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Jason Collins
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tented Offline
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Jason Collins
"Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now"

"Meet Jason Collins, the First Gay Athlete in Major American Sports"

Two articles about Jason Collins, the first active gay athlete in a major US sports team.

Brave guy. Let's hope other gay athletes in similar situations follow his lead, which will help people get over their homophobia.
29-Apr-2013 09:24 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(29-Apr-2013 09:24 PM)tented Wrote:  "Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now"

"Meet Jason Collins, the First Gay Athlete in Major American Sports"

Two articles about Jason Collins, the first active gay athlete in a major US sports team.

Brave guy. Let's hope other gay athletes in similar situations follow his lead, which will help people get over their homophobia.

I hadn't seen that, but did you read about the football kicker who's Christian, from a southern Uni and has been out his whole career? He's a free-agent now, but might yet make it to the NFL. Who knows who'll be the one to break the line, but it really does seem that the dam is about to break. And the players seem to be saying that they're totally prepared. My feeling is that there is unlikely to be a "Jackie Robinson." The barrier is broken, and the players have spoken out as open-minded. It may actually just be an anti-climactic "trickle in." I hope so.
29-Apr-2013 09:41 PM
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RE: Jason Collins
It was a shock to me to learn that he is the 1st player in major US sports to come out. If somebody had asked me before, I would have said that there were known gay players. Anyway, hopefully it will help others to speak freely and not feel trapped and depressed about this. It made news on Canadian CTV and they said that he got a lot of support from famous people, Kobe Bryant and Bill Clinton included.

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
29-Apr-2013 10:15 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
It is not easy what he did, that's for sure. Kudos for having the onions to do it.

30-Apr-2013 11:48 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 11:48 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  It is not easy what he did, that's for sure. Kudos for having the onions to do it.



Why isn't it easy?

The entire media establishment supports him and he has been overwhelmingly praised.

Last I checked, when 95% of people with power and influence support you, you're not doing something that is all that hard. It's when they are against you that it is difficult.
30-Apr-2013 12:29 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
It wouldn't have been easy from a personal perspective. I applaud him for having the guts. I know that a lot of soccer players are suffering from having to keep silent and his example will help them...
30-Apr-2013 02:35 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 12:29 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(30-Apr-2013 11:48 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  It is not easy what he did, that's for sure. Kudos for having the onions to do it.



Why isn't it easy?

The entire media establishment supports him and he has been overwhelmingly praised.

Last I checked, when 95% of people with power and influence support you, you're not doing something that is all that hard. It's when they are against you that it is difficult.


If it was easy, someone else would have done it before him. So, it cannot be easy.

30-Apr-2013 03:15 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 03:15 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  
(30-Apr-2013 12:29 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(30-Apr-2013 11:48 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  It is not easy what he did, that's for sure. Kudos for having the onions to do it.



Why isn't it easy?

The entire media establishment supports him and he has been overwhelmingly praised.

Last I checked, when 95% of people with power and influence support you, you're not doing something that is all that hard. It's when they are against you that it is difficult.


If it was easy, someone else would have done it before him. So, it cannot be easy.



No, many people can be gay and have been gay for centuries. Today, the difference is that if they have any social notoriety whatsoever, they are being encouraged to make an official announcement to the world, defining their sexuality as a one-dimensional same-sex attraction. If that is hard to do, it is only because it is unnecessary. No one needs to know about it or hear about it.

If it is your private life, as the rationalization goes, then keep it that way. No one is stopping you from going to a gay bar if you're Jason Collins. And no one was stopping you from leaving an 8-YEAR relationship (including a stint as fiancees) if you're not attracted to the woman you were officially with. Yet, somehow you stayed with her that long.

Curious, isn't it?

Almost brings to mind the Manti Te'o Hoax that ESPN so piously presented to the world for months.
30-Apr-2013 07:02 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
Cali, you are not getting it. I am not talking about the grand history of gayness. I am talking about today's pro sport jock culture. Have you ever been in a team sport locker room of men? The gay slurs are abundant. The F word is used freely (the other F word). And this guy probably had to PARTICIPATE in those conversations, just to fit in, because you don't just say to a room full of guys who are high on testosterone "Would you mind not calling our homosexual friends the F word please?" You would get some funny looks, at best.

