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« Share Your Story with Obama | Main | Describe to me, if you will... »

December 19, 2008



"There is no good argument to be heard against gay marriage and the only thing these people cling to are draconian biblical stories. Their reasons for being against it are borne purely out of ignorance and hate."

Wow, what a myopic and bigoted statement. And kudos for dragging out slavery because, you know, gay people were traditionally enslaved in America's history so it's okay to equivocate that. Oh wait, no they weren't so no it isn't.

But I digress. At least before someone calls Warren Hitler.


I could understand being pissy if he used Obama's inauguration as a platform against gay marriage and abortion and all the myriad other things he disagrees with Obama about... as it would be monumentally tacky and a squandered opportunity... But questioning the right of him to be there is, well, really closed-minded in my eyes.

I'm just glad Obama isn't being as petty about it as several gay people are.


I nearly barfed when I watched that clip. Marriage across cultures and across history has also included polygamy and women as property. Warren doesn't mention that. So his romanticized notion of "one man, one woman for life," as a universal historical precedent is just plain ignorant.



Everything you say in your comment is so off-target I have to respond:

1. You seem to think that there is a reason-based argument against gay marriage that drives people like Warren. Otherwise, I can't imagine why you react so strongly against what Adam has said here. Yes, he and others appear to be driven by ignorance and/or hate. I'd love to hear your alternative explanation.

2. Ummm, Adam never claimed gays were enslaved. Rather, he is doing a "reductio ad absurdum" on Warren's "argument" based on tradition. If the denial of gay marriage rights is justified solely on the basis that it has been practiced for thousands of years, then the practice of slavery would be justified solely on the basis that it was practiced for thousands of years. But obviously slavery is not morally justified for that reason--therefore the denial of gay marriage rights cannot be justified solely for that reason.

3. Finally, I don't think anyone is questioning Warren's *right* to be at the inauguration (if invited, as he was). What is being questioned is Obama's judgment in selecting someone with his anti-gay views to this sort of ceremony. Inaugurations are celebratory and tone-setting, and I don't know why you find it so difficult to understand why having someone with anti-gay views is so upsetting in this context.


Re. 1. There are a lot of simple reasons for why gay marriage is a bad thing. There are even more arguments as to why the way most Gays want gay marriage enacted (IE ramming it down people's throats) are also bad things. The people who feel that way do so because of a mix of religious beliefs (on the 'is gay marriage a morally correct?' front) and political leanings (on the 'is the way to get rights by enforcing it through the courts/legislature/executives?' front). I do not agree with either camp, but I don't feel the appropriate response is to just flat out dismiss such notions as 'bigotry' amongst other pejoratives. Furthermore, doing so, I feel, will do little to convince people on the fence about the topic to side with us, because people don't like siding with jerks, and going "oh he's just a bigot" out of anger and spite is a jerky thing to do.

Re. 2. Slavery was a bad topic to pick nonetheless. It's sets up an equivocation fallacy because it's comparing a previous moral wrong (enslavement) with a current moral wrong (denial of institutional non-traditional love-bonds) which really don't have that much to do with each other (gays, as a group, were never sold around and considered chattel). The better example would be institutionalization of the interracial marriage taboo, which was held up for just as long, and struck down in much the same way.

re 3. Gays are throwing tantrums. Plain and simple. They see something they don't like and are proceeding to cry bloody murder. But it's not like before when gays were throwing tantrums about AIDS because people were dying and people were ignoring us... now people pay attention to us and give gays opportunities to communicate our views and needs and display our contributions to society... and we're throwing tantrums because some guy who said some mean things about gay people might be standing next to the president in a few weeks.

It's not at all difficult to see why having someone who's said anti-gay things up next to Obama would upset gay people, but I am not seeing any proof here as to why The Rest Of The World should give a shit.

Nor will I see it when and if we protest Obama meeting with leaders of certain Muslim nations that actually kill people for being gay sometimes, or other religious leaders... namely because the importance of maintaining a good relationship with people that can enact needed change, even if you don't agree with them, even if they've done some icky things in their life, will ultimately end up being more important.

But that is the really big issue here. It's not all about me and my gayness. It's not the biggest thing in the world to me whether I can or can not gay marriage. Living in the suburbs of Georgia I understand it will probably get to me last, and somehow my life is going on. I cope. Lots of people cope with lots of different injustices in the world, and a lot of them are much bigger than whether two lesbians can tie the knot. Things like Poverty, and AIDS, and Cancer...

