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Why gay marriage is inevitable


This news story was published on February 15, 2012.
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MCT FORUM – By Michael Klarman, Los Angeles Times –

The year 2012 is shaping up as a big one for same-sex marriage. Last week, the Washington state legislature passed a bill allowing gay marriage, and legislatures in Maryland and New Jersey may follow suit soon (though New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has promised a veto). North Carolina and Minnesota are conducting referendums this year on constitutional amendments to bar gay marriage, and Maine is likely to conduct a referendum on legalizing it.

On Tuesday, the U.S. 9th Court of Appeals reminded us that courts too have something to say on the subject. In a case challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, that court ruled in favor of gay marriage. Because its ruling was so narrow that it may not be applicable outside California, the U.S. Supreme Court may decide not to review this decision. Eventually, though, the Supreme Court will take a gay marriage case. How might the justices decide it when they do?

As recently as seven or eight years ago, there might not have been a single justice prepared to declare a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Opinion polls then showed that Americans opposed gay marriage by a 2-1 margin, and a Massachusetts court decision declaring a right to gay marriage under the state constitution produced an enormous political backlash in 2004, with 13 states enacting constitutional bans. Even liberal justices such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, who probably sympathize with gay marriage, might well have been wary of venturing too far in advance of public opinion and stoking further political backlash.

The situation has since changed dramatically. Opinion polls now consistently show that a slender majority of Americans support gay marriage. State supreme courts in California, Connecticut and Iowa have ruled in its favor, and legislatures in five states have enacted gay-marriage statutes. If liberal judges on state supreme courts now regularly support gay marriage, liberal justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are likely to do so as well.

A number of constitutional issues today — abortion, affirmative action, campaign finance reform and the death penalty — divide the Supreme Court 5 to 4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the critical swing vote. How might Kennedy approach the gay-marriage issue?

Kennedy often converts dominant social mores into constitutional commands to bring outlier states into line with the majority. In this case, the states that allow gay marriage are in a distinct minority, suggesting he might be reluctant to identify such a constitutional right.

On the other hand, Kennedy has written the court’s only two decisions supporting gay rights, and he comes from a part of the country — Northern California — where support for gay marriage is strong. Moreover, Kennedy seems especially attuned to his historical legacy, and if gay marriage is inevitable, then a court ruling in its favor will probably be seen one day as the Brown v. Board of Education of the gay rights movement.

Why is gay marriage inevitable? First, the basic insight of the gay rights movement over the last four decades has proved powerfully correct: As more gays and lesbians have come out of the closet, the social environment has become more gay friendly. In turn, as the social environment has become more hospitable, more gays and lesbians have felt free to come out of the closet. This social dynamic is powerfully reinforcing and unlikely to be reversed.

One factor that most strongly predicts support for gay equality is knowing someone who is gay. As more gays and lesbians come out of the closet, more parents, children, siblings, friends, neighbors and co-workers know or love someone who is gay. Because few people favor discrimination against those they know and love, every gay person coming out of the closet creates more supporters of gay equality.

The number of Americans reporting that they know somebody who is openly gay tripled between 1985 and 2000, reaching 75 percent. One study in 2004 found that among those who reported knowing someone who is gay, 65 percent favored either gay marriage or civil unions, while only 35 percent of those who reported not knowing any gay people supported them.

A second reason that gay marriage seems inevitable is that young people so strongly support it. One study by political scientists found a gap of 44 percentage points between the oldest and youngest survey respondents in their attitudes toward gay marriage. A 2011 poll found that 70 percent of those age 18 to 34 supported gay marriage. It is hard to imagine a scenario in which young people’s support for gay marriage dissipates as they grow older.

The trend in favor of gay marriage has accelerated dramatically in the last three years. Before 2009, the annual rate of increase in support for gay marriage was about 1.5 percentage points, but since then it has been closer to 4 percentage points. Statistical models predict that in another dozen years, every state will have a majority in favor of gay marriage.

In recent years, many conservatives have begun to acknowledge the inevitability of gay marriage, even as they continue to strongly oppose it. In March 2011, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on a Christian radio program that “it is clear that something like same-sex marriage … is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture.”

“It’s time,” he continued, “for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.”

That a particular social change may be inevitable, given certain background conditions, does not mean that opponents will cease fighting it. White Southerners continued to massively resist Brown long after most of them came to believe that school desegregation was inevitable.

Similarly, those who believe that gay marriage contravenes God’s will are not likely to stop fighting it simply because their prospects of success are diminishing. Moreover, because religious conservatives are both intensely opposed to gay marriage and highly mobilized politically, they are likely for the next several years to continue exerting significant influence over Republican politicians who need their support to win primary elections.

Although the ultimate outcome of the contest over gay marriage no longer seems in doubt, plenty of fighting remains until that battle is over.

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98 Responses to Why gay marriage is inevitable

  1. Avatar

    Out Of The Mouth Of Babes! Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Jason said: And I have yet to see I have yet to witness a child who has responded uncomfortably or negatively at seeing same sex interaction.

    Jason,

    I have witnessed a child’s reaction to gays kissing.

    Last Christmas, in our family, we have a sister-in-law who brought her mate with her to Christmas dinner.

    After diner, relaxing with conversation, the gay couple started kissing. Grandma and Grandpa kissed too while wishing each other a Merry Christmas with blessing.

