Friday, March 12, 2004

Marriage Debate in Northside San Jose

At Rollo's Doughnuts this morning, I mentioned to the after daily Mass group that there is a group on the Internet for the Northside neighborhood debating the topic of whether the City has the right to redefine what marriage is to allow gay marriage, as they are doing in Boston (I can't believe it, former Bostonian, as I am) and in San Francisco (that I can believe).
I have been the only conservative. One of the Roses, the one who had the scare when the statue of Our Lady seemed to answer her back one morning when Rose was on her way to Mass, reminded me I'm not the only one opposed. All the daily Mass-goers at those two tables would likely be against this, but the most of them are a generation older than I am, and they aren't on the Internet.

Most of my peers are like I once was: bleeding heart liberals.

The debate started with this email by Lisa to the Northside San Jose yahoo newsgroup:

Subject: [nnasj] Re: Support for the Newly Married!-Urgent!!!!
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004

Dear Friends,

I was so delighted to hear Ken Yeager on NPR this morning talking about the proposal he is jointly putting forward to afford married, gay, city employees the same benefits as straight couples. San Jose is a progressive, thoughtful city and it made perfect sense to me.

I was very distressed to read the message below from friend and neighbor Mary *** that Cindy [Chavez] is receiving mail opposing the proposal! Please, lend your voice of support, let Cindy and other council members whom you may know of your support. Mary *** thoughtfully included contact information for all the council members.


Lisa's email included the following quote from Mary ***:

Dear Friends,

As you have probably read in the Mercury News, the Mayor and Councilmember Ken Yeager have proposed that the City of San Jose recognize gay marriages (from SF and elsewhere) for city employees so they can receive the benefits married couples receive. Currently SC County registered domestic partnerships are recognized for some benefits but they are not equal to that of straight married folks. Tomorrow at the San Jose City Council meeting, 1:30, this question will be voted on by the City Council. Please contact your City Councilperson and other council members you may know and express your support for this small step toward equity.

Cindy Chavez's office said today said that phone calls are running 51 opposed and 4 in favor of honoring the unions!! I have seen an e-mail from the minister of a huge conservative church exhorting his members to contact their council members and bus loads of these folks are expected to show up in the Chambers. So you see we need to have our voices heard-and if you can show up at the meeting that would be outstanding! Councilmembers Dando, Williams and Reed are known to be in opposition. The Mayor, Yeager and Chavez are known to be supporting. All the rest need to be contacted, and Yeager and Chavez can probably use some support in their positions. Phoning and faxes are best due to the short time frame.

Mary Helen, the Valentine's Day bride of Lindi thanks you from the bottom of her married heart!

P.S. clicking on the e-mail address below doesn't create a message as I would anticipate - address needs to be typed in-phones calls are probably the best option at this late date. thanks again!!!!

*/ Contact information omitted /*

I immediately sent the following email to Mayor Ron Gonzalez and another a lot like it to Cindy Chavez:

Subject: Please do not call it marriage
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 09:31


Dear Mayor Ron Gonzalez,

I am a resident of Northside, San Jose. My house is on 4** North 17th Street.

I am writing to ask you not to vote for the legalization of gay unions.

Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, and it is not the right of the state or local government to try to redefine it.

Thank you for your consideration.

Roseanne Sullivan

--------------- end email to mayor --------------

I was afraid to alienate my neighbors in the newsgroup. I've only met a few of them, and one of them I met, a lawyer and an activist I especially like, I think she is gay. But I couldn't help myself, and (with the goal always being "to speak the truth in love") I fired off the following to the newsgroup:

Subject: Does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004

Are you assuming that everyone on this newsgroup agrees with you?

What if I sent an email asking you to all lobby Bush and the Senate and Congress to show your support
for an amendment to the Constitution to wit: Marriage is a union between one man and one woman?

See my point?

Isn't this a political subject that is not within the definition of this newsgroup?


---- end my email to nnasj newsgroup ----

Pretty soon the group received the following reply:

Hi Roseanne,

I don't assume that everyone thinks the same or agrees with me. I would assume that the list groups are a great way to have thoughtful, lively and open discussions that allow us to continue to enjoy conversations and respect each other.

I would assume that folks who disagree may use the opportunity to voice their own opinions.


