Equality

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 25, 2011

I have long been in favor of allowing same sex couples the right to marry–in addition to allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military–so I am pleased to see that New York has decided to legalize same sex marriage. No, this will not threaten traditional marriage; if anything, the fact that so many people–whether gay or straight–want to enter into a lifetime monogamous relationship that entails (among other things) arguing about who takes out the trash, arguing about the position of the toilet seat, arguing about finances, purchasing a home with a picket fence, and worrying endlessly about the fate and well-being of approximately 2.5 kids speaks immensely well of marriage. After all, wedded bliss must offer a massive amount of immensely valuable benefits to make up for some of the associated headaches.

What is threatened, of course, by the legalization of same sex marriage is the notion that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are somehow not “normal” people, and that they should somehow be shunned by society. The privilege of loving someone, being loved in return, and building a life based on that love is not some kind of country club fringe benefit that is, or should be available only to a particular group of people. Quite the contrary; all should enjoy its blessings.

It is worth noting, in the course of this discussion, the intellectual cowardice of the incumbent President of the United States, who constantly tries to avoid a serious debate about same sex marriage by telling everyone and their pet canaries that his position is in the seemingly interminable process of “evolving.” I recognize that evolution takes a while–Darwin and scientists who followed him pointed out as much–but evolution towards a position of decency towards one’s fellow human beings shouldn’t take nearly as long. So much–once more–for Hope, and Change We Can Believe In.

But the shortcomings of the Obama Administration notwithstanding, we can, and should celebrate what happened in New York, and hope that what happened in New York replicates itself elsewhere. Long ago, the Supreme Court recognized that marriage is a fundamental right. It’s nice to see that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are at long last being recognized as fundamentally human, and therefore worthy of both enjoying that right, and shouldering the responsibilities that come with it.

  • Agoraphobic Plumber

    If marriage is a fundamental right….how come it requires a license?

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      Because under the principles of federalism, states are allowed to pass laws stating that you need a marriage license. Travel is a fundamental right too, but you may well need a driver’s license and/or a passport.

      • Anonymous

        “Travel is a fundamental right too, but you may well need a driver’s license and/or a passport. ”

        So is my Second Amendment right to carry a firearm. Are you now going to require, under “Full Faith and Credit” that NY and NYC honor my TX Concealed Carry License? or does that only count when you expect me to reach into my wallet to pay for Adam and Steve’s spousal benefits?

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          Your sarcasm makes no sense, but treating your comment seriously, while the Second Amendment allows you to carry a firearm, as you mention, Texas requires you to have a license. Again, states are allowed via the principles of federalism to impose licensing requirements in the commission of certain Constitutional rights.

  • Ben

    It’s interesting that gays and lesbians are apparently owed an endless series of indulgences by the rest of society.  Why is this a 100% one-way obligation?  What will gays and lesbians be doing for society in return?  Are gays and lesbians sensitive to the rest of society’s concerns at all, or are they just self-indulgent and entitled?

    Let’s hear it.  Do you care about the rest of society?  Or should the rest of us shut up and cater to your latest emotional need?

    The same question could be put to every other grievance-mongering group seeking “victim” status.  But those other groups are off subject.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      Q: “Are gays and lesbians sensitive to the rest of society’s concerns at all, or are they just self-indulgent and entitled?” A: I imagine that they are quite sensitive to the rest of society’s concerns, being human beings. But if you want, you can ask gays and lesbians directly, instead of asking me.

      • Ben

        I thought it was pretty clear I was asking them.

        But what about you?  Do you think gays and lesbians should concern themselves with the rest of society?  Do you think they have an obligation to society, or should they merely be indulged by the rest of us with no reciprocity whatsoever?

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          Is that a serious question? Do you actually believe that I am going to respond by stating “no, they have no obligations to society at all”? And since when did anyone ask to “be indulged by the rest of us with no reciprocity whatsoever”?

          • Ben

            Every grievance-centered activist group asks to be indulged by the rest of society.  Endlessly. And they never offer anything in return.  (This statement can be partially refuted with a few counter-examples.  Can you think of any?  I can’t.)

