Since when is calling for civil rights a radical homosexual agenda?

I thought that Asheville was a progressive city where every citizen would enjoy the same benefit(s) and that your homosexual community was accepted as equal in citizenry. It now appears that I was wrong.

I live in the heart of bigot country (Columbia, S.C.), and yet our City of Columbia leaders have had in place for some time benefits for all city employees regardless of sex, race, religion, etc., which covers same-sex couples.

For our forthcoming election for a new mayor, several candidates have offered by personal statement how they will continue these policies and do more to make sure that our city-dwelling citizens who are homosexual are further protected.

I sincerely hope that the citizens of Asheville will see fit to continue to elect representatives for their city who will not discriminate!

These preachers say they oppose a "radical homosexual agenda," when most people in Asheville see nothing radical about allowing all taxpaying American citizens to enjoy the same benefits provided to all other citizens. To state that this is not a civil rights issue is a lie!

These preachers and their churches enjoy tax-free status and therefore should have absolutely no say in how the city of Asheville spends its tax money! American taxpaying citizens who are born homosexual are being taken advantage of and "forced" to pay taxes for services and benefits for others while they themselves are being told they cannot enjoy the same benefit.

These preachers are abhorrent and do not follow the teachings of their own Biblical spiritual leader. … I urge the city of Asheville to remove their tax-free status.

— John B. Copeland
Columbia, S. C.

SHARE
About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

84 thoughts on “Since when is calling for civil rights a radical homosexual agenda?

  1. travelah

    It is radical to extend the definition of civil rights to sexual acts. It is said that pedophiles are such by their nature and incurable. I don’t know if that is true or not but if it is are they not entitled to civil protections on the same grounds as yourself? How about those incurably attracted to bestiality? When will City Council give new meaning to dog lovers in Asheville?

  2. travelah

    live in the heart of bigot country (Columbia, S.C.), and yet our City of Columbia leaders have had in place for some time benefits for all city employees regardless of sex, race, religion, etc., which covers same-sex couples.

    Look at what you just did. You called a whole community a bunch of bigots and then trashed your entire premise by pointing out what those supposed bigots did.

  3. Piffy!

    Alright Trav! It only took you one post for you to equate same sex partner benefits with pedophilia! You beat your old record!!

  4. travelah

    Yeah, and I even added in bestiality for good measure … but … the key question remain unanswered.

  5. travelah

    besides, you are anonymous and you offend Cecil so what you state doesn’t count except among those who like to see their name on everything they type.

  6. Piffy!

    [b]the key question remain unanswered.[/b]

    And what is that ‘key question’? i mean, besides; “Why do you insist upon trying to frame this as a ‘special rights issue’ when its clearly about legal equality?” is that the question? Because
    i noticed you still havent addressed it.

  7. bobaloo

    Oh good Lord trav.

    Pedophilia is the criminal act of an adult taking advantage of a minor. It is illegal because we protect children.
    Having a consensual relationship between two adults, whether or not they are the same sex, is legal. Because they’re adults.

    I’m really shocked you trotted out the pedophilia canard when it’s so easily defeated. It’s the Godwin of the homosexuality debate. Try the polygamy meme. You’ll get more traction.
    Aren’t you better than that?

  8. Betty Cloer Wallace

    John B. Copeland wrote in his excellent letter:

    “These preachers say they oppose a “radical homosexual agenda,” when most people in Asheville see nothing radical about allowing all taxpaying American citizens to enjoy the same benefits provided to all other citizens. To state that this is not a civil rights issue is a lie!

    These preachers and their churches enjoy tax-free status and therefore should have absolutely no say in how the city of Asheville spends its tax money! American taxpaying citizens who are born homosexual are being taken advantage of and “forced” to pay taxes for services and benefits for others while they themselves are being told they cannot enjoy the same benefit.

    I urge the city of Asheville to remove their tax-free status.”

    That is the thesis of Copeland’s letter, and it is well stated. The heavy-handed Baptist ministers (Ogden, et al.) are getting a free ride with their tax-free status and bully-pulpit “press conferences,” and their expectation that the tax-paying citizenry owes them special favors and should give them “special rights” is unconscionable.

    As individuals the ministers each have the rights of every citizen, but gathering in a group and making self-serving and discriminatory civic demands from behind their clerical collars as church representatives is abusive.