------------ end email from Lisa -------------

I had been waiting with fear of what kind of a firestorm I might provoke, but Lisa's answer was so moderate, I was emboldened. Okay I thought, alternative opinions are welcomed, are they? Well, here goes.

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 09:52:38 -0800

Hi again, Lisa,

Okay, my opinion is that marriage is a union between one woman and one man. Anything else is not marriage, even if it is loving and committed and faithful.

Whatever you legalize you normalize. Is this what we all really want to do? Redefine what marriage is? I don't think we have the right and I don't think we should. The societal consequences will be huge. We didn't know what easy divorce was going to do to families when it was legalized. It seemed like the kindest thing to do, but the results have brought uncalculable harm to children. And I speak as a woman who divorced when my kids were 2 and 4 and raised them by myself.

It now seems to me, thoughtful person that I am (and I have been on both sides of this issue during my lifetime) that sex goes part and parcel with the creation of new life, like eating goes part and parcel with nourishing the body, and that pursuing the pleasure of either of these things while trying to separate them from their nature leads to harm. A thing separated from its nature is unnatural.

It's like the old Irish priest said, "It's not the homo- or the hetero- that the Church cares about. It's the sexual outside of marriage."

I'm going to duck now.



------------ end email #1 from me -------------

The moderator of the Northside Neighborhood newsgroup weighed in pleasantly enough:

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004

Roseanne --

When NNA started this email group it was generally my view, at least, that it would not tackle political issues that did not directly impact our neighborhood. This view was tested on the issue of war in Iraq, as I recall. I protested that anti-war posts went beyond our purpose but the consensus among those on this group was the war and peace is a neighborhood issue. I deferred and offered that the next version of the neighborhood t-shirt would be tye-die.

The upshot is that we as an online community have defined neighborhood issues broadly, more so than I would
originally have anticipated. I hope that this does not dissuade you or others from continuing to participate on this
email group. And I'm glad you felt empowered to express your views with your neighbors, whom I know will all be
respectful of such views, whether they agree with them or not.

By the way, connecting this issue to our neighborhood, I know that at least one Northside lesbian couple took
advantage of the gay civil marriage ceremonies in San Francisco because I am godfather to their two children. (I also attended their church wedding at Unitarian Church on N. 3rd St. a couple years back.) From what I have witnessed, the couple's marriage, far from being harmful, has developed wonderful, happy, well-adjusted kids who, like their parents, participate in their neighborhood and support their community. The divorced father and his parents (the kids' paternal grandparents) support the couple, adding to the nurturing environment. One of the great unexpected benefits of my being a neighborhood activist is that I have gotten the chance to meet and become friends with this terrific, loving family.

Don G.

------------ end email from Don G. -------------

Never one to exit gracefully, I continued:

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 11:59:02 -0800


Thanks for your very good explanation about the widened scope of this newsgroup.

I appreciate your respectful tone to me.

Thanks for your poster-worthy portrait of the Happy Family of the Present and the Future.

It's good that everyone was able to be modern and accepting of this situation, including the pastor of the Unitarian Church.

The divorced father could have been full of pain and anger from the failure of his marriage and the departure of his wife and children. He could have been upset that a good chunk of his wages were (perhaps) going to support a home where he was no longer able to live.

The grandparents could have been devastated.

And his kids could have been upset that their mother violated her marriage vows to their father and left him for a woman. And the mother could maybe have been troubled by guilt.

Not every divorced family where a parent has gone on to form a bond with another lover of any sex is as happy.

I did the same kind of thing. My ex-husband's first ex-wife and her now second-ex-husband were at my wedding in Golden Gate park in the 60s. We were all too hip for jealousy and possesiveness. Now I'm not as sure that we were doing the right thing. As a matter of fact, I'm now convinced that we were treating sacred things profanely.

I'm holding on to see how this works out for our society.


------------ end email #2 from me -------------

I started getting very scared. I was thinking of things hurled through front porch windows, which once happened to me when a handyman didn't like that I was not happy with his work. I'm pretty sure he was the one who tossed a heavy plant through a front porch window of my house in Northeast Minneapolis.

And I really thought I'd be getting hate mail. A mixture of fear with a sincer desire not to hurt people led me to write the following:

Subject: [nnasj] apology in advance
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004

I have been thinking about what I wrote today and I know that I'm probably in the minute ["my knute" not "min nut"] minority on this newsgroup.