I just feel like a large part of The Gay Movement is starting to act in a way that is really Selfish and Petty. But I won't accuse it flat out.

I already said I don't like calling people names.


Oh noes, Rick Warren doesn't like the gays. Big fucking deal.

Arthur (AmeriNZ)

I have to agree with Adam and Brad on this post. Epilonious, I'm sorry, but you need to chill!

First, whether you approve or not, GLBT have every right to be out in the streets protesting. You may dismiss it as mere childish tantrums, but the right of peaceful protest is at the core of our democratic traditions. So, tutt-tutt all you want, but what you're seeing is democracy in action, in all its inelegant, sloppy and sometimes even childish brilliance. I wouldn't have it any other way.

You're absolutely right about one thing: The rest of the world won't "give a shit" about any of this. So what? The point is how much this matters to American GLBT people in America. Hell, even my opinions don't really matter in that respect.

I cannot understand why you're so angry at those of us who aren't willing to sit in the back of the bus and, as you put it, "cope with lots of different injustices." Of course "Poverty, and AIDS, and Cancer" are important, but since when is there a limited pool of justice that has to be shared out among different worthy goals?

Picking Warren was wrong. He IS a bigot; no matter how distasteful you find the label to be, it truly fits him. Adam's rage is both understandable and justified because of Warren's bigotry.

So we have every right to question Warren's right to be there (that pesky old thing called democracy raising its head again!). But I do wonder: If you can call us "petty" (in a strictly non-name calling way, of course), would you mind terribly if we refer to you as a quisling in return? Obviously also in a totally non-name calling way.


Once again, the most vocal and self-serving members of the gay community have proven to me why 'we' don't deserve shit.

'We' will get so wrapped up in how much 'we' hate each other and what 'we' think 'we' deserve, 'we'll miss over opportunities that serve us /and/ others.

Obviously, 'we' cannot be trusted to do much at all, because 'we' will get so pissed off at someone 'we' don't like getting placed in a figurative position of respectability, that we'll take our ball and go home.

I guess I'll have to remain oblivious to all the shit that goes on to slight 'us' and suffer the risk of experiencing moments of joy and avoiding the need for recreational outrage and grandstanding apoplexy.


I loved Adam when he was podcasting about things like going to Australia and experiencing moments of happiness. Now it appears this blog is nothing but shadow boxing with hyperbolic threats to the mythical gay honor.


“I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church,” he said in a recent interview with BeliefNet.
In the same interview, he compared the “redefiniton(sic) of a marrige(sic)” to include gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy.

-Did ya notice how he defined gays as A.I.D.S.? Did ya also notice how he connected gays to sex with children?

It is just ridiculous to deny that this guy has some really deep hatred for 10%+ of the United States population. And his comment about the rights of "2%" flies directly in the face of the Constitution. Too bad George Wallace isn't around anymore; he could have been named Secretary of State.


Hi there!
Nice blog!
Have a great Sunday!
Cheers from London

Matthew Thompson

I would recommend the movie "A Soldier's Story" to Epilonious. He may not realize it (and will likely deny it), but his position is more harmful to the gay rights movement than Rick Warren will ever be. If we are unwilling to yell and scream, we will never be heard.


It is pathetic how "Epilonius" is trying to troll for readers by making pathetic arguments on Adam's blog.


*shrug* I understand everyone is really angry, but you know who isn't going to be running the country as if he ran on a Gay Rights platform?


Because he didn't run on a Gay Rights platform. (And Biden flat out said "no" when he asked if he believed in Gay Marriage.) And no amount of Gay Rage is going to change that.

What Obama ran on was not excluding any group whatsoever. To work on disagreeing without being disagreeable.

So, in accordance with that philosophy, Obama picked one of the 'newer, gentler' Fundamentalists (I mean, he obviously doesn't like Gay People, but Warren at least seems to care more about charity and helping the poor and other things Jesus -actually- cared about more than scouring the homo infidels from the earth) to be at the inauguration.

So I'm just wondering why Adam and a lot of other Gays are acting as if Obama doing what he said he would do is a big, revolting surprise (well, actually, a politician doing what he said he would do IS a big surprise, but I digress).

So essentially, I see things like Adam's bitchy letter to the president as funny/silly. Adam is angry, so angry that he's willing to put blinders on to what possible good inviting a fundamentalist preacher to a historic event to talk about what he thinks is important (a whole mess of traditionally conservative people (and there are a whole lot of them in evangelical camps) willing to calmly consider working with liberal people on traditionally liberal issues, a nice change from politics where Bush pretended no-one existed to the left of McCain)... and that is why I make light of it now.