What he did took a lot of courage, and like I said, nobody in pro sports has done it before, so...

30-Apr-2013 07:50 PM
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 07:50 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  Cali, you are not getting it. I am not talking about the grand history of gayness. I am talking about today's pro sport jock culture. Have you ever been in a team sport locker room of men? The gay slurs are abundant. The F word is used freely (the other F word). And this guy probably had to PARTICIPATE in those conversations, just to fit in, because you don't just say to a room full of guys who are high on testosterone "Would you mind not calling our homosexual friends the F word please?" You would get some funny looks, at best.

What he did took a lot of courage, and like I said, nobody in pro sports has done it before, so...

that's the thing..i used to play football in the late 80s early 90s, and if I would have said I was a homo, for sure I would have been kicked out of the team, and almost definitely attacked if I think about the bozo's that were in the team back then.

F@ggot, sh1t stabber, bum boy, Aids face, shirtlifter, Queer B@stard...were just a few of the lovely phrases my team 'mates' threw around at each other in a heterosexual 'banter' sort of way. HuhAngry..it was pretty grim. Sad

I used to sit near the end by the door of the dressing room and keep myself to myself and get changed as quickly as possible..in fact the depressing atmosphere was so bad it was one of the reasons I stopped playing..along with ankle injuries I had.

so yes, it is big news him coming out while he is still playing. Shy vamos.

knowing me alan partridge, knowing you tennis frontier..ah ha.
30-Apr-2013 08:12 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
Good point, Murat. I also heard Jason Collins talk about going to the Super Bowl, with his partner of 5 years whom he couldn't introduce to the managers and owners. This was a stress on his life, and a great unhappiness, in what should have been his greatest happiness, in terms of career achievement.

I agree that Cali is missing the point. I quote this:

"Today, the difference is that if they have any social notoriety whatsoever, they are being encouraged to make an official announcement to the world, defining their sexuality as a one-dimensional same-sex attraction."

Who has been encouraged to make an official announcement about their sexual orientation, in the major sports? Ever? This is specifically ground-breaking because he's the only active player in the major men's sports to come out. Certainly, this has not been encouraged. The good news is that it is now less discouraged. Jason Collins deserves to be lauded for his bravery. Hopefully his statement is well-received, (as it seems to be, so far,) and paves the way for other gay athletes to feel comfortable in their own skin and locker room.
30-Apr-2013 08:35 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 07:50 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  Cali, you are not getting it. I am not talking about the grand history of gayness. I am talking about today's pro sport jock culture. Have you ever been in a team sport locker room of men?

Yes.

(30-Apr-2013 07:50 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  The gay slurs are abundant. The F word is used freely (the other F word).

Yes, and I view it in a two-sided manner. On the one hand, I see it as lunkheaded jockness (in most cases). On the other hand, I see it as natural male aggression, which I don't have a problem with at all.

(30-Apr-2013 07:50 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  And this guy probably had to PARTICIPATE in those conversations, just to fit in, because you don't just say to a room full of guys who are high on testosterone "Would you mind not calling our homosexual friends the F word please?" You would get some funny looks, at best.

So what does that prove? Heterosexual men also claim to be players and playboys to look impressive, when in reality they are not. People in general claim to be better and more accomplished than they really are. People boast about their kids and exaggerate their accomplishments. On their resumes, people make it sound like they were presidents for Goldman Sachs while they were serving Dilly Bars at Dairy Queen.

Do you know how much heterosexual men tease each other (often to the point of torture) about the heterosexual habits of other men?

Sex in general makes people squeamish. It is by its nature a private matter. There are jokes and forms of unpleasant remarks across the board. So no, I don't feel bad at all for Jason Collins that he had to hear the f-word.