What is most important, my deeply held opinions may be hurtful to some, and I don't want to hurt anyone. (I know it may be hard to believe but I have come to my current set of values based on the harm I have seen done to people over the years since I was avid member of the generation that helped put the sexual revolution over the top.)

But in order to spare the feelings of anyone that might be hurt or outraged by my opinions I will stop expressing them here.

I would like you all to remember the same thing when posting, that you cannot assume everyone sees the world the same way you do, and that someone like me might be intimidated or offended by your expressing an opinion as if every reasonable person would agree with it.

With best regards for all my good neighbors,


------------ end email #3 from me -------------

Meanwhile, Nicole reacted to my post about marriage being a relationship between one man and one woman.

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 13:21:31 -0800 (PST)

I can't help myself I must add my 2 cents...

Marriage became a rights issue that should be afforded every citizen when it became a legal act that afforded
indivuals other rights within our society.

Marriage within a chuch under their rules and guidelines, without legalities and rights cosidered: should be able to
be defined anyway the church and it's body wants to define it, BUT since marriage has these other rights attached
to it (i.e.: respect, benefits through work, living partner getting legal control of estate upon death, etc) it must be
open to our entire society.


----------- end email from Nicole -------------

And then Carrie replied to my apology email.

Subject: RE: [nnasj] apology in advance
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 13:31:07 -0800


No need to apologize.

Your views, IMHO, are entirely appropriate for our neighborhood news group,especially because it is the City that i s voting on this issue today and we live in the city. And in fact, despite the fact that I completely disagree with you, I completely support your expressing your views in this venue.

A dditionally, I would have no problem with you posting a note re lobbyingBush, etc in support for the constitutional amendment. These issues need to be debated. We have had this running discussion on this email group about what are neighborhood issues, and whether anything other than notices of non-controversial events should be the ONLY items posted.

I have always been of the mind that everything is a neighborhood issue because just about everything affects our neighbors in some way. However, this group has basically voted that perpective down, so those of us who are interested in say, a march supporting out getting out of Iraq, just don't post that stuff. By the way, this e-group is the arguably the most restricted in the downtown area.

And, just because someone posts an email asking that we support a certain proposal, I can't believe that they are assuming that everyone agrees with them. They are simply speaking for themselves to the community. If I post something about saving San Jose Medical Center, I never assume that every single person on this email list supports keeping the hospital. When there was information on our site about the drug and alcohol recovery center going in at Taylor St, there were lots of postings, and there were people in our neighborhood that disagreed with those potings and were in support of some version of that facility. People can either respond or delete it.

And lastly, re your notes about "divorced father", "the good chunk of his wages...not able to live", and "the kids being upset and the mother violating her marriage vows", you are assuming that the mother left the
father, and that she was out as a lesbian at the time, and that she didn't go to him before the divorce was final and beg him to find a way to work this out only for the children and he refused, so maybe HE was the one who violated his marriage vows by leaving HER just because he was going through a mid-life crisis.

Terrace Dr
----------- end email from Carrie -------------

Cate wrote to add to what Don said:

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 13:53:34 -0800

Just to piggyback on Don, I think that use of the emails lists for debates, discussions that go beyond the perameters of "neighborhood issues" is building community. To use this forum to find out about my neighbors
argue, disagree, is making me care about those who would otherwise remain strangers. Like I said, I have lively,
respectful debates with members of CCA. I don't know them face to face, but if they needed my personal help
with dinners for their new moms, a particular garden tool, for example, I would step up because we forged a
relationship on line. I am not so apt to do this for members of my own neighborhood or my SNI group because I
don't for the most part know all of you. There are subtle advantages to having a lively email list. As far ast he
arguement for too much mail, well you get spam, you delete it. This isn't span it is a way to connect with your
neighbors. If you have and respect rules, make a clear heading so people not interested in the strand don't have
to read it then by broadening the perameters you are building community. Robert at JJNa just asks us to put
"offline" on the heading so we know it's not a neighborhood thing perse. I think that is way reasonable.

and she followed it up with another one:

Subject: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 14:51

See, my take on this is that having healthy family units, that care for their children, that make the financial, spiritual, sexual,and cultural committment that marriage takes is only good for children. By conveying upon a couple, whatever the sex, the priveledges of marriage then we also convey the responsibilities. Every marriage should be taken seriously. To simply marry for sex, fun, infatuation, or whatever reason is to denegrade the institution. To cheat, abuse, lie, abandon also denegrates the institution. Hetero couples do this with amazing persistence. Any couple who can take their vows seriously, offer kindness, stability, spiritual growth, be the foundation for another person care consistently for their children adopted or otherwise are an asset to our community. Their chromosomes have no bearing on the issue.