    I’m not sure if this is a local thing or even still happens, but ministers used to even ask for personal “ministerial discounts” when they purchased something in local retail businesses, and the expected “ministerial discount” was 10%. If a business did not provide that discount, the ministers spread the word through their congregations that the business owner was “ungodly,” “an unbeliever,” etc. What a racket, and what a hoot!

    And, John Copeland, I regret that your thoughtful letter about civil rights for all people got so dumped on and sidetracked with all that irrelevant ranting and obfuscatory ordure about pedophilia and bestiality and such.

  9. travelah

    Boboo, ok, lets stick to bestiality …. thats illegal too but should those inclined ot such desires enjoy the protection of “civil rights” and all that entails?

  10. travelah

    The issue is extending civil rights protections to behaviors rather than to persons or groups. Of course, the homosexual lobby maintains it is about the latter rather than behaviors. I disagree. I do not believe heterosexuality, for example, should be classed as being afforded civil rights protection. One’s right to vote, to shelter, food and the necessities of life, to the pursuit of liberty (a whole other ball of wax)are not hostage, or should not be, based on the sexual behaviors of a person, except of course for those that are illegal. Legalize the behavior is desired and move on.

    Now, this common liberal ruse of suggesting that people who are morally opposed to homosexuality are themselves harboring some latent tendency is a truly fallacious charge. It has no merit on any ground. That same illogical argument could be applied to every individual who makes such a statement and they in turn can be considered to be latently supportive of everything they oppose. It is an idiot’s device and to have otherwise intelligent people resort to it is nothing short of damn funny to watch.

  11. travelah

    Betty, Non-profits don’t pay taxes in any event, religious or otherwise.

  12. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah wrote: “Non-profits don’t pay taxes in any event, religious or otherwise.”

    And they lose their non-profit tax-free status when they discriminate, as should religious organizations when they discriminate.

    Have you ever seen a non-religious non-profit organization hold press conferences and go before publicly elected boards to demand that certain categories of people not have equal civil rights?

  13. bobaloo

    No, you can’t use bestiality for the exact same reason you can’t use pedophilia. It harms someone (or something, as is the case with bestiality) that for all intents and purposes can’t defend themselves. This is elementary. That’s why I suggested you attempt the polygamy angle.

    In a way I agree with you. This isn’t really about “civil rights”. It’s about legal equality. As it stands there are people who, as a couple, can enter into a legal contract that affords them certain advantages. Then there is another group of people who are not allowed to do so. It’s not about civil rights, nor the “definition of marriage”, nor any religious argument.
    It’s about fairness, plain and simple.

    Now, who said you were gay?

  14. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah re: “pedophilia” and “bestiality”

    Bobaloo re: “legal equality” and “civil rights”

    Everybody has equal opportunity for prison, but not everyone has equal opportunity for marriage or employee benefits.

    Or for “ministerial discounts.”

  15. johncopeland

    Betty Cloer Wallace,

    Thank you so much for your very thoughtful post regarding my letter. I appreciate your position and comments.

    John Bradley Copeland

  16. johncopeland

    travelah said: “Look at what you just did. You called a whole community a bunch of bigots and then trashed your entire premise by pointing out what those supposed bigots did”

    I said that I live in bigot “country” which is true. I live in South Carolina home of the likes of Sen. Jim DeMint(ed)(R-SC) and Congressman Joe “War” Wilson (R-SC), Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) all of whom are bigots. However, I never said that the city leaders of Columbia, South Carolina, who have minds of their own and are willing to stand against the majority of bigots in this city and state, were bigots(bigot = a person who is utterly intolerant of any belief or race that is not his own). The majority of the elected leaders of the City of Columbia, SC have voted to affirm equal rights, equal justice and equal benefits for homosexuals and I am proud of their leadership.

  17. travelah

    Mr Copeland, I too live in South Carolina and consider your statements to be intolerant and bigoted toward those you disagree with. I do not see Sanford as bigoted at all. He might have the morals of an ally cat but I do not see the bigotry you speak of.

  18. travelah

    Have you ever seen a non-religious non-profit organization hold press conferences and go before publicly elected boards to demand that certain categories of people not have equal civil rights?

    Yes, with regard to convicted felons and sexual offenders.

    On another note, I do not belong to a church that operates under the auspices of a 501c(3) incorporation. However, I fully support the right of non-profits to advocate for their moral positions. If the homosexual lobby can do so under the cover of non-profit status, then that same right should be afforded to the opposing view. I suspect you do not see the hypocrisy in your stance here.