Generally, yelling and screaming doesn't get anything done. Especially over piddly shit like Gay Marriage.

I can understand yelling and screaming over lack of AIDS research when people were Dying... but 'gee, I'd like to marry my partner some day' is what I consider to be more the coffee table discussion you have with your evangelical neighbors all while assuring them that you don't want to force churches to perform gay ceremonies if they don't want to, and you would understand and accept their regrets if they didn't come to your ceremony.

Gay Marriage is also a battle the conservatives picked and the LGBT community got wrapped up in. I know scads of gay people who don't actually give a shit about Gay Marriage because, well, they're not interested in it. But they'll be nice and give a half-hearted 'yay gay marriage' if asked. And they love the party after the protest.

But, the gay community screaming bloody murder about Gay Marriage is like a toddler screaming over a toy in Wal*Mart. The anger does not match the injustice, and people psychologically ignore it or mock it because it's irritating as hell. And then wait for it to become hilarious in retrospect.

And that is the main issue I have. Angry people don't change their minds or consider other people's problems. Angry people also inject their anger into other groups and make THEM unwilling to change their minds...

So, I don't have a problem with sitting here and going "wow, what a self-involved and anger-fueled perspective..." and getting the brunt of Adam and friends' e-fury and treating me poorly for a month until the next outrageous thing comes along (whether it actually is or not). At least then they aren't running around screaming 'you're all a bunch of bigots!' at people leaving church.

At least I hope they aren't...

ryan charisma

I would like to know why there is any prayer at all in Obama's inaguration?

There is no need for any.

As for epilonious, you're simply wrong.


Another interesting commentor... nice to get some action here. :D

Anyways, without referring me to another website which suggest I'll burn in hell, can epilonious please summarize a few key points of "simple reasons for why gay marriage is a bad thing." I'm not being sarcastic here, simply want to see where the argument is, as I have yet to read something convincing from anywhere.

I live in a country where gay marriage is legal. In fact, we didn't even have a vote for it and it became legal. If I walk down the street and someone call me a faggot, I can guarantee you that some hetrosexuals will come and defend my right just like they were being attacked. I'm not trying to say that if it works for another country, it will work for the US, but not many of us (at least not 50% or more) up here actually give a damn whether there's gay marriage because no one really get affected by it, seriously!


Ryan: so gays are screaming "ya'll are a bunch of bigots" at churchfolk? well shit.

Sorata: It is a fundamental belief that Homosexuality is sinful and bad and wrong for an overwhelming majority of the people Warren represents (hence 'fundamentalist'). Granted, they are hypocritical about the belief because they don't also eschew pork and shellfish and cotton/poly blends (the other things banned by the aforementioned Draconian parts of the Bible they are referencing)... but really, Gay Marriage is like a sign of the apocalypse to them.

Is it bigoted? Yes... Is it Fair or rational? No... But that doesn't mean I don't understand their ire and fear, and it also doesn't mean going "you're a bigot" is the best way to handle it. And it's just so much of a silly schoolyard jeer.

The way I see it, is I realize they are obsessed with the word 'marriage', and are really worried that they might be forced to have two boys or two girls married at their altars (some are also scared that all gay people everywhere are trying to corrupt their children, but most politely acknowledge that it's rude to accuse the gay neighbors of trying to pluck up little Timmy and would make little Timmy apologize if he pointed at them and screamed 'mommy it's the faggots').

Frankly, I am of the "can we get civil unions for everyone" camp. You go to the statehouse and get your rights, and you go to the church of your choice to hold the party, everyone gets their equal rights and then the evangelicals stick to being holier than thou and thinking their marriages are more special and Godly than the heathens' (like they always have anyways).

And really, if it's possible to get some other big stuff done with the help of the conservatives, like ramping up education (the Baptists really did single-handedly finance my Grandma's college during the depression so I can't hate them too much) and gearing up to help the infirm and homeless, I'd rather invite them over to see what the bring to the table.

ryan charisma

"Ryan: so gays are screaming "ya'll are a bunch of bigots" at churchfolk? well shit."

why you addressing me with this?

Arthur (AmeriNZ)

My first reaction to the Warren invitation was similar to Ryan's, and if they didn't have a prayer this would never have happened. But the vast majority of Americans consider themselves to be religious, so that's not a fight I'd ever win, and one that would guarantee hardened opponents for the things I care very much about achieving.

