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June 27, 2013 - 7:21am

Today's Poll: Do you agree with Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Mara Morgan
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Indeed I Do!!!

Jeff Allen
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My well known faith based views aside, the ruling set a precedent of undercutting the voice of the people. The results of referendum votes everywhere are now at risk. Californians on multiple occasions turned out by the millions and voted down same sex marriage. After all appeals were exhausted, their states Constitution was amended. Yesterdays ruling just invalidated their Constitution and by virtue, the process of the vote of the people. Looking past the emotion of the debate, this sets dangerous precedent for the erosion of the voice of the majority and individual states rights.

Howard B. Owens
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Jeff, setting aside the gay marriage issue, based on what I've read so far, I share a little of your concern about the Prop 8 ruling.

At just face value, I find the rulings about DOMA and Prop 8 seem contradictory. Overturning DOMA was all about preserving states rights. And Prop 8 was a state issue.

However, the main problem that happened with Prop 8 was that Gov. Brown's administration refused to defend it. The defendants in the case did not have legal standing to be the defendants. A technical detail, but one that's important to a properly functioning legal system. The fault here lies not with the court, I don't think, but with the Brown Administration, which I think had an obligation to defend a proposition legally passed by the voters, even if the administration found it distasteful.

On the other hand, I've always opposed the referendum system in California. This is the same system that passed a three strikes law that puts a guy who steals a pizza in jail for life. The system is easily manipulated by special interests with a lot of money and a good propaganda machine to stir up emotions. The referendum system is totally contradictory to a representative style government.

Jason Crater
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Jeff - What if the "voice of the people" was to outlaw a different class of people from sharing equal rights? Would you still be in support of it?

I don't see how you feel justified projecting your personal religious views on everyone else?

Jason Crater
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Getting to the more political side of your issue w/ the Supreme Court's ruling...

What if a southern state voted to resegregate black and white citizens? Would you support it? What if white people outnumbered black people in that state and all the white people voted for resegregation and all black voted against?

Just a hypothetical situation...but sometimes the court has to protect the minority because their voice may not be heard otherwise.

Mark Brudz
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Our constitution only supports the will of the people when the rights of the individual are maintained,

Jeff Allen
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Jason, it is obvious you didn't read my post. My comments were aside from religious views. The issue I raised and politely disagree with Howard on is that a new precedent has been set that erodes the vote of the people. For the people of California to hold multiple, legal referendum votes that lead to amending to their Constitution only to have it only to have it invalidated by the Supreme Court without recourse now opens that possibility in any or all decisions made by majority vote in any state. Read them in their entirety minus what Fox, MSNBC, CNN, or any other news outlet tells you what it says and means. It supports the age old notion that people will unknowingly (sometimes willfully) sacrifice democracy for a cause that they are passionate about.

Phil Ricci
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Thank you for saying that Mark!

The thing that everyone keeps missing here is that the reason why we are a Republic that has a democratic process and NOT a democracy like I keep hearing people mistakenly say, is to protect the individual!

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are to protect the individual from the masses.

It means, Jeff, that tomorrow if 50.01% of Americans wanted to outlaw, Heavens forbid, Christianity, they could not. The constitution protects your rights to freedom of religion. It says that no matter what you believe, you have the right to it.

What the Supreme Court said yesterday is that the federal government cannot discriminate against a single group of people.

But no fears! For anyone who still wants to deny others equal rights because you find gays immoral or just plain icky, you can still live in one of the 37 states that don't believe in freedom.

That said....better move quick, because I think the tide has turned on this stupid debate!

Wouldn't it be great if all of these people who would wasted my tax money on this hate could actually do something useful with their time....like stop wasting our money!!!!

Kyle Couchman
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Mark is absolutely correct, thats why the US is a democratic republic, not a democracy.... Whats the difference you say, well jut so happens I know that answer LOL here is the distinction....

A republic is a government in which a restricted group of citizens form a political unit, usually under the auspice of a charter, which directs them to elect representatives who will govern the state. Republics, by their very nature, tend to be free polities, not because they are elected by the citizens of the polity, but because they are bound by charters, which limit the responsibilities and powers of the state. The fact that people vote for representatives has nothing to do with making anything free. The logical consistency and rationality of the charter, as well as the willingness of the people to live by it, is what keeps people free.

