words

Does It Matter If You Say ‘Gay Marriage’ or ‘Marriage Equality’? Or No Big Diff?

On this website, we often use the phrase “gay marriage” to refer to the right for same-sex couples to marry. Some people have a problem with this! Like: Activists! “Gay marriage” is too restrictive a phrase, argue the folks from Freedom to Marry, and does not accurately reflect what they’re fighting for. Saying “gay marriage” implies gays want some “special” right, which isn’t true at all! They just want “marriage equality.” And that is the term they want everyone using. We’re still going to interchange the two, mostly because of space limitations when writing headlines, but also because when we’re afraid the polygamists are going to hijack “marriage equality” for their own nefarious uses. Even the cute twink guy in the beginning of the video acnowledges as much: “We are fighting for the freedom to marry for every American.” Run for the hills!

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96 Comments

  • ksu499

    I agree that the appropriate term is “marriage equality”. There is nothing uniquely gay about it. The rights, responsibilities, process and benefits of two persons of the same gender marrying are just the same as two persons of opposite gender marrying. Using the term “gay marriage” just gives aid to those saying we are wanting some sort of special rights or considerations.

  • Julian Morrison

    It matters to transsexual people. For them, marriage equality means no pushy officials demanding to peek under the skirt.

  • The Gay Numbers

    Marriage equality because it has the advantage of describing the exact thing that we are seeking. Gay marriage creates a choice of language that a liar or the manipulative can use to claim we are seeking special rights. I had a professor once say American does not give special rights. it just includes more groups in the rights that already exist for others in the first place. That’s the problem here. We don’t market this right by saying gay marriage. Not because of the gay part, but because it does not convey to the listener what you really mean. What you really mean is you want to set of rights that the governmenta lready gives to others. How best to say this? gay marriage or marriage equality? I believe the later.

  • Jason in Cincy

    The media might also be holding us back.

    When reporting on marriages of same-sex couples, the language is almost always “gay marriage.” We need to move away from this notion of “gay marriage” and here’s why: Gay marriage sounds like “other marriage.” What I mean by this is that it sounds exactly like same-sex couples are in fact redefining marriage.

    A marriage is a marriage, and we know that. You know who doesn’t know that?: A lot of people in the majority. If we can somehow strike “gay” from “gay marriage” and still find ways to accurately report on same-sex marriages, that’d be fantastic because, let’s face it, marriage cannot be gay. Marriage is not an orientation, or an identity, for that matter.

    What also doesn’t help is that we still live in a world where the word “gay” continues to be used by people when they mean to say something is stupid, silly, or dumb. Translation: bad. So, when people here “gay marriage” is it not too difficult to see how they might be processing same-sex marriage as “bad marriage”?

    Now, I recognize the difficulty reporters will have in creating concise headlines addressing same-sex marriage. Take NPR’s headline, “Black Ministers In D.C. Divided Over Gay Marriage.” Why do members of the media use the phrase “gay marriage”? Probably because it’s short and to the point and also because “same-sex marriage” includes the word “sex” which still shocks a lot of people. Never mind we’re talking about someone’s actual biological sex and not the act of sexual intercourse. Whose wise idea was it to use this same word–sex–for both?

    However, herein lies the problem: Am I expecting that NPR’s headline might have read “Black Ministers In D.C. Divided Over Civil Marriages Between Same-Sex Couples”? Yeah, I’m not holding my breath on that one. But in my ideal world it would go something like that because if we allow media to continue using “gay marriage” to define our loving unions, we’ll be gettin’ wherever we’re goin’ real slow.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    While there used to be such a concept as a “Boston marriage” which was two women living together who may or may not have been sexually intimate, the term “gay marriage” is not only semantically nonsensical [one doesn’t refer to “African-American marriage” or “Baptist marriage”], it is candy to marriage equality opponents who consciously wish to perpetuate the Big Lie that our relationships are somehow different legally.

    It’s an expansion of the term “special rights” that they continue to use with enormous success to defeat efforts of LGBTs to obtain the SAME basic civil rights that nongays automatically have.

    The Right Wing has long been masters of buzz words while the left, gay and nongay has stumbled again and again. To the degree that even their opponents echo them, such as when the President, who insists he still supports a woman’s right to choose, used the buzz term “pro life” in his speech at Notre Dame.

    That is one of the most brilliant propaganda devices ever conceived [no pun intended]. For it manages to demonize those who disagree in TWO WORDS…because, by simple semantics, if one is not “pro life” one must be “pro death”…aka what protestors yelled at Obama during that speech: “Abortion is murder! Stop killing children!”

    Mark Twain said it best:

    “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

    These issues are too critical to the quality of our lives for us not to be willing to expend the minimal energy required to speak carefully and not counterproductively.

  • Cam

    This is a B.S. argument, it has everything to do with the same people that handled the Prop 8 debacle in CA. Remember, they didn’t want to show commercials that used the word gay, or showed gay people because it might be offputting to people? They are trying to do the exact same thing here. claiming that it doesn’t fully represent the Transgenders issue is a red hearing, their issue is different in that they want to be allowed to legally change their sex according to the govt. If this happens then they would not need gay marraige. They could change their sex legally and then Hetrosexual marriage is open to them.

    So again, this discussion, brought to you by the people afraid to let others actually hear the word “gay”.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @youcanthandlethetruth: People like you are exhausting. You are just throwing shit out to see what sticks, and that’s the point. You immoral and don’t care whether your argumets have any validity. They are designed to fuck with people with some moral core outside of winning against the hated enemy at all cost. If you as a Christian think you are going to get into heaven with this, let me repeat what my grandmother would say of people like you” God don’t like ugly.”

