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The American Dream, Yes We Can — “You Can’t”: a Poem in Video

February 10, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

When I was a child, patriotism rested in the hope that I can be whatever I choose to be.  I could become anything I dreamed of becoming.  I could live as I wished to live because I was in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  In those sentiments, I found the American Dream.

This feeling of patriotism that hope bestowed upon me sung loudly in the words of now President Barack Obama:

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.  – Barack Obama

Sadly, the reality isn’t the dream .  Our President tells us “Yes we can,” but our laws and country tell us, “You can’t.”  Why?  Because some feel they have the right to take away our American Dream.  They believe that they are the righteous and moral and we, the LGBTQ community, are less than and undeserving.  They believe and even teach that our families are not the families that deserve the same rights and privileges of their families because we are “different.”

Yes we can, but “You Can’t”:

Thank you to the young woman who created this video.  You are speaking your truth and people should hear it.

Texas Sees First *Legal* Same-Sex Wedding

October 11, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

Marriage Celebration ProgramThe wedding between Mark Reed-Walkup, a provisional Board Member of the LGBT equality organization, GetEQUAL, and the “love of his life,” Dante Walkup, wasn’t the first wedding ceremony performed in Texas, but it was the first same-sex wedding performed on Texas’ soil which will have legal recognition.

The couple applied and received a “Certificate of Marriage” in Washington, D.C. back in May.  On October 10, 2010, Mark and Dante declared their love publicly to their friends and family in a small ceremony in Dallas, Texas.

As I took my seat in the ballroom, I began reading the wedding program.  “The Marriage Celebration of Thomas Mark Reed and Dante Karl Walkup” declared the program in a traditional fashion.  My heart swelled with joy for the very happy (and nervous) couple.  As I continued thumbing through the program, I quickly saw a difference between this wedding and those of heterosexual couples I have attended:

We Remember: Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase & the many other young LGBT lives who died due to suicide.  It does get better.

While weddings generally bring tears to my eyes, the tears are usually due to happiness for those celebrating their love.  In this instance, the tears were for the children we have lost before they had a chance to truly live.  Somehow, in spite of all the efforts of so many to make the world better for them, they lost hope.  I immediately thought of the words of Harvey Milk, “You’ve got to give them hope.”

As the wedding procession began, my tears continued to flow swelling with pride, joy, hope and even sorrow.  These amazing men were standing before me, declaring their love, declaring their devotion and declaring to all watching that “It does get better.”  This was no ordinary Texas wedding.

In order for Dante and Mark’s wedding to be legal in Washington, D.C., the ceremony had to be performed by an official authorized by the District to conduct weddings.

To overcome the jurisdictional issues, Mark and Dante arranged for the officiant to appear via Skype along with several witnesses in D.C., while the couple stood within the boundaries of their home state before their friends and family.

Mark and Dante have shown us that love endures and regardless of how hard people try to stop us, our love will carry us through.  It seems, after all, love does conquer hate.

On a more personal note to the newly weds:  Thank you for being a part of my life.  You have inspired me, pushed me and even carried me in more ways than you can possibly realize.  You have given me hope.

A Little Perspective for the National Organization for Marriage

July 19, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

In a recent video put out by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an organization devoted to preventing equal protections for certain citizens of the United States, a woman with tears in her eyes tells the story of how she was bullied and intimidated by LGBT rights activists during the hate fest.  What was the crime?  The protesters blocked her view with their signs!  Here’s the video:

This isn’t the first time NOM has played the victim card. Throughout their campaign to prevent same-sex couples from having hospital visitation rights, paying equal taxes, enjoying the same retirement benefits and generally pursuing their own happiness, NOM representatives have attempted to paint the LGBT community as oppressive radicals who are out to destroy America. Now it’s time for a little perspective:

These are the faces of our dead.  These are the faces that anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender sentiment said it was ok to harass, beat and even kill.  On average, over four LGBT people are victimized by a hate crime each day.  Hetersoexuals are victims of sexual orienation bias crimes at a significantly reduced 0.01 per day.  In fact, there has not been a single reported case of an LGBT person murdering a hetersexual person simply because they are heterosexual.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here, it’s time for NOM to come down off their cross – someone else might want to use it.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: Gay Hypocrisy

July 12, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

LGBT Lessons for Straight People - Why Equality MattersThe Today Show recently changed the rules of their wedding contest to allow same sex couples to enter. This change came about pretty quickly through civil discussions and reminders that same sex marriage is legal in several states. While it is not legal to get married in New York, New York will recognize a same sex marriage performed in a different state.