(30-Apr-2013 07:50 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  What he did took a lot of courage, and like I said, nobody in pro sports has done it before, so...

This whole thing is a crock. I'm not buying that he is plain "gay". He is obviously a bisexual, which is nothing new in human history. What is new is how our warped moral conscience as a society views homosexuality, which is basically as a behavior that is to be extolled as a symbol of Christianity's dethronement. I have read scores of articles on this topic and there is no scientific evidence of an inherent gay trait or "gay gene". Rather, there are a range of sociological studies positing social and environmental possibilities for why people become homosexual.

So the guy is in a relationship with a woman for 8 years and is even engaged to her, and each time they are intimate he is faking? Please. What kind of logic is that? The term for Collins' sexual identity is "bisexual". He is not a pure "gay" person. Asserting that is hilarious, and it is amazing that so many adults are buying this nonsense.

I also wonder if, for all the talk about sexual matters, anyone in the media has actually engaged in the act of sex themselves? I would think that anyone who has been sexually active at some point knows that there is a difference between the natural human urge (which is simply animalistic) to copulate with someone of the opposite sex for the purpose of reproduction, and then the erotic imaginative power of human beings, in which homoerotic tendencies certainly can fall within the spectrum of what people crave or desire at a certain point in life simply for the purpose of erotic pleasure, or what they think will bring them that. But the two are distinctly different. The first is the way we are born, and the second is predicated on environmental and temperamental factors.

I have actually spent some time studying classics for a few years, and the ancient Greeks and Romans are instructive on this point. They were not influenced by Christianity, which is the bugaboo for so many homosexual advocates. For that reason, the conversation can be a little bit less emotional and simply kept in the realm of empirical evidence. What marriage was to the ancient Greeks and Romans was a contract between families for the purpose of producing children and passing on inheritance. Despite tolerance for homosexual acts within certain contexts (particularly the ancient Spartan and Theban militaries), "marriage" was naturally regarded as a union between male and female for the purpose of procreation and inheritance management - again, by definition.

The ancients did not see marriage as a random union between two individuals from anywhere in the world who just randomly meet, fall in love, and want to spend time with each other until it's time to file for divorce because "I just need some space". They saw it as a contract between families that entailed procreation. This is what marriage was and has been for millenia, and that is the institution that Jesus Christ/the early Christians spiritualized and elevated. This had nothing to do with two people wanting to be companions and feeling love for each other, kinda sorta for a couple years.

So what's the point? It isn't simply Christianity which randomly said "gays can't marry". Anyone with a shred of historical or anthropological knowledge knows that the global standard for marriage - in a natural human sense - is between one male and one female. There are variations across societies but this is the natural, core essence. Christianity did not invent it or impose it in a 2,000-year fit of bigotry.

What this also means is that the whole concept of homosexuality has become warped in people's minds. Instead of being seen as a private vice or private perversity - as it was even with Christianity out of the picture - it is now seen as equal to heterosexual marriage as an official social standard. That is hilariously stupid, but the human race century after century never ceases to disappoint with silly new experiments that end disastrously. With each new cycle, the next generation is arrogantly convinced that they are forming a better new world with their new plan, and then after the empirical evidence of human suffering and devastation proves them wrong, they temporarily return to the ancient wisdom that was spurned in the first place.

This homosexual advocacy revolution will end no differently.
(This post was last modified: 30-Apr-2013 09:20 PM by calitennis127.)
30-Apr-2013 09:18 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
Sure Cali....

30-Apr-2013 09:50 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 09:50 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  Sure Cali....



Right, he was in an 8-year relationship with a woman and not once was he sexually attracted to her.

And you consider yourself rational? LOL....
30-Apr-2013 10:12 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
Cali, I am stunned:

"What this also means is that the whole concept of homosexuality has become warped in people's minds. Instead of being seen as a private vice or private perversity - as it was even with Christianity out of the picture - it is now seen as equal to heterosexual marriage as an official social standard. That is hilariously stupid..."