Before we had no fault divorce, we also had community sanctioned domestic abuse, adultery, oppressive control over family finances. Marriage as a true and loving partnership among equals has always been a goal, not a norm. It is a myth to think the generation before us had it right. They didn't. Historically, it was an arrangment for property and status, with the enslavement of women and very stifling roles for men.

You couldn't get more immoral than that in my mind. I have a feeling that we heterosexuals who have made such a mess of the institution by treating our partners and our children so shabbily could stand to learn from a loving and equal homosexual partnership.

Cate ( who is happily married to my hubby)

------------ end email from Cate --------------

And 7 minutes later she added this:

Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 14:58

By the way nice to meet you!

------------ end email from Cate --------------

I wrote her back:

Nice to meet you too.

------------ end email #4 from me -------------

Lisa responded to my apology too:

Subject: Re: [nnasj] apology in advance
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 15:38

HI Roseanne,

please, don't apologize for having an opinion and finding a way to voice it. our country is based on all of us being
able to express ourselves, thoughtfully and without disrespect.

i do confess that i had to giggle when you mentioned someone might be intimidated by my opinion - simply
because i view myself as one of the least intimidating folks around. formerly shy (yes, everyone who knows me
feel free to guffaw) i found it hard to express myself for years. i truly, truly hope that you, nor anyone else, feels
intimidated by anyone expressing a personal opinion.

in fact, you should feel free to tell me "nonsense" if you think i'm being a dope.

as an aside. i wrote my letters to all the council members since i'm blessed to know all of them. one has written
back with a thoughtful but opposing opinion. i expected to hear an opposing viewpoint from that person so i
wasn't surprised. i adore that particular councilmember (not my own) in spite of the fact that we often disagree
and i have a very deep respect for them. i've helped on their campaign because of my deep admiration and
respect for them - not because we always agree.

thanks for letting me spout,

------------- end email from Lisa -------------

And I kept going.

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 17:03

Lisa and all,

The article at the following link by two professors at McGill University (one of whom is gay) expresses some very
strong counter arguments against all of the current arguments floating around for gay marriage.

They like me believe that to redefine marriage is another social experiment like no fault divorce with consequences no one can imagine.

>> Before we had no fault divorce, we also had community sanctioned
> domestic abuse, adultery, oppressive control over family finances.

Two wrongs (adding divorce to the above list of evils) didn't make things right.

What we all deplore is when people take advantage of something good like marriage. That doesn't make
marriage as a permanent commitment between a woman and man wrong.

And I think it is obvious that we have more disfunction now instead of less. Violence against women is climbing.
Heterosexuals of both sexes in uncommitted relationships have a hard time dealing with the emotions that come up when the real bond they feel is denied. Children have a hard time dealing with impermanent relationships in
their families too.

I think the chances of finding a mate who will commit for life and stay for better or for worse without
adultery (real, imagined, or Internet) are far lower now that divorce is so freely available.

Just because some bad people wreak havoc in their cars doesn't make cars bad.

Adultery is definitely evil. What we have now is legalized sequential adultery. And the male scientists are excusing it away by saying we inherited it from our ancestors the chimpanzees.

Women are just as guilty. I've known of several cases where women have divorced their husbands and become alienated from their children because of fantasies about co-workers. They left because the grass seemed greener, and found the coworkers were just kidding around. "Sex maybe, but commit to you? I don't think so."

Talking about the enslavement of women, here is what I believe, that the sexual revolution has supposedly
made women equal to men but it did it by forcing women to suppress the full expression of their sexuality. The biggest proponents of women's liberation and abortion are exploiters of women like Hugh Heffner.

I think about how one writer (not religious BTW) wrote a poignant article about 15 years ago about how divorce
had impoverished her. Men were left with all the choices. The men she was meeting demanded total equality, dutch treat all the way, and the only option on the table was whether or not the man would be interested in
pursuing a non-committed sexual relationship with the woman. And of course her children were a liability to a "relationship." Nothing about real relationship, love, real intimacy.