The Today Show had to know that this decision would create a firestorm from people who do not approve of same sex marriage. The comments on The Today Show Facebook page and The Today Show website went wild.

I like to follow reader comments. It’s hard to find something new. I still haven’t heard one logical argument against same sex marriage. In these discussions, there are plenty of Bible thumpers and those that insist homosexuality is a choice and a lifestyle. And there are always the pro-equality folks with something to say. Inevitably, someone will use words like bigots or haters.

Their newest response is:

Gays are all about tolerance and acceptance except when it comes to people who don’t agree with them.

Gay hypocrisy. What an interesting claim. You want gay people to accept your desire to keep them from having rights? I think you are missing the point. Returning tolerance and acceptance would be gay people accepting that you are straight, accepting that you deserve the same legal rights as LGBT people.

No one who supports marriage equality is ever going to buy your arguments. Did you follow the trial in California on Proposition 8? My bet is that you didn’t. The right wing groups did a remarkable job of preventing it from being televised. They also were a miserable failure, with all witnesses dropping out of the case except for one, who ended up saying that legalizing same-sex marriage would probably benefit society. The transcripts are online.

There are no arguments that hold water. The Bible was written by people hundreds of years ago. Your belief that it is the word of God does not make it so. Your cherry picking is obvious. You can’t disguise your bigotry behind religion. There is no proof that gay people are pedophiles or desire to recruit your children. It isn’t a lifestyle. It isn’t a choice.

There is no proof that legalizing same sex marriage will open the door to polygamy or marrying sheep. The implication, of course, is that gay sex is deviant. Otherwise, why don’t we have legal heterosexual polygamy and legal heterosexual marriages to animals? Why will this happen only if we legalize same sex marriage? Ah. It’s about sex.

I have to say, my respect for Mike Huckabee went up. For years he hid behind religion to argue why he is against gay rights. He finally came out and said that he finds gay sex icky. Kudos Mike, for having the courage to be honest. Now get over it. No one is asking you to engage in gay sex, which by the way is legal. They are asking for equal rights. 1138 rights given to married couples under Federal Law. Equality, as guaranteed under the 14th amendment.

Now try this. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals are just like you and me. They want the same things. The list could not be more normal or more boring. The right to a legal commitment to their relationships: to provide for each other and protect their families; to go to work; to be treated fairly and with respect; to serve in our military; to become ministers. It’s so boring it sounds conservative.

Acceptance and tolerance. You aren’t giving it – yet you expect it in return? Be careful who you demean and degrade. It could be someone you love. Open your mind. Open your heart. You do know someone gay. I assure you that you do. Stretch beyond your assumptions. Take the challenge to get to know a gay person Today.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science. More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

Anti-Equality Messiah, Maggie Gallagher, Wants Her Equal Protection and to Eat it Too!

June 17, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

National Organization for Marriage - the Anti-Gay NOM NOM NOMAssuming yesterday’s closing arguments are any indication of which way Judge Walker will rule in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop 8 case, it looks like an obvious victory for marriage equality advocates.  In a statement on the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage’s website the group’s messiah, Maggie Gallagher, seemed to admit this defeat, stating:

Americans have a right to vote for marriage. Ted Olson doesn’t seem to understand the argument, and judging from today’s exchanges neither does Judge Walker. I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8.

But what makes marriage different from other things on which Americans don’t really have the right to vote, like for president in the landmark case, Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)?  In that case, the Supreme Court negated the recount of votes (cast by Americans) which effectively secured the previously certified win of George W. Bush in Florida and gave him the necessary electoral votes to be President (like it or not).  Why was that ruling “ok” but a ruling to grant civil rights to a suspect class of people that were taken away by voters not “ok?”  I’m sure Attorney Cooper would answer with something about the natural creation of children – as that’s about all he could come up with in the closing arguments for any question posed by Judge Walker.

The real parallel of the two cases is the rationale used by the Supreme Court in determining George W. Bush was the winner.  In its decision, the Court declared, in part, that the method for recounting ballots used in Florida was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  That clause was included within the Constitution of the United States in an attempt to prevent violations of the well known standard, “all men are created equal.”  The Supreme Court decided that there was no “equal” standard for counting votes in Florida so votes in one county might be counted one way, while votes in another county might be counted another.  This logistical problem was enough to invalidate the right to vote based upon the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (as least in the Court’s opinion at that time).