  19. travelah

    bobaloo, if the city of Asheville wishes to extend certain benefits to homosexual couples who can demonstrate a legitimate union, I have no objection. As I stated earlier, my issue is not with their behavior. It is with the idea that such behaviors constitute and enjoy a civil right protection. Legalize whatever one desires and enjoy the privileges of that legalization however don’t expect me to accept the spurious notion that pushing a johnson all the way to the colon is a civil rights issue. It isn’t a civil rights matter any more than the married tart to the left of you screwing the married toad to the right. As long as it is legal, I don’t care.
    I don’t know how to state it any clearer than that.

  20. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah, have you ever seen a non-religious non-profit tax-free organization hold press conferences and go before a publicly elected board to demand that certain categories of people not have equal civil rights?

    Who? What? Where? Why? When?

  21. jimmytwotimes

    Travelah said: “Legalize whatever one desires and enjoy the privileges of that legalization however don’t expect me to accept the spurious notion that pushing a johnson all the way to the colon is a civil rights issue.”
    Further proof that you are being willfully ignorant on this subject. It isn’t about the type of sex being performed, any more than a “traditional” marriage is about that. Nobody is arguing what you keep insisting that they are arguing.

  22. jimmytwotimes

    Oh, and thanks for the thoughtful letter, John, but I do think these preachers have a right to make public statements without losing their tax-exempt status. I do think if they were to use the resources of their tax-exempt organizations to spread political messages, that would be a revoke-worthy trespass. In this case, however, they were speaking as citizens in a public forum, and as such had every right to state their beliefs.

  23. Piffy!

    i find travelah’s statements in this thread to be disgusting, unnecessary, and way off-topic (as well as hateful and bigoted).

    [b]Legalize whatever one desires and enjoy the privileges of that legalization however don’t expect me to accept the spurious notion that pushing a johnson all the way to the colon is a civil rights issue. It isn’t a civil rights matter any more than the married tart to the left of you screwing the married toad to the right.[/b]

    Really, this is what passes the moderators?

  24. Betty Cloer Wallace

    …..and so the Billy Goats Gruff came to Smoky Park Bridge and said, “Look, look! See, see! Over there in Asheville the parks are lush, the grass is sweet, specialty beer is quaffed with gusto, the artisan breads are to die for, arugula salads abound, bare feet and dreads delight the tourists, the city council is progressive, the art scene is vibrant, city buses are colorful, MountainX is edgy, drummers are drumming, downtown invites us…..”

    And so they made a lifestyle choice and headed clippety-clop clippety-clop onto the bridge.

    But a passel of sneering trolls crawled out from under the bridge—several in clerical collars, one sporting a Goldwater button, one quaffing from a teacup, others with their scruffy neck hairs up.

    “Who is upsetting our peaceful sleep? This is our bridge and you can’t use it. Eff off. Take your predilections and proclivities elsewhere.”

    “A new day has dawned, Mr. Troll,” said the goats. “We see equal rights emerging as a way of life in Asheville. You can no longer keep us from exercising our rights. We are going to cross over this bridge and enjoy the bountiful lifestyle of the city, and bring our families with us…..”

    “Oh, no, you’uns ain’t!” said the meanest and ugliest of the trolls.

    (to be continued)

  25. travelah

    Betty, certain classes or groups of people do not have equal civil rights. Two of those classes are felons and sexual offenders. If you are unaware of that, you need to do more than write charming nursery stories even if you are good at it.

    pffstschtick, you are no more offended at what I wrote than I am with your silly changing moniker.

    twotimes, I don’t think you understand. I very much see the issue as one of sexual behaviors and not inherent, unavoidable characteristics to be coverd under the guidelines of civil rights legislation.

  26. “I live in the heart of bigot country (Columbia, S.C.), and yet our City of Columbia leaders have had in place for some time benefits for all city employees regardless of sex, race, religion, etc., which covers same-sex couples.”

    Does this also apply to heterosexual couples who live together and not married? If not I would not view it as all-inclusive.

    All non-profits should have to pay property taxes(maybe non-profits should not even be able to own property).