And I forgot to add, one bad consequence of same sex parents is that children need parents of both sexes.

As I said, I'm not looking forward to seeing what a generation of children raised by gays with no mothers or by lesbians with no fathers will be like. We already can see in our youth what a generation of children raised in constantly shifting households with new lovers coming in and out are like.



----------- end email #5 from me -------------

Deb jumped in early the next morning:

Subject: [nnasj] love and marraige
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 07:28

I am so grateful for the info on who to call re supporting gay marraige in SJ. I appreciate information like this being posted on our list, particularly timely info. If it was info on how to support Bush I would simply bypass it (ok, and maybe mutter a few words under my breath.) I am thrilled to be able to support a movement that is focused on such a positive issue - love and a lifelong commitment to that love.
my 2 cents,


------------ end email from Deb ---------------

And then there is the inimitable long-haired pony-tailed activist and family man, Joe:

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 08:22:22 -0800
Subject: Re: [nnasj] love and marraige

I support gay marriage. Its probably the only liberal idea I do support. That and a... hummm...................mummm. No that's it. The conservatives got this one wrong.

The real issue should be that there is a law that forbids it already and it was voted in by the people of the Great State of California. That law needs to be changed first. I don't think asking council or a rogue mayor to break laws is the right way to get the law changed.

This is the stuff that, frankly, pisses me off. We have the Federal Government getting involved in state issues. We have the city council getting involved in state issues and we have the state getting involved in my wallet.

Liberals, you are right concerning gay marrige but you made this whole thing become a circus.

Is gay marriage a city issue? No. Fix the pot holes.

California, get your act together.

Dear President keep your constitutional ban on gay marrige out of my constitution. The constitution should not be toyed with.

It's all about limited government, lower taxes, individual freedom and responsibility. Never let anybody tell you different or cloud that fact.

------------ end email from Joe ---------------

Nicole came back for more:

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 2:04 PM
Subject: Re: [nnasj] love and marraige

I am a FLAMING LIBERAL and believe that laws witin our state and/or coutry should be within an individual's rights as defined by the constitution. The last court to tackle this issue decided that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional and unless the supreme court overturns this issue, then I think that the problem lies in that Californians attempted to pass a law that does not respect our rights as citizens of this country. Our constitutional rights are what created this country and its greatness, they receive and deserve respect around the entire world; there are very important reasons why these were created and our country and state should contemplate these reasons before we attempt to alter them and/or impose laws that may infringe on them.

Beyond, and more important than, this or any individual issue are the principles that our country was built upon. Altering these should not be done quickly or lightly, without serious and lengthy debate; knowing that the consequences may change what our country in ways that have not been and are extremely difficult to anticipate.

Thank you,

Nicole - Staunch admirer of our founding fathers and (aspiring protector of) the amazingunprecedented work they created in our Constitution

---------- end email from Nicole ---------------

More from Carrie:

Subject: RE: [nnasj] love and marraige
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 14:13

I believe this will be the first and only time that a constitutional amendment will be used to restrict the people's rights, rather than support or expand them.

Terrace Dr

----------- end email from Carrie -------------

Subject: RE: [nasj] love and marriage
Date: Wed. 10 Mar 2004 2:18

No. Prohibition restricted citizen's rights to get loaded.


----------- end email from Bonnie -------------

Deb wrote to disagree with my point about children need parents of both sexes.

[nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Thu, 11 Mar 2004 00:45:13 -0000

--- In, Roseanne Sullivan
"And I forgot to add, one bad consequence of same sex parents is that children need parents of
both sexes."

I must respectfully disagree here. While a child may certainly benefit from the love and attention of two good parents, to say that they must be of a different sex makes no sense to me. But that's based on my life experience. My Mom has always been there, always been loving, always been a good, responsible parent. My Dad... let's just say that the bottom line to this argument for me is that I would have LOVED to grow up with two great parents. I would have LOVED to grow up with two of my Mom. But I didn't need to. She provided everything we needed.

So, while I disagree with you, Roseanne, that single women shouldn't be allowed to have or adopt children on their own, this is not about children. This is about adults being married and committed to one another. Whether or not gays are allowed to have children is a completely separate issue. Unfortunately, it gets dragged into this marriage issue over and over, as if the two are destined to go hand in hand.