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Cam: You are wrong, but like most of the people on this site, what’s the point of arguing with your opinion. Time to leave again.

  • daftpunkydavid

    @Cam: trans peeps can be gay too. gender identity ? sexual orientation/preference

  • Cam

    @The Gay Numbers: you said “@Cam: You are wrong, but like most of the people on this site, what’s the point of arguing with your opinion. Time to leave again.”
    __________________________________________________

    Nothing has stopped you from posting other comments before. Your response is the typical response of somebody that dissagrees but can’t come up with a good reason for it.

  • Cam

    @daftpunkydavid: you said “@Cam: trans peeps can be gay too. gender identity ? sexual orientation/preference”
    _____________________________________________________________

    Exactly, and if they were, they wouldn’t need gay marriage, because they could get married under their previous sex, which would make it a hetrosexual marriage, then transition and they would still be legally married.

  • TANK

    Of course it matters. Marriage equality sounds better to most people (who are homophobic) than gay marriage. Image is reality for the little people.

  • Dr. Pedantic

    I couldn’t agree more with Jason and Michael. What we are asking for is that one institution — “marriage” — be available to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples. We want equality. Marriage equality as a term makes sense.

    The “gay” in “gay marriage” acts as a modifier. There’s marriage, which means one thing, and then there’s “gay” marriage, which means another. No no no no no. There’s just marriage. If we are going to have “marriage” as something that’s separate and different from “gay marriage,” then we might as well continue having “marriage” and “domestic partnerships” or “civil unions.” “Marriage equality” is the right term politically, ethically, and semantically.

  • Jefffrey

    @Cam: Read what everyone else has so thoughtfully written already and really pay attention and you will see that it is not about the word “gay” being taboo. It is about making a clear statement that what we are after and what we deserve is the same thing that everyone else has–no more and no less. It is much easier to convince people who are not already supportive of us that equality is a good thing rather than that “gay marriage” is a good thing. How you frame your argument is extremely important in today’s world.
    Plus that fact that marriage doesn’t have an orientation. When I tell people that I’m married, I don’t say I’m “gay married” I just say that “I’m married”, because that is exactly what I am.

  • Rew

    In my humble opinion, either term could be used depending on the context in which it is used.

    What I really don’t understand is why we are limiting our battle to just “marriage”. My partner and I have been together for 32 years and we are seeking to gain all of our civil rights – not just the right to marry. Is gay marriage/marriage equality important – yes, but it’s not the only right we are being denied. Is it the object of the major LGBT organizations to gain us one right at a time? What is the objective of doing this piece-meal?

    We all know that the word “marriage” is a hot button for many and yet we continue to push it rather than demand 100% of our civil rights which would include the right to marry. Many people, to whom I have spoken, say they are against “gay marriage” and yet those same people would vote to guarantee my civil rights. Your original question only confirms that wording is important to many people. I think we should stop fighting for “gay marriage/marriage equality” and instead fight for all of our “civil rights”.

  • schlukitz

    youcanthandlethetruth just learned a new word.

    Consanguineous.

    I am so proud of his remarkable learning ability.

    Oh, but wait. He is referring to same blood line marriage.

    Am I proud of how his mind works?

    Not so much.

  • Julian Morrison

    @Cam: Trans is not a red herring. Not everybody wants to go all the way, change their legal markers and hide. Some people stop in the middle. Some people are happy to be out as trans. Some people start in the middle. The gender continuum is broad, and cramming it into two buckets labeled “male, female” is a cruel process that stomps on individual dignity.

    @Rew: Marriage is a big deal because it asks the state to weigh in on a question of moral worth (equal, or condemned?).

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    @Rew:

    I believe you mean well, but saying “I think we should … fight for all of our ‘civil rights'” is like saying I think we should put everything on the dining room table in our mouths at once.

    You can try, but you won’t succeed. Nor would an “omibus gay rights bill” succeed in Congress.

    To say that’s not how Congress works is an understatement, particularly when the individual elements have attached to them, however unfairly and unrealistically, so many varying emotions…as well as members of Congress who, like the public, support this gay issue more than another if at all.

    There are GAYS who oppose marriage equality because they oppose marriage period. GAYS who oppose repealing DADT because they’re anti-military period.

    The cry for “Everything NOW!” is self-righteousness masquerading as strategy.

  • Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace

    And let’s not forget that marriage is firstly a civil matter, as marriage licenses are issued by and recorded in town halls not church halls.

    Kudos to Iowa and New England for supporting (civil) marriage.

    And to the Episcopal Church too.

    Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA

    And to the marriage foes, and sexually phobic, please find something else to do with your time, because life’s too short.
    Find love.

  • DaveO

    The term “marriage equality” only appeals to people who are already predisposed to agreeing with the terminology of the liberal left.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    Why not forget about trying to convince the rest of the nation to tolerate your desire to redefine marriage for homosexuals.

    Why not avoid the confrontation by pursuing civil unions – homosexuals very own version of “marriage”.

    How special you’ll feel?

    Unless this whole issue is not really about marriage but about demanding attention

  • Fitz

    Well, more to me it matters if you call the person in your bed “Husband” or not. As long as the benefits, and legal and financial issues are equal, I don’t care if strangers call me Purple Monkey Dishwasher.

  • Emily

    @youcanthandlethetruth: Speaking as a transgender person, thank you for invalidating my identity, and calling me “wacko” and a headcase. If you’ve read my earlier posts on this board, then you will be aware that by invalidating my identity, you have given me the right to invalidate yours.

    So, in response, I’m suggesting to everyone commenting in response to YOUCANTHANDLETHETRUTH, to refer to him what he truly is, which I am now renaming to FARRIGHTWINGIGNORANTBIGOT.

    Cheers, all!