    My 8 year old niece was watching the gay couple kiss and when she saw them kissing she just stopped and said in a fairly loud voice that stopped the room, “YUK”!

    It was spontaneous and totally a personal response from a child. Knowing her parents as I do and they are quite liberal, I know they have never exposed my niece to anything negative about homosexuality.

    The YUK stopped the discussion and everyone was quite uncomfortable. The gay couple were embarrassed and left the family gathering. We asked them to overlook the comment but they just couldn’t handle it. Everyone was very polite to the couple but they choose to drive back to Des Moines.

    For me it was a “head shaker.”

    I don’t think same sex anything is normal. No matter how long you try to say it is, it still defies nature. Sooner or later society will come to it’s senses!

    • Avatar

      Jason Reply Report comment

      March 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      2 identical posts by 2 different names. Use one name pleas.

      Now the child will react as he is taught by the parents. Like I posted, I have never seen a child react negatively to a public display by a gay couple. Just must be the quality of the people I know.

  2. Avatar

    Zoo Reply Report comment

    March 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Its basic civil rights, separate is not “equaly” which is why we no long have “colored” schools or “colored” washrooms set aside from the white facilities.

    Marriage is CIVIL contract law and has nothing to do with the church, in fact, you don’t need achurch to get married, you DO have to buy a state issued license like you have to buy for your dog or to drive a car.

    The money for the fees go to the STATE not the church.

    Since it is civil contract law “the church” has no say in the matter, none, the state also has no legal jurisdiction from prohibiting two adults from entering into that contract any more than the state can forbid two adults from drawing up and signing a contract to enter into a legal business partnership.

  3. Avatar

    observer Reply Report comment

    March 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Being gay doesn’t necessarily mean one is a pervert. Being heterosexual doesn’t necessarily mean one isn’t a pervert. Having said that, all couples should have the same benefits, but if same sex call something other than marriage!

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      Funny, I don’t recall typing that comment.

  4. Avatar

    disgusting Reply Report comment

    March 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    ALL Gays should be set aside from the rest of us. One by one burnt at the stake!

  5. Avatar

    Surprised Reply Report comment

    March 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I’m surprised by the number of commenters on here that are tolerant or supportive of gay marriage. Good on you!

    And here I thought Mason City was too conservative to believe in equal rights for all Americans, not just members of their chosen faith…

    Maybe I judged this website too early!

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Equal protection under the law can go both ways. I bet they would feel ill used if the shoe was on the other foot, and they were the target.

  6. Avatar

    Society has gone bezerk! Reply Report comment

    February 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I had a high school teacher 50 years ago that someday we would become so liberal in our thinking that reason and logic will be defied.

    Well, here we are. People think poking something up your ass feels great. Talk about emotions out of control. Loving the same sex in a sexual manor isn’t normal no matter how many times you say it is ok or “normal.

    Men are being taught to act and dress like women and women are dressing and acting like they have a set of balls. That is so not sexy. YUK!

    I am sure in terms of % those loony folks that do perform sex acts on one another are small, but still there are many normal folks that think it’s ok. Just don’t hurt their “feelings.” They are so lustful the dam dummies don’t know they are hurting themselves. It sure is ugly to watch. Today’s people are really off the deep end if think all this shit is normal!

    • Avatar

      just me Reply Report comment

      February 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      You sound like you have some first hand knowledge.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 22, 2012 at 5:16 am

        Knowledge? This queer shit is in the frigging news every day being shoved down our throat. It’s all a bunch of negative BS and it’s ruining our culture.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Same sex anything may not be normal for you, I can assure you it is not for me. If you teach your kids it’s wrong, fine, that your prerogative.

      But there comes a fine line, one that separates our beliefs according to faith, and on the other side, our laws we pass to protect everyone. If two people who love each other are restricted in wanting to get married, then it would be acceptable to restrict those who want a divorce. Or those who of different races who want to marry. Or those who are of two different nationalities, or different religions. The list goes on of people to exclude.

      If you really desire to end marriages between same sex couples, the only way to go about it is to remove equal rights under the law from all Constitutions. Eliminate them, and the laws associated with them. Then, you can exclude anyone you wish.

      But, given what is contained in our Constitutions, I find it stupid that we are even having this conversation. And no one thus far, has been able to contradict the decision, based on Law, in Varnum v. Polk County.

    • Avatar

      zoo Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Well, here we are. People think poking something up your ass feels great.

      You see to think all gay activities involve the anus, you would be as wrong as assuming all heterosexual acts involve the anus. Most gay men prefer the penis and oral.

      <i?Loving the same sex in a sexual manor isn’t normal no matter how many times you say it is ok or “normal.

      Says whom? if you are going to claim sex is ONLY for producing babies you’d be wrong, love is love, sex for recreation is sex for recreation, and for recreational purposes it doesn’t MATTER what people to to get to the big “o” as long as they do.

      Men are being taught to act and dress like women and women are dressing and acting like they have a set of balls. That is so not sexy. YUK!

      Oh, they teach them now? where is the class for this in school I wonder?
      Where does it say men must wear pants and women wear dresses?
      What about the kilts (dresses) men wear in Scotland? or the bifurcated work kilts sold on Amazon and mens retail shops because they are more ventilated and comfortable than tight fitting pants in the summer heat?

      Women have dressed up in men’s clothes for decades now, you see women wearing mens pants, shirts, ties, blazers,and cut their hair short like a man’s, personally I think they look ugly and unsexy but it’s not my right to tell them they cant or shouldnt.