I think that history will show you up poorly. Your notion of what is "vice" or "perversity" is beginning to be understood, in the general community, and is being roundly rejected. As is your idea of any person's right to love who they will. Most people are coming to the notion that love, in all its forms, is healthy for everyone. The question is not really "who" you love, but how much your happiness contributes to the greater good.
30-Apr-2013 10:17 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 10:17 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  Cali, I am stunned:

"What this also means is that the whole concept of homosexuality has become warped in people's minds. Instead of being seen as a private vice or private perversity - as it was even with Christianity out of the picture - it is now seen as equal to heterosexual marriage as an official social standard. That is hilariously stupid..."

I think that history will show you up poorly. Your notion of what is "vice" or "perversity" is beginning to be understood, in the general community, and is being roundly rejected. As is your idea of any person's right to love who they will.
Most people are coming to the notion that love, in all its forms, is healthy for everyone. The question is not really "who" you love, but how much your happiness contributes to the greater good.



History will "show me up" poorly? This is like saying to someone who argues that Nadal will reach a clay-court final that they are not going to be right, despite the fact that it has happened a hundred times. The only difference being - the reality of what marriage is even more set in stone than Nadal's clay-court success.

As for the rest of your post, you are speaking in terms of vague cliches. For example, "love, in all its forms, is healthy for everyone". Huh? Thanks for the really concrete moral argument and moral clarity. I'll remember that one. Your statement can be used to justify anything. There are pedophile organizations (mostly consisting of homosexuals, btw) that can claim man-boy love is "healthy" for society. Is that good enough for you? Ask nehmeth as someone who is familiar with the Sandusky scandal if he agrees. Where do you draw the line?

As for your use of the word "love", that was precisely one of the major points of my post. The ancients (who, again, were not Christian) did not see marriage as fun and games and erotic bliss for 40 years; it was not about "love" to them. They regarded marriage is a formal contract and as a business arrangement, with affection or "love" being part of the picture, but not the foundation. It was understood that romance and affectionate feelings are fleeting, and that they go through cycles. What was to remain constant was the concern for children and the maintenance of social stability. It was THAT ARRANGEMENT which Jesus Christ and the early Church turned into a Sacrament. THAT is what marriage is, fundamentally. It is not a fling between supposedly "consenting" parties, basically amounting to a long boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with a state-certified stamp of approval.

Clearly, gay marriage is going to be legalized in all 50 states. The media and educational powers-that-be have made up their minds about it. But I will tell you that in 100 years, it will be looked back on as a grave mistake, much like Leninism and Soviet Communism are today. 100 years ago the idea of Communism was all the rage among people who considered themselves progressive, and they all saw an amazing new future for the human race with it - but it didn't turn out that way, did it? LOL

(30-Apr-2013 08:12 PM)JesuslookslikeBorg. Wrote:  that's the thing..i used to play football in the late 80s early 90s, and if I would have said I was a homo, for sure I would have been kicked out of the team, and almost definitely attacked if I think about the bozo's that were in the team back then.

F@ggot, sh1t stabber, bum boy, Aids face, shirtlifter, Queer B@stard...were just a few of the lovely phrases my team 'mates' threw around at each other in a heterosexual 'banter' sort of way. HuhAngry..it was pretty grim. Sad

Okay, so what is to be objected to here? Just homophobia?

Do you think that this kind of talk is justifiable in Christian terms? It certainly isn't. As a Christian, you can condemn that talk on the grounds of vulgarity, cruelty, and sexual indecency.

(30-Apr-2013 08:12 PM)JesuslookslikeBorg. Wrote:  I used to sit near the end by the door of the dressing room and keep myself to myself and get changed as quickly as possible..in fact the depressing atmosphere was so bad it was one of the reasons I stopped playing..along with ankle injuries I had.



I understand what you mean about the "locker room" environment, but as I said to Murat, people are cruel to each other on all kinds of grounds there. That doesn't mean that every response to an insult warrants the creation of a large-scale advocacy apparatus and parades in major cities.
(This post was last modified: 30-Apr-2013 11:05 PM by calitennis127.)
30-Apr-2013 10:56 PM
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RE: Jason Collins
Ok...