------------ end email from Deb ---------------

Cate replied to Deb.

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:02

I think that marriage and raising children to a large extent does go hand in hand. You don't have to raise children if you marry but marriage in most cases does lead to the birthing, adopting and raising of a child or two. Then there are those whose marriage is mightily affected by the nonbearing of children. Those who enter into marriage at a child bearing age without having had a good understanding of what bringing a child into this world means take their roles and responsibilities as a husband or wife too lightly.

I think the question we ask and then kind of circumvent is what is a great partnership? What makes a great marriage? What keeps a marriage working? Rosanne asks us to examine this and I think that is what the
foundation of this conversation is. Marriage and the care and support of the children resulting from tht marriage does affect society. And in today's society, we do take this priviledge and responsibility for granted. With all of the elements battering the institution, and the battering we give each other, marriage as a partnership among loving
equals remains as it has always been, pretty elusive.

Roseanne sees gay marriage as one more hit that the institution takes. But before we put the burden of a battered institution on homosexuals, let's first, as heterosexual couples examine our own responsibility. What have we done to hurt this institution? Let's address that the number one killer of pregnant women in ths country is homocide. Domestic abuse is still the leading cause of death among young women. Over 2/3 of our impoverished children come from homes where they have been abandoned by a spouse and parent. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Nearly 60% of married couples have dealt with adultery. Sadly these stats aren't demonstrative of only this generation. One way or another these sorry facts have permeated our history.

I am happily married and know how difficult it is to maintain a good marriage. It takes more work than I ever thought. I say let gay couples join th club and then raise the standard of great married behavior for each and everyone of us married folk. Gay and straight couples need to remain monogamous, speak kindly, work together, sacrifice for the sake of our children, work to better our community, build peace, pray and communicate together, be responsible with our finances, look inward to improve, adapt, resolve issues like adults, let the small stuff go, man the list goes on and on. If we want to fix this institution, I think rather than keep it the exclusive pervue of heterosexual couples, we encourage the outdated pre wedding counceling that Catholics underwent, for example. Before we marry, we voluntarily, but with encouragement talk with a marriage expert for 6 hours. Address those issues that keep a marriage strong. Use all that money that the state is getting on gay marriage licenses to fund therapy, beef up domestic abuse laws and education, offer finanical counseling invest in good daycare for working families, reform workplace routines to be more flexible for families.

OK, Ok I am a bleeding heart liberal. My colors have been revealed. The point is, set the standard, and then invite all couples to meet it and raise it.


------------ end email from Cate --------------

Here I went again.

Subject: Re: [nnasj] Re: does every northside resident think the same?

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 09:56

Hello neighbors,

This has turned out to be a mature discussion instead of a flame war. Thank you for that. I was ready with my fireproof shield and fire extinquisher, and thinking of putting a fire wall up in my basement.

Deb wrote:
>This is about adults being married and committed to one
> another. Whether or not gays are allowed to have children is a
> completely separate issue. Unfortunately, it gets dragged into this
> marriage issue over and over, as if the two are destined to go hand
> in hand.

You're completely redefining marriage. Marriage is not about the fulfillment of two people. It is bigger than that.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Roseanne and George with a baby carriage.

Did you know that until 1932 all churches were united in proclaiming contraception as an evil? Even Freud
was against contraception. He saw it as a perversion of the true function and role of sex.

The contraceptive mentality has divorced marriage from its natural role as a source of new life and as a structure that supports and nurtures that new life.

Two people alone don't get married, their "tribes" marry too, including their extended families.

I've been reading that studies are being done that indicate that children learn what it is like to be a member of one sex by living with parents of both sexes. Visits or transitory relationships without parent child bonds are not enough.

### And then I accidentally sent the mail while trying to paste in a paragraph that I was sure would
tie it all together.

----------- end email #7 from me -------------

The thread continues in dribs and drabs, but this email from Joseph the activist and family man serves as a cool coda.

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 16:57:48 -0800
Subject: [nnasj] Sing your life

It takes a lot of courage to dance to your beliefs and sing your life. I would like to thank Roseanne Sullivan and Carrie Doolittle. You each have a lovely singing voice.

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