In the Prop 8 case, we clearly have a much more blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause than we saw in Bush v. Gore.  There is no hypothetical “it might happen” in the Prop 8 debacle, there is an “it did happen and will continue to happen.”

Stupid Things People Say About Gays, The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 8

June 16, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Today, closing statements began in the Prop 8 trial.  Prior to the closing arguments, Judge Walker submitted numerous thought provoking questions to both sides.  Both sides answered all questions, although many of the questions were directed only to one side of the issue.  The Defendant-Intervenors (the ones who oppose marriage equality), responded, in my opinion, very poorly to all questions, but one stood out.  Judge Walker’s second question asked:

Aside from the testimony of Mr. Blakenhorn, what evidence in the record supports a finding that same-sex marriage has or could have negative social consequences?  What does the evidence show the magnitude of these consequences to be?

The equality opponents essentially provided three summary answers on the negative social consequences of same-sex marriage:

  1. same-sex marriage will change the public meaning of marriage;
  2. a change in the social meaning of marriage will unquestionably have real world consequences;
  3. whatever those consequences are, the will be momentous.

They then quote Professor Cott’s explanation of what will happen if same-sex marriage is adopted: “One could point to earlier watersheds, but perhaps none quite so explicit as this particular turning point.”  So, what are those watersheds Professor Cott refers to?  Here are the examples given:

‘there can be no doubt that the recognition of gay marriages will affect as great a transformation in the nature of marriage as that from polygamous to monogamous or from arranged to unarranged marriage.’ (Quoting Joseph Raz)

‘Same-sex marriage is a breathtakingly subversive idea.’ (Quoting E.J. Graff)

‘enlarging the concept [of marriage] to embrace same-sex couples would necessarily transform it into something new.’ (Quoting William Eskridge)

‘the shared societal meaning of marriage… has always been the union of a man and a woman.  To alter that meaning would render a profound change in the public consciousness of a social institution of ancient origin.’ (Quoting from Lewis v. Harris, 908 A.2d 196 (N.J. 2006)

It sounds like they have no answer, right?  They cannot give one specific example of a real consequence to allowing same-sex marriage and resort to the tactics of declaring marriage about children and procreation, not love and commitment.  In fact, they even admit that they can’t answer the question, stating, “Professor Cott also admits that it is not possible to predict with precision the consequences that will flow from same-sex marriage.”  They then go on to grasp at more straws and declared that allowing same-sex marriage will “change its focus from the needs of children to the desires of the adult partners…”

Anyone else hear the gong?

As if that isn’t painful enough, they begin relying on marriage statistics that have no bearing, or are so insignificant that they can’t possible be a proper litmus test, including an annual 0.7% decrease in marriage from 2000 – 2008 in the Netherlands after an annual 0.2% increase in marriages in the years from 1994 – 2000.  Note that there is no consideration given for economic factors, such as a severe global recession – it’s simply the fault of gay marriage.

But perhaps most significantly, what is likely a “typographical error” in their submission, the anti-equality folks state, “Refining marriage to include same-sex unions…”

Yep… making marriage equal would certainly “refine” marriage.  I’m very happy we found a point of agreement.

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

Stay up to date on all things Prop 8 at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker Website, with live blogging from Courage Campaign’s Rick Jacobs.

Stop the Destruction of the Rain Forest – Repeal DOMA Now.

April 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

recyle logo - Protect the Earth - Repeal DOMAShortly after the passage of Proposition 8 in California, the rights and privileges of opposite-sex couples were enumerated and totaled, at the Federal level, 1138 rights of marriage that are not enjoyed by same-sex couples.  Since that time, that list has shrunken slightly, to 1136 rights.

The first right to be granted to same-sex couples was a side-effect of George W. Bush declaring, upon leaving office, that the beneficiary of your retirement plan no longer has to be a relative to avoid taxes.  Obviously, this was a benefit to more than just same-sex couples.

The second right to be granted to same-sex couples wasn’t really granted, but suggested by President Obama.  In an act that heterosexist America would call unconscionable, Obama suggested that hospitals grant visitation rights to same-sex couples and comply with their Powers of Attorney.  This suggestion is similar to the suggestion that states make the legal drinking age 21 – do it, or you won’t get certain funding.  In the present case, Obama declared that should a hospital not follow the suggestion, Medicare/Medicaid benefits would be cancelled.

