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Passions in Poetry

What exactly IS marriage anyway?

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Stephanos
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0 posted 03-25-2004 05:13 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos


The Dangers of Redefining Gay Marriage
Author unknown

(A scene at City Hall in San Francisco)

"Next." Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage
license."

"Names?"

"Tim and Jim Jones."

"Jones? Are you related? I see a resemblance."

"Yes, we're brothers."

"Brothers? You can't get married."

"Why not? Aren't you giving marriage licenses to same
gender couples?"

"Yes, thousands. But we haven't had any siblings. That's
incest!"

"Incest?"

No, we are not gay."

"Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?"

"For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each
other. Besides, we don't have any other prospects."

"But we're issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian
couples who've been denied equal protection under the law.
If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman."

"Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a
woman as I have. But just because I'm straight doesn't mean
I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim."

"And I want to marry Tim, Are you going to discriminate
against us just because we are not gay?"

"All right, all right. I'll give you your license. Next."

"Hi. We are here to get married."

"Names?"

"John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson."

"Who wants to marry whom?"

"We all want to marry each other."

"But there are four of you!"

"That's right. You see, we're all bisexual. I love Jane and
Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane,
and Robert loves June and me. All of us getting married
together is the only way that we can express our sexual
preferences in a marital relationship."

"But we've only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian
couples."

"So you're discriminating against bisexuals!"

"No, it's just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage
is that it's just for couples."

"Since when are you standing on tradition?"

"Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere."

"Who says? There's no logical reason to limit marriage to
couples. The more the better. Besides, we demand our
rights! The mayor says the constitution guarantees equal
protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!"

"All right, all right. Next."

"Hello, I'd like a marriage license."

"In what names?"

"David Deets."

"And the other man?"

"That's all. I want to marry myself."

"Marry yourself? What do you mean?"

"Well, my psychiatrist says I have a dual personality, so I
want to marry the two together. Maybe I can file a joint
income-tax return."

"That does it! I quit!! You people are making a mockery of
marriage!!"



I wanted to post something I read.  It's fictitious and uses hyperbole and reductio ad absurdum to make it's point.  But it does contain a valid question.


If same sex marriages are legalized upon the basis of "intrinsic rights" of people to marry anyone they want, thus not merely extending the rights to marry (because gays already have the right to "marry" according to the traditional and present cultural definition) but redefining marriage itself, then what's to keep us from a perpetual redefining that will lead to progressive dissolution and absurdity?  


What exactly will marriage end up as?  


Is the unwillingness to define, out of political fear of stepping on someone's toes, the same thing as the unwitting will to destroy?


If some say not ... How are the grounds for homosexual marriage different than those of some of the above suggestions?


Stephen.    
Christopher
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1 posted 03-25-2004 05:26 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I want to restate a question Ron asked when [all this] started here in the forums, that few if any, have addressed: Why does a married couple have different civil rights than a non-married couple?
Denise
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2 posted 03-25-2004 09:39 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Stephen, thanks for sharing that piece. It made me laugh and it brings out a good point about the dangers of tampering with the definiton of marriage.

Christopher, I think that the legal benefits that are found within marriage are there because it was recognized that it was in society's best interest to encourage people in a lifelong commitment of fidelity, of mutual caretaking of each other and of any children that they might produce together. I also agree with the statement in one of the articles that Stephen gave that it was designed in part to protect the women and children of a society in light of the greater tendency in the male of the species to tend toward promiscuity and wandering (not that women haven't or don't, but the tendency toward it is higher in males, statistically), a way to hold them accountable to their responsibilities to their partner and children so that they would not eventually become a burden on society to have to support. Society simply doesn't have a vested interest in encouraging non-marital cohabitation, in my opinion, and therefore doesn't offer any benefits to encourage it.

I believe, and I think all the research bears it out, that in homes where there is this sense of 'till death do us part' in the mother/father relationship, the couple benefits, the children benefit and society benefits, as contrasted with the mindset of semi-commited non-marital cohabitation, keeping all options open, which makes it easier, psychologically and financially, to forsake one's partner and children when the going gets rough.

