Tides, turning, inexorably.

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Most people think Martin Luther King said that, but it was someone named Theodore Parker. No matter. It’s one of those things to keep in mind when the bastards are getting you down, and also when you consider news like this: Support for same-sex marriage is at 55 percent of the current Gallup poll, and more than 80 percent among young people.

I have to be careful what I say here because of my job, but I think the following is simply a statement of fact: On no social issue of my lifetime has popular opinion shifted so quickly and so radically as same-sex marriage. I’m too lazy to look up the poll before this one, but it was less that 55 percent. And the one before that was less than that.

OK, wait: It’s as close as Wikipedia, which, we must always say, is ALWAYS TOTALLY ACCURATE NO WAIT, shows the movement over time. Something to also keep in mind: Eleven states (including Michigan) had ballot measures on the issue in 2004, widely believed to be a tactic to boost Republican turnout in what was a tight presidential election year. Ten years ago, support was down in the 30s, and most of the ballot initiatives banning it passed in a cakewalk.

Today, the Michigan judge’s ruling overturning the 2004 ban is under a stay, while the attorney general seeks to delay it, citing the will of the people. The people 10 years ago, that is.

All of which leads me to Rod Dreher, who (one of our number said in a private email) is swiftly headed toward John Derbyshire country, if not on race than on gay folks and maybe both. He’s utterly unhinged on the subject, and can’t even get his facts straight:

Another day, another federal judge throws out traditional marriage:

Um, no. Everyone is free to be traditionally married, still. I’m traditionally married myself, 21 years last week. The ruling expands the institution to same-sex couples. More:

Does Judge Jones really think that the sexual complementarity of marriage, which has been the basis of marriage in all places and in all times, until only two decades ago, is fit for history’s garbage dump?

Again, no one is throwing out traditional marriage, in all its sexual complementarity. There are simply more people who can do so. Can’t these people read, or has the red they’re seeing obscured their vision?

Roy has more. When the meltdown comes, well, I’ll be watching.

Not much bloggage today; I didn’t get much reading time. But this:

The only time I watched a mixed-martial arts bout (on TV, at a bar), I was so grossed out I had to turn away. So none of this surprises me.

It’s almost the long weekend. Enjoy it.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

29 responses to “Tides, turning, inexorably.”

  1. Sherri said on May 22, 2014 at 2:17 am

    I was in my 20s before I knew an openly gay person. My daughter has known openly gay people her whole life. The idea that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry is absurd to her. There have been thousands of same sex marriages performed in Washington state in the year and a half that it’s been legal, and it hasn’t affected my traditional marriage in the slightest.

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  2. Dexter said on May 22, 2014 at 3:55 am

    MMA link repeats Roy’s story-link. 🙂

    I also am not going to take research time, but I wonder what the ratio is comparing lesbian marriages to gay men marriages. It seems that women are quicker to the alter than men; it seems that since I hear gays being interviewed frequently on these XM radio channels I listen to, lots of them love the free-wheeling non-committal “wild lifestyle” and have no desire to slow down into monogamy. Women soldiers, WACS, held an illegal “marriage” in the US Army hospital in Fort Ord 44 years ago, I remember that. I have known but a few gay men and lesbians in my lifetime, and the women were much more one-woman-one-woman than the guys, who , like my neighbor 30 years ago, brought different guys home every weekend for a long time.
    To end this thought, the most amazing thing is that I personally know two gay men couples who are very happily married, one couple was married the first day it became legal (can’t recall which state, though), and the other guys got married 14 months ago by a federal judge in Washington, DC. The men in Washington have been together for 26 years. And those guys are the most together couple I have ever known.

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  3. David C. said on May 22, 2014 at 6:23 am

    They’ve certainly lost the gay marriage battle, and it’s just as certain that they aren’t going away. Which makes me wonder what hobby horse they are going to ride next.

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  4. Basset said on May 22, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Fighting is not a sport, and this MMA business reminds me of the Toughman contests back in the 70s – didn’t liability kill those?

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  5. coozledad said on May 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

    David C.: The old standbys- blacks, Muslims, atheists, anyone who won’t assimilate into the mayonnaise borg, women, the poor, the children of the poor, born people, the wrong kind of Jew, Africans, the EU, Asians, Indo-Asians, Indians, Hispanics, liberal Catholics, liberal protestants.