      They are so lustful the dam dummies don’t know they are hurting themselves.

      Where are they “hurting” themselves? seems to me the hurting is not them it’s idiots like you posting garbage against them like you did here, THERE’S the real shame.

  7. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    February 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    You bible thumpers should know that the bible is a book written by men to control other men. Good morals are not necessarily because of the bible.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    This summer at a family reunion two gay women were kissing in front of the family. I guess they wanted to make a statement or something.

    My 7 year old niece brought the house down with laughter when she seen them kissing. She abruptly stood up and with everybody watching and not knowing what to make of this display she said, “Oh ick, why are you girls kissing?”

    The two gay girls were very embarrassed and quickly left the party. No one said a word.

    Out of the mouth of babes!

    • Avatar

      Jason Reply Report comment

      February 21, 2012 at 5:33 am

      Truely, “out of the mouth of babes” you can find the bigotry and hated of the parents freely expressed.

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 21, 2012 at 7:56 am

        I have yet to witness a child who hasn’t responded uncomfortably or negatively at seeing same sex interaction. In small communities to larger cities.

        To say a child is a bigot, actually turns it on the accuser.

        I laugh that when you have pride in being white you are a racist, if you do not agree with G&L lifestyles you are a bigot, if you hate the Vikings you must be a cheesehead.

      • Avatar

        Jason Reply Report comment

        February 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        And I have yet to see I have yet to witness a child who has responded uncomfortably or negatively at seeing same sex interaction. In small communities to larger cities.

        I imagine the difference is the quality of the people we each choose to associate with.

        The child is not the bigot, it know no better. THe parents however are a different story.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2012 at 5:16 am

        Jason,

        I have witnessed a child’s reaction to gays kissing.

        Last Christmas, in our family, we have a sister-in-law who brought her mate with her to Christmas dinner.

        After diner, relaxing with conversation, the gay couple started kissing. Grandma and Grandpa kissed too while wishing each other a Merry Christmas with blessing.

        My 8 year old niece was watching the gay couple kiss and when she saw them kissing she just stopped and said in a fairly loud voice that stopped the room, “YUK”!

        It was spontaneous and totally a personal response from a child. Knowing her parents as I do and they are quite liberal, I know they have never exposed my niece to anything negative about homosexuality.

        The YUK stopped the discussion and everyone was quite uncomfortable. The gay couple were embarrassed and left the family gathering. We asked them to overlook the comment but they just couldn’t handle it. Everyone was very polite to the couple but they choose to drive back to Des Moines.

        For me it was a “head shaker.”

        I don’t think same sex anything is normal. No matter how long you try to say it is, it still defies nature. Sooner or later society will come to it’s senses!

  9. Avatar

    heartless people holding us back Reply Report comment

    February 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    For those of you against the gay life style this is fine its your opinion however to say this particular group of people are perverts, sinners, or a waste to society is beyond wrong! To say keep these people away from children their no rolemodels or ban their rights is ridiculous. You as parents choose what your children are exposed to as they grow….and to judge a group as a whole on perverts is stupid its like saying all preist are pedophiles. People need to learn we live in a country of equality. Their for treat all with respect until they do something to wrong you. Then and only then can they be judged and I’m sorry choosing to love the same sex isn’t causing harm to anyone! Grow up and learn to accept things different from your self !

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      we also live in a land of reason.

      There is no reason for homosexuality.

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

        I don’t think I have ever heard it that way, but I agree, there is no reason.

  10. Avatar

    Jay Crespie Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I would never laeve my child in the care of a homsexual. I also wouln’t leave it with a catholic priest. The tempatations are too strong for them.

    • Avatar

      voice of reason Reply Report comment

      February 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      Your thought process makes as much sense as if I were to ask you if you were unsafe to leave a child of the opposite sex with because you might be tempted to rape them???

  11. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

    As distastful as it may seem, that segment of political society can take comfort they are not alone. Their thinking equates with the family of Westboro Baptist Church. I am sure Vander Platts and gang would feel right at home with the Phelp’s.

  12. Avatar

    common sense Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 1:36 am

    The bible says divorce is a sin! So why don’t you bible thumpers outlaw that? Christians think that a jew cant get into heaven if he doesn’t believe that jesus is gods son, but a child molester who repents on his death bed makes it!Sounds fishy to me I won’t waste my life worrying about what might happen after i’m dead. Don’t need a book to tell if your a good person. Many religions around before christianty and they should just jump on your bandwagon. The government should stay out of the marriage business and only issue civil contracts and let the churches marry whoever they want.

    • Avatar

      Carl Palmer Reply Report comment

      February 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Too true. Couldn’t have said it any better!!!!

  13. Avatar

    some comments Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 12:22 am

    It is interesting to me that some folks are having fits over the mandatory birth control coverage debate within Catholic institutions because the govt is trampling on religious freedoms, but do not see an issue with trying to trample on constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens for equal treatment under the law.

    If you don’t approve of the teaching of Islam…then don’t practice the faith. If you don’t approve of carrying a gun…don’t own a gun and if you don’t approve of the gay lifestyle or gay marriage…don’t take part in that lifestyle.

    However, DO respect and protect the right to do these things of those people that choose to.