I think one of the biggest problems in our society since the sexual revolution has been the fostering of the idea of sex and children outside of marriage, with families headed by single women who have no male support, and with children who have no male role model to bond with, which deprives them of an important ingredient to their sense of 'self', and many of those households are mired in poverty because of it. That life is hard on them and hard on society (who has to support them in the majority of the cases, and at a subsistance level compared to average income level homes). The men who have fathered all these children just aren't around physically, and are not supporting their children financially in most cases. So society has to pick up the tab. So everybody loses, including the fathers who never learn to accept their responsibilities, but continue from one woman to the next fathering even more chldren that they do not intend to take care of. And if you think I am exaggerating, come visit my neighborhood. Out of 22 houses on my block alone, there are only 3 households (mine being one) that are not single parent, welfare supported, households. Surely anyone can see the burden created for society in such situations.

I think it is ironic that the movement spearheaded by NOW and the radical feminists in the late sixties and early seventies, purportedly to empower and liberate women, has had just the opposite effect and in many cases has given women an inferior quality of life than they could have had, had they waited for or insisted upon marriage before having children. When they bought into the concept of 'free love' they paid a very dear price, in my opinion.

I think that everything that we do individually affects society in one way or another, eventually, for good or for ill, at least in my opinion.

Ron
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3 posted 03-26-2004 12:54 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

"Sorry, Pops, but your application for a marriage license has been denied."

"Excuse me?"

"Denied. You know, like turned down. You and, uh, what's her name?"

"Margaret. Her name is Margaret Hamlin."

"Right. You and Margaret are too old to have children."

"But we love each other."

"So? I love my dad, but I'm not going to marry him."

"We want to spend the rest of our days together."

"Then go for it, Pops. You can't marry Margaret, but no one is saying you can't live with her."

"We want to have sex, too."

"You're gagging me here, old man. Just do it and, PLEASE, stop talking about it."

"I guess I don't understand. You're saying we can do everything married people do, but we can't get married?"

"Yep. Marriage is about having kids, raising kids, and not bringing about the immediate downfall of our whole society."

"What if I get sick? I trust Margaret and want her to be able to care for me in my last days."

"The State will do that."

"I want Margaret to bury me."

"The State will do that."

"I want Margaret to get my house and what money I have left."

"State, too."

"This isn't at all fair. I WANT to get married."

"Not a problem, Pops. See that blonde over there filling out her paper work?"

"Yea?"

"That's Alicia. Her husband died last month and the State is going to take away her three kids unless she gets married again. I can introduce you if you'd like?"

"She's going to lose her kids? That's terrible!"

"Hey, the alternative is the immediate downfall of our whole society. Without a father, all three kids will end up as serial killers. Or worse, on welfare."

"My given name is John, please."

"Pardon me?"

"I wouldn't want you to introduce me to Alicia as Pops, you understand. My name is John."

"Ahh. Gotcha, John. And I'm sure your Margaret will completely understand."

"Of course she will. As soon as Alicia and I are married, I intend to adopt Margaret as our daughter. She'll get all the legal rights as my next-of-kin, and will naturally come to live with us."

"You know, John, I think you're getting the hang of this marriage stuff, now."


serenity blaze
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4 posted 03-26-2004 09:16 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

(Forgive me if this seems to be meandering off-topic a bit--but...?)

Denise? I'm curious here--

"Out of 22 houses on my block alone, there are only 3 households (mine being one) that are not single parent, welfare supported, households. Surely anyone can see the burden created for society in such situations."

I'd like some more information before that statistic carries any weight for me. How many of these "single parent, welfare supported households" are the products of divorce?

I'm curious because both of my sisters ended up needing assistance after failed marriages. It's been my experience that a marriage license is not an insurance policy for moral responsibility.

(And just because I'm a little marriage-bitter right now--I'd like to know how many of those households are headed by men?)

  
Sunshine
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5 posted 03-26-2004 02:14 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Households are headed by men?

Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.  Yes, "some" households are headed by men.  But I think the majority of them are headed by women, nationally, geographically, and politically.
Denise
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6 posted 03-26-2004 07:25 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I don't know what percentage of them have ever been married or not, Karen. I think the odds would dictate that some must have been married at one time.

The only thing I can tell you is that they are mostly very young (I'd guess about in the 20 to 25 year old age bracket), with a couple of them maybe in their late 30's, early 40's, with an average of approximately 2 to 4 children, and they are all female, and no, none are headed by a male figure, at least not on my block. I would agree with Karilea that, overall, the majority are headed by women, although some are headed by men.

Yep, I know a marriage license is not an insurance policy. I know that from my own personal experience, and I needed assistance for a short time after my divorce too. And even in the days when marriage was held in higher regard generally, and divorce was generally seen as an option of last resort, some marriages still broke up, true, but I think the trends that we are seeing today, in both the skyrocketing divorce rate and the incidence of single never-been-married parenthood, put a strain on the resources of society. And I think fostering marriage as the ideal again would benefit society in general as well as benefit children specifically.

Christopher
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7 posted 03-26-2004 07:36 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I guess one of the things I'm most lost on (down this tangent) is how homosexual unions affect this purportedly drastic increase in single-parent families?
hush
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8 posted 03-27-2004 10:19 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'If some say not ... How are the grounds for homosexual marriage different than those of some of the above suggestions?'

Well Stephen, the first two, at least, provide some basis for law that isn't solely a moral issue.

In the issue of incest, at least with males and females, if there is demonstrable evidence that their children will have higher incidences of congenital diseases, there's the welfare of children to worry about. My big problem with telling them they can't get married because of that is that if they want to, they're just gonna have kids anyway... and if those kids turn out to be sick in some way, and dad has insurance but mom doesn't... her kid isn't going to get medical care that it could have if they were married.

I can't honestly justify not allowing to same-sex blood relatives to marry. I can't see a reason besides moral objection.

In the case of the polygamists, there is definitely a financial objection. If one person has insurance coverage that gets extended to the spouse, having three spouses would make it significantly more expensive... they same with death benefits, tax benefits, etc. And easy remedy for this situation would be to make a law stating that only one partner can receive financial/legal benefits from the marriage. It might stop the proliferation of polygamist marriages.

But that's the only good legal reason I can see- at least right now.

And as for the person marrying himself? I can't see a good reason not to allow it... now do I see what harm it would do. It's not like you can have kids with yourself, extend additional financial benefits of yours to yourself, or really divorce yourself... so what's wrong with some nutjob doing so if it makes him happy?
Essorant
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9 posted 03-27-2004 09:49 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Marriage is just another piece of meat for this wolfish age to tear to shreds.  And that is exactly what it is doing.  The same abuse is upon every other institution as well.  That is what happens when humans raise them in the manners of greedy wolves. The only difference between the wolf and human is that wolves don't seem to have Reason and Government--their natures are bound; humans however are able to make a difference,  and yet still end up behaving like the same beasts-- putting their Appetite over their Civilization.

Stephanos
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10 posted 03-30-2004 08:11 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush:
quote:
I can't honestly justify not allowing to same-sex blood relatives to marry. I can't see a reason besides moral objection.



So according to you Mothers and sons should be able to marry?  Please answer Yes or No, and tell me why or why not.


quote:
In the case of the polygamists, there is definitely a financial objection.


But then there is a "financial objection" to anyone getting married, if that is the sole criterion.  Since when did concern about private sector insurance companies' financial well being determine "rights"?

quote:
If one person has insurance coverage that gets extended to the spouse, having three spouses would make it significantly more expensive



Well so would having children ... Based on your standards, we should limit childbearing too?
  
quote:
And easy remedy for this situation would be to make a law stating that only one partner can receive financial/legal benefits from the marriage. It might stop the proliferation of polygamist marriages.