A democracy is government by the majority. There is still a restricted group of citizens in a democracy, but this group rules directly and personally runs the state. The group may delegate specific tasks to individuals, such as generalships and governorships, but there is no question that the ruling force in a democracy is not a charter (if there even is a charter), but the vote of the majority. Democracies are free only if the people know what freedom is and are consistent in their application of it. If they don’t know this, or more appropriately, if a majority of the people don’t know this, then a democracy could be just as tyrannical as the worst dictator (see Socrates’ forced suicide by the Athenian democracy.)

And as a interesting note there is a commentary on the mindset of those who sat at the constitutional convention and wrote our constitution, it's comments made me think about my stand and others on subjects like gay marriage and smoking bans etc. Especially on how even my own thinking was wrong so to speak.....

As should be plain, there is a giant difference between the two systems of government. One of the main fears at the Constitutional Convention of the United States was that the government they created would be too democratic (causing Alexander Hamilton to suggest a restricted monarchy), because it was quite obvious, then and now, that any majority could vote itself anything it wanted, be it property or executions. That is why it irks me so much when politicians (who have no excuse not knowing what kind of government they serve in) and ignorant people say that this country is a democracy; it does a tremendous disservice to all of the people whose thought went into creating our republic.

But the more pernicious effect is that people actually begin to attribute and incorporate tenets of democracies into our republican structure. Things like referendums and ballot initiatives. These are not only irresponsible but entirely illogical. Why should we be making decisions we elect people to make? What legitimacy is gained from getting a majority of voters to pass anything? If 70% of voters vote to ban gay marriage, does that make it right? If 51% of voters vote to ban smoking, does that make it right? If 99.99% vote to redistribute property, does that make it right? The answer to all of these is “NO!” absolutely not. Truth isn’t determined by how many adherents one can get to go along with you. This is why democracy should be fought off wherever it shows its ugly face, it can and will be used to justify anything a majority of voters wants. Theoretically, a majority could vote for selective free speech, or to have certain unpopular people thrown out of the country or killed. There is no law in a democracy except whatever the majority of people say is the law.

Makes one think a bit doesn't it.

Doug Yeomans
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Why do hetero Christians always think they have the right to tell everyone else what they can or can't do? I find it appalling that anyone thinks they have the right to deny anyone else equal rights based on skin color, gender or sexual orientation. We're all supposed to have equal rights.

Tim Miller
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The issue with Prop 8 that the SC ruled on has nothing to do with states rights not individual rights. That (non)decision was based on a technicality that this court has been very consistent with - for an individual or group to sue, they must have a personal stake in the suit.

I sincerely believe that, had that technicality not been there, Prop 8 should have been overturned. In our society, marraige is not simply a merging of two people, it is a legal contract between two people conveying many, many rights to each other. This contract is so powerful it overrules the implied contracts between parent/child and between siblings and other family members. Prop 8 ripped the right to make that contract away from one specific group of people.

And that, barring other considerations such as the well-being of children (which is why we have age restrictions on marriage laws), is clearly unconstitutional. Majority rules in most situations, but basic rights fall outside of those situations... That also is why the portion of DOMA that affects federal activity was overturned in the other case before the Court.

Jason Crater
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I did read your post and I addressed your political concerns in my second comment.

Howard B. Owens
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After I read your comment Tim, I thought ... maybe I got it wrong, so I went back and found another article to double check

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/politics/scotus-prop-8/index.html

The court said private parties didn't have standing to act as defendants in this case, not sue.

Also, I agree with Mark on two fronts: The Bill of Rights is about protecting individual liberties against overreaching government. The Constitution is about limiting the power of the government.

Also, Jeff, I think it's a fair question: if Alabama passed a referendum by a majority of the people banning blacks from marrying whites, should the Supreme Court have the power to invalidate that law.

Shouldn't individual freedoms be protected from the tyranny of the majority?

Daniel Jones
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I cannot figure out how people who argue passionately for personal and property rights even remotely care about gay marriage. We're talking about a secular government contract. If you're against 'big government' and its regulations, then why on earth do you want to regulate for everyone who they can and cannot enter into a marriage agreement with?

Tim Miller
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That's what I get for pulling my info from a news story (one less accurate than the one you referenced) than the ruling itself as a previous post had suggested...

Daniel Jones
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Also, as a Christian, it really offends me to see the religious right replace Jesus with a political agenda.

