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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Intro: Marriage Is For Breeders » Intro: Marriage Is For Breeders

Intro: Marriage Is For Breeders

Rusty - January 18, 2006

Silus is trying to get his TypePad account to work so in the meantime I will post the intro to his series.

I was at a dinner party a few years back, when one of the other guests there — a gay man not much older than me — said something I’ll never forget:

“Marriage is for breeders.”

It wasn’t an unusual sentiment at the time — it wasn’t long ago that most gay men saw marriage as a straight institution — but it stuck, and today I’m faced with being the only gay man in the room still holding to that opinion.

If I were an academic, I would trace the genesis of the modern gay marriage movement to some seminal moment. And then I’d explain how events unfolded in just such a way to lead us to where we are today: in the midst of a cultural war. Perhaps not the all-out maelstrom that some have painted it as, but a battle nonetheless.

But I’m not an academic, and I can only say that it appears to have started with Hawai’i and Vermont… when the debate was finally framed in a way that could galvenize a larger portion of the gay community — and could easily translate for sympathetic straights. It was a simple message, but the best ones normally are, and it was this: straight America is denying us a fundemental right — the right to love, the right to marry.

It’s a useful PR tool, but not worth a plumb nickel if we’re to ever have a serious discussion about marriage, its place in modern civil society, and legal recourses for committed gay couples — a discussion that would do our nation some good, and could pay hefty dividends for everyone.

So if you don’t mind, I’d like to take the next few days and discuss these very issues… and perhaps you’ll come to agree, with me, that marriage really is for breeders.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Defining Marriage

38 Comments »

  1. …and perhaps you’ll come to agree, with me, that marriage really is for breeders.

    Curious, since the Nine Moons crowd doesn’t strike me as being passionately in favor of gay marriage…

    But, nevermind. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say.

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 18, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  2. Chris,
    Huh? Who do you think “the Nine Moons crowd” is?

    Comment by Rusty — January 18, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  3. Rusty: Mormon, no?

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 18, 2006 @ 5:24 pm

  4. I’d wager the 9Moons audience is a good deal more diverse than a regular Mormon crowd on this topic.

    I am looking forward to this series, Silus, though I doubt you’ll convince me that gay marriage is bad.

    Comment by NFlanders — January 18, 2006 @ 5:38 pm

  5. I don’t mean to suggest that the Nine Moons crowd is monolithic in its opposition to gay marriage. I know there are gay marriage supporters in the group. But the crowd here has always struck me as thoughtfully faithful — faithful to the LDS Church and its positions.

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 18, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  6. Hmm.

    I’m not sure what to say here. This seems to just be an intro to more important stuff which will come later.

    You know that we disagree, though, right Silus? So I hope you don’t take anything I say personally.

    I am pro-SSM, for anyone who chooses to do it (marry their same-sex partner), and I certainly think it’s going to come during my lifetime, maybe even in the next 5 years.

    So, no, I don’t think marriage is strictly for breeders. Marriage is… for 2 people to commit to each, legally, and share in the legal benefits and yes, blessings, of a publicly committed relationship. Any two people who are adults and not too closely related.

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 18, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

  7. “Any two people who are adults and not too closely related.”

    Who cares about that if there’s no breeding going on? Even if the gay couple adopts kids and becomes a family (not that I support that), I don’t care if they’re brothers or 1st cousins.

    Comment by Steve EM — January 18, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

  8. True, Steve. Gay trumps incest. LOL

    I guess, I still think it should be encouraged for people to mix it up, a little. Look on the other side of the hill for that certain person.

    But hey, whatever floats your boat, eh? I’m still for it.

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 18, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  9. I don’t think this comment fits well here, but oh well, I’d still like to invade this blog and insert my irrelevant and pretentious opinion.

    Even as a gung-ho mormon, I supported gay marriage, because I believed that the goodness of monogomous marriage over a promiscuous lifestyle is greater than the goodness of heterosexuality over homosexuality. Since marriage encourages monogamy, voila! A simple, conservative reason to support gay marriage.

    Comment by Bucky — January 18, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  10. Yes, Bucky, I’ve been trying to say the same thing for years. In fact, I’d go so far in suggesting that the Church could come out in favor of SSM, and still believe the homosexuality itself is a sin.

    But legal SSM for those that want it? seems to me a no-brainer.

    I am interested in what Silus has to say, though.