I am going to try to go through this point by point. I will say, before getting to Cali's load of crap, that I think it is significant in general, but certainly not analogous to Jackie Robinson, etc. I am also going to provide sources more recent than the greeks.

Point 1: The origin of a homosexual identity, at least according to what we would call gay history. Gay sex acts have been a part of pretty much all societies as long recorded history; however, it would be fair to say that a discrete gay identity is a relatively recent historical "event."

The first question that needs to be addressed is why a gay identity or lifestyle (in contrast to gay sexual acts or attraction) did not exist before: John D'Emilio (who I will be citing throughout this section) states, "For the North American settlers who migrated from England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the imperative to procreate dominated social attitude toward and organization of sexuality. The productions of children by each conjugal pair was a much a necessity as the planting of crops in the spring, since the cooperative labor of parents and their offspring generated the material goods that sustained life" (10). What this means is that at least historically, the heterosexual imperative was not necessarily rooted in its "naturalness" so much as that procreation was an economic necessity for the household economy. If we accept D'Emilio's premise (as most professional historians do at least in its broad sweeps, as used here), then one could argue that many cases of heterosexuality (although most likely still a relatively small minority) were as environmental as Cali posits homosexuality is today.

So when does homosexuality as a lifestyle emerge? I use lifestyle not to denigrate, but more to distinguish gay sex acts from the ability to have cohabitation relationships that do not necessitate a procreation based labor force. Once again, D'Emilio is instructive. He explains, "during the second half of the nineteenth century, the momentous shift to industrial capitalism provided the conditions for a homosexual and lesbian identity to emerge. As a free-labor system, capitalism pulled men and women out of a household economy and into the marketplace, where they exchanged their individual labor power for wages. [...] The interlocking processes of urbanization and industrialization created a social context in which an autonomous personal life could develop. Affection, intimate relationships, and sexuality moved increasingly into the realm of individual choice, seemingly disconnected from how one organized the production of goods necessary for survival" (11).

What these passages say is that in the most basic sense Cali is both right in some of the particulars but wrong in the significance of the long history of homosexuality. Marriage, as far as its origins, is for the most part not a morality based institution but an economic one, most likely this was the biblical intent. Women were property often traded for (dowries), and these unions were viewed in the context of economic necessity. Since the age of industrialization, I think we can all agree that most people in the United States do not need to have children for economic ends. Since the rise of industrial jobs and urban living spaces, people have freed up, if you will, to make sexual/romantic/cohabitation choices without having to consider agrarian economic/family structures, and as a result, a meaningful proportion of population, who had predilections toward the same sex, have thus been able to actually enjoy their sexual desires. Whether these desires are "environmental" or tied to some sort of biological proclivity "the gay gene" as cali puts it seems irrelevant to my mind. Their are many things that could be genetic imperatives that we use our brains to decide are not best in our society. This narrative of the history of homosexuality also undermines cali's position that from opposition to longterm homosexual relationships is based in some common sense morality/age old wisdom handed down by the Greeks thus why should we question it.

Source for Part 1: John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. D'Emilio is considered the father of American gay history and I think for the sake of this, it is worth noting that he is gay.

In parts 2 and 3, I will address why homosexuality cannot be simply a "private" matter as Cali wishes and the historical significance of coming out.
30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  What this means is that at least historically, the heterosexual imperative was not necessarily rooted in its "naturalness" so much as that procreation was an economic necessity for the household economy.

How in the world was it an absolute "necessity" in economic terms? It wasn't. Other workers could be hired if you chose not to have children, or your farm could just die off when you died.

More importantly, the fact that children were seen as economically useful in a particular way during a particular era does not at all invalidate the age-old definition of marriage across cultures and societies. I have heard people today say that it's good to have a lot of kids because you get tax breaks. So if a couple has 5 or 6 kids because of that (as some couples do), what will you say to that? They are only doing it for the money? LOL.