Mark Brudz
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Jeff, It is not the purview of the Supreme Court, it is the DUTY of the Supreme Court to overturn laws that infringe on the rights of individuals. That is why there is a Supreme court in the first place.

The Supreme Court's sole purpose is arbitrate laws enacted by congress and the States to ensure that new laws are within the bounds of constitutionality.

mike nixon
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As a full fledge member of the right wing religious Zealots of America. I can honestly tell you that I don't give a rats ass if a man likes a man or a woman likes a woman. Its just not my thing. It is absolutely none of my business.
The thing I have a problem with is, why in the hell is the federal government making this my issue. If the state of California through its elective process has voted on something, why the hell is the federal government going to stop them. If I remember correctly smoking marijuana is still a federal crime. Why haven't we attacked this so vigorously.

Or is that coming?

Maybe I won't be able to eat beef, have a beer, and enjoy a smoke?

Tim Miller
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Oh, and if anybody doubts that this whole issue is a matter of religious folks swatting down those who don't believe in their flavor of mythology, consider both Prop 8 and what happened last year in North Carolina (Amendment 1).

Prop 8 had VERY strong support and backing by the Mormons in Utah (hardly a state's rights issue when the folks from the neighboring state provide a huge amount of resources to support the restrictive proposition (per Wikipedia, "LDS members contributed over $20 million, about 45% of out-of-state contributions to ProtectMarriage.com came from Utah"). That is not an issue of state's rights, that's an issue of a religion trying to enforce their mythology's rules on everybody.

NC's Amendment 1 forbade the state from recognizing ANY form of union between two same-sex people - marriage AND civil unions. Sadly, this state voted overwhelmingly to rip the contractual rights away from one class of people. Again - a majority cannot vote to restrict rights from select classes of people. I expect the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the fate of Amendment 1.

Mark Brudz
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There are those that would take away our meat, our beer and our smokes for sure. That is exactly the reason why we need to guard against reactionary legislation.

Thomas Schneider
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I support banning government from being involved in marriage. How is any type of union between two or more consenting adults any of the government's business?

Mark Brudz
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First Thomas you would have to change the tax code, that is basically what this argument is actually all about, marriage in the eyes of religion and marriage as defined by Government are two distinctly different things.

This entire argument is not about people spending their lives together, it is about gay married couples being entitled to the same tax benefits, insurance benefits and other legal benefits under the law. That is why the 14th Amendment applied, 'Equal Protection Under The Law'

Those that argue on religious grounds should heed the words of Jesus 'Give on to Caesar what is Caesar's

Of course if we had a national sales tax instead of an income tax, this argument would probably have never arisen.

Julie A Pappalardo
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I think it was more about Estate Tax than Income Tax...and there are other issues as well, for example: Hospital visitation (which has now been changed), end of life issues, spousal privilege in a lawsuit, Social Security, I could go on and on......

Julie A Pappalardo
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Whoops!! I almost forgot: Marriage also provides protection for a couples children.

For Example: The couple in question is from a State that doesn't recognize their marriage. They have a kid or 2 together....One kid gets sick....The parent who isn't the "legal" parent of the kid brings the kid to the ER....the ER people say something like "Where is the kid's REAL mother?" "We can't treat the kid unless we get consent from the REAL mother". All the while, the kid's parent is saying "but I AM the kids mom" .... in the meantime, the kid is SICK and needs treatment and the "real" Mother is out of the country because she is an executive for a Fortune 500 company, and has to travel............Not that something like this has ever happened to any of MY friends or anything.................

This stuff happens EVERY day in this country...

:::::shaking my head:::::::

Mark Brudz
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It was about all marital rights Julie, specifics do not really matter.

mike nixon
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Hey Tim Miller, How about its not a religious thing, but maybe a science thing? God or Darwin proved there are entrances and exits. Let me ask, do you go in the exit. I am religious and I definitely don't go in the exit. How does that translate to only religious mythology.

Men and woman who are gay, have chosen to be gay. Its not something that you are born with. Its a choice. So when is it ok to have some ones personal sexual choice infringe on some one else's choices? Why is the federal government going to tell me that I have to except some ones personal sexual choices?

JoAnne Rock
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Kyle, you really should provide a citation to credit an author's work when you copy and paste it.

Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work.