            What do you expect gays and lesbians to do differently in return for the indulgence the people of the State of New York has given them?  What did they do differently in Massachusetts and the other states?  What does society get in return?

            Again, I can’t think of anything.  I really would like to know.  It would be nice if I could imagine a possibility we’d be better off as a society.  Instead, I anticipate the next demand, the next list of things gays and lesbians are owed.  Monetary reparations for not being indulged earlier, perhaps.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Were African Americans indulged by the rest of society? Endlessly? With nothing in return? You couldn’t think up this counter-example?
            What does society get in return for treating people like, well, people? Gosh, maybe a sense of satisfaction that society is doing the right thing. What do you expect gays and lesbians to give you in return for recognizing their right to marry? A winning lottery ticket?
            When gays and lesbians demand monetary reparations, we can have a debate about that issue. Until they do, why are you imagining demands on their behalf?

          • Ben

            Did the NAACP disband?  I hadn’t heard.  Have the calls for affirmative action programs stopped?  Are racial grievances all gone?  Did it end?  Or is it endless?  

            What did society get in return?  Last I heard, African American illegitimate birth rates were about 70% of all African American children.  There is endless grievance, widespread generational poverty and government dependance.  This must be your idea of a success story, since you brought it up as an example.

            I take it you can’t think of anything at all that society can expect from gays and lesbians.  You have offered exactly zero examples.

            The rest of society can expect to be ridiculed (by you, apparently) for wanting tomorrow to be better for us.  We are obligated to others.  No one will be obligated to us, ever, regardless of anything.

            At least you haven’t told us all to shut up yet.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Do you believe that it was right that African-Americans got the same rights as whites? Yes, or no? And as for what society can expect, I gave my answer. You just chose to ignore it. Either that, or you failed to read carefully.

          • Ben

            Yes, it was right.  Most of the rest of of followup indulgences were wrong.  Indulging grievance politics is destructive.  Do you care about that destruction at all?  Or does the initial satisfaction of getting the “right” answer paper over all the followup destruction forever?

            We get nothing _from_ gays and lesbians.  You offered zero examples of anything _from_ gays and lesbians.  Maybe you didn’t read my message very carefully.  

            The rest of society is beset with endless obligations.  We have no hope of anyone ever even thinking of offering us anything in return for a kindness, a favor, an indulgent tolerance, our protection, or anything else we offer anyone.  We get ridiculed.  And, in the unlikely event our lives are better tomorrow than today, we can be absolutely certain that we won’t have grievance-mongers to thank.

            And, for the record, gays and lesbians always had exactly the same right to marry exactly the same people as non-gays and non-lesbians.  A gay man could marry a woman.  A straight man could marry a woman.  Neither man could mary a woman who was his sister, nor a woman who was already married, nor a man, nor anyone or anything fitting a list of other restrictions.  Those restrictions never included whether the man was gay or not.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            I like how you term the right to marry as “grievance politics.” I also like how you pretend that I think “grievance politics” should be indulged. Of course, you have no basis for these claims, but as mentioned before, it is obvious that the only way that you can win this argument is to debate things I never said or wrote.
            We get as much from offering gays and lesbians the right to marry as we do from ensuring that African-Americans get the same rights as whites. You offered zero examples of what you expect from either group in return, and I told you what we would get–the satisfaction as a society that we are doing right by our fellow human beings. I read your post carefully, but it is clear that you have reading comprehension problems; this is the third time I have had to write this.
            I suppose it is appropriate that you would end your incoherent commentary with the false offer of allowing gays and lesbians to marry someone from the opposite sex (why would they be any more interested in that than straight people would be in marrying someone of the same sex, and why do you think that you are making them some kind of generous offer?), and by resorting–yet again–to the fallacy of the slippery slope by discussing incestuous marriages. You’re quite ineducable, aren’t you?