  • strictmachine

    @Emily:

    right on Emily. this is the first post of yours ive seen but clearly you are a rational, clever and brave person. unlike it that wont be named

  • The Gay Numbers

    @youcanthandlethetruth: What I know is that my grandmother is not homosexual, and you was most defi nitely referring to pathetic Christians like you whom she had to deal with in the church. As she said, some of worse sinner on the planet are the uppidy Christians sitting in judgment of otehrs. You are never going to see Heaven, because there is no way someone like you who spends his free time stepping on others has God in your heart. You are too full of hate. That’s not Christian.

  • Scot

    OK. It seem like alot of people have already forgotten their recient history. – It’s s matter if linguistics.
    karl rove and the bush administration spent thousands of dollars on a study to show them that the term GAY marriage is something most Americans will NOT identify with. Many people hear the word gay and only think of guys having sex with other guys, even though sex is such a small part of ANYBODY’S identity, save a few porn stars. That’s why rebublicans and conservative media don’t use the terms marriage equality. You can’t divide a country with ideas everybody can identify with.
    Marriage equality = us & us
    Gay marriage = us & them.
    This kind of linguistic crap is why you have to listen to every word politicians and conservatives say. Something can be spun to their advantage with a simple choise of words.

  • schlukitz

    @youcanthandlethetruth:

    Unless this whole issue is not really about marriage but about demanding attention

    The only one demanding attention here is YOU!

  • DavidMichael

    Hey there @youcanthandlethetruth:

    Do you not have spell check?

  • hyhybt

    I don’t much care what you call it, as long as you’re *for* it. But: @DaveO: you have a point. If you ask a random person how they stand on “marriage equality,” you’ll probably get a blank stare. If you say “gay marriage,” they’ll know what you mean. “Marriage equality” is technically more correct, but there’s no good reason not to use the two interchangeably.

  • AlwaysGay

    And the best word choice for the opposition is HETEROSEXUAL-ONLY MARRIAGE advocates.

    youcanthandlethetruth, runs through an assortment of wrong and bigoted beliefs heterosexuals have. Gay people are seeking their CIVIL RIGHTS including the CIVIL RIGHT TO MARRY, not attention. Heterosexuals do not own marriage or the public square or morality. Gay people will continue to speak out on immoral discrimination.

  • Robert, NYC

    The right wing shills who troll gay blogsites like to use “gay” marriage because it polarizes, gives it a nasty connotation to advance their hate agenda in keeping with their cultist belief systems. Theirs is an act of desperation having to seek out gay blogsites to spew their nonsense. They have no audience so they come here to “get off”. Ignore them, say nothing, otherwise you enable them to rant. These are very sick people who need help. Many of them are struggling with their sexual orientation too.

  • WestCanuck

    Here in Canada (a.k.a. Sodom North) we call it equal marriage or same-sex marriage.

    I prefer to call it polygamy-bigamy-bestial-child marriage because it sounds way cooler.

    With a little luck we may soon have multiple marriage enshrined in law. But will it then be called multiple-equal marriage or equal-multiple marriage?

    I vote for the latter.

    People like youcanthandlethetruth, who are really quite mad, will continue to be quite mad.

  • douglas in canada

    Yes, we Canadians often use the term “Equal Marriage.” Too often, historically, we have tried to compartmentalize people way too much – you’re either male or female. Now we realize that that distinction is not always so clear for all people. We also realize that our outer body and our inner self might be different in terms of male/female. By adopting the term “Equal Marriage,” none of that matters. The marriage is between two consenting adults. Period.
    It also lets people know that there is no push for special rights and privileges, only a push for equal standing in the eyes of the law.
    Note: “Consenting adults” does not include children or animals.

  • Jaroslaw

    1. CAM – I knew a guy that wanted to be a woman who wanted to BE with a woman so just in case you didn’t think of that example, your points don’t address that.

    2. #32 Scott- if accurate, that is a a great point worth thinking about

    3. Queerty – I wouldn’t worry about polygamists highjacking the words “marriage equality”, because most people have a difficult time keeping a marriage together with one spouse, (time issues, money issues, etc.) the vast majority of people will never be polygamous and really Equality says it all. You marry the one (adult) person of your choice and I do the same.

    4. #37 Always Gay even if I don’t agree with you 100% of the time, I always like your ingenuity. Love that part about “heteros DO NOT own the public square or marriage. RIGHT ON!!!!!!!

  • douglas in canada

    Part of me wants to do away with the word “marriage” altogether. It reminds me of a time when one person could own another – that’s what happened when a man “took” a wife. That’s why some older marriage ceremonies don’t mention husband and wife; they talk about man and wife.
    Marriage provided the terms of ownership. “Who GIVES this woman to be married?” Dowry fits in here somewhere, too.
    Marriage laws did also protect the woman, together with all the children, from just being dumped by a man who treated them as throw-aways.
    While I appreciate the celebrations of love, remember that when true love is present, you don’t need to legalize it to enforce it. The enforcement is only there to protect people who might become eventual victims.
    And nowadays, the legal bit is there so you can get a tax exemption.
    [Some of this is a bit off-the-cuff, so please feel free to fine-tune the thinking.]

  • Andrew

    For me personally, “marriage equality” is a better term. But, I tend to think of this issue, and many others, in terms of its legal context. I can see how others might prefer “gay marriage.” To me, it seems that when fighting for equal rights under the law, using the term “equality” would be most helpful.