While I’m very happy that Obama would take such a step to help those of us who are affected by such horrifying inhumane acts of discrimination, I’m concerned that non-complying hospitals will begin denying treatment to Medicare/Medicaid recipients for fear of losing the funding.

This victory is bitter sweet, but evidences the path we’ve been taking for decades in the quest for full equality under the law – we’re getting it, but only one right at a time.  So let’s do it Obama’s way.  Let’s take one right at a time and 1136 more rights (and countless pieces of paper) later, we’ll have less trees, more waste and still suffer the stigma of “separate but equal.” However, a full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) would help institute all remaining 1126 denied rights using far less paper and energy while simultaneously eliminating the ideology that separate can ever be equal.  Come on Obama, save a rain forest and repeal DOMA now!

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 7

February 11, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

It didn’t take long for the opponents of equal rights to scream “BIAS!” when the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the justice presiding over the Perry case (the Prop 8 case) is a homosexual.  On the blog for the leading anti-equality organization, the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage (NOM), its executive director, David Duke Brian S. Brown, had this to say about the justice:

He’s been an amazingly biased and one-sided force throughout this trial, far more akin to an activist than a neutral referee.

The painfully obvious truth is that had the Judge presiding over the trial been a heterosexual, white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant (as has been the case in most trials against equality), and had the queers yelled fowl as often and in the same manner that the bias-based organization NOM has yelled fowl, we would be considered radical extremists intent on denying the religious freedoms of all — oh wait, we already are considered that to NOM!!!

Since a straight judge would be biased against the gays, and a gay judge is purportedly biased against the straights, here’s my theory:  Only a bisexual judge can be unbiased and see both sides of the story… of course, even an unbiased person should be able to easily recognize the repugnant lies being told by Hate, Inc. about us queer folk.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 6

January 28, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

To begin with, let’s take a brief quiz.  For each statement listed below, answer which person made the statement

By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage might contribute over time to a decline in anti-gay prejudice as well as, more specifically, a reduction in anti-gay hate crimes.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Same-sex marriage would meet the stated needs and desires of lesbian and gay couples who want to marry. In so doing, it would improve the happiness and well-being of many gay and lesbian individuals, couples, and family members.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage would extend a wide range of the natural and practical benefits of marriage to many lesbian and gay couples and their children.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

The answer may just surprise you.  All of the above statements were part of David Blackenhorn’s book, The Future of Marriage.  Mr. Blackenhorn is an “expert” for the Defendants in the Proposition 8 trial – which means that he is against same-sex marriage in spite of all of the above statements being, in his opinion, true.

Therefore, it seems as though Mr. Blackenhorn would concur with the view that same-sex marriage will significantly benefit many gay couples (as well as many single LGBT people by way of reducing hate crimes and social stigma).  Unfortunately, Mr. Blackenhorn makes an amazing leap of logic from those points.

He then goes on to tell us, by way of his testimony in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case that he believes it is “almost certainly true” that:

…gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit by having gay marriage.

In spite of all this, he does not support same-sex marriage because:

…the rights of gays and lesbians take second place to the needs of an existing social institution. *** I will choose marriage as a public good over the rights and needs of gay and lesbian adults and those same-sex couples who are raising children.

In other words, in spite of the fact that there are enormous benefits of marriage that are currently being denied to same-sex couples and their children, the rights of those people are secondary to those of heterosexual couples simply because same-sex marriage doesn’t provide a benefit to the public… or rather, it isn’t part of the public good.

Mr. Blackenhorn elaborates on what he means by public good, by stating that it, “serves important public purposes.”  By way of his agreements and statements on the benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, he seems to contradict himself in asserting that such marriages won’t “serve an important public purpose.”

Look back to the quotes above and we can see those things that Mr. Blackenhorn believes don’t serve important public purposes:

  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to have “fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.”
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to have a reduction of violent crimes (i.e. “anti-gay hate crimes“).
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to embrace the ideas of “tolerance and inclusion.”
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to “improve the happiness and well-being of many gay and lesbian individuals, couples, and family members.” [emphasis added]

It seems then that Mr. Blackenhorn’s testimony in the trial embraced the following as important public services: (1) to have more children growing up in state institutions; (2) to increase violent crimes; (3) to become intolerant and exclusionary; and (4) to diminish the happiness of a large percentage of American families.