Don't you think that would be challenged, as also discriminatory?  Why is the magic number "One"?  It will be argued that insurance companies are already covering large families with multiple members.  Saying there can only be one spouse (they will say) poses discrimination against merely another "type" of family.  Remember that the unfortunate trend of our society is to make such social arangements into anything we want them to be.



Again, you might not see it now, but the slide into increasingly absurd unions called "marriage" will ensue in the years to come, because if traditional sense and definition is not retained, then all other attempts to control are stopgaps ... precisely because each prohibition will be challenged on the same grounds that traditional marriage is challenged upon now.  


Stephen.      

Ron
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11 posted 03-30-2004 10:01 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Remember that the unfortunate trend of our society is to make such social arangements into anything we want them to be.

As opposed to what you want them to be?
Stephanos
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12 posted 03-30-2004 11:52 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

No, Ron, as opposed to what they should be.

You're view only has gas when a post-modern assumption is accepted that no one is, or can be, right.  

But please remember that in addition to what is revealed in the Bible regarding God's mind on homosexuality and marriage, I'm also arguing from the weight of centuries of Marriage being ONE WAY when it comes to Gender.  It's evidently then not just what I want to be, is it?  And even the Liberal Judges who are challenging this aren't basing anything upon democratic principles (such as letting us decide).  Most of America is still against homosexual "Marriage" ... if the polls are right.


Stephen.  
Ron
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13 posted 03-31-2004 01:04 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
No, Ron, as opposed to what they should be.

Same thing, Stephen. Because what you really mean is "what you think they should be."
Stephanos
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14 posted 03-31-2004 01:41 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

This is childish Ron ...

Doesn't it go with out saying that two sides of any debate is "how X thinks it should be versus how Y thinks it shoud be"?


Okay, okay ... you're right about the obvious, but you're no different at all.  The only way you can make headway is to say that "no one can be right", which is a whole other thread.


Stephen.
hush
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15 posted 03-31-2004 02:53 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Stephen-

'So according to you Mothers and sons should be able to marry?  Please answer Yes or No, and tell me why or why not.'

First of all, you'll notice that I said same-sex blood relatives- they can't have children together.

So rephrase your question: "Should mothers and daughters be able to marry?"

And I have to say a hesitant yes. Yes because I can see no just legal reason to impose on it... an the hesitance is because I don't approve of it. But Stephen... that's the point... just because I don't approve of it doesn't mean that I can say nobody else is allowed to do it.

In the case of male and female relative marrying... like I said, there is the ethical/medical consideration that their production of offspring would result in children who have serious congenital defects. What should be done in that case, I can't tell you... but I'm not a congresswoman, I'm a voter. I don't have all the answers... I just have a lot of opinions on them.

'But then there is a "financial objection" to anyone getting married, if that is the sole criterion.  Since when did concern about private sector insurance companies' financial well being determine "rights"?'

Good point. I guess that would become more an issue of supply and demand than legislation, huh?

But regarding children... we're currently talking insurance coverage for one person's dependent children. But if the legitimate children they produced could multiply by how many wives?

This has nothing to do with abrogating rights, it's just not practical, and it would harm others, because insurance preiums would go up across the board.

Stephen, I see the point that you're making, but I'm going to be quite frank with you. It doesn't sound like a sound argument against these things... it just sounds like you're scared they will happen.

Let's be real here. I think that polygamist marriages are silly and incestuous relationships are quite frankly disturbing and... just wrong. You think that, and I'm sure most poeple on this board, even the most liberal of us, would agree in personal morals, if not legislation, that these are wrong. If there is such a small percenage of our nation who would engage in these acts... why should it be that threatening? Those who still want a traditional marriage will still get one. It's as simple as that.
Ron
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16 posted 03-31-2004 07:07 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Let's be real here. I think that polygamist marriages are silly and incestuous relationships are quite frankly disturbing and... just wrong. You think that, and I'm sure most poeple on this board, even the most liberal of us, would agree in personal morals, if not legislation, that these are wrong. If there is such a small percenage of our nation who would engage in these acts...

Why are we still confusing marriage with sex? The two are entirely separate issues.

