Gay Marriage, Climategate & Afghanistan Walk Into A Blog…


If civil unions afforded completely equivalent benefits as marriage, sans the actual title, would gay people still feel unequal?  I think this is a legitimate question.  The argument against that is that the separate but equal classifications creates a second tier of citizens, a la Brown V. Board of Ed.  But is that really true in the case of gay marriage?  If the benefits are identical, why is the term marriage so inherently valuable?  People will use the term married if they want (I doubt a couple would say “we’re united civilly”) and listeners will respect or disregard the usage of marriage in accordance with their own personal beliefs, regardless of what name the state confers upon a gay couple.  For centuries marriage has meant one thing in our culture and language.  Without stating whether this is right or wrong or getting into religious beliefs, my question is is it the word or the benefits or both?

But make no mistake, it is heterosexuals and our overstimulated culture that ruined marriage, not homosexuals.

Perhaps the gay lobby simply needs to re-vamp its marketing.  Maybe pay off some of the more attractive homosexuals to get married.  Every time I turn on a protest it’s some ugly lesbian couple or some fat pair of dudes that want to get married.  No one wants to see those people marry and imagine them having sex, whether gay or straight.  So get the happy gay people out of the clubs, gyms, and coffee shops and get them to sign on.


After “Climategate” Americans’ belief in global warming is going down according to polls.  My questions is why do we poll the American people on complex issues (not that climate change’s veracity is really a complex issue)?  I especially enjoy it when they poll Americans to know if they approve of the President’s handling of the economy.  I have a law degree from Georgetown, an undergraduate degree from Williams College and I don’t understand sh*t about economics (a B in my only economics class).  I also have a blu ray dvd collection that does not speak to fiscal responsibility. So if I feel inadequate to speak on economic issues, and the economists and bankers in charge have helped ruin our economy and they are the experts, why do we ask average Americans what they think?   They can have an opinion obviously, but most of the time it will be useless, which is what 77% of the people I asked this to thought.

But what if climate change is some elaborate hoax (Dan Brown’s next novel?)?  So what?  Why are goals of cleaner air, cleaner water,(i.e. healthier people) and better usage and replenishing of our resources not enough to motivate people and governments?  But of course, climate change is real.  The opponents of climate change urk me, but none more than the group of Republicans/”Democrats” who describe themselves as socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  They love to preach about science to the religious communities on social issues, but when science indicates climate change this is the first group to question scientific findings.  I do not enjoy the politics of this group of people because often the issue they care about is money.

3)  Afghanistan

I think if I had more courage I’d volunteer to go to Afghanistan (I still get scared while playing Modern Warfare 2).  I support Obama’s troop increase into Afghanistan, but it makes me nervous.  In my first year of law school I thought that perhaps the fight against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden was my generations WWII and that I might be wrong for not participating.  But then President Bush gave me a moral out by waging war in Iraq.

But it saddens me that the resolve of the American people seems to be swayed by their boredom with war almost as equally as by the facts of war.  When W. was waging war the country was more behind him for various factors; proximity to 9/11, less time invested in the war and lies to name a few (and by the way W. had one thing going for him – he delivered war speeches better than Obama.  When W. spoke on the war and the threats he really did believe with his whole heart that he was doing the right thing, as evidenced by the fact that these were the only times he could speak with clarity and confidence.  I think Cheney had more nefarious motives, but from all I’ve read Bush really may have been more incompetent than malevolent – more Fredo than Hitler).  During that time our country’s independents/centrists/moderates had no problem being supportive and would disregard evidence to the contrary.  Now they are all too willing to back away from Obama.  No one knows for sure whether we will succeed or fail in Afghanistan, but our societal ADHD should not play a favor in the decision making and I am glad Obama did not let it.

A friend of mine actually said around 4 years ago, “the soldiers volunteered for it” as if it justified the cause (in Iraq) while more recently this same friend tried to play the sympathy for military members and families against me for my support of sending troops to Afghanistan.  We are front runners in this country and it does not just apply to sports teams and celebrities.  Perhaps the surge won’t work.  After all I once bought a puppy to act as a romance surge in a failing relationship.  A month later the relationship was over.  I hope the troops have better luck and I feel that the cause is just.

4) Why does health care for poor people get some people angrier than any of these things?

That’s all I got today.

  • Myq Kaplan

    Point of disagreement–

    “For centuries marriage has meant one thing in our culture and language.”

    Less than a century ago, to most people, marriage would have meant “one white man and one white woman.”
    1967 was the year that all miscegenation laws were struck down.
    If that hadn’t happened, but instead laws had been created to make a separate category for interracial marriage-like couplings, would your feelings on those unions and semantics be similar to the ones you feel about today’s situation?

    Additionally, going back even further, “traditional” marriage’s definition has altered quite a lot, from the biblical days when a wife was specifically property of a husband, and there was no specific limit on the number of women a man could have.

    Sometimes change can be positive.

    I will say that I’d be fine with civil unions being the norm for everyone, to be used for everyone as “marriage” is today. Same benefits conferred by the same terminology. And then if whoever wants to go get “marriages” from whatever non-government organization they want, go nuts.

    Also I’d like concubines back.

    1. J-L Cauvin

      excellent point on “couplings” though it would be easy to many to make a distinction on marriage on gender grounds (reproduction, etc.) than on racial, but perhaps that is my own selfish, wanting to exist, bias. Your last paragraph makes sense to me as well – civil unions for all vs. marriages. I agree.

      FYI – everyone – this is The Tonight Show’s Myq Kaplan, so you know big shots read this blog 🙂

  • Myq Kaplan


    Big shot JL’s-blog-reader Myq Kaplan here, following up.

    If reproduction is your criterion for legal couplings, then should the elderly/post-menopausal be banned? What about the infertile? Couples who have had vasectomies/hysterectomies?

    And that’s not even getting into the issue of the ridiculous rate of overpopulation in the world today and the fact that couples who don’t contribute should probably be commended for that fact… and double kudos to couples who don’t contribute but DO adopt unwanted children of those who did (which includes many gay couples, who statistically have been shown to provide equally if not more stable homes for said children than straight couples).

    I’m glad you exist, J-L. But I’m also glad when people choose not to make additional unwanted lives exist. And I’m also glad when couples (of any gender, and probably not even necessarily limited to two-person groupings, if we were to get into it, but we can stick to couples for now) have the rights to hospital visitation, power of attorney, all the other rights that have nothing to do with child-rearing that straight married couples get. You know.

    But you did already agree with my civil unions for all program. So hooray.

    Big shot Myq Kaplan out.

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