  • Andrew

    Please don’t feed the baby: YouCantHandleTheTruth. Really… if you just don’t feed him… he’ll dry up and blow away…

  • Cam

    @Jefffrey: you said “@Cam: Read what everyone else has so thoughtfully written already and really pay attention and you will see that it is not about the word “gay” being taboo. It is about making a clear statement that what we are after and what we deserve is the same thing that everyone else has–no more and no less. It is much easier to convince people who are not already supportive of us that equality is a good thing rather than that “gay marriage” is a good thing. How you frame your argument is extremely important in today’s world.
    Plus that fact that marriage doesn’t have an orientation. When I tell people that I’m married, I don’t say I’m “gay married” I just say that “I’m married”, because that is exactly what I am.”
    __________________________________________________________

    True, and yet, the fear of using the word “gay” is exactly what killed us in Ca. during the prop 8 fiasco. The fear of showing exactly what it is we are fighting for. We are fighting for Lesbians and gays to be able to marry. Hide that fact all you want if you want another prop 8.

  • Jaroslaw

    Science is showing that transgender male brains have similar makeup, chemistry and reactions to female brains. Debunk that.

  • Rew

    @Michael:
    You may have a valid point when you say “we can try, but we won’t succeed”, however, I take exception you your statement “The cry for “Everything NOW!” is self-righteousness masquerading as strategy”. Do you think that the leaders of the black civil rights movement would have accepted a partial victory? Do you think they would have accepted “You can now sit anywhere on the bus but you still have to use seperate restrooms, you still have to drink out of seperate water fountains and our school systems will still practice segregtion.”
    The answer is no and we shouldn’t accept piece-meal civil rights either. I am not a second class citizen and I tired of being treated like one! For sixty-two years I’ve accepted the small crumbs of society’s acceptance that have been thrown my way accompanied by a statement saying that more will come later. That’s garbage – If I want to put everything on the table in my mouth at once, that should be my right as long as others have that exact same right.

  • Emily

    @youcanthandlethetruth: You can try to tell me whatever you want about being trans, but there’s one fact – one TRUTH, to use your words – that you can’t deny. Everything you believe about transgender people comes from pure ideology with no supporting evidence whatsoever to back up your ideas. On the other hand, I have some 26 years of direct experience living a life with a transgendered brain. Everything you have said so far has directly contradicted my personal experience. Given that, what do you think I’m going to trust more, your words, or my own experience?

  • TANK

    @Emily:

    WHy would you make yourself vulnerable to this ignorant bigot’s white noise? That’s what people him thrive on.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Emily: Sadly you trust your own experience, which is based on falsehoods and delusion, facilitated by like-minded dimwits.

  • Zoe Brain

    YOUCANTHANDLETHETRUTH Truth? You can’t handle the Truth! Bah, I deride your truth-handling ability!

    The moon is not made of green cheese, even if you say it is with complete conviction. Neither is the Earth the centre of the Universe, even if you say so. And it’s not flat either. Even if you repeat that it is, endlessly.

    These are not opinions, nor are they philosophical talking points. But they’re not magical either, the fact that the Earth is a slightly irregular oblate spheroid is not a matter of religious belief, but something that can be empirically tested.

    Platygeans may claim those who believe otherwise are deluded, their beliefs “based on falsehoods facilitated by like-minded dimwits”, but there are objective measurements that can be used to determine the truth or otherwise of platygean statements.

    OK, here’s some data about Transsexuality:

    Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids. by Berglund et al Cerebral Cortex 2008 18(8):1900-1908;
    “…the data implicate that transsexuality may be associated with sex-atypical physiological responses in specific hypothalamic circuits, possibly as a consequence of a variant neuronal differentiation.”

    Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041
    “The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.”

    Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation. Swaab Gynecol Endocrinol (2004) 19:301–312.
    “Solid evidence for the importance of postnatal social factors is lacking. In the human brain, structural diferences have been described that seem to be related to gender identity and sexual orientation.”

    A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.
    “Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones”

    A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity. by Garcia-Falgueras et al Brain. 2008 Dec;131(Pt 12):3132-46.
    “We propose that the sex reversal of the INAH3 in transsexual people is at least partly a marker of an early atypical sexual differentiation of the brain and that the changes in INAH3 and the BSTc may belong to a complex network that may structurally and functionally be related to gender identity.”

    Specific Cerebral Activation due to Visual Erotic Stimuli in Male-to-Female Transsexuals Compared with Male and Female Controls: An fMRI Study by Gizewski et al J Sex Med 2009;6:440–448.
    “We revealed a cerebral activation pattern in MTF transsexuals compared with male controls similar to female controls compared with male controls during viewing of erotic stimuli, indicating a tendency of female-like cerebral processing in transsexualism.”

    fMRI tests that any experimenter can do, that are utterly repeatable, show that you’re full of it.

    Now trolls should in general, not be fed. But showing their inadequacies as human beings can provide some harmless fun, and they make excellent excuses to give evidence to others who probably aren’t aware of it. They can be made to serve a useful purpose. They come to spread chaos and get people riled up, and end up not just being laughed at, but actually forced to serve a useful purpose.

  • Jaroslaw

    #52 very eloquent and thorough, but if he didn’t answer my simple 1-sentence question (#47) do you think he’ll answer that encyclopedia above?

    He has a very bad habit of only answering what he wants, ignoring major questions – so good luck.

    I asked him several times a very basic question – he is entitled to oppose homosexuality but why? Why does he think it is his business to tell others how to live? No answer. IF he would answer that question, we wouldn’t need to debate everything else.

  • schlukitz

    @Jaroslaw:

    He has a very bad habit of only answering what he wants, ignoring major questions

    Unfortunately, all fundamentalists and religious fanatics operate on that same principle. They know what they know and they don’t wish to be confused with the facts.

    If they were to respond to the logically thought-out questions that we present to them, they know full well that they would lose the argument. Their response to a direct question is throwing a curve ball, or re-directing the conversation, which YCHTT does constantly.