A mother and son have little need of marriage, because our laws and society already recognize the commitment of each to the other. When I signed over a car to my mom, no one questioned it and no one expected her to pay sales tax. When she lay near death and was unable to make basic decisions for herself, I made them for her. She was always committed to my well being, as was I to hers, and the laws of our land only rarely proved to be an obstruction to that commitment. We were family and society recognized our RIGHT to care for each other.

People willing to make life-long commitments to each other, regardless of their circumstances, deserve the same recognition. Not just some of them. Not just the ones who make us feel comfortable. Not just the ones who agree with us.

All of them.
Essorant
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17 posted 03-31-2004 12:49 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Wisely spoken.  
Christopher
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18 posted 03-31-2004 03:19 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

yeppers.
jbouder
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19 posted 03-31-2004 03:58 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Hush:

quote:
I think that polygamist marriages are silly and incestuous relationships are quite frankly disturbing and... just wrong.


And I think men having anal sex with one another is quite frankly disturbing and ... just wrong.  I personally don't find it any less disturbing than incestuous relationships.

That said, I don't see how government sanctioned civil unions really changes anything.  Homosexuals want their behavior to be accepted as normal, and right now a few activist courts and municipalities are the vehicle they're using to try to drive their agenda home.  Even if they are successful, however, they are no closer to having gay marriage being "holy matrimony" than they were before.

The problem I have with the whole affair is the presumption of normalcy homosexuals have foisted on popular opinion.  There is another interpretation to the genetic or developmental factors that seem to be involved in the emergence of homosexual behavior - namely that homosexual behavior is a sort of developmental disability that usually manifests during adolescence (one of the most active periods of brain development).

As I mentioned in the other thread, if we want to keep our minds open, we should also be open to the idea that homosexuality is something that can be cured or remediated - and those homosexuals who choose that route should be able to do so with the blessings of the homosexual community and their sympathizers.

Jim
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20 posted 03-31-2004 04:07 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"And I think men having anal sex with one another is quite frankly disturbing and ... just wrong.  I personally don't find it any less disturbing than incestuous relationships."

~ So... what about men who have anal sex with women. Do you beleive that act to be "disturbing" and "just wrong?"

Is there really a difference or is a man's anus different than a woman's?

"You sleep in the night yet the night and the silent water still so dark."

Christopher
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21 posted 03-31-2004 07:21 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I thought we already established that sex does not equal marriage.

Proposing an acceptance of homosexuality is like suggesting we initiate equality for minors; it's already there in most places, though predjudice still holds in some places. Homosexual unions are far from the "despicable" thing it used to be. The idea that homosexual marriages will perpetuate a more general acceptance of same seems kind of funny to me. Disallowing homosexual marriages at this point will not hinder these relationships, just as allowing them will not perpetuate them. What we're looking at, at the base, is an allowance of civil rights. It's mired with much personal and religious (which can certainly be the same) feelings on the matter that shove the "big picture" out of the way... let's let those who are committed to another (whether gay, straight, related by blood, or just really good friends) be allowed the same rights and we can focus on homsexual unions as an entirely separate subject.
jbouder
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22 posted 04-01-2004 08:38 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Christopher:

You may have established that sex does not equal marriage but that doesn't mean the law doesn't presume sex to be "benefit" of marriage, and a benefit that has value.  "Loss of consortium" is recognized as a very real damage by the law in many jurisdictions.

What I think Stephan has pointed out is that feelings like yours are no less "religious" (in the way you are using the term - as almost a perjorative subjectivism) than those that disagree with you.  What I would prefer we do is look at the facts and discuss the different interpretations of those facts, rather than continuing to confuse the liberal interpretation of the facts with the facts themselves.

Jim
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23 posted 04-01-2004 08:45 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

When I was teenager, there was a gay dog that lived down the block from me... I always wondered if he knew he was sinning when he humped other male dogs.

"You sleep in the night yet the night and the silent water still so dark."

Essorant
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24 posted 04-01-2004 12:50 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"What exactly IS marriage anyway?"
 
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