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    A mental illness or birth defect. Either way those that do it are nuts. While I really don’t care what those goof balls do behind closed doors they should really keep it out of the realm of role modeling. You can convince any dummy of anything including strapping a bomb on themselves and killing a bunch of people to get some virgins in paradise. Legal or not poking something up your butt is insane. Then they can’t procreate. Far as I’m concerned it just lust nothing more. At the end of the day their a bunch of sexual perverts in lust, but they’ll call it love.

    • Avatar

      Porter Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      This may be one of the most bigoted comments i ever have read. Ever since I moved to this area these are the kind of people I have met.Yes I AM gay but WILL NOT come out of the closet until I move as far from here as possible.

      • Avatar

        Good on You Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        Thank you for staying in the closet. I can really respect that. I don’t see these comments as bigoted. Someone was just being honest about how he sees this behaviour.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Gee, they said about the same thing in Virginia about 1966. They could not believe that a black woman marrying a white man was normal, that it was perverted, that no bible believing person would approve of it. Well guess what, it was unconstitutional then, and it is today.

      Only great social conservatives such as Vander Platts have license to think like that.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 3:12 am

        Race and sex are not the same. You don’t seem to be to bright. There is no comparison!

      • Avatar

        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 9:10 am

        Under the law, it is the same. In both cases that were pointed out, people were being judged on what they were. Not how they behaved, not who they were, but what.

        Hem and haw all you wish, the courts thus far, have determined that a person may not be excluded because of what they are.

        I am a blue eyed, blonde haired German, should I be excluded from certain segments or activities of society which are granted to all people? What about Russians? Or Arabs? Let’s exclude those pesky Latvians, all they really do is write rotten code. Who’s next on your lists?

  15. Avatar

    CONFUSED Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    wHY IS IT THAT IF i SAY “i HAVE A BLACK FRIEND”, THAT MAKES ME RACIST, BUT IF YOU SAY “i HAVE GAY FRIENDS”, THAT MAKES YOU AN AUTHORITY. dOUBLE STANDARD?

  16. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Marriage is a legal agreement between two individuals. Weddings are religious ceremonies. That is the separation between church and state. Everyone should have the right to get married. If a church chooses not to allow gays to have a gay wedding in their church, so be it.

    Gay people can’t help who they fall in love with any more than straight people can. Gays were tortured for years and forced to hide their feelings and lifestyles. They are consenting adults who are not hurting anyone else. At last they can live openly and be who they are. I went to school with several people who turned out to be gays or lesbians. I could no more shun them than any other person I care about.

    I attended a 4-year religious college and the first thing I learned in my religion class was that the Bible was a collection of stories written by MEN and that prophecies were stories about the past and not predictions of the future. This was backed up by history and archaeology taken from the biblical passages themselves. Old testament “prophecies” were written AFTER new testament stories that they supposedly foretold, based on the founding dates of cities, types of metal alloys used in tools, weapons, etc. The Bible was a HISTORY book and had to be studied as such instead of read as something to be read and accepted as a naive Sunday school kid. In fact, the professor told us the most damaging thing that churches do is to teach Sunday school stories to kids the way they do. I was so greatly relieved because I had never been able to accept the religious brainwashing that was done to me as a kid. I no longer had to accept everything in the Bible as the word of God. That professor gave me the freedom to look at it objectively.

    Remember, the Bible was written by men. What is said in there is the opinion of the man who wrote it. Many books were left out of the Bible at the whim of other MEN. They are called the apocryphal books. Perhaps one of them was written by a gay man? I’m sure many of you zealots still do not accept the idea that Jesus was married, had children, or had siblings. The books that mention some of this were left out of the current version of the Bible from all the books that were available at the time on the whim of the men who compiled it. The Bible was assembled by men. It was a very political event. If you don’t believe me, Google it.

    • Avatar

      happy Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      I agree with you 100% Katie. You said it better than I could. What goes on between man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman is their business andtheirs alone.

    • Avatar

      just me Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      How the hell do you know who wrote the bible? Were you there? It is a book nothing, more nothing less. Lets all live by a Stephen King book. They are a lot more interesting. A true christian wouldn’t condem anyone for the way they choose to live.

      • Avatar

        Katie Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        My point exactly. No one knows who wrote the bible. No one was there and it is just a book – a history book. Books on philosophy and psychiatry are a lot more interesting and meaningful to me.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 16, 2012 at 3:18 am

      Katie,

      I care what goes on between everyone. I don’t want perverted role models teaching the children that this sexual perversion shit is normal. Like you I don’t care what any two people do when they keep it to themselves and they don’t hurt anyone else. In this case, keep it in the closest because I don’t want children to start being exposed to negative circumstances that bring shame and guilt they have to live with the rest of their lives. I also don’t want to encourage the spread of STD’s. We need to care about theses things.

      • Avatar

        just me Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

        I don’t want my children to see dumbass ignorant people how about you find a closet anonymous.

      • Avatar

        some comments Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

        The shame and guilt you are worried about for children is caused by backwards attitudes and discriminatory thinking that is thrown upon them by people such as yourself.

      • Avatar

        just me Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

        Some comments, my children are well rounded, nonpredjudiced people. They see people as people, not a tag because the dirtbags hiding behind thier bullshit religious beliefs say its wrong. They are 3.5 gpa students that do attend church. Our church teaches love and acceptance, not hate and bigotry. People like you show hate and anger because you don’t understand other peoples lives, or perhaps it is your way to cover your own homosexual urges!