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 18, 2006 @ 8:35 pm

  11. Bucky,
    Your comment fits fine here. Please continue to insert your irrelevant and pretentious opinions :) Actually, if you have a chance you should go back and read Silus’ previous series (linked above) as I think it was very thoughtful and I think the responses were respectful and intelligent. One of the reasons I’m interested in what Silus has to say is because he is both gay and opposed to SSM… a highly uncommon phenomenon.

    But regarding your point, you’re right, it’s a very good reason to support it. I think the crux of the problem lies in the fact that the Church has taken a stance against SSM as well as the way we interpret the Family Proclamation. I’m pretty sure Silus will be addressing both of these points.

    Comment by Rusty — January 18, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

  12. One of the reasons I’m interested in what Silus has to say is because he is both gay and opposed to SSM… a highly uncommon phenomenon.

    My non-member cousin is gay and she is opposed to same sex marriages for the reason that she believes it “makes a mockery” (her words) of the beautiful marriage her mom and dad had. All her friends think she’s a traitor.

    Comment by meems — January 19, 2006 @ 2:33 am

  13. Chris, wrong. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of gay big cheeses here on the bloggernacle. You are new? I’m assuming, so you lack perspective. You’ll pick it up.

    “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by misunderstanding” -my hero, Kaimi

    Chris, you’ll catch on, it took me awhile, too.

    This “marriage is for breeders” thing, though, brings me to the same nausea I felt when we discussing all the problems with birth control. Will not get specific.

    Comment by annegb — January 19, 2006 @ 9:11 am

  14. I must admit, I don’t care much for the term “breeders.” It sounds like an epithet.

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 19, 2006 @ 9:24 am

  15. annegb: You are new? I’m assuming, so you lack perspective. You’ll pick it up.

    Actually, I’ve been around the bloggernacle for years.

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 19, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  16. Bishop Chris has/had his own blog, which is listed in links all over the Bloggernacle, including Times&Seasons. I believe he is … resting … from that blog, for the time being.

    http://outer-boroughs.blogspot.com/

    And he is my Nephew-in-law.

    :)

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 19, 2006 @ 9:47 am

  17. Hi D!

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 19, 2006 @ 10:12 am

  18. Yes, Chris was my bishop and has been in the ‘nacle for a while now. But that surely doesn’t excuse his using my blog as a private message center for him and D!

    And btw, we are still trying to be thoughtfully faithful to the LDS Church and its positions (all of them, not just this one).

    Silus, forgive us for this threadjack. Please continue…

    :)

    Comment by Rusty — January 19, 2006 @ 10:22 am

  19. Hi, Chris!

    Hi, Rusty! I long ago gave up saying hi to you, since you never answer, even on your own blog.

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 19, 2006 @ 10:26 am

  20. But that surely doesn’t excuse his using my blog as a private message center for him and D!

    Hi Rusty!

    :-P

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 19, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  21. One key question I hope Silus addresses is whether those who adopt children are properly counted in the “breeder” or the “nonbreeder” category. My own opinion is that they belong in the “breeder” category. I will wait until Silus posts more, however, before discussing the implications of that conclusion.

    Comment by Last Lemming — January 19, 2006 @ 10:28 am

  22. D wrote: I believe he is … resting … from that blog, for the time being.

    Resting, I am. But I also decided to republish a few things and may pick it up again at some point this year, either at Outer Boroughs or at some new outpost.

    OK, back to regularly scheduled programming. Sorry, Silus.

    Comment by Chris Williams — January 19, 2006 @ 10:44 am

  23. D. Fletcher, no need to be so sensitive towards us breeders. I think most are like me and perform their role w/ pride and joy. Fokker is my middle name. If I could choose to be any animal I wanted, it would definitely be a retired winning race horse, luckiest beast alive.

    Comment by Steve EM — January 19, 2006 @ 11:43 am

  24. It is true. Marriage is for breeders. It is so obvious, I am astounded that the discussion is actually going on. It certainly never went on before very recently. What has changed?

    Gay sex, just like any sexual relations outside of marriage, is an abomination in the eyes of God. And it was an abomination in the eyes of everybody else until very recently. So how can a nation legalize an abomination? What are going to be the consequences for such a nation? What does the Book of Mormon say about nations that uphold abominations?

    Americans need to repent if they want to survive as a people. And I’m not talking about the gay people among us. I’m talking about all those “good” Mormons who don’t stand up for what is right, all those cowards who remain silent in order to be politically correct.