    YCHTT is not interested in scientific or factual debate and I am not even sure that he really believes any of the inflaming comments that he regularly posts.

    It is obvious that his only reason for being here, is that he gets his jollies by harassing and dumping on gay people.

    Putting it yet more succinctly, he is a shit stirrer and by continually baiting us, we keep feeding into his sick pass time. And by feeding him, he finds new ways in which to bait us even more. The result is not debate but rather a dog chasing his own tail.

    I have flagged numerous posts of his that are particularly offensive and really over the top. Each time, a message comes up saying that the comment has already been flagged and to contact [email protected], indicating that there are many other people on these threads beside myself who are also flagging his comments.

    I have emailed [email protected] and I know, for a fact, that others who regularly post on these threads have also written to express their feeling about the ongoing obnoxious and offensive posts.

    The fact remains, however, that the quarrelous, offensive and unprovoked attacks against LGBT continue unabated and seem to be escalating, in fact, which is probably due in part to our continuing to respond to him.

    Since queerty obviously has no intention of either warning the offending posters to cease and desist, much less ban them, then the only solution to the problem is the one that Andrew has sensibly made.

    Stop feeding the trolls. By answering them, we are giving them the satisfaction that they seek and giving them more ammunition to fire back at us. Their goal is to throw us off balance and upset us.

    Responding to them, simply let’s them know that they have succeeded and creates another round of abuse from them.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Jaroslaw: I already told you.

    I take a principled stand against homosexuality because it is sexually deviant, immoral and ultimately destructive behaviour.

    I agree homosexuals should be free to choose that lifestyle if they so wish, but I strongly disagree that we should redefine marriage to accommodate that choice.

    And I’m not alone. My views represent the majority of Americans and the doctrine of every major world religion, both Eastern and Western.

    Now you explain why we should let you redefine marriage. Unlike you I won’t try to impose a long list of conditions.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @schlukitz: I have flagged your post for being hateful, offensive to people of faith, and extremely bigoted.

    Please try to be more tolerant of other people’s views.

  • schlukitz

    @Jaroslaw:

    I take a principled stand against homosexuality because it is sexually deviant, immoral and ultimately destructive behaviour.

    Then he goes on to say that I have flagged your post for being hateful, offensive to people of faith, and extremely bigoted.

    Sounds just like the Mormons and the Church, doesn’t he?

    What he defines as a “principled stand”, in his warped mind, gives him license to deliver his deviant, immoral and ultimately destructive behaviour toward gay people with impunity.

    But….if we, who are the ones being dumped on and condemned by these self-righteous types, dispute them or defend ourselves, they turn the whole thing around cry “foul ball”.

    Why does the name Fred Phelps come to mind. They believe that they can sling all the shit they want, because their God says “It’s cool”, but we are sinners not only for being what we are, but by refusing to accept our place.

    A bunch of sick motherfuckers, if ever I heard of any.

  • edgyguy1426

    @youcanthandlethetruth: Which to me is a laff riot, cuz my goat never learned how to sign a marriage license, but whoa when he does, we’ll be the first ones at the courthouse

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    Both terms are misleading.

    It isn’t “Marriage Equality” because homosexuals already have an equal right to marry as everybody else.

    And if they truly wanted a redefinition of marriage to be “equal” for all then they would want to include polygamy, consanguineous marriage, child marriage, bestial marriage, etc etc.

    The best description is HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE because it reminds everyone that you are homosexual, not gay.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @schlukitz: I’m glad schlitz is beginning to see the hypocrisy of his ways.

  • Bri

    @youcanthandlethetruth: HAHAHAHA. Do you know where you are? You are the bigot here. This is a gay blog, and if your posts aren’t being deleted – what makes you think schlukitz’s posts will?

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Bri: You mean I have the same right to free speech as you homosexuals??

    That makes me feel so special.

  • Jaroslaw

    #55 OMG – YCHTT

    Ok, immoral, deviant, destructive. You need to be more specific. If you and your wife have sex upside down, it is deviant. That by itself is not enough. I’ve already mentioned a million times many many things are immoral according to the Bible – such as gossip and charging interest (usury) but neither of those things is illegal nor are there any proposals of making it illegal.

    You need to work where I work, for the welfare dept. There are 10’s of thousands of children born to unwed parents every year in almost every state. And do you have any idea how many thousands of cases of child abuse are by the child’s own parents? How do you think most of these children come out?

    Does this fit your definition of immoral and destructive? Why aren’t you out passing laws to make unwed parenting illegal and punishable by jail time?

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Jaroslaw: That would be a great idea.

    But saying that other people abuse marriage and parenting too doesn’t justify redefining marriage for homosexuals.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right

  • SM

    @youcanthandlethetruth:

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

    So where can I pick up my new slaves? We are going by the Bible now. Hell, according to the Bible I can kill babies!

  • Jaroslaw

    #66 if this were a theoretical conversation, your answer would be fine. But most states have offered people the “right” to vote on these issues.

    So if you voted (or gave money or otherwise worked …) to prohibit same sex marriage based on “saving” marriage, etc. then you must work on passing laws to prohibit divorce, adultery etc. Which I know perfectly well you aren’t. WHY NOT?

    You’re still not answering the question.

  • SM

    @youcanthandlethetruth:

    Forget Proposition 8 and Gay rights….you better get busy killing everyone working on the Sabbeth. The Bible is the Law of the Land. DAMMIT! People are in troubleeeeeee. KILL THEM!

    The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: ‘Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.’ (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

  • Jaroslaw

    #57 Schlukitz – I agree of course, thanks.

  • Jaroslaw

    Rock on #69 –

    in case you don’t get the point, YCHTT, many things are immoral and deviant, including working on the Sabbath, IF you are Jewish.