          • Ben

            You offer insult instead of argument.  You might just want to go with “shut up” next time, if that’s the best you can do.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Why should I tell you to shut up? You are utterly undermining your position in this debate. There is no reason for me to stop you. By all means, keep digging.
            By the way, just because you don’t have the capacity to understand my argument does not mean that I am not offering substantive commentary. Just FYI.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Were African Americans indulged by the rest of society? Endlessly? With nothing in return? You couldn’t think up this counter-example?
            What does society get in return for treating people like, well, people? Gosh, maybe a sense of satisfaction that society is doing the right thing. What do you expect gays and lesbians to give you in return for recognizing their right to marry? A winning lottery ticket?
            When gays and lesbians demand monetary reparations, we can have a debate about that issue. Until they do, why are you imagining demands on their behalf?

  • Kerry

    If something is a right, who has the authority to allow or disallow it?  If the Congress votes 435-0, the Senate 100-0 and a President signs it, can they abrogate the First Amendment?  The 10th?  The purpose of marriage is to connect children with their biological parents.  It is not about sexual pleasure.  If a man can ‘marry’ a man, or a woman a woman, why can’t two men marry three women, “Same love, same rights”, right?  But then, can a father marry his daughter?  If a legislature legislates such a practice, is it, though legal, right?  If not, why not?  (Hint, look up these Greek words: agape, eros, philia and patria.)  But homosexuality is “The way God made me”.  OK, then why is pedophilia wrong? Natural urgings, yes…?  If the State may legislate morality, (Keep you laws off my body, yes…) then shall they prosecute individuals, business, religions (separation is OK running only the other way, huh) for bigotry?  Civil rights violations.  Why is such prosecution no forced conversions the other way around.  Oh, and call me all the effing names and scream “Hater, hater, hater” all you damn well please.  I don’t give a flying primate. I will ask my question again, “What is the purpose of marriage”.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      Someone needs to inform you that using the slippery slope as a method of argument is a logical fallacy.

      • Ben

        Is falsely pretending an argument is a slippery slope argument a logical fallacy?  Or is it just a dishonest way to duck legitimate questions?

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          There is no pretense about it. The slippery slope is a logical fallacy. Read my link; it will educate you.

          • Ben

            No slippery slope arguments appear in the post you were responding to.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Actually, yeah they do. The slippery slope argument that we may have to recognize polygamous marriage, incestuous marriages, and pedophile arrangements as valid as a consequence of recognizing same sex marriage are all in that comment. Hard to see how you could have missed it.

          • Ben

            Not “as a consequence of recognizing same sex marriage”.  It’s not a consequence.  There’s no slippery slope.

            We’ll have to recognize polygamous marriage as a consequence of marriage being redefined.  It’s not because of some “slippery slope” nonsense.  It’s because there are zero arguments that are consistent with permitting gay marriage and disallowing polygamous marriage.

            (And no, the quantity of people isn’t different.  The second marriage is between 2 people.  One of them just happens to already be married.)

            If a marriage is “anything you want”, then “anything you want” is a marriage.  No slopes, slippery or otherwise.  Just a line, now crossed.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Obviously, you didn’t read my link carefully, or contemplate the lessons of the slippery slope logical fallacy. If you did, you would have noted where it said that “there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim.” There is no reason why society can’t say “we will allow monogamous marriages, even if they are between people of the same sex, but we won’t allow polygamy, or pedophilia.” Also, no one said that marriage is “anything you want,” except you. You apparently think that the only way to win an argument is to argue with a strawman. But I’m not surprised that you missed all of this; it is clear that you’re not particularly good at making an argument that is founded in logic.
            You haven’t answered my question, by the way: Should African-Americans have been given equal rights?

          • Ben

            And you just completely ignore arguments.  And, since you want to be petty instead of addressing the points, you also apparently don’t know the definition of “monogamous”.

            Please point out the history of courts allowing governments to make completely arbitrary, discriminative choices with no rational argument in favor of the choice.  That’s the outcome you are claiming will exist perpetually.

            Claiming it might not exist perpetually is illogical and fallacious, according to you.  I guess I’m not versed in that sort of logic.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            I didn’t ignore arguments. I addressed yours. You just refuse to respond to them, because they are inconvenient for your case. I understand; these issues are obviously beyond your ken, and it upsets you, but there is no reason to take out your frustrations on me.
            I actually do know what “monogamous” means. You apparently don’t know what “slippery slope” means.
            Your third paragraph is incoherent. Translate it into English, and perhaps then, I can give you a response.
            As for your final paragraph, I completely agree that you are not versed in logic.

