Member Rara Avis
So if gays and lesbians choose to be gays and lesbians, it's just to prevent them from getting married? I really don't understand... either way, it's still a man marrying a man, or a woman marrying a woman... why is it discrimination in one instance and not discrimination in another?
On the contrary, Amy, I've said several times that it doesn't matter whether homosexuality is a product of nature or nurture. Personally, I'm convinced it's nature for many, nurture for some, and a conscience choice for a brave few. Look just a little ways up this page and you'll see me say, "But it doesn't really matter, either. My personal history seems to suggest I have a slight preference for brunettes over blondes. Should I be denied that choice, whether it is genetic or learned, simply because you like redheads?"
It's a very fine semantic line, Amy, and you're certainly free to disagree. I am a heterosexual through design, not choice. If you punish me for being a heterosexual, you are punishing me for being who I am. That, to me, is discrimination, because no matter what I do or what choices I make, I will still be punished. On the other hand, if you punish me for loving a woman you are doing so based on an action and a choice. You felt I did something wrong. To me, that isn't discrimination, but rather is persecution. There are times when persecution is just. There are times when it's not (in which case, I will continue to ask over and over, "Who is being hurt?"). At no time that I can imagine, however, is discrimination EVER just.
The distinction between discrimination and persecution, I think, is an important one, though I know to many it will seem like picking nits. It's important because it helps define the opposition. If someone believes homosexuality is wrong, I will argue from now 'til hell freezes over in hopes of convincing them sexual preference, in and of itself, harms no one. However, if someone believes homosexuals are wrong, I know of no argument that will ever convince them otherwise. Persecution can be fought. Discrimination can only be squashed.
In summary, those who discriminate against gays are unjust, and same-sex marriage is just the tip of their iceberg. I can't imagine anything they could say that would convince me otherwise. Those who persecute gays and would stop them from marrying are equally unjust, in my opinion, but I'm willing to listen to their reasons. If they can demonstrate a harm comparable to the punishment they advocate, I'm not above changing my position. Persecution is a social tool that will continue to hold value as long as there are people who hurt other people.
There's a difference between being willing to accept the consequences of an action, and being willing to accept them blame.
This is sliding a bit off-topic, but I don't believe there is a difference, Amy. Poor Atticus certainly wasn't the *only* person culpable for their own actions, but nothing that influenced his decisions did anything to make his decisions any less his. If he was influenced, he allowed himself to be influenced. Should someone happen to hold a gun to your head and tell you to drink a fast acting poison, you might well find your choices limited and unattractive. But in the end, the person holding the gun is only responsible for their own actions, not for the choice you make. Whether the person with the gun pulls the trigger is up to him. Whether you drink the poison is up to you. Each of you can influence the other only to the extent the other permits it. You cannot ever absolve yourself of the blame (or credit) for your own actions, any more than you can ever accept the blame (or credit) for someone else's actions. That is the whole crux of personal responsibility.
We are no less responsible for difficult choices than we are for easy ones.