      • Avatar

        some comments Reply Report comment

        February 17, 2012 at 1:06 am

        just me-

        You apparently not follow the thread correctly. My comment was aimed at Anonymous above and agrees wholeheartedly with your own views. He/she commented that the shame associated with homosexuality was something he/she did not want children to experience. My comment simply implied that any shame in society about the gay lifestyle is something that is created by backwards and bigoted people in the world who, like you said do not understand or tolerate other beliefs or lifestyles.

        I commend you for raising well adjusted, compassionate children…I too strive to instill the same in my own children. However, please make sure you fully follow the comments before jumping in with attacks aimed in the wrong direction. Thanks!

      • Avatar

        just me Reply Report comment

        February 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

        You are right. I’m sorry my comment was not for you.

      • Avatar

        Zoo Reply Report comment

        March 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

        I also don’t want to encourage the spread of STD’s. We need to care about theses things.

        You don’t even give one iota about that, you added that as a hysterics producing addition to the real comment you made- you just hate gay people and want to hide that under the guise of “concern” about STD’s

        FACT- HIV and AIDS are the fastest growing STD’s today not among gay men, but HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN in AFRICA!

        During 2010, some 2.7 million people became infected with HIV, including an estimated 390,000 children. Most of these children are babies born to women with HIV, who acquire the virus during pregnancy, labour or delivery, or through breast milk.

        Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the region most-affected by the AIDS epidemic. The region has just over 12% of the world’s population, but is home to 68% of all people living with HIV. An estimated 1.9 million adults and children became infected with HIV during 2010 – contributing to a total of 22.9 million people living with HIV in the region. Adult HIV prevalence varies considerably across sub-Saharan Africa – from 0.2% in Madagascar to almost 26% in Swaziland.

        Women are particularly affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa; an estimated 59% of people living with HIV in the region are women.

        Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22.9 million people are living with HIV in the region – around two thirds of the global total.1 In 2010 around 1.2 million people died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.9 million people became infected with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic 14.8 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS.

        In many African countries, sexual relationships are dominated by men, meaning that women cannot always practice safer sex even when they know the risks involved. Attempts are currently being made to develop a microbicide – a cream or gel that can be applied to the vagina, preventing HIV infection – which could be a significant breakthrough in protecting women against HIV.

  17. Avatar

    Watcher Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Two books on which this country was founded, the Bible and The New England Primer. To say this country was not founded on the principles of Christianity is to ignore the facts written on marble slabs on monuments and buildings from early Americana. All throughout these buildings are the physical reminders of what this country was built upon. We are becoming what we came here to escape, a bureaucratic run nation, where dollars mean more then morals.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Then how does one account for the first Amendment, keeping religion and secular government separate?

      And what about equality? Are those just mere words interjected into the Constitution? I remind you, even today our Constitution(s) remain the Supreme law of the land.

      I refuse to believe that one segment of society should be held to a different standard than the rest. This is the year 2012, not 1859.

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 8:12 am

        “Then how does one account for the first Amendment, keeping religion and secular government separate?”

        Oh ignorant people, study before you type. The separation of Church and State was to protect the Church from the State not the other liberal way around.

        “The original constitution of the United States that was ratified in 1789 had only one reference to religion: [Article 6] No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

        “The de facto motto of the United States, adopted as part of the Great Seal of the U.S. an Act of Congress in 1782, was E. Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One). Congress changes it 174 years later (1956) to “In God We Trust.””

        “The original ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ was written in 1892 by Baptist Minister Francis Bellamy who DID NOT INCLUDE the words “under God.” Those were added by Congress 62 years later (1954).
        The U.S. didn’t issue Paper Currency until 1861, and ‘In God We Trust’ didn’t appear on it for 96 years (1957).”

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 8:13 am

        “And what about equality?” This statement was not a law, it was recognition:

        “All men are created equal” is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, The word “equality” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, 14th Amendment guarantees “equal protection of the laws”

        When you get educated and state fact… we can talk.

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        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 8:17 am

        So what you are saying is that those that appose gay marriage on the moral principal must be “Held to a different standard” then those that approve!? Look around, read the crime blotters, the economic news, our educators get paid less than our trash collectors, the moral compass of this country is facing. King George tried to push his ungodly morals on the early colonists also… see where that got him.

        The socialist skew of the word tolerance will not be the demise of this country that I love. Get educated people… and vote responsibly!!

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        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

        For the purposes of this discussion, amendments to the Constitution(s) are as binding as the initial seven articles. At least that was the intention of Article Five, Section one.

        Jefferson’s letters clearly make the case for the First Amendment with his “wall of Separation” argument. Madison called it a “Great Barrier”. That is how I justify the First Amendment. And judging from legal cases in the past, it is exactly what the First Amendment does. It keeps Government out of religion, and from establishing any form of religion.

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        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

        Equality, while not specifically word for word mentioned, equates Liberty. Those “Blessings of Liberty” extend to more than just the word for word text of the Constitution. Indeed, every case which interpreted the content of the Constitution, extended those liberties we fight to keep.

        While the “equal protection under law” as found in the Fourteenth Amendment is perhaps the only finding of “equality”, it’s concept goes deeper. As one writer put it, those amendments were protections of liberty. Liberties that had already existed, but rendered specific guarantees.

        Those liberties, or rights came from a simple sentence in the Declaration of Independence. It moved Lincoln to make it the basis of his political ideals. And I know no other person in history to have concerned his life to freedom and equality than Abe.