    It’s hard to keep track of their shit list. It’s such a fluid and expanding thing. My wife was talking to some local Fox News watching idiots at early voting before the primaries, and the hate of the moment seems to be rampant persecution of bible beating Christians with them sharia laws. It’s done cut them all a new face-asshole.

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  6. velvet goldmine said on May 22, 2014 at 7:35 am


    Does Rod Dreher really think that same-sex unions were invented by Americans in the 21st century? I guess we can give him “the basis” if he means “the norm,” but cultures that sanctioned same-sex unions are peppered throughout human history.

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  7. alex said on May 22, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Dex, the historic reason why gay men got around is because society was generally intolerant of them living together openly and the only way they could get any action was on the sly. Usually they were married to women who had no idea. Women living together, on the other hand, didn’t arouse much suspicion or concern. Right-wingers have always cited gay men’s alleged propensity for promiscuity as a reason to deny them rights of any sort, including, most recently, marriage.

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  8. beb said on May 22, 2014 at 8:39 am

    The Christian right will always have their sense of persecution to carry them along.

    People who talk about the sanctity of marriage tend to forget that no marriage is valid until you sign that piece of people from the state. Marriage is a state-defined corporation. That’s why old couples, infertile couple and couples who have no intention of having children are allowed to marry. God doesn’t define a marriage the government does. Which is why, since we, as a nation, are committed to non-discrimination, can not exclude same-sex partners from the legal benefits of marriage.

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  9. Alan Stamm said on May 22, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Am I the only one who thinks sexual complementarity sounds like fun, and also the polite way to play? It means (or should mean) mutual praise, no?

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  10. Dorothy said on May 22, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Woman: OH my, thank you so much for that orgasm! It felt amazing!!
    Man: Gee, well, thanks for that. I don’t think it was my finest performance but what the hell. As long as you enjoyed it. I had a good time too!
    Woman: Ummm, well, honestly I was having such fun I kind of forgot about your enjoyment…shall we go again?
    Man: Only if you think you are ready. We can always try again tomorrow…

    (Rod Dreher and the Mrs. every Saturday night)

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  11. Jolene said on May 22, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Am I the only one who thinks sexual complementarity sounds like fun, and also the polite way to play? It means (or should mean) mutual praise, no?

    No, you are think about “complimentary”. “Complementary” means to complete something. Dreher is saying that, given theirdiffering attributes, men and women complete each other.

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  12. brian stouder said on May 22, 2014 at 9:47 am

    See – I think this is the core of the problem; the porno-view of human intimacy.

    Any person who has been married for, say, 5 years or more, should laugh uproariously along with Dorothy’s parody.

    I never “decided” I was attracted to the opposite sex, I just was. And similarly, I would assume that others are playing the cards they were dealt.

    I am not wired to live life alone, and marriage is a very great comfort to me (and hopefully for Pam, also!)

    In human terms, the dull, everyday work-a-day aspect of life on Earth is made better when you can share it with a special person.

    And Beb’s nuts-and-bolts observation regarding the secular, commercial, transactional world is undeniably true.

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  13. Scout said on May 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

    “It’s hard to keep track of their shit list. It’s such a fluid and expanding thing.” Another astute observation, cooz. If only they put as much focus and energy into lending a helping hand instead of fanning the flames of hatred. They bear no similarity whatsoever to the person they named their religion after.

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  14. John (not McCain) said on May 22, 2014 at 10:15 am

    This gay man will go on the record as having no interest in the “wild lifestyle”, now or ever, except for the summer of 1993 when I went to the Rainbow Gathering that year. I’ve been settled down with the same guy for 20 years now.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Dorothy for the win!

    No doubt it seems glacial to those still waiting, but I think Nancy’s right about the pace. As for the evangelicals, studies show that the next generation overwhelmingly supports gay rights and think their parents are hypocrites for focusing on that and similar issues. They want to pay more attention to following Jesus and helping the have-nots. So, there’s hope.

    Our long weekend will be spent trying to pack up my hoarder mother, who is supposed to be moving here this summer. It’s been very frustrating so far and when I say frustrating you can multiply that to the hundredth power.

    MichaelG, good to hear from you and to know that you are emerging from the worst. Continued healing to you.