Mark Brudz
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I really hope that you didn't copy and paste that JoAnne:)

JoAnne Rock
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Busted.......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

thanks Mark! LOL!

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Doug, you say "We're all supposed to have equal rights."
Does that include the unborn? Are you righteously indignant about what happened in Texas? That an effort to protect the rights of the unborn failed? Just curious.

Jason, you say "I don't see how you feel justified projecting your personal religious views on everyone else?"
Couldn't it also be said (by the religious) "I don't see how you feel justified projecting your personal secular (non-religious) views on everyone else?" The truth is everybody has an opinion and everybody believes that their opinion is correct and everybody (purposely or not) tries to project their opinion unto others.

Religion, science and politics all have the following in common: They are basically tools. They are neither good nor bad in themselves, but can be used for either good or bad purposes. But remember, not everyone will agree on what a good purpose is or what a bad purpose is.

bud prevost
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So, is it between 2 people? That's the consensus? I see this opening the door to polygamy. And honestly, I have no problem with either; gays marrying or John having 4 or 5 sister wives. As long as you aren't hurting someone, why should the government have a thing to say about it?

Kyle Couchman
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Joanne I was pretty clear that it wasn't mine, especially in the second cut and paste where I said the comments made me assess my own position on some issues. But your right I have never been good at Citing my sources.

Kyle Couchman
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I have to say on the religious vs politics of marriage.... It's fine if a religion wants to set definitions for what a marriage is. However marriage is also a legal contract which grants rights, and legal status and obligations on the couple. All the states and gov have the power to effect is the legal definition.

If a religious group doesn't like the legal form of marriage then don't recognize it. I don't see nearly this much debate over certain religion's non acceptance of divorce vs the govt's allowing divorces at a staggering rate. Hell some churches don't recognize marriages outside their faith. To me all this is, is a pissing contest between the devoutly religious and the liberally flexible.

How many of these religious folk that sit there and demand this denial of marriage rights based on the morality of being gay.... Also cheat on their wives and do other less (in their eyes) pure acts that they would never admit to in their church.

david spaulding
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mike, a persons sexual orientation is a choice? mind sharing with us when you made your choice? been trying to figure out when I made mine and I keep drawing a blank..

Daniel Jones
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Deleted.

Tim Miller
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Thank you, David, for pointing out the weakness of that "argument"... I confess, I did not think twice when I saw the future ex-Mrs. Miller when I realized she was a beauty and attractive. Don't recall ever sitting down, looking at pics of good looking guys and gals and debating "which arrouses me?"....

There are those who have the ability to choose (some may even simply say "Yes!"), but for most of us, contrary to what Mike claims, we like what we like. And per Seinfeld - there is not a darn thing wrong with that.

If somebody chooses to follow the beliefs of their brand of mythology -all power to them! But to claim the arbitrary tenets of their mythology should rule how folks who do *not* follow that mythology should follow their "laws" is fascism is a very nasty form of totalitarianism.

And Mike - one more thing. Have you ever had a dinner at a nice restaurant, being nicely sated before the desert tray is offered, but still ordered desert? How unnatural is that - eating beyond your level of satisfaction....

Howard B. Owens
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Just read this protest sign on a picture on Facebook: "So what if people choose to be gay. People choose to be a-holes and they can still get married."

There's an essential truth there: You can believe that being gay is a choice, that still doesn't give you the right to interfere with how somebody choses to live his or her life.

To me whether being gay is a choice or biological is completely irrelevant. It's none of my business how another person wants to live.

Doug Yeomans
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Howard, I work with a few holy rollers and they believe that being gay is a curable affliction. I've Asked them if being born black, white, male, female, short or tall was also a choice. One of them said we actually make the choice before conception. I'm just amazed at the absurd statements made by people. I guess gay people asked to be gay?

Doug Yeomans
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Ummm...when did I say anything about abortion? How did I get dragged into that mess?

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People are advocating for equal rights for homosexual couples to marry, but what about an unborn child's 'equal rights' to live? To me it seems that if you are passionate about 'equal rights' you would not limit that passion to just the issues that may effect you, but work universally toward promoting 'equal rights' for all. I was just curious as to how many people who support 'equal rights' for homosexuals to marry are also for abortion, which basically denies 'equal rights' to those who have not been born yet.

