Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gay marriage? Go for it.

Friday, I was listening to the Shanin & Parks show during afternoon drive time. It's a local talk show that deals with the issues of the day and has a conservative bent, for the most part.

The issue was gay marriage. Callers were understandably split, as this is a divisive issue both socially and politically. Most who opposed gay marriage cited the Bible as the source of their objection. They use terms like "sanctity of marriage" and "union between man and a woman." Those who support gay marriage usually don't cite anything. They just say that it doesn't bother them, or that society has evolved. They will say that society is more accepting of inter-racial marriage and people who live together and never marry than it once was.

Then there was Terry from Overland Park.

He wanted to know why more people didn't mention studies done in countries that allow gay marriage, 70% of the children born in that country are illegitimate. The people in Holland and Denmark, he said, where gay marriage is allowed, are popping out illegitimate kids at an alarming rate. Why weren't people mentioning those studies?

I reached for my cell phone.

First of all, I hate the term "illegitimate children." All children are legitimate. They all need food and clothing and love. To me, it doesn't matter the marital state of their parents. Do "legitimate" children suddenly become illegitimate when their parents divorce?

I'm getting off the subject at hand. Suffice it to say that no one addressed Terry's concerns about why these studies to which he was privy were never cited. And I never got through to the station to voice my opinion.

So I'm going to use this forum to state my opinion about gay marriage and Terry's opinion about those studies.

I have searched the Internet and haven't found those studies. I've found opinions in support of some studies that kind look at that correlation. One even went so far as to examine possible objections to his opinion.

You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation.” Yes, but often it does.
Wow. That's compelling. Yes, but often it does. The author then went on to talk about no-fault divorce, which has nothing to do with gay marriage. Like Terry, he offered no real support for his opinion.

Children being born out of wedlock (another of my favorite terms) are not the result of gay marriage. How can it be? By and large, gay people are not breeders.

In those countries that allow gay marriage, adoption by gay couples is more prevalent. A child who needs a family is adopted by two people in a loving committed relationship? Fine by me. In my mind, that child is much better off than one who is brought up by a single parent who either can't support him or doesn't want him.

In direct response to Terry from Overland Park, I would say that no one cites those studies for several reasons:

  1. No one can find them.
  2. Even the most ardent anti-gay marriage Bible thumper has to agree that any argument citing the correlation between gay marriage and illegitimate kids is thin, at best, when discussing gay marriage. At worst, it's irrelevant.
  3. You're a jackass for thinking that way.

If I had gotten through to the radio station, I wonder if I could have snuck that one by the sensor. Probably not.

I think a lot of people have problems with the semantics. "Don't call it marriage. Call it a civil union." That's a crap argument, too.

Marriage is a civil union, even if you get married in a church. Don't believe me? Try getting married in a church by a preacher, minister or priest without presenting them with a license. The state is giving its OK for the union, the church is just providing the place and the officiant. (Ours was George Harrison... the banker, not the Beatle.)

In the end, I have to agree with a lot of the people who called when I say I'm fully in support of it. Two people in a committed relationship should not be denied the same rights that I have when it comes to the economic benefits of marriage, if there are any. They should be able to buy a house together, be eligible for insurance provided by their partner's employer if it's better, be allowed to inherit property without contest, and be allowed the power of attorney when it comes time to make decisions.

They should be subject to the phone calls about when they'll be home, the nagging about their habits or hobbies, the arguments about money or toothpaste on the counter, or whose turn it is to carry out the trash. Who am I to deny them that?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Sports List May Be a Little Skewed

No sports list is complete without including the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team. And when I say "no list," I mean "NO LIST."

Biggest Upset
#4 Sea Biscuit beats Man o' War
#3 South Carolina Beats Houston
#2 Villanova beats Georgetown
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team

Most Inspiring
#4 Kerri Strug Sticks the Landing on One Leg in 1996
#3 Kirk Gibson Lifts the Dodgers over the A's in 1988
#2 Jim Valvano's "Never Give Up" Speech
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team

Best True Story that Became a Movie
#4 Outcast race horse owned, trained and ridden by outcasts, beats the most dominant horse of the era
#3 White running back and black running back play for the Chicago Bears, one dies of cancer
#2 Yankee great dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, although it wasn't called that at the time
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team

Best Sports Team Ever to Lift an Entire Nation in a Politically Charged Environment as the World Looked On
#2 South Africa 1995 Rugby World Cup
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team

Best Team Nickname
#4 1984 University of Houston - "Phi Slamma Jamma"
#3 1927 New York Yankees - "Murderer's Row"
#2 1946 St. Louis Cardinals - "Gas House Gang"
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team - "1980 US Olympic Hockey Team"

Basketball Dynasties
#4 Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls
#3 Bill Russell's Boston Celtics
#2 John Wooden's UCLA Bruins
#1 US Olympic Hockey Team

Best Catches
#4 Ozzie Smith's Bad Bounce Bare-Handed Play
#3 Jim Edmonds Diving Over the Shoulder Catch
#2 Willie Mays' "The Catch"
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team

Most Devastating Hits
#3 Lawrence Taylor Breaks Joe Theisman's leg
#2 Chuck Bednarik Knocks Out Frank Gifford
#1 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team