          • Ben

            Now who has reading comprehension problems?

            You are claiming that governments can make arbitrary, discriminative choices to allow a gay couple to marry, but deny another couple the “right” to marry because the groom is currently already married.

            Once marriage is redefined, there are no rational arguments that the government can make to support this choice.

            Courts do not allow governments to make arbitrary, discriminative choices without a rational basis.  Laws that enforce these choices are consistently struck down by courts over and over and over.

            Therefore, your claim is not consistent with history.

            It is not a “slippery slope” fallacy to recognize court precedent and apply it to a new situation.  Claiming it is a “slippery slope” fallacy must either be erroneous or dishonest or both.

            Is that simple enough for you?

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            1. I am arguing that no one needs to be bound by the logical fallacy of the slippery slope, which means that just because we allow same sex monogamous marriages, we don’t have to allow polygamous marriages. Again, you seem to have problems understanding this, which answers your question about who has reading comprehension problems.
            2. Court precedent is not at issue here, since the legalization of same sex marriage was done by the New York state legislature. Also, courts allow governments to discriminate all the time, if the governmental interest is rational, and if the party being discriminated against is a suspect class. You need to understand this very elementary fact before talking about courts and their propensities.
            Is that simple enough for you? Probably not; who am I kidding?

          • Ben

            1. It is not a slippery slope fallacy.  I have pointed that out repeatedly.

            2. Such discrimination is not rationally based.  I also pointed that out.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Just because you say that it is not a slippery slope doesn’t mean that it isn’t. You continue not to understand what a slippery slope is. Also, just because you say that society taking a stand against polygamous marriage is discrimination, doesn’t mean that it is, and just because you say that it is not rationally based doesn’t mean that it isn’t. You seem to think that you can prove your argument by stating it over, and over, and over, and over again, regardless of how I respond. Life, alas, is a little more complicated than that. Perhaps eventually, you will come to understand that fact.

          • Ben

            No. I explained.  Repeatedly.  See above where you simply ignore arguments.

            You use the words “slippery slope” like a talisman to ward off unpleasant thoughts.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            You don’t explain. You insist. There is a difference, which you don’t understand. By the way, this is yet another logical fallacy you engage in; proof by assertion. Perhaps when you finally understand what a slippery slope argument is–and by the way, I use it because you repeatedly employ the fallacy, being bereft of logical arguments in support for your proposition–you can move on to understand what a proof by assertion is, and why that is a logical fallacy as well. Of course, by then, my beloved Chicago Cubs will have won seven or eight World Series championships.

          • Ben

            Also for #2

            Please explain why “the government interest is rational”.

            And are polygamous folks a “suspect class”?  Why?

          • Anonymous

            The government interest is rational, because we don’t want, say, one man picking a favorite wife out of a bevy of other wives, thus leaving the rest disfavored and disadvantaged. If one spouse in a polygamous relationship is the breadwinner, we want him/her to be able to provide for his/her family, and that is much harder to do in a polygamous arrangement where there are likely too many spouses and kids to support. We don’t want, say, multiple women to feel subservient to one man in a polygamous relationship–which has been known to happen. That’s why the government has a rational interest in preventing polygamous marriage.
            And no, polygamous folks are not a suspect class. And no one ever said that they were. If they were, it would be easier for them to press for their claims in court.
            You’ll excuse me if I don’t respond further. I want to go to sleep, and this debate got boring long ago.

          • Ben

            You don’t have to be married to have relations with several women.  A mistress and a wife are unlikely to be equally favored.  Marrying the mistress improves her status.  She will likely be less disfavored after the marriage than before.  Her children will be legitimate.  If the first wife approves of the second marriage, her status improves to “wife” from “wife being cheated on by her husband”.

            You don’t have to be married to have lots of children by lots of different women.  Marriage to the women only improves the ability to be the breadwinner in that situation.

            I don’t think your arguments are good enough to satisfy the courts for very long.

            (I realize I’ve made unproven assertions here, like “you don’t have to be married to have relations with several women”.  Hopefully I won’t be accused of engaging in “proof by assertion” fallacy as a way to ward off the unpleasant idea that your arguments are unpersuasive.)

