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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Is Gay Marriage a Threat to Traditional Marriage?

Dr. John Corvino is chair of the Philosophy Department at Wayne State University in Detroit.


Anonymous said...

Hello Russ Manley, I am sorry, this comment may be unrelated to your post.

Today I stumbled upon a bit of news here (in Germany) about Arizona. The governor there is seemingly signing a law that would allow businesses not to serve customers, because of religious reasons. I have to admit that I did not fully understand what this is about.
But what made me wonder is the connection made in the German article to being gay - Gay people could face not to be served in businesses. Eh ?

I am a bit confused about this. What has religion to do with a persons's sexual orientation - and how is this connected to a LAW ? I mean nowadays, today in the 21st century and all ; and not in Russia.

I did not do online research on this topic ; first I do not want to wade through all the fox news nonsense ; second I simply have no idea who is aiming at what, I do not know the actors, their interests etc. ; third I am tired.

Could you explain to me what happens there and whether it is to be taken serious ? Or point me to another resource ?
I have to admit that I find the whole thing a bit frightening.

It may sound silly, stupid, over the top, but the whole idea - as far as I get it from what I read here - reminds me of "Jews not served" in Germany 1934.

Russ Manley said...

Exactly, 63mago - the law is equivalent to "Juden verboten!" - only it would be "No gays allowed."

Of course, the motivation is a bit different here - the Nazis had a fanatical racial philosophy and aimed at killing all the Jews, wiping them off the face of the earth - along with various other "subhuman" types.

The Arizona law springs from fundamentalist and evangelical Christian beliefs, and does not go nearly as far as the Nazi ideology. Yet, as we are seeing right now in Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, and other places, if unchecked it might very likely lead to the same thing.

However - if the governor does sign the bill into law, it is doomed because the courts here would never uphold such discrimination against gays or any other group. The U.S. Constitution guarantees the "equal protection" of the laws for all citizens; see https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/14._Zusatzartikel_zur_Verfassung_der_Vereinigten_Staaten

So this is merely the last gasp, a rear-guard action, of the fanatical rightwing religionists. A similar bill was defeated in Kansas just a week or so ago.

Here's a New York Times article that explains a little more about the Arizona bill:


This is moving against the tide of public opinion, though, which has shifted rather dramatically in favor of gay marriage and gay rights in most parts of the country over the last few years. Arizona, like Texas and other conservative states, will eventually catch up with the rest of the country.

I'm glad you asked - let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

Russ Manley said...

PS - I should have added another important difference from the Nazi law: in Arizona, it would not be the state forbidding gays to enter, or receive services - it would simply allow individual business owners the right to deny any service to gays if it "violates sincerely held religious beliefs."

Which of course is a blank check for any and all kinds of discrimination.

Mike, Studio City said...

I was born in Yuma Az.. I was always proud of being raised in a farming community and an historic town. I moved to California many years ago. It makes me sick to see what an ugly state Az. has become. I have not gone back to visit relatives for over 17yrs. I will not spend one cent in Az. Oh, anyway, Hi Russ we hope you are having a good weekend. M & G

Russ Manley said...

Appreciate ya Mike, hope you guys are having the same.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for the answers, Russ, I will look at the nyt. I did not know what is actually possible in the US. What strikes me is the connection between "religion" and being anti gay. It's stupid. Like if someone would say left-handers are devil's children, I do not allow them to enter my pub / hotel / shop whatever. Why should a law, a legal regulation, protect such a private obsession and hence allow discrimination ? This is perfidious. And worse than Russia : There they simply write down "being gay is forbidden" ; primitive, but at least one knows with what kind a society one has to deal.

Anonymous said...

From the article you mentioned:
"Arizona should be known as a state that welcomes people of faith and protects them, ..."

So he has no problem welcoming the taliban, yes ?

Russ Manley said...

In point of fact, the antigay movement in Russia is led by the Orthodox Church, helped by hateful propaganda spewed by a number of visiting American evangelicals, who know they have failed in this country and are now exporting their bigotry to other, less enlightened lands.

You talk as if you have no religious belief, or any personal experience of religion in your own life. That's fine - but I can't give you an education in American religious history in a comment box. If you are really asking to be educated, rather than merely expressing dismay at our politics, you ought to start with the Wikipedia article on "Religion in the United States," link here:


That will lead you to many related articles. In a nutshell, though, suffice it to say that ever since colonial times, religion has been very important to the overwhelming majority of Americans - the First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. (Indeed, many of the original colonists - though not all - came to America in order to have the freedom to worship God in their own way.) However, that concept has always been in tension with another, equally important principle, that of separation of church and state. See


The conflict over same-sex marriage is merely the latest in a long line of such disputes over where the boundary lies between politics and religion, law and belief. The long-term trend, however, is in favor of gay rights and individual freedoms.

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