    So, many other things are immoral and deviant, and destructive – why don’t we pass laws against them all? Because we are supposed to be a pluralistic society, which allows freedom of religion as much as possible.

    You are free to believe what you want, but you can’t force your religion on me. If the only argument you can give against same sex marriage is that it is against the Bible, which is very much unclear – remember Jesus said nothing about homosexuality – and the old Testament is full of unusual sex Ok’d by God – then you better come up with something else or live and let live.

    Live whatever life you want, but allow others THE SAME privilege. Do unto others as you would have them do unto YOU????

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Jaroslaw: I already answered this on another thread.

    Once these laws are passed it’s virtually impossible to reverse them. This includes laws that relax requirements for divorce.

    That’s why it’s so important to nip homosexual marriage in the bud and stop it in its tracks, as we did in California.

    The fabric of society is already unraveling fast enough without trying to accelerate the process.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Jaroslaw: You are also free to believe what you want but you cannot force your abnormal lifestyle on me or the rest of the American people.

    The Bible condemns homosexuality as sinful in both the Old and New Testaments, and Jesus defines marriage as one man one woman in Matt 19.

    Would you extend your doctrine of “live and let live” to pedophiles by campaigning to reduce the age of consent?

  • Jaroslaw

    #73

    1. I’m not forcing you to be homosexual – I want the right to choose who I marry, same as you. If I pay the same taxes you do, and I don’t have the same rights, you ARE forcing your religion on me.

    2. I like how you pass over the unusual sex in the Bible like Lot and his daughters and the other posts here by SM about slaves and killing babies

    – Jesus himself DID NOT say anything about homosexuality. Show me where he did.

    AS to him speaking about marriage was between a man and a woman, I don’t know the audience he was speaking to, the same sex issue may not have been relevant. This proves nothing. But read about the Slavemaster and his “boy” that was healed. If you study that carefully, language, history, choices of words for “slave boy” etc. it is almost certain that was not just any slave boy.

    3. Live and let live as I have stated many times is between adults who are able to give consent. Children are not able to give consent nor or the severely retarded or any other person unable to clearly communicate their wishes.

    For you to stoop to this level shows the weakness of your arguments. I’m through if you can’t do any better than this.

  • schlukitz

    @Jaroslaw:

    For you to stoop to this level shows the weakness of your arguments.

    Weak minds are incapable of producing strong arguments. LOL

  • Jaroslaw

    Thanks again Schlukitz – nothing (save a couple very small insults to YCHTT and one or two others) I’ve posted would give anyone the idea that I think pedophilia is ok. And I also think it is pretty clear that people should be respectful of each other as much as possible.

  • Jaroslaw

    oops, I mixed those up – nothing I’ve posted save a couple small insults should give anyone the idea that I think being RUDE is okay and NOTHING I’ve posted could in a million years even infer I think pedophilia is ok.

  • youcanthandlethetruth

    @Jaroslaw: 1. I’m not forcing you to be homosexual – I want the right to choose who I marry, same as you. If I pay the same taxes you do, and I don’t have the same rights, you ARE forcing your religion on me.

    ______________________________________________

    We both have exactly the same right to marry, and neither of us can automatically marry anyone we choose.

    The fact that we pay the same taxes or not has nothing to do with our rights being the same.

    Nobody is forcing you to become a Christian or anything else. At the same time why should we allow a tiny minority of people who happen to choose an abnormal lifestyle to redefine marriage against the wishes of the majority?

    Regardless of whether that minority are bigamists, polygamists, pedophiles, bestialists or homosexuals.

  • Jaroslaw

    YCHTT – You don’t get to define what an abnormal lifestyle is.

    Prove what is inherently dangerous about being Gay, WHY it is your business whom I marry – answer the questions about the pheromone study and much other SCIENTIFIC data about why people are Gay….

    Obviously, the sky has not fallen in on Vermont or Massachussetts etc. Straight people are still getting married and having children, no one has “converted” to homosexuality simply because the STATE decided it is not their business who can marry.

    THINK, IF YOU CAN _ 33 state constitutions have been amended to deny Gays the right to marry – the first time in history a constitution has been AMENDED to deny a specific group rights. This should concern you, because if Muslims get to be a majority, they could amend constitutions to not allow Christianity.

    Where is your principle then? Since you are so concerned about the family etc., how come constitutions can’t be amended to guarantee food and housing for all? Seems a waste of time (and 10’s of millions of dollars of money wasted) to deny adults the right to live their lives.

    What you don’t seem to get is I will still live with my husband (if I had one) – the only thing you have done is deny me the monetary benefits of marriage- the 1000 rights you get that I don’t.

  • Jaroslaw

    YCHTT – don’t bother answering. I re-read the posts above You have ignored so many questions as you always do – that you can’t or won’t answer so just stop wasting everyone’s time.

  • schlukitz

    @Jaroslaw:

    so just stop wasting everyone’s time.

    But’s that’s precisely why he’s here and the following quote fits him perfectly.

    “Do you beleive in the here after? Then you know what I’m here after!” … Artie Johnson (Tyrone) to Ruth Buzzy (Gladys): The Rowan and Martin Laugh-In.

  • Jaroslaw

    #82 Schlukitz – before I forget again, how did you decide on your name?

    Yes, I know he’s only here to waste people’s time. I just hope as I said before some of my responses would at least be food for thought for other readers either for their own use or in debates with others.

    I didn’t bring this up before, that Uncle of mine had a raft of kids, all very decent people, but very dyed in the wool in the religion except Dottie & Jon. Dottie is a radical and Jon is Gay. But even before Jon came out (it was super obvious though) officially, I never heard them rail against Gays the way YCHTT does. Although I’d bet they all voted to amend the consitution of the states they live in if they had the opportunity. Since he passed, and they all live out of state, I doubt if too many opportunities to discuss it will arise. I know Jon has told me often he gave up years ago.