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            You continue to be confused. While it is possible to have relations with several women without marrying them, and while it is possible to father legions of children without marriage, the point is that the courts don’t want to validate the disadvantages that come with polygamous marriage; disadvantages that play out in multiple polygamous relationships. And fear not; you didn’t engage in proof by assertion here (love the sarcasm quotes–I see that you are actually pretending it isn’t a fallacy to try to validate your past errors). With this comment, you merely made clear that you don’t understand the policy problems that come with polygamous marriage.

          • Ben

            Perhaps you think the courts will accept “you don’t understand the policy problems but trust us, they’re compelling” as a rational basis for discrimination.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            I didn’t say “you don’t understand the policy problems, but trust us,
            they’re compelling.” I said “you don’t understand the policy problems, let
            me explain them yet again, as I have tried to explain just about everything
            multiple times to you.” There is a difference. Additionally, no court has
            found laws against polygamy to be unconstitutional, or invalid, so I think
            that I am on safe ground in stating that courts will continue to find laws
            against polygamy to be perfectly acceptable. If you disagree, then show me a
            recent court case that finds anti-polygamy laws to be unconstitutional. If
            you can’t find such a case, then you helped make my argument.

            By the way, sorry I accidentally clicked on the “Like” button for your
            comment. I didn’t mean to, as there is nothing edifying to be found in it.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Actually, yeah they do. The slippery slope argument that we may have to recognize polygamous marriage, incestuous marriages, and pedophile arrangements as valid as a consequence of recognizing same sex marriage are all in that comment. Hard to see how you could have missed it.

          • Ben

            No slippery slope arguments appear in the post you were responding to.

        • Kerry

          Ben, nice shootin’ pardner.  It’s not the slippery slopes, it’s the slopey slippers.

      • Kerry

        Yes, but what is the purpose of marriage?

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          You’ll get a different answer to that question from just about every couple, straight or gay.

  • Fred

    “[T]he shortcomings of the Obama Administration notwithstanding,” why is it that a government power-grab is a victory for equality, civil rights, or less government?  What right has the state to regulate such relationships?  What state interest is involved here?  Isn’t that what Lawrence v. Texas was about, and didn’t it end up stopping the state regulation?  So now we are begging to go backwards?

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      It is a principle of federalism that states should be allowed to decide how to regulate marriage, instead of having the federal government decide it. That’s precisely what happened in New York. So, yeah, we have less government here. Of course, if the federal government stepped in, overrode principles of federalism, and prevented states from making these kinds of decisions, we would have had more government.

      • Fred

        I am not arguing about federalism.  I have no basis for claiming the Constitution of the State of New York does not permit the legislature to regulate gay relationships (unlike in Massachusetts, where I read Article XXX, Part the First, to prohibit the Court from legislating as it did).  Maybe it does, maybe it does not, I do not know.  My argument is that by doing so, the legislature expanded the government’s regulatory power.  Hence, New Yorkers now have more government, not less.

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          New York state government already had the power to regulate marriage, and has been regulating heterosexual marriage for the longest time.

          • Fred

            Agreed, but there is a good argument that the state has a legitimate interest in regulating a heterosexual marriage because those types of relationships can result in children, and I believe the society/state has an interest in the next generation (who else is going to pay our SS benefits, right?).  I see no legitimate state interest in regulating gay relationships.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Then why does the state regulate marriages between infertile couples? Why does the state regulate marriages between couples who choose not to have children? Why does the state regulate marriage between elderly couples.