    This country is turning into a stinking cesspool, and it isn’t because of the wicked. It is because of the righteous who are letting it happen. Maybe they aren’t as righteous as we think they are.

    Comment by John W. Redelfs — January 19, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

  25. JWR, replace “gay sex” with “polygamy” and remove the Book of Mormon reference and I bet your post would pretty much mirror the rhetoric flying around about the Mormons out in Utah Territory in the late 1800s.

    How’s about we have a thoughtful discussion about it rather than spraying your spleen all over everyone?

    Comment by Chad Too — January 19, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  26. oh, and for what it’s worth, I neither cower in a corner nor am I necessarily politically correct. I am pretty fierce about civil rights.

    You would be too if you were a member of a minority religion that constantly faces discrimination for no good reason. Oh, wait….

    Comment by Chad Too — January 19, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

  27. JWR,
    Stick around, I have a feeling we’re going to need someone to call us all to repentence. I’d hate to have a discussion on SSM where everyone speaks civilly to each other. However, I’m surprised the words “cowards” and “cesspool” have already reared their ugly heads, I didn’t expect that until at least Round 1 or 2.

    Comment by Rusty — January 19, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  28. JWR,

    Gays used to make me sick. But I started to be more tolerant because of anti-gay rhetoric. The impact of heterosexual sins (abortion, abandoned/neglected kids, divorce, trophy wife, etc, etc), in which I’ve been an unfortunate contributor, seemed so much more deleterious, I just couldn’t stomach listening to gay bashing anymore. Then as many out gays dropped the in-your-face stuff and dispassionately discussed their orientation, I realized they didn’t choose to be gay just like I didn’t choose my drive for sex w/ women.

    On a side note, I don’t like the term gay sex; to me it’s akin to referring to masturbation as autosex. Perhaps same sex gratification would be a better term?

    Comment by Steve EM — January 19, 2006 @ 5:11 pm

  29. Wow, such emotionalism already!

    JWR, should we go back to Prohibition? Would you be in favor of that? For everybody? Nobody gets to drink if you don’t?

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 19, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  30. Silus,

    Whenever I have heard a gay man use the term “breeder”, it has been in reference to a woman, and the tone was pejorative.

    I’m wondering if my experience reflects what most gay men think.

    Comment by Mark IV — January 19, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  31. Yes, it sounds pejorative to me, too. Harshly critical, as if … that’s all these people are good for. Like racehorses or rabbits.

    Comment by D. Fletcher — January 19, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  32. Oh come-on, I can’t be the only guy who would choose to be a retired winning race horse? In fact, my wife often repeats the line from Tin Cup, [edited] And I never get tired of hearing it.

    Comment by Steve EM — January 19, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

  33. Of course “breeder” is a pejorative term. But I’ve not only heard it from gay men. I’ve also heard the term used by straight women who were choosing not to have children. No matter who is saying it though, it’s always said with a little bit of acrimony. I do like the band, The Breeders, though.

    Comment by meems — January 19, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  34. I am looking forward to your thought on gay marriage. For me it is one of those topics that I have such strong feelings for that when I hear about it my ears perk up and my heart starts pounding.

    Steve, I won’t like I turned BRIGHT red when I read your last comment. I guess that I’m a prude.

    Comment by JessicaMae — January 19, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

  35. Well Jessica, I didn’t get why Rusty edited my comment. I mean, I left a blank in it. But if had that impact on you, I’m sure you’re not alone, and Rusty did the right thing.

    BTW, I first saw the cleaned up airline version of Tin Cup (much better than the theater release), and that line was left in. Maybe Don can post sometime on why the airline version of movies isn’t released to theaters, DVD, etc.

    In any event, we’re all different, and I know I’m not the only guy who gets a trill from such compliments, but I’m fully aware such compliments do not generally work in reverse.

    Comment by Steve EM — January 20, 2006 @ 10:52 am

  36. Just a word about the term “breeder”.

    Yes, it is a pejorative… but I’m using it for its rhetorical value and without malice.

    I hope no one is offended by it, as no offense is intended.

    Comment by Silus Grok — January 20, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

  37. the correct word is natalist rather than breeder. As in the future of the world belongs to the natalists and their offspring.

    Thanks goodness mormons are still for the most part natalists.

    Comment by anon — January 20, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

  38. Silus, your series was one of my favorites last year in the bloggernacle. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say.

    Comment by jjohnsen — January 22, 2006 @ 11:31 am

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