        How else can it be but from a man who wrote: “Four Score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, and new nation, so conceived and so dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. I need not go on.

        That the word equality, was not uttered, nor printed in the Constitution, it’s ideals, it’s concept were clearly spelled out.

    • Avatar

      Watcher Reply Report comment

      February 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

      You quote Jefferson who died in 1826, the facts that I stated above were acts done by OUR government in regards to the acknowledgment of God and Government. Also another fact, the Amendments 14-24 were proposed after 1865. You want to hold true to what YOU believe Jefferson stated, but yet many others after him made changes most pointing to a morally bound United States.

      Nice cut and paste though, I forgive you for mistaking the Constitution for the Declaration. MC education system was never that advanced from “See Spot Run” from what I understand.

      • Avatar

        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

        I was not an attendee of any school in Iowa. And I use no cut and paste when spelling out my own beliefs.

        I know that Jefferson wrote about the “Wall of Separation”. Why? Because it was contained in a letter to a Church in New England. His line of thinking about the division, the “wall” was clear in his “Notes on the State of Virginia” (I have no idea if they were prior to, or after the letter to the Church). I would say earlier since, his “Notes on Virginia” did first contain the Consititution of Virginia, to which he had a great deal of influence.

        You will find those passages in Jefferson’s “Notes on Virginia” a compelling argument that the idea of church and state separation predated the U.S. Constitution. And not just Jefferson was writing about it.

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      Observer Reply Report comment

      February 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      I cannot account for everyone, but I know why my great grandparents came here. To escape communism and it’s terror.

      But if we look at the complexion of the earliest arrivals in the Colonies, we will note that they did keep together by religions. Some even became prior to our Constitution, the official religion of the state. They came here because of religious freedom.

      That there would be no persecution based upon what they believed. Ask the Anabaptists.

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        You just have to love the liberal/socialist definition of liberty/tolerance.

        It is not facts in which you keep spouting that cloud the truths in which this nation was formed. This country was sought out to escape the politically corrupt morals that England had become so comfortable with. We were founded on one faith and one faith alone, and anyone with any education on that would know. Sadly we are rewriting this to make us comfortable with our selfish and Godless morals.

        The writings of our forefathers proclaim this load and clear.

        It is those with no moral compass that wish to cloud the waters, so they don’t have to feel guilty of accountable to anyone, especially to the One who created them.
        And for the record, I do not hate homosexuality, I have friends that feel this is what they are. I hang with them, I don’t pass judgment on them, and I love them. I do not agree with their choice and they know this but don’t reject them, and they in turn do not push their choice on me.

      • Avatar

        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

        “We were founded on one faith and one faith alone, and anyone with any education on that would know.”

        One faith, and one faith alone? No. You had the Puritans, the Quakers, Roman Catholics, English Catholics, Calvinists, Church of England, Pilgrims, Protestants, Presyterian, Dutch Reformed Church, and of course Anabaptists. And that’s the main groups.

        “This country was sought out to escape the politically corrupt morals that England had become so comfortable with.”

        That explains the Anabaptists from Lower Germany? Or the Dutch Reformed from the Netherlands? Or New France with their Catholics (Roman variety)? It was not just the Church of England that had become intolerable (or George either for that matter).

        It is that tolerance, that made the colonies a destination for so many faiths. It is still that tolerance that we respect relgions other than our own. Religions that as was said by one of the Founders, between a man and his god, and not his Government.

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        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

        “You had the Puritans, the Quakers, Roman Catholics, English Catholics, Calvinists, Church of England, Pilgrims, Protestants, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed Church, and of course Anabaptists. And that’s the main groups.”

        All base on One God and the same book. Yes how people follow it will always be different, we are human to say the least.

        Then you threw out a lot of cloudy blah blah blah, and not one historical fact or detail to match up to your accounts. As for Anabaptists (which I don’t know why you keep needing to refer to)? Can you show me one major historical point that connects them to our founding of our country and our establishment of our laws?

        Glad you can sleep with your morals, I sure couldn’t.

        The moral compass of America is facing south, we have given up liberty for selfishness and morals for tolerance. But I vote… and I will always make it clear what the facts are.

      • Avatar

        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 17, 2012 at 10:03 am

        When it comes to religious persecution, I would have to say that the Anabaptists had suffered their lot in a desire to follow their faith. One can also point to the antics in Mitchell County to see that even today, they are being forced to abide in ways not accepted by their faith.

        One God, yes. But each faith has it’s definitions of morals, and how to deal with them. When I see a sinner, I pity and pray for them, but in no way do I seek to change secular rules. Those secular rules by the way, may reflect some religions, but surely not all.

        I have to admit that while those secular rules do not follow my faith, they are a system put in place for the good of all. Can you see an ultra-orthodox Jew demanding laws being enacted to prohibit labor on the Sabbath (sundown Friday night). Catholics would be up in arms, as well as Dutch Reformists.

        Because we live in a country where so many faiths occupy the space, and each with their own level of what is the expected norm through their teachings, we have that protection in the Constitution. No one religion may then dictate the rules or laws to others. Your personal expecations are just that, yours. They may not (and do not) equate with other religions. And that is okay by me.

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

        And I walk away from this debate for one reason only. You do not even answer the questions asked about your statements.

        Very liberal of you, all talk, no answers.