Are those the “family values” they keep telling us about?

o being with, let’s take a brief quiz.  For each statement listed below, answer which person made the statement

By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 5 | Prostituion and Sex with Kids

January 22, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Yesterday, William Tam, who previously won a jaysays.com Stupid Things People Say About Gays nod, not only won the title again while be questioned by Attorney Boies, but set the bar to a new level.  During testimony, Tam advised that he thinks legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing prostitution.

Boies: You said that you thought Prop. 8 would lead to legalizing prostitution. Why?

Tam: *** I saw some homosexuals hanging around there. [Regarding “Measure K”, which if passed by voters, would have stopped the enforcement of laws against prostitution in California, among other things.]

Boies: You know that Measure K has nothing to do with Prop. 8.

Tam: Yes.

Nevada legalized prostitution in some incidents (areas with a population under 400,000 people) way back in 1937, but Nevada does not allow same-sex marriage. In Rhode Island, prostitution was considered legal until 2009, but Rhode Island does not allow same-sex marriage.  Rhode Island is also only one of the two New England states that do not allow same-sex marriage (Maine being the other).

Currently, states that allow same-sex marriage include: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont.  None of the states in the United States that allow same-sex marriage have legalized prostitution.  In fact:

  • New Hampshire made prostitution a crime in Sec. 645:2 NH RSA.
  • Connecticut has about eight sections of its penal code that make prostitution (or acts leading up to prostitution) illegal.
  • Iowa has four laws which prohibit prostitution and/or other sex trade offenses (such as pimping or leasing property for prostitution)
  • Massachusetts, a liberal state and the first state in the United States to recognize gay marriage, has 11 laws on the books dealing with prostitution or related offenses.
  • Vermont, excluding definitions of and the penalties for prostitution or related offenses, has four laws on the books.

It seems like those states that allow same-sex marriage don’t allow prostitution; whereas states that do or did have legalized prostitution recently, don’t allow same-sex marriage.   Sorry Tam – your argument fails.

In his testimony, Tam also stated that legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing sex with children.

Boise: You told people that next will be legalizing sex with children. That’s the homosexual agenda. Do you believe this?

Tam: Yes.

All of the states which currently allow same-sex marriage have set 16 years old as the age of consent (a common age in the United States for “consent”).  Many of those laws have other laws surrounding that age requirement such as the age difference between the parties (thus preventing consensual sex between a 15 year and a 16 year old from being a crime).  No state in the United States has set any age lower than 16 as the age of consent.

But Tam didn’t stop there with his argument that the homosexual agenda will result in legalizing sex with children only he clarified that it’s the “liberal agenda” that’s to blame:

I’m afraid of the liberal trend. Canada and Europe are liberal and they allow age of consent 13 or 14 and children can have sex with adults and each other.

Our neighbors to the north, Canada, recognize same sex marriage and are generally considered to be a liberal country.  The age of consent throughout Canada is 16, very similar to the United States.  On questioning by Boies, Tam eventually admitted that allowing same-sex marriage in Canada did not result in changes to its law on age of consent.  He denied having any knowledge of what happened to the laws in Europe on consent once same-sex marriage was legalized.

Let’s educate Tam: The age of consent in the Netherlands and Belgium is 16 and Sweden is 15, those are three of the European Countries that allow gay marriage.  The other is Spain.  While it is true that Spain has a very low age of consent (being 13 years old) that law was actually amended in 1999 to increase the age of consent from its previous requirement – 12 years old!

It would seem then that “liberal” doesn’t necessarily equate to sex with children, but much to Tam’s dismay, we can argue that conservative countries do allow sex with children.  Take a look at Saudi Arabia, for example.  Saudi Arabia has no age requirement for consensual sexual activity; however, the law does state that the people who have sex must be married.  Generally, people may marry in Saudi Arabia as soon as they reach puberty – that could potentially be 10 – 11 years old!

There’s also our staunchly Catholic neighbor to the south, Mexico.  The only place in Mexico where same-sex marriage is allowed is in Mexico, D.C.; a very recent development which has caused significant controversy from the citizens.  A very large number of Mexico states have set the age of consent at 12 years old – no gay marriage, but sex with a 12 year old is fine.