Randy Smart
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Consider this:
1. If you believe that homosexuals do not have a choice in being homosexual (that they are born that way) AND
2. You believe in the theory of evolution (God didn't create the Earth, life or anything else, we are all the product of the Big Bang and billions of years of evolutionary processes) THEN
3. By your own admission you believe that homosexuals are in some way inferior to heterosexuals, since they cannot pass on their genes to their progeny, a basic tenet of evolution--Natural Selection (at least not without utilizing 'heterosexual means'. Remember there have been homosexuals a lot longer than there have been technologies to assist in creating children.)
Now if you believe in homosexuals being born the way they are, but not in evolution, then you're okay (logically speaking). Or if you believe in evolution, but also believe that homosexuals have a choice, then you're okay. But if you believe in both evolution and that homosexuals are born that way, then you have a conflicted belief (logically) that needs to be reconciled.

mike nixon
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David S.-- Oh it was about the time that girls stopped being icky..... lol

mike nixon
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In millions of dollars spent, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, they have NEVER found a gene that creates homosexuality.

God love them, again I have no problem with homosexuals, in fact I have friends and relatives. All are very decent God fearing men and woman, oh and conservative for the most part.

Every one of them will tell you to stop victimizing them. In two conversations I had yesterday, both stated THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS STAY OUT OF THEIR BUSINESS AND LET THE STATES DECIDE!

Kyle Couchman
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An interesting counter argument to religion and other anti gay groups that homosexuality is a choice or isnt natural...

Homosexual behavior in animals is same-sex behavior, homosexual or bisexual, among non-human species. Such behaviors include sexual activity, courtship, affection, pair bonding, and parenting among same-sex animal pairings. Homosexual behavior has been observed in close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them.[1][2] The sexual behavior of non-human animals takes many different forms, even within the same species. The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood, since most species have yet to be fully studied.[3] According to Bagemihl, "the animal kingdom [does] it with much greater sexual diversity – including homosexual, bisexual and nonreproductive sex – than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept."[4]

Research indicates that various forms of same-sex sexual behavior are found throughout the animal kingdom.[5] A new review made in 2009 of existing research showed that same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom, common across species.[6] Homosexual behavior is best known from social species. According to geneticist Simon Levay in 1996, "Although homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity."[7] One species in which exclusive homosexual orientation occurs, however, is that of domesticated sheep (Ovis aries).[8][9] "About 10% of rams (males) refuse to mate with ewes (females) but do readily mate with other rams."[9]

The observation of homosexual behavior in animals can be seen as both an argument for and against the acceptance of homosexuality in humans, and has been used especially against the claim that it is a peccatum contra naturam ('sin against nature').[1] For instance, homosexuality in animals was cited in the United States Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down the sodomy laws of 14 states.[10]

and so JoAnne doesn't scold me again LOL this comes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

Linda Knox
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Observed great bumper sticker on vehicle when driving down Main St. the other day. To paraphrase - You'll defend the rights of the unborn fetus but will you continue to defend their rights if turn out to be gay? Sort of somes it up, don't you think? One's personal rights must/should follow one's personal agenda. Double standard to me.

Mark Brudz
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The bottom line is that whether by choice or birth, it doesn't matter. These were 14th amendment cases pure and simple

14th Amendment

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Julie A Pappalardo
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A choice? Come ON......That implies that EVERYONE is bisexual, and has to "choose" which way to go. So, when did you choose to be a hetero??

You don't "choose". I can tell you that the day you figure out what the heck is going on with your hormones, you look in the mirror and think (at least in the 80's.....thankfully things have changed)

"Oh CRAP!! I am going to have to keep this a secret from everyone for my WHOLE life" Immediately followed by : "OMG, I NEVER want to go into the locker room AGAIN!!! How am I going to get out of P.E?"

If I could have changed it when I was 13, I would have.......Today, I have WAY too much fun being FABULOUS!

That is all.

mike nixon
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Kyle that article tells me that its a learned behavior.

Randy Smart
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There are also numerous well documented cases in the animal kingdom of species that kill/eat their young, species that kill/eat their mates, etc. So then in the few cases where this happens in the human species it must be natural? The people had no choice? They were born that way?

Choice is a powerful thing. Whether you are homosexual or heterosexual, don't you choose whom to sleep with? Why choose Mary over Margaret or Joe over John? Everybody exercises some degree of choice.

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