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  16. alex said on May 22, 2014 at 11:01 am

    I just read that Rick Santorum has officially put a sock in it now that the judge he heartily endorsed in Pennsylvania has ruled in favor of gay marriage.

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  17. Dexter said on May 22, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Thanks, Alex. Like a gay man told me 14 years ago, “you don’t have gaydar, only gays have gaydar, so shut the fuck up about your dumb shit.” Gulp. At least, after that, I understood what gaydar is and I never forgot! Yep. I worked alongside one man for 25 years and he was always dating hot chicks, but it was all a ruse, of course…as soon as he retired away from the damned gossip mill/ workplace, he married his true love. And it wasn’t any of those hottie-babes, it was a balding paunchy dude! Ha! Fooled me! 🙂

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  18. brian stouder said on May 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Whew!! THAT was a close one:


    FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — The main venue for the Indiana Republican state convention will allow delegates to bring guns with them after all. Party officials had said Fort Wayne’s Grand Wayne Center wouldn’t allow firearms for the June 6-7 convention, but the center’s director says it must abide by a 2011 state law preventing local government units from imposing weapons bans.

    Pardon me, but that’s bullshit!

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  19. alex said on May 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Local government units can’t impose weapons bans? That should be news to the folks at the courthouse.

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  20. Peter said on May 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Well Brian, lost on the gays, won on the guns.

    Maybe I misread Herr Dreher, but I thought I read his contempt for liberals who try to improve the world, instead of accepting the evil in the world as it is.

    That statement is only half true – if anything, conservatives like Dreher don’t accept what they consider evil: gays, minorities, people who aren’t packing heat.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    The stink, it is strong on this one.

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  22. Basset said on May 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Shit list? If you have to ask, you’re probably on it.

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  23. Dorothy said on May 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I have a favor to ask: within the past month someone on here mentioned a book or books written by a woman – I think she is/was British – and highly recommended them. I know that is extremely vague. But I’m thinking the author had died recently and perhaps we were discussing her work. I meant to write down the titles but I forgot. If this rings a bell with any of you (Julie? Colleen?) could you please point me in the right direction to that date and/or the name of the books? Thanks!

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  24. Charlotte said on May 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    That was me Dorothy — The Cazalet Chronicle by Elizabeth Jane Howard. There are four of them … I’d be happy to pass them along to you. Email me your snail mail address at cmf406 at gmail — my house is so filled with books that I’m ever happy for an excuse to send some elsewhere!
    Oh, and here’s the Guardian obit — which I loved: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/02/elizabeth-jane-howard-dies-90

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  25. Dorothy said on May 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Oh Charlotte that is so wonderful of you to offer that! If my library doesn’t have them, I might take you up on the offer. Thanks so much for this sweet gesture!

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  26. Deborah said on May 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I’m slowly going through all of the Alice Munro books I can get my hands on. Has anyone seen the movie Hateship Loveship that was made recently based on one of her stories. The movie isn’t playing anywhere anymore that I can find but it’s available to rent through iTunes. I’m afraid I will be horribly disappointed so I’m reluctant to rent it. I watched the trailer, but I just don’t know.

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  27. Suzanne said on May 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I need to read more of Alice Munro. I discovered a short story of hers in an old copy of “American Scholar” that I had squirreled away for some unknown reason. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve read it twice already!

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  28. fdchief218 said on May 22, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve always gotten a sort of nasty smirk listening to these Christopaths and Straightophiles talk about “marriage” like it was one of those weird and inexplicable ancient mating rituals between, oh, maybe monitor lizards that you stumble across on Animal Planet after kiddie viewing hours are over.

    As if “marriage” hadn’t taken about a gajillion different forms in every culture under the sun. Polygamy. Polyandry. Concubinage. Dynastic marriages, marriage as transferring property, marriage as political alliance, marriage with sex and without.

    And let’s not even get into the plasticity of “manliness” and “femininity”. Ya think ol’ Rod would be jake with the classic Roman ideal of “vir” that considered a man who did the penetrating as a real dudebro, regardless of whose donut hole got his totem pole? Or the various cultures that welcomed the transsexuals and transgernedered, the crossdressers..?

    It’s like these jokers can’t get over the fact that there are people who aren’t them, since only they are Real People. My kid had that attitude. In him it lasted until he was about five years old.

    Apparently Rod & Co. are a trifle slower on the uptake.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    MMA from a different angle, just down the road from me.


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