This argument is weak.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  If we accept D'Emilio's premise (as most professional historians do at least in its broad sweeps, as used here), then one could argue that many cases of heterosexuality (although most likely still a relatively small minority) were as environmental as Cali posits homosexuality is today.

No, one could not make that argument. All D'Emilio's research confirms is that economics and considerations on how many children a couple should have go hand-in-hand. No kidding. What age in history does this not apply to?

When I refer to homosexuality being "environmentally" caused, I am talking much more about psychological and experiential factors, rather than economic calculations.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  So when does homosexuality as a lifestyle emerge? I use lifestyle not to denigrate, but more to distinguish gay sex acts from the ability to have cohabitation relationships that do not necessitate a procreation based labor force. Once again, D'Emilio is instructive. He explains, "during the second half of the nineteenth century, the momentous shift to industrial capitalism provided the conditions for a homosexual and lesbian identity to emerge. As a free-labor system, capitalism pulled men and women out of a household economy and into the marketplace, where they exchanged their individual labor power for wages. [...] The interlocking processes of urbanization and industrialization created a social context in which an autonomous personal life could develop. Affection, intimate relationships, and sexuality moved increasingly into the realm of individual choice, seemingly disconnected from how one organized the production of goods necessary for survival" (11).

So affluence and urbanization give people more time and freedom to frolic around?

Wow, what a shocking revelation. What in the world does that have to do with marriage as a social institution or as a moral/theological matter?

Nothing.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  What these passages say is that in the most basic sense Cali is both right in some of the particulars but wrong in the significance of the long history of homosexuality. Marriage, as far as its origins, is for the most part not a morality based institution but an economic one, most likely this was the biblical intent.

No, marriage has been both morality-based and economically-developed. To say that the Bible is not concerned with the morality of marriage makes you sound like an idiot, no offense.



(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  Women were property often traded for (dowries), and these unions were viewed in the context of economic necessity.

No offense, but have you read one work of ancient literature or law? Let's start with something really basic like the tale of Lucretia, where the chastity of a wife was extolled. The Romans were incredibly conservative on moral grounds when it came to marriage. For goodness sake, the granddaughter of the emperor Augustus was banished from Rome for committing adultery.

To say there was no moral consciousness when it came to marriage is simply ignorant.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  Since the age of industrialization, I think we can all agree that most people in the United States do not need to have children for economic ends.

In the most rudimentary sense of having a couple extra hands to milk the cows, no. But marriage was never regarded as primarily a vehicle for creating workers in the house. That may have been a strong consideration at certain points in time, but never was it considered the fundamental essence of marriage.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  Since the rise of industrial jobs and urban living spaces, people have freed up, if you will, to make sexual/romantic/cohabitation choices without having to consider agrarian economic/family structures, and as a result, a meaningful proportion of population, who had predilections toward the same sex, have thus been able to actually enjoy their sexual desires.

LOL....No city was as cosmopolitan or cultivated as ancient Athens, and they didn't even DREAM of the idea of so-called "gay marriage". While urbanization and economic affluence may create more opportunity for diverse lifestyles, there is zero logical connection between urban culture, historically speaking, and a moral justification for "gay marriage". Zero.

And that is the issue here.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  Whether these desires are "environmental" or tied to some sort of biological proclivity "the gay gene" as cali puts it seems irrelevant to my mind. Their are many things that could be genetic imperatives that we use our brains to decide are not best in our society.

Take note Moxie! I must give you credit here, Riotbeard, not because you are right but because you are logically consistent. To Moxie, this is exactly what I mean about defining marriage. The modern way of defining it eliminates the true questions of procreation and inheritance, while only focusing on the idea of two individuals (possibly more when someone clamors for that right) to live as companions for however long they wish.

What Riotbeard says here is totally in line with that. To him, whether people are naturally gay doesn't matter. They want to be together, for whatever reason, so that's fine. This is precisely the mis-definition of marriage that has caused the divorce rate to skyrocket. It is not the true definition of marriage; it is a lie.

