Compassionate acceptance of an anatomical or psychological anomaly and granting euqal Constitutional rights, is not the same thing as "endorsement" of behaviors.
If gender identity IS, indeed, fluid. If there is "treatment" for the behavior, then are we not remiss not to invesitgate the issue further? Surely whatever we can learn about the fluidity of gender identity can help alleviate the situations of trauma that result from homosexual orientation going unacknowledged until after heterosexual marriage and children have resulted.Quote:
If the objections are biblical, I say fine. Follow the rules of your religion as you wish but do not expect the law to mirror your interpretation of those rules.
By understanding the behavior better, those who may wish to opt out, will have a better chance to do so. Those who chose not to opt out, can also make a choice.
The homosexuals I have known are genuinely caring individuals. I believe that people like that would have chosen to avoid causing pain to a spouse or children if given that choice. That choice would have been available to them with better understanding of the fluidty of gender identity. They might be able to choose to acknowledge their sexual orientation before marriage & children result; or they could choose to select treatment to redirect the fluidity of their gender identity. It would be their choice ... not mine. If we fail to investigate the issue with scientific integrity, we limit the choices.
Discussing the issue of "marriage" v. "civil union" with two gay friends. They didn't care what it was called, as long as it brought the legal benefits of inheritance, health care, etc.Quote:
Originally Posted by YardleyLabs http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...s/viewpost.gif
same sex marriage...civil unions...
We were both in agreement that the use of the word "marriage" was simply fueling the fire for religious opposition to the concept of these unions of commitment.
Originally, marriage described a union of man and woman, with the intent of procreation to secure the long-term transfer of lands and wealth. We've come a long way from that in the modern world ... but the word "marriage" has acquired a traditional connotation.
So, when we have a new situation, we come up with new words ... we do it all the time, Internet, for example :-) That word would have had no meaning at all not so long ago.
So, what's wrong with coming up with a new word to describe "marriage" between partners of the same sex. Obviously, procreation is not part of the goal here. However, ownership and transfer of assets is similar to the original "model" for this newly defined relationship. Civil union is one option. Even today, a man and woman can have a "marriage" done in a "sectarian" fashion (justice of the peace); captain of a ship at sea. So, what is the big deal about a civil union from a legal standpoint?
From a religious standpoint? That's up to the parties in the union & their social/spiritual circle. The religious aspect should be a non-issue WRT the legal aspect.
In both examples, there is no "disease", but there may be a "treatment" that could change the condition but may also cause real problems as a consequence. For such "problems" there is a legitimate question about whether or not it is ethical to offer the "treatment" without first offering the individual help in learning to accept and live with the condition itself.
If homosexuality is a non-disease condition that is not threatening to the freedoms of others, as the American Psychological Association concluded in 1975, there is no reason for society to enact any rules governing it. As was noted in other comments on "hate crimes", our existing laws on sexual behavior are comprehensive enough. There is no reason to have laws addressing whether the sexual behavior is heterosexual or homosexual. As you noted, the damages caused by homosexuality are related more to the repression of preferences in an effort to conform than to the expression of those same preferences. Do we "compassionately accept" heterosexuality without endorsing it? No, we simply accept it. I believe the same should be true of homosexuality although I will not pretend that I am there yet myself.
That does not prevent people who wish to change from seeking "treatment" for their conditions. After all, nothing would prevent you from attempting to bleach out freckles, or from obtaining breast implants to move from a size B to a C.
Personally, I suspect that changing society to improve social acceptance of homosexuality will increase the expression of homosexual behavior. I do not think it will have any effect on the incidence of homosexuality at all. Hopefully it will have the effect of reducing abuse, the types of repression problems that you mentioned, and ease the transition of children through puberty and adolescence.
I'm guessing if a hetero sexual can call himself a hetero sexual then a homosexual can call himself a hetero sexual also because after all thats equal treatment. lets not call things as they are. lets just make everybody and everything that is done under the sun equal and identical. So if I marry a horse and we adopt a mule we should get the same rights ,privilages and government handouts as anyone or anything else.Quote:
Sullivan, who describes himself as a libertarian conservative, tends to object to all laws that interfere in personal behavior. However, he also opposes civil unions, calling them "marriage lite", and legally married his own (male) partner. In concert with his libertarian views, he opposes the imposition of anti-discrimination laws on private entities while believing that government actions must provide equal treatment for all.
because hey we are all the same.
marraige =s unions =s donkey lust =s donkey sex =s donkey children ==s donkey college funding =s donky ceo's,doctors and presidents and south of the border porn stars.
Insert whatever plant or animal matter you wish to marry or have lustful relationships with. And we'll give you a tax break. And indoctrinate your children at no extra charge.
everything is equal
With a few exceptions I believe that is the case with most Americans who simply accept that homosexuality exists. What keeps this issue heated is people like Perez Hilton (or whatever his real name is) pushing the envelope to the extreme in an effort obviously to gain attention to his lifestyle and sell that lifestyle as the preferred way of engaging one another.Quote:
Do we "compassionately accept" heterosexuality without endorsing it? No, we simply accept it. I believe the same should be true of homosexuality although I will not pretend that I am there yet myself.
Also, the propagandizing of the minority issue with regards to homosexual relations keeps people who otherwise would not give a rip all worked up...this thread is a prime example.
Slick Willie actually did something right when he promoted "don't ask-don't tell".