However, that doesn't mean that picking Warren, specifically, was a good idea. I don't think that this particular invitation ever offered a chance for people to "disagree without being disagreeable".

Epilonious is right that it was the right wing that turned "gay marriage" into a political issue. They launched their crusade against it and our side was forced into defensive mode and, as he says, we often reluctantly came to the defense of "gay marriage" even if we previously weren't advocates.

What I think Epilonious doesn't adequately appreciate is the extent to which Warren has been one of the leaders of that crusade, which makes him our adversary. He may sound nicer than other preachers like him, but he holds the same attitudes, even once saying that the only difference between him and the vile James Dobson was one of tone.

Some right wing christianists are bothered only about the word "marriage", but most oppose ANY legal recognition of same-sex relationships. As far as I know, Warren has never expressed any willingness to support civil unions, though I could be wrong about that.

Adam was correct that there are no good, rational reasons to oppose marriage equality, but humans like to act irrationally much of the time. To that extent, Epilonious is right about the attitudes of the fundamentalists.

However, civil unions—even when they convey all the rights and privileges of marriage—have one fatal flaw: Transferability. For heterosexuals, their marriage is instantly transferable to every other state, and all the rights and privileges follow them. People in civil unions lose all their rights the minute they cross the state border.

So marriage matters. Ultimately, the Supreme Court will quite probably rule that all states must recognise the same-sex marriages of other states, even if they've outlawed it in their own. But that's probably a decade or more away. Maybe that's what the christianist crusaders like Warren are really scared about.

If I had my way, we'd convert all marriages to civil unions, open it up to same-sex couples, and leave the religious rite of marriage to churches to fight about among themselves. No state sets out to define who is and who is not baptised (or entitled to be), why should marriage be any different?

Take the legal side of marriage out of the churches and we might finally get somewhere. And people like Rick Warren would be irrelevant.


But what *I* want to know, is what gives us gays a right if any to protest anything? We have so many inner group issues, and so many people leading us in the wrong directions and giving heteros etc the wrong example why are we even worried about this stupid shit? I think if we're really a 2% of the population or whatever percent we should really be thinking about how to improve our community first before even thinking about marching on the streets and calling people bigots.


Ryan: I am a pretty pretty princess.

Arthur: I was suggesting the same thing as you WRT civil unions for everyone. marriage becomes a religion-only institution, civil union being the transferable thing for all love-pairings, gay or straight, that confer the rights of power of attorney, inheritance, and child placement.

Gays could still get married at a church, it just probably wouldn't be, say, the Mormon church (and if gays started complaining about not being able to get married in the tabernacle I would smile and say 'good luck with that, I'll help you with that goal right after you give me my solid gold toilet')

I also fully appreciate how adversarial Warren is to the LGBT movement... but I also just HATE ad hominem attacks and anger fueled snits (and spurious boycotts, and 'call in minority' days) being used like they are some sort of impressive political tactic. That's what THEY (fundamentalists) do, they did it first, and it didn't work for them either, and they were doing it in larger numbers with bigger signs. How many times has the AFA boycotted a car company and then called off a boycott after a generic ad-campaign change to fake being effective? No-one can really remember because the only ones who noticed were the AFA and a couple of gays who watched everything the AFA did because they hated them so much.

I don't entertain the idea that going "But Warren is a big bigoted meaney pants, Mr President!" is all that effective for anything.

Everyone knows he's a big bigoted meaney pants, but he's been invited to be a big bigoted meaneypants for the sake charity and peace, and wouldn't it just be lemon in our eyes if he pulled it off and made himself that much MORE relevant while we were in the other room crying about how much we don't like him and fighting with each other about who doesn't like him enough?

I feel like gays need to take a deep breath, soldier up, and do the big scary mature adult thing: Walk to the table while making some bitchy comments about his weight and his 80's preacher hair and then offer our support for charity, peace, education, AIDS awareness, and other things that are important to us and the world. Show that we're willing to deal with even the jerkiest jerks (and we don't even have to pretend to particularly like them) if it will make the world suck less.

Dan Knutson

This is very angering. Thank you for posting.


Rather than comment about the post, I'd rather just wish you and yours all the best in the new year. I hope it's a great one!


Rather than comment about the post, I'd rather just wish you and yours all the best in the new year. I hope it's a great one!

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