(30-Apr-2013 11:16 PM)Riotbeard Wrote:  This narrative of the history of homosexuality also undermines cali's position that from opposition to longterm homosexual relationships is based in some common sense morality/age old wisdom handed down by the Greeks thus why should we question it.

Nothing in your post contradicts, let alone refutes, any of my points.
(This post was last modified: 30-Apr-2013 11:58 PM by calitennis127.)
30-Apr-2013 11:46 PM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
Part 2: Why homosexuality has not been allowed to be a "private matter".

1. Early national policy toward homosexulity.
Government policy since the second World War has both subtly and overtly attempted to exclude a gay identity from American society. Central to historian Margot Cannaday's discussion of the gay exclusion from welfare benefits lay the 1944 GI bill which provided programs for soldiers returning from World War II. The bill technically only excluded soldiers who obtained dishonorable discharges; however, the Veterans Administration set up their own guidelines for exclusion that would target homosexuals (143-149). Gay men and women, who were discovered, received undesirable discharges from the military along with drug users and other petty offenders, and the VA decided some of the discharges constituted dishonorable conditions, specifically homosexuality (148-152). Canaday explains, “The institutionalization of heterosexuality in federal welfare policy was a two-part process that required the state to provide economic support for marriage (through male breadwinners) at the same time that it stigmatized homosexuality”(172). The GI bill both excluded homosexuality from the national norm and created a benefit system that rewarded heteronormative sexual structures.

Likewise, in the post-war era the witch hunts for lesbians in the military began to match the vigor of those against gay men during the war. At the heart of targeting lesbianism in the military resided a need to preserve the gendered norms of martial citizenship as masculine and that the type of women joining the military complimented male dominance in the ranks. Canaday explains, “to preserve gender hierarchy in citizenship, though, the state had needed to constitute lesbianism” which denigrated female soldiers as a class (212-213). Like their systematic exclusion from welfare benefits and the military, congress enacted laws that attempted to exclude gay men and lesbians from entering the United States and began deporting those convicted of morals charges already residing in the U.S. Along with these laws also came a need to identify perceived homosexual traits. These included not merely conviction of sex acts but also pro-gay sentiments, mannish tendencies in women, and effeminacy in men. Canaday asserts, “homosexuality was much more like race: a certain set of rules produced out of the stateâ€s own murky encounter with difference” (254). In the process of defining citizenship, the state also had to define those who would not be included. As a result, they helped constitute how a gay minority would be understood within the national culture, and both reacted to and normalized stereotypes of that community. Through legal approaches to the gay community, the state helped create homosexuality as a minority status by excluding gay men and lesbians (255-264).

What this means is that the government through a variety of subtle ways had worked to construct gay identity as not only different but as unamerican and something worthy of shame. In these cases, people were not allowed to exist simply as private citizens with their own sexual desire in relation to the federal government. While sodomy laws, DOMA, the less than stellar reaction to AIDS when it was a "gay disease", and don't ask don't tell may do this more overtly, these more subtle examples display a historic systemic tendency by the state to attempt to exclude gay people from many of the basic benefits of citizenship.

Source: Canaday, Margot. The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

2. Local police and the private-public

In the time period leading up to a gay liberationist politics, the national exclusionary tactics played out in repressive local measures that further reinforced the notion that in the United States sexual choices (at least homosexual ones) were not in fact private. John D'Emilio states, "The widespread labeling of lesbians and homosexuals as moral perverts and national security risks gave local police forces across the country a free rein in harassment. Throughout the 1950s gays suffered from unpredictable, brutal crackdowns. Men faced arrest primarily in bars and cruising areas such as parks, public restrooms, beaches, and transportation depots, while women generally encountered the police in and around lesbian bars. But even the homes of gay men and women lacked the immunity from vice squads bent on increasing their arrest records. The utmost caution did not guarantee protection from the hand of the law" (49).