    The odd thing, he is one of the most committed Christians I know, gentle & kind, been with the same guy from Brazil for about 15 years (they met at a Gay men’s Chorus in Seattle) – who is a better advertisement for the love of Jesus, humility and all: Jon or YCHTT? Readers & S – YOU decide.

  • Bialogue

    First off marriage is marriage that all it should be.

    Two people who love each other and being of legal age and sound mind, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . should be allowed to avail themselves of the Civil Contract know in the USA as “Marriage”. And in doing so should be able to reap the benefits of and enter into the legal obligations of that happy state called matrimony. And other than you nosy friends, busybody families, nagging in-laws and possibly soon to be darling offspring, it is no one else’s business. Well, possibly also the IRS who will note a change in your tax status, but you see what I’m getting at here.

    But in all seriousness yes, of course, people should stop calling it “Gay Marriage”. That makes it sound like we want to make it so only Gay Men can also get married. But what about the all the Lesbian Women, and the Bisexual/Pansexual folks and the Transgender/Genderqueer people too? Will we have to have another vote for each of them?

    I mean, am I the only one who thinks that it looks kinda stupid when you have a picture of two happy dykes surrounded by all their lesbian friends, not a man in sight, looking like an especially sweet episode of The L Word driving off into the sunset in their pickup . . . with the caption “GAY Marriage”?

    And BTW for all you guys who will now write in to say “well you know what we mean, don’t be so picky” . . . then you won’t mind at all if from now on we shorten it to “Lesbian Marriage”, or even better for fitting into those pesky headlines, “Bi Marriage” . . . will you?

  • Estraven

    One way around the “same-sex” problem is to call it “same-gender” marriage. And Bialogue is right, another very good reason to use the words marriage equality is that they are more inclusive. Sometimes a bisexual can marry someone of the same gender, and that bisexual can either be a cisgendered person or a transgendered person. A transgendered person can be gay, straight, or bisexual, and the trans person who starts out straight before transition will end up gay after transition, and hence need marriage equality (although the laws concerning trans people and marriage are very variable from state to state).

    The gene for male homo/bisexuality has been found (same gene), as well as the gene for MtF and FtM transsexuality. It is only a matter of time before the gene for female home/bisexuality if found. The entire animal kingdom is bisexual; bisexuality IS the natural order of things (look up “Homosexual Behavior in the Animal Kingdom” in Wikipedia).

    It is not true that all religions reject homosexuality; only the Abrahamic ones do. Buddhism is completely accepting of homosexuality, as were the Native American Indian religions before the missionaries got here. For that matter, go to Samuel 18:1. After David kills Goliath, he meets Jonathan, the son of Saul, and they have a very clear gay relationship. Saul gets jealous because David is more popular than he is, and David has to flee, but God saves him time and time again. When Jonathan dies in battle, David says “I am desolate for you …your love more wonderful to me than the love of a woman” (end of 2Samual).

    Not only does God not smite him for the gay relationship, but he makes him King of all Israel. So it seems God loves gay men :)

  • Musqrat

    Many of the same-sex couples I know from when Gavin Newsom legalized it in San Francisco are bisexual. It’s not just a gay issue.

  • Sheela Lambert

    As a bisexual person, the term “gay marriage” makes me cringe because it excludes me and everyone else in the bi community. Using the term “marriage equality” is way more inclusive. Except that many people follow it with “for gay & lesbian couples,” in which case we are cringing again.

    When bi people marry a same sex partner, they do not turn into a lesbian or a gay man. They still have a bi identity. The terms “gay marriage” or “marriage equality for lesbian & gay couples” both disinclude us.

    So we would ask that people use phrases like “marriage equality for LGBT couples” or “equal marriage rights for all couples” or “marriage equality is important for LGBT families” or “marriage equality is important to the LGBT community”
    or “we are opposed to marriage discrimination”
    or “marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
    We also much prefer “same-sex marriage” to “gay marriage” in cases where “marriage equality” doesnt work.

    The LGBT press should be modelling for the mainstream press the language we would like them to use. Which should be the most progressive language.

  • jason

    “Gay” simply refers to a same-sex interaction. It is not – and nor should it ever – describe a person in his or her totality. A person is far too complex a creature to be narrowed down to what he or she does in the bedroom.

  • Estraven

    Queerty just informed me that the troll has been banned. So this is now a troll-free zone :)

    The point is, Queerty WILL do something if enough people report a troll. I admit it, I had to get my points in, but generally I agree: trolls come to a place like this because they feed on negative attention. Once you have shared what valuable information you have that others might not, stop arguing with them and just keep flagging and reporting them until they are banned. Even outside community places like this, more and more Internet sites have clear policies against hate speech against LGBT people, and do enforce them if enough people complain for long enough.

  • jason

    The term “gay marriage” is fine with me. It simply refers to marriage between two people of the same gender. If we stick to using gay as an adjective and not a noun, we can avoid the pitfalls of prejudice.

    When used as a noun, the word “gay” is horribly prejudicial.

  • Robyn Ochs

    I completely agree with your “Why We Don’t Say Gay Marriage” video and thank you for creating and posting it. I have long used the term “marriage equality” because — as you so cogently said — we’re not fighting for some separate “special” category of “gay marriage,” but insisting that our relationships be treated the same as anyone else’s. And furthermore, as a bi-identified woman married to a lesbian, I don’t feel that the term “gay marriage” really does the job of describing our marriage. Bravo!