Again, “Yes on 8” people seem to make outlandish claims with no supporting facts.    Perhaps it’s because the only book they care to read is the Bible – or perhaps when they read another book they take it out of context, like they do the Bible.

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

esterday, William Tam, who previously won a jaysays.com Stupid Things People Say About Gays nod, not only won the title again while be questioned by Attorney Boies, but set the bar to a new level. During testimony, Tam advised that he thinks legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing prostitution.

Boies: You said that you thought Prop. 8 would lead to legalizing prostitution. Why?

Tam: *** I saw some homosexuals hanging around there. [Regarding “Measure K”, which if passed by voters, would have stopped the enforcement of laws against prostitution in California, among other things.]

Boies: You know that Measure K has nothing to do with Prop. 8.

Tam: Yes.

Nevada legalized prostitution in some incidents (areas with a population under 400,000 people) way back in 1937, but Nevada does not allow same-sex marriage. In Rhode Island, prostitution was considered legal until 2009, but Rhode Island does not allow same-sex marriage. Rhode Island is also only one of the two New England states that do not allow same-sex marriage (Maine being the other).

Currently, states that allow same-sex marriage include: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont. None of the states in the United States that allow same-sex marriage have legalized prostitution. In fact:

§ New Hampshire made prostitution a crime in Sec. 645:2 NH RSA.

§ Connecticut has about eight sections of its penal code that make prostitution (or acts leading up to prostitution) illegal.

§ Iowa has four laws which prohibit prostitution and/or other sex trade offenses (such as pimping or leasing property for prostitution)

§ Massachusetts, a liberal state and the first state in the United States to recognize gay marriage, has 11 laws on the books dealing with prostitution or related offenses.

§ Vermont, excluding definitions of and the penalties for prostitution or related offenses, has four laws on the books.

It seems like those states that allow same-sex marriage don’t allow prostitution; whereas states that do or did have legalized prostitution recently, don’t allow same-sex marriage. Sorry Tam – your argument fails.

In his testimony, Tam also stated that legalizing gay marriage would result in legalizing sex with children.

Boise: You told people that next will be legalizing sex with children. That’s the homosexual agenda. Do you believe this?

Tam: Yes.

All of the states which currently allow same-sex marriage have set 16 years old as the age of consent (a common age in the United States for “consent”). Many of those laws have other laws surrounding that age requirement such as the age difference between the parties (thus preventing consensual sex between a 15 year and a 16 year old from being a crime). No state in the United States has set any age lower than 16 as the age of consent.

But Tam didn’t stop there with his argument that the homosexual agenda will result in legalizing sex with children only he clarified that it’s the “liberal agenda” that’s to blame:

“I’m afraid of the liberal trend. Canada and Europe are liberal and they allow age of consent 13 or 14 and children can have sex with adults and each other.”

Our neighbors to the north, Canada, recognize same sex marriage and are generally considered to be a liberal country. The age of consent throughout Canada is 16, very similar to the United States. On questioning by Boies, Tam eventually admitted that allowing same-sex marriage in Canada did not result in changes to its law on age of consent. He denied having any knowledge of what happened to the laws in Europe on consent once same-sex marriage was legalized.

Let’s educate Tam: The age of consent in the Netherlands and Belgium is 16 and Sweden is 15, those are three of the European Countries that allow gay marriage. The other is Spain. While it is true that Spain has a very low age of consent (being 13 years old) that law was actually amended in 1999 to increase the age of consent from its previous requirement – 12 years old!

It would seem then that “liberal” doesn’t necessarily equate to sex with children, but much to Tam’s dismay, we can argue that conservative countries do allow sex with children. Take a look at Saudi Arabia, for example. Saudi Arabia has no age requirement for consensual sexual activity; however, the law does state that the people who have sex must be married. Generally, people may marry in Saudi Arabia as soon as they reach puberty – that could potentially be 10 – 11 years old!

There’s also our staunchly Catholic neighbor to the south, Mexico. The only place in Mexico where same-sex marriage is allowed is in Mexico, D.C.; a very recent development which has caused significant controversy from the citizens. A very large number of Mexico states have set the age of consent at 12 years old – no gay marriage, but sex with a 12 year old is fine.

Again, “Yes on 8” people seem to make outlandish claims with no supporting facts. Perhaps it’s because the only book they care to read is the Bible – or perhaps when they read another book they take it out of context, like they do the Bible.