      • Avatar

        Watcher Reply Report comment

        February 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        Observer – “Constitution. No one religion may then dictate the rules or laws to others.”

        Watcher – Actual Costitution. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

        Sorry I lied, I am also leaving this debate due to a very liberal and incorrect quotings of our Nations standards in which we stand upon.

    • Avatar

      common sense Reply Report comment

      February 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      who you fooling many of the founding fathers were slave owners how moral is that! Slavery was left alone because it would have ruined the economy, money prevailed over morals! All men are created equal which sounds great but in practice was if you are of color a woman or white but poor you had no vote! Sounds like the country was founded on Racism,Sexism and class warfare!

      • Avatar

        Observer Reply Report comment

        February 19, 2012 at 2:45 am

        The man who penned “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” was indeed a slave owner. It is also purported that he fathered children with one slave.

        That proves to me one thing, he is a human as the rest of us.

        That same man wrote, well before the Constitution the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Later as President, he wrote in a letter: “I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it’s exercises, it’s discipline, or it’s doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them.” His ‘Wall of Separation’.

        Those are the words of one of the Founders. His concern with dictating behaviors by one religion upon the people. His work, along with other Founders such as Madison, to end Government support of churches is well known.

        Our courts have backed up the idea of making sure religion was not interjected into the Secular government, while at the same time, ensuring Government left religion alone.

        In one case (I use it often because it is a landmark decision) Yoder v. Wisconsin prohibited the Government to force precepts upon a religion. The other great example was in Mitchell County where a law was made to address members of a certain religion (not my words, but the words of the Court).

        So just because the words say: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”, does not make it cut and dry. It is up to our Courts to decide the full meaning. And they have, which is why my comment followed: “No one religion may then dictate the rules or laws to others”. I have used Founders thoughts, quotes, and writings, as well as court cases to substantiate what I said.

    • Avatar

      Zoo Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Notice that the constitution and the bill of rights do not mention bible, god or ten commandments.
      The founding father- Washington was a deist, Jefferson put together his own version of a bible.
      They were adamant about govt and religion not getting mixed up, because when it did and religion took over, you got the “witch” trials, the “witch” burnings, the sunday blue laws, the blasphemy laws and the CHURCH deciding people’s rights and laws.

      People came here to escape that tyrany in the UK

  18. Avatar

    Clergy Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The real question is: What would Jesus do?

    • Avatar

      Joe Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Who cares..WJWD??

      • Avatar

        Clergy Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        Joe, please stop and think about what you are saying. You celebrate Christmas, yes? You DO believe that Christ died for your sins, yes? Would Jesus smile upon a man laying with another man? I think not, and you also not he would now.

      • Avatar

        Jason Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

        Clergy, please stop and think about what you are saying. Do YOU celebrate Christmas? Which one? The one adapted by Christians from the mid-winters celebration of the Pagans? Or the new consumer driven one? And no Christ did not die for my sins, your faith states that he did so (for you); but anything else is a belief and is pure speculation. Other than your Bible there is no proof that Christ existed (again a belief). Unlike you, I won’t speculate on what a divine spirit might or might not do.

      • Avatar

        just me Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        Mabey Jesus was gay, mabey not, he’s dead who cares. And if you believe he died for all of our sins, and you believe being gay is a sin than Jesus died to take care of being gay, so it’s ok!

      • Avatar

        Doris Miller Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

        How someone could assert that Jesus could have been gay is beyond me. The man was a GOD. He came to earth to HELP poor sinners like many of you reading right here, especially the gays and lesbians. Good Christians who are looking forward to ETERNAL LIFE do not say that Jesus could have been gay. He lived a perfect life and existance, please remember this is PROVED in the bible, which was written by GOD.

      • Avatar

        just me Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm

        Doris see my comment above. I guess it was gods will that it posted in the wrong place

    • Avatar

      Zoo Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      christmas is a commercialized 4 months long sales ad for stores now, that’s all it is- about how many SALES the stores will make to get into the black on the books.
      The jesus fiction has largely gone by the wayside, fewer care about a 2000 year old legend designed to create fear and control people, their lives, thoughts, and more importantly forced them under fear of hell to tithe to the rich and ever richer church to be “saved.”

      This planet is an insignicant speck of grit in a cosmos of untold trillions and trillions of planets and galaxies, to think we are so self important that some invisible santa claus out there gives a rat’s fat behind about us or what we do, let alone what we THINK- just proves how self important we THINK we are.

      Fact is there are hundreds of religions and beliefs out there, they all have legends, stories and books, and not one of them is correct.

      As a pagan I am personally offended by this annual garbage sale-a-thon that now starts before thanksgiving and goes on into February called xmas.
      The PAGAN December celebrations were HIJACKED by the christians- look up the history, and that jesus figure was NOT born in December at all- that was a made-up date for convenience.

  19. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    It’s a sign of the times. Different strokes for different folks (No pun intended). I believe in live and let live. It does make me uncomfortable but then again I don’t have to live with them. I know a few who seem to be decent people and somewhat intelligent.

  20. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Brett, it went for a vote in California. But our Constitution says that you cannot discriminate, so that vote is in question, and will end up before SCOTUS.

    If your church decides to not allow it, that’s fine, it’s their choice within the congregation. However, they may not try and rule for all of society. And indeed, they cannot violate the Constitution.

    Were you asleep in High School when they went over the Constitution and law? You don’t seem to grasp that you cannot treat one group of people differently than the rest. Unless of course you are Bob Vander Platts or his new friend, Rick Santorum.