  • chrysee

    i’m not magically gay if i marry a woman. i’m still bi. just as i’m not magically straight if i marry a man. a marriage is a marriage, if it’s between a man and a woman, same-sex couple, transperson and cisperson, or even more than two (which you needn’t look too far in the bible to find that marriage!). marriage is marriage, and we’re looking to expand the legal definition to include two people of the same sex. a gender-neutral marriage licence would help transpeople as well (it varies from state to state as to how the sex change is recognized, and while one might be able to get married, i know here in kansas, marriage benefits after death weren’t extended to the widow because she was born a he). so it does matter. using polygamy to keep holding on to “gay marriage” is the red herring!

  • Max the Communist

    Please use same-sex marriage or marriage equality. It includes bi and transgender people who are just as unfairly impacted by heterosexism, transphobia, and lack of civil rights as gay men and lesbian women.

    Polygamists will hijack “marriage equality”? I think you have been listening to James Dobson just al little too long.

  • Garth

    As journalists, it is your responsibility to be as accurate as possible. Going for the convenient term or the one that will get the most hits is wrong, and it’s using ignorance rather than being informative. The term ‘gay marriage’ not only ignores the fact that bisexuals exist and may be involved in same sex marriages, but it still suggests a separation between it and other kinds of marriage. Not only is it more accurate to say ‘marriage equality’, but it is more inclusive. And the ‘term marriage’ equality in no way suggests polygamy, that is just another tool used by ignorant people to justify their laziness.
    The point of being a journalist is to disseminate information, not to write things that fit into a certain amount of space. Although that may be an issue with newspapers, I don’t see why it would matter online. More so, if that’s how you think, you should reassess your priorities; are you writing for the people or the editors?

  • Estraven

    If we consider LGBTI:

    1) If two Lesbians marry, that is not a gay marriage, or
    2) as in Robyn’s case, if a bi woman and a Lesbian marry.
    3) If a bi man and a gay man marry, that is not really a pure gay marriage either,
    4) nor if two bi men marry
    5) or two bi women.

    There is a natural alliance between the bi and the trans communities, because, unless a trans person has a wildly successful trasition and is totally post-op, usually they end up with some lingering traces of the sex they were born with. This would bother a 100% straight or gay person, but most bisexuals find this mixing of the genders to be extremely attractive, so many trans people end up with bisexual partners. So:

    6) If a bi woman marries a transwoman, that is not a gay marriage,
    7) or if a bi man marries a transman.
    8) Finally, if two intersex people marry each other, that is not a gay marriage either.

    This is obviously not an exhaustive listing, but obviously two gay men marrying each other is only a small fraction of the ways two same-gender people can end up married. Calling it “gay marriage” as though none of these other groups of people exist is denying reality. We are going to have to fight really hard to get marriage equality to be the law of the entire US of A, and ALL of us will have to pull together. To call it something that alienates and insults three quarters of the community does not seem politically wise.

  • Garth

    Also very important, why is the writer of this article so opposed to marriage equality for all? Specifically excluding polygamists may be your personal agenda, but in my opinion, if we’re not all free, none of us are really free. And as a minority, we should not be fighting each other but supporting each other in our struggle to equalize with the majority. That is what’s so sad about the mormons taking such a prominent part of pushing prop8 through. Leaving their own state to go to California just to make sure marriage is narrowly defined. They also do it to their own kind the polygamists, so disgusted with their ‘deviance’ from judeo-christian norms. In a country of so-called religious freedom, we should all support the right of polygamists to practice as they wish. But then there’s people’s personal prejudices and the overarching christian right to answer to. Isn’t that the same problem we as a sexual minority are facing? Until you can have integrity about life in all respects, you can only expect hypocrisy from others. In other words, “you live by the sword, you die by the sword”; If you’re a judgmental fool, then you create a judgmental world in which others will be judgmental about you, and wish to deny you equal rights.

  • Rob Barton

    I personally prefer to use the terms same-sex marriage or marriage equality. Very simple reason why, I am bi and do not consider myself to be gay, never have and I don’t see it changing any time soon.
    I know of several cases where a bi person entered a same sex marriage and it was reported by the media as a “gay-marriage” and some of them were bothered by it because they were made invisible.
    Same sex marriages could involve a bi person, two bi people, trans people, gender-queer people.
    Gay marriage is just not an acceptable term to many of us in the LGBT community who have been here fighting along side one another since the start. The first official organization established in the US to start working for same sex rights was in the 1920s and they made a formal choice to exclude bi people and their second in charge had to stay in the closet and let the others believe that he was gay and not bi. We have been here all along and involved all along, we were at Stonewall and in California the year before in that protest.
    Why should bi and trans people who have been involved in this struggles every step of the way still be made invisible? Why is our presence not acknowledged and respected? Why should we be simply considered to be a subgroup of gay when bisexuals outnumber gay and straight people?

  • Ron Suresha

    As a bi/queer man married to another man, and a bi activist, I feel the term “gay marriage” is inappropriate and misleading. Offensive, almost, considering that the major sexuality studies have long ago proven that bis exist in equal or greater numbers than “kinsey 6”-type homosexuals. Yet still bis and transfolk are invisible to many gay & lesbian activists. Although I like the term “gay” and do answer to it, “gay marriage” is not something that feels applicable or right to me, or for the rest of the GLBTIQ movement.

  • Thomas Leavitt

    There are vast numbers of non-bisexual folks in the “queer” community who don’t identify as “gay” (or “lesbian”), but still have same-sex partners that they’d like to be “married” to (in the sense of having the legal protections available to them on an equal basis).

    This is why language like “equal marriage” or “marriage equality” is important – it just isn’t us “oddball” bisexuals being excluded here, but lots of other folks as well – quite possibly including the Kinsey 6 guy you were in bed with last night :).

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