  27. jimmytwotimes

    No, travelah, I understand quite well. You choose to ignore the reality that gay people are as capable of loving and caring for each other as heterosexual people are, and that their relationships encompass all the variety of experience that any other one would. You choose to concentrate on what happens in their bedrooms as if that is the only characteristic that is in question here. Then you go on to describe the acts in grotesque terms that anyone would find offensive. From some of your previous posts you seem to be capable of more than that, yet here you are, trolling away. It’s obvious that we disagree about whether it’s a choice to be gay. Neither of us are going to change each other’s minds. I can only pray that your children or theirs will be more empathetic.

  28. bobaloo

    travelah,
    Did you willfully ignore the majority of my post to be argumentative or did you just not read it?

  29. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah wrote: “Certain classes or groups of people do not have equal civil rights. Two of those classes are felons and sexual offenders.”

    Travelah, everybody has equal opportunity to commit crimes. It’s a lifestyle choice, and even criminals in prison can marry the person of their choice if that person is deemed by a birth certificate to be of a different gender.

    But not all people—specifically law-abiding tax-paying LGBT citizens in Asheville, NC—have equal opportunity to marry the person of their choice and to provide for their families through employee benefits, which is a considerable inequality.

    Why do you insist on trying to place law-abiding tax-paying LGBT Asheville city employees in the same box with convicted criminals who have marriage and family rights that are denied the LGBT city employees?

    Do you know of any “felons and sex offenders” who commit “pedophilia” and/or “bestiality” who are working for Asheville city government? If so, I’d tell the mayor if I were you. She’d want to know, as would other enquiring minds.

    Or is your argument against the proposed benefits package based on your personal definition of family? If so, what is your definition of family?

  30. travelah

    Betty, I define family in a heterosexual and procreative manner. You have or had a mother and father, perhaps siblings, perhaps children, grandchildren, perhaps even homosexual family members.
    Sexual behavior does not constitute a ground for defining “family” in my opinion. As I have stated, legalize whatever one desires and have whatever benefits and costs are associated with that legalization but I do not accept the idea that the proclivities of a person with regard to behavior are afforded the status of civil rights as that phrase is commonly accepted

  31. travelah

    Boba, I read your post twice before responding to it. I don’t think you are comprehending my position or you are ignoring it. Mine is perhaps the least bigoted or predjudicial on this board. Do whatever you wish, make it legal. Just don’t try to sell me on the idea that this is a civil rights issue on the same ground as race and ethnicity. I simply reject it out of hand.

  32. travelah

    twotimes, from a practical aspect, what happens in their bedroom is the defining characteristic of both heterosexuals and homosexuals. The people who work for me have sexual lives of one sort or another yet none of it is part of the work place they enter into every day. I have several women working for me who are sexually indistinguishable from each other except for the skin and bone facade they were blessed or cursed with. I have no interest in their sex lives or who they choose to share their lives with. It is a personal and private matter that is outside the public domain of the society I live in (OR should be).
    Now I realize you do not care for how I described the reality of the situation as I see it and if I offended you in that regard, I am sincerely sorry for that. I will watch what I state going forward on this issue. However, I do not believe the terms I used are grotesque. They are an accurate description of what some homosexual acts are and I believe that is truly what homosexuality really comes down to, purposeful acts to achieve an orgasm. I am being completely honest and above board with my sentiments.

  33. jimmytwotimes

    Trav, it’s not precisely the terms you used but the gratuitous descriptions of sex acts coming from someone who chooses the visage of Barry Goldwater to represent themselves that makes the bile rise. It’s like having my grandfather describe the birds and the bees to me in lurid detail.
    For tax, estate, and insurance reasons, the relationships between people have become a matter within the public domain. To treat one class of people one way and this other class another is a civil rights issue. We agree on making it legal, great!
    Betty, I define family in a heterosexual and procreative manner.
    Sexual behavior does not constitute a ground for defining “family” in my opinion.
    Maybe I’m reading you wrong, but can you see how these statements, in the same paragraph, are contradictory. Outside of you being contrary, it’s kind of hard to get a sense of your opinion.

  34. bobaloo

    trav, dude, I know your position re: it being a “civil right”. The reason I didn’t think you read it is because I said I more or less agree. It’s not civil right, per se.
    It’s a matter of granting a certain sect of society a legal and financial advantage while denying it to another. Thus, legal inequality, a wrong that should be righted.
    Do you agree? Or do you believe that we should continue to afford the privileges to heterosexuals only while denying it to homosexuals?