    • Avatar

      Lawrence Tully Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 11:18 am

      I can’t speak for others but I will say that I and my wife of 28 years will attend no church organization that allows this blasphemy to continue. Read your Bible and pray for forgiveness.

      • Avatar

        just me Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm

        I’m sure they would miss you. Hahaha

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2012 at 4:46 am

      These kinds of Queer groups didn’t exist when the Constitution was written!

      Clean your lenses.

  21. Avatar

    Porter Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Look I have a lot of gay friends some of them are married and guess what, the law says they can be married. I am really so sick of people trying to force their “morals” on good people!! Get a life!!!

    • Avatar

      Cola Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Amen. I have a family member that is gay. Will I let them watch my daughter? Absolutely. Am I afraid that “the gay will rub off”? Absolutely not!

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        February 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        you talk silly, you let your children take a liberal approach to the gay lifestyle and they will experiment with it because you said is was ok by giving it your approval.

        Some day this is going to come back and shit in your nest!

      • Avatar

        Zoo Reply Report comment

        March 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        Amen. I have a family member that is gay. Will I let them watch my daughter? Absolutely. Am I afraid that “the gay will rub off”? Absolutely not!

        I would be far more concerned about those priests who diddle little boys that the church has protected and shielded for decades- moving them from parish to parish where they raped more little boys.
        Just read the story about Richard Kuklinski the serial killer, he was raised catholic by his mother who became an ultra religious fanatic. Rich even became an altar boy and in the book on him he mentioned how 2 priests tried to molest him, and how the nuns used to crack his fingers with a metal ruler and generally abused him.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2012 at 4:44 am

        I would worry about both the Queers and Queer Priests if I were you!

  22. Avatar

    Verne Carmody Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Gay marriage is not how the lord intended, the bible states a man shall not lay with another man. I do not know how our country got this far off kilter but I will be voting NO on gay marriage. I hope everyone ready this does too.

    • Avatar

      Tony Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Too bad the bible is fiction.

      • Avatar

        Lawrence Tully Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

        Billions of people would disagree with that sad statement.

      • Avatar

        Blah Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

        It is also sad that people are so hateful against somebody else because of who they choose to be with. And I am sure there are a billion atheists out there as well.

      • Avatar

        Kinkyh Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

        And what superstition does tully believe in?

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

      I am voting the way our Constitution guides us. I recall that while the Bible guides my life, I cannot control the behaviors of others. I also know that there is a separation between church and state, and thus, I cannot let my beliefs dictate societal rules.

      I openly wonder, what ever happened to “love thy neighbor as thyself”? Has it been replaced by “I am an Evangelical, and thus you must measure up to my rules”? Or is it “my beliefs say you are a lesser person than I am, and thus you don’t deserve the same treatment”?

      As a human and a Catholic, that aint what we were taught in High School theology.

    • Avatar

      Cola Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      remember that the bible also says that it is ok and tells how to treat slaves.

    • Avatar

      Zoo Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Verne Carmody

      Gay marriage is not how the lord intended, the bible states a man shall not lay with another man. I do not know how our country got this far off kilter but I will be voting NO on gay marriage. I hope everyone ready this does too.

      Correction for you- you mean *YOUR* bible, not “the”, there are hundreds of religions and beliefs and they all have various books and stories.
      YOUR book says that, other books say other things, who cares, they are ALL fiction and way outdated for the times.
      Your book also DEMANDS that the child who curses their parents be STONED TO DEATH, that working on the sabbath is a sin, that divorce is a terrible sin, you utterly failed in all of those to do what was demanded.
      You are also directed to find and KILL a perfect bullock, cut it’s throad and sprinkle the blood on the altar and then burn the flesh as a sin atonement.
      When did you last cut a bullock’s throat, sprinkle the blood around an altar and burn the flesh to atone?

      Marriage is a human invention designed to control property, lives, for tax advantages, for real property, estates and assets. It’s also a revenue generator for the state.
      Since 50% end in divorce anyway (a terrible sin) then it’s a failure in any case, and allowing the civil rights of same sex marriage isnt going to make that any worse LOL.

      Vote as you like, I’ll be voting to yank the non-profit status of these churches that seem bent on getting into politics despite IRS regulations forbidding this in order to QUALIFY for their cushey non-profit tax EXEMPT status.

      I think the gay community should start going after their non-profit status by filing complaints with the IRS and demanding they investigate and crack down.
      Lets hit them where it hurts most- their WALLET, and make them start paying property taxes on those nice $5 million churches with the 24k gold and sterling silver cups and candlesticks, marble, stained glass windows and other riches.
      One cathedral on downtown prime Los Angeles real estate cost over $300 million, every bit of it is TAX FREE!

    • Avatar

      Watchdog Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2012 at 4:40 am

      The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

  23. Avatar

    Brett Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Only inevitable until it goes for a vote, then it is over.

    • Avatar

      egads Reply Report comment

      February 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

      How would a slavery vote gone in 1860? Had it been voted to remain status quo would there be slavery today? And would that make it right?

      • Avatar

        The Joker Reply Report comment

        February 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        Would not have passed in Iowa, I can tell you that.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Better change the wording of the Bill of Rights ( ….nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
      ) and Declaration of Independence ( We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…. ). The Pledge of Allegiance as well ( …with Liberty, and Justice for all ).

      And Abe’s speech? ….our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.