What this speaks to is the fact that private space was never something that the gay community were allowed to have. From bars to homes, gay people were denied the right to even private space. This context would fundamentally shape the nature of gay politics that Cali seems to find so odious. Sorry if this is stylistically, ridiculously scholarly for a message board, but I want to address, Cali relatively uncited "facts" in the most scientific way possible.

Source: D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities See full info in post 1.
See also, Boyd, Nan Alamailla. Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
Enke, Anne. Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
Meeker, Martin. Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s-1970s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Part 3: Stonewall, Coming out, and why Jason Collins at least to some degree matters

For the sake of simplicity, all of this subterfuge of oppression comes to a head with the 1969 stonewall riot. On June 27, 1969, New York City police raid the stonewall inn on Christopher street. Normally, these raids were accepted as a part of life by gay people, but on this occasion, residents of Greenwich village started a riot in response to decades of other such raids and intense policing that had mostly gone unchallenged. The stonewall riot spurred large networks of gay rights groups. What emerged were groups like the Gay Liberation Front whose politics focused on a narrative of openess/coming out. In the Berkeley chapter's statement of purpose (1969), they asserted, "We reject society's attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature. We are stepping outside these roles and simplistic myths. We are going to be who we are" (quoted in D'Emilio, 234).

D'Emilio explains, "Gay liberationists, on the other hand, recast coming out as a profoundly political act that could offer enormous personal benefits to an individual. The open avowal of one's sexual identity, whether at work, at school, at home, or before television cameras, symbolized the shedding of the self-hatred that gay men and women internalized, and consequently it promised an immediate improvement in one's life" (235).

What D'Emilio is getting at and what this longer historical narrative of mine has been marching towards at a snail's pace, is that the significance of coming out is specifically tied to a political system (that certainly is in conversation with society and popular culture) that has historically attempted to prevent gay people from existing in private or public spaces. The ritual of coming out is not significant so that Calitennis knows that Jason Collins is gay. It is not for you. It is for Collins and other gay people who have for good reason felt a necessity to hide in plain sight and have been for sometime starting to refuse to do so. It is a political act in that, the mass of coming outs in the last forty years are a part of a refusal of one group to be marginalized by the majority. This politics is not someone just deciding one day to inform you of their sexual proclivities, but a response to years of both formal and informal repression, and when you half-hassardly throw out your "facts" you discount a longer (although more recent than the greeks, who's relevance to Jason Collins appears dubious to me) history and the role of straight culture in providing a catalyst to the need for liberationist gay politics.

I am tired, and I might respond tomorrow to your nitpicks with my narrative which certainly is at times oversimplified for the sake of brevity.
(This post was last modified: 01-May-2013 12:42 AM by Riotbeard.)
01-May-2013 12:00 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Jason Collins
I think this topic has gone round the houses a little bit. From Collins motives, to social and sexual politics, the bible and ancient history. First brawl of the new board?

For me, Jason Collins could be Bootsy Collins, for all I know. I never heard of the chap, but I agree with Borgie that the dressing room slurs and banter can have a terrifying effect on gay guys who just aren't able to withstand it. Some fellows have been driven to depression and suicide by these things.

And as Cali says, that's homophobia.

And as he also said, that's to be objected to.

As for marriage, I'm in agreement with Cali in how he's defined it.

As for Jason Collins as bisexual, or gay, that's a bit beyond my scope. I wouldn't know how a guy can live with a woman then switch beds and live with a guy. But I know it happens. I just wouldn't know how to define it. I don't think it matters as, ultimately, we get to define ourselves and live with it.

Europe is secular and from what I can see, American media is largely liberal and intolerant. You have an actively anti-Christian Prez and a wolf in sheeps clothing vice-prez. This is how the "free" world is now. To express Catholic and Christian values is to be instantly attacked as being out-moded, intolerant, brain-washed etc.

But none of this means that a chap who's gay finds it easy to admit it, because social history shows us that, although it's easier now than it was, it's still not something anyone finds easy to say, especially if they're high profile...
01-May-2013 04:54 AM
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