          • Fred

            The premise is that the state has an interest in regulating relationships that are theoretically capable of producing children, and thus expansion of governmental power to regulate those relationships may be legitimate.  Those relationships include monogamous and polygamous ones, but always there must be at least one male and at least one female.  I concede that if the relationship does not, ultimately, produce children, the state interest was, ultimately, irrelevant, but I fail to see how that is an argument for expanding state regulatory power over relationships where the state has no legitimate interest.  Rather, it is an argument for more tightly restricting the state’s present regulatory scheme, that is, for cutting back the power of the state.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Then why doesn’t the state interview prospective couples to see if they are either interested, or capable of bearing children, and then decide whether to regulate them? Surely, if the state did that, it could calibrate its regulatory scheme more accurately, no?
            The truth is that there are a great many reasons why the state is involved in regulating marriage beyond procreation; marriage rights help denote spousal benefits, immigration status, tax status, etc. Because one may need records to back up one’s claim–insofar as the claim is associated with marriage status–the state says “get a license from us, and then you can get married.” Legalizing gay marriage does not increase the state’s regulatory power anymore than a massive influx of heterosexual couples coming into the state and asking to be married increases the state’s regulatory power. It certainly doesn’t increase the state’s regulatory power over heterosexuals, or even unmarried gays and lesbians. And frankly, there is no other way to legalize same sex marriage apart from doing it with the instruments of government. I am pretty sure that same sex couples–even the ones that want smaller government–are willing to allow government legislation into their lives if it means that they will get the right to marry the people they love as a consequence.

          • Fred

            “Then why doesn’t the state interview prospective couples to see if they are either interested, or capable of bearing children, and then decide whether to regulate them?”  Absolutely right, why should the state be asking such questions?  From this question (and this entire discussion), I conclude you are in favor of increasing the regulatory power of the state over human relationships, which also explains why you would support extending it to areas where (I believe) the state has no legitimate interest.  Fine, I just happen to disagree, I prefer a less powerful state wherever we can get it.

            As for the “great many reasons why the state is involved in regulating marriage beyond procreation” none of what you list are reasons for regulation.  Rather, you list portions of the actual state regulatory (and benefit) scheme.  Here, you touch upon what I believe the discussion should be, which regulations/benefits are justifiable to support the [limited] state interest in regulation, and which ones really ought to be eliminated (or in a few cases, extended to others, but then don’t you wonder why the state has achieved so much power that they are in the business of granting this or that benefit in the first place?).

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Blithely assuming that I am “in favor of increasing the regulatory power of the state over human relationships” is rather silly; anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am in favor of small government. But the regulation of marriage in states and localities via the procurement of a license is a fact of life that is not going away anytime soon, whether I like it or not. As such, it is a fact that ought to be contended with. I too am in favor of a less powerful state wherever we can get it, but in this case, alas, the only way to make same sex marriage–which I support–legal, is to use government to do it. If there is another way, one that does not require the instruments of government, then let me know, and I will support that method instead.
            Whether one has rights to spousal benefits, immigration benefits, or tax benefits is a policy question, which invites, at the least, bookkeeping to show that two people are married. Hence the need for a license. I am not justifying this necessarily, but pointing out why it exists, and why the requirement for a marriage license will not go away anytime soon. As for your suggestion that we ought to discuss the proper scope of regulation, I agree with that. But that may be a discussion for another thread.

          • Fred

            To my mind, supporting state regulation of gay relationships means supporting an increase in the regulatory power of the state.  That may be a good thing here (no one has to be a purist, I suspect we both believe there are numerous areas where the state has a legitimate interest in regulation), but it is an expansion of state power into areas previously proscribed from regulation.  I mean no offense, and I believe I understand your argument, but I
            disagree with your conclusion because I do not see a legitimate state
            interest.

  • http://twitter.com/ritwingr Ignatz Kowalski

    Personally, I believe homosexuality is a mental illness.  But I see no reason why the citizens of New York can’t decide to permit this sort of nonsense so long as federalism is allowed to work and the citizens of other states can keep marriage as it has been defined for thousands of years.

  • Anonymous

    Government has no business in the undertaking of personal relationships and marriage.

    Homosexuality is NOT normal.

    These are separate issues.

    And yes, it does threaten us normal church-going folks because the next step is the state forcing churches to bless homo unions.

    • Anonymous

      Government is already involved in marriage. You get marriage licenses, and your marriage status determines a host of your benefits. As for the rest of your comment, homosexuality is not the majority sexual orientation, but there is nothing “abnormal” about it, and the state has no power to force churches to do anything. Such an effort would be ruled an unconstitutional violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Incidentally, there is nothing “normal” about people ignorant of homosexuality, and the policies concerning same sex marriage.

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