  35. jimmytwotimes

    From Merriam-Webster online:

    Main Entry: civil rights
    Function: noun plural
    Date: 1658
    : the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; especially : the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to United States citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress

    From the 14th amendement:

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    I’m curious if someone has another definition of a civil right? I believe in this case we are talking about equal protection.

  36. travelah

    I have already stated that if a behavior is legalized, that behavior should not be infringed upon by those who do not approve of it.

  37. travelah

    twotimes, yes, you are reading what I stated and coming to the wrong conclusion. Two people who move in together without a full commitment to each other do not constitute a family in the manner I am speaking of. Look at what I stated to Betty again. You have or had a mother and father, yes? Siblings etc? Are they not your family? Perhaps your spouse? He or she is part of your family?

  38. jimmytwotimes

    What if two people of the same sex want to make a “full commitment?” Why are these people not defined as families? I lived with a girlfriend for four years in my twenties, and I agree with you, we were not a family. With my wife, however, though we have had no children as of yet, I consider us a family. Do people have to be willing and capable of having children to be a family. What if a couple is incapable of having children, are they not a family?

  39. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, Travelah, are you ever going to tell us exactly what you mean by “I define family in a heterosexual and procreative manner” in regard to city employees’ family benefits?

    What exactly is your definition of family?

    Enquiring minds want to know what your definition of a family is –not just what you think a family is not.

  40. The founder of modern American conservatism, Barry Goldwater, who ran for president in 1964, was a passionate supporter of gay rights in the early 1990s. When Bill Clinton botched the question of gays in the military in 1993, Goldwater quipped: “Everyone knows that gays have served honourably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar.” He added: “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

    Gay Hate wrapped in a Republican embrace

    Time for a new avatar travelah?

  41. jimmytwotimes

    My point is that you are contradicting yourself. Betty, I define family in a heterosexual and procreative manner.
    Sexual behavior does not constitute a ground for defining “family” in my opinion.

    These are both your statements. They are in direct contrast to each other. Which one of these statements is your actual opinion?

  42. travelah

    Christopher, my position is essentially the same as Goldwater’s. Why do you think it is different?

  43. travelah

    Betty, I have already explained it to you and inquiring minds would note that if society wishes to legalize the behaviors in discussion and give benefts to such, then I have no issues with it. You do or did have a mother and father, yes?

  44. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah, which of these bondings—given that each pair/group lives in intact households with interpersonal commitment—do you consider a “family”? The operative word here is “family”—what is a “family”?

    One man and biological child? One man and adopted child? Two women and child? Two men and child? Two men? One man and two women and child? One man and woman and child? Two women? One man and one woman? One woman and child? Two people of undetermined gender? Etc.

    Is that household a “family” even if their civil jurisdiction does not allow marriage? Are they a “family” only if their civil jurisdiction issues a marriage license? Is one adult and one minor child a “family”? A parent and adult child? Etc.

    Why should a newborn baby be legally categorized into one gender box, which is a logical consideration now that ethnic category boxes are being removed from many documents?

    The complex issue before the City Council, of course, is what defines an employee and significant others as a “family”—with or without a marriage license—in regard to employee financial benefits?

    Personal opinion about “morals” and “family values” is extraneous to equal financial civil rights for government employees.

  45. So travelah you are of the opinion that while Barry Goldwater was for allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military he would say they would not be eligible for equal pay and benefits unless specific sexual acts were explicitly declared legal. That is the take I am getting from you.

    Now granted typical rebublican behavior is to throw all kinds of semi-plausible arguments at the wall and see which one sticks the best with people’s whose heads are made of wood and concrete. You are doing what you do best to arrive at a desired outcome regardless of logical thinking.

    Laws in general do not legalize or make illegal specific sexual acts. The regulate relationships. The Supreme Court made that clear in a Texas case recently. The specific act you so lovingly described would make many heterosexual couples ineligible for family health benefits from city employment. All kinds of acts can be preformed with beasts. All kinds of acts can be done to children. The act itself is not regulated the relationship is. There are states that do not allow first cousins to marry, but not because of what they can do with each other. Prostitution is not illegal because of one item on the menu of options available for purchase.

    The family you describe involves parents, children, spouses and siblings. Are you suggesting that gays and lesbian can not, do not or should not assume any of these roles in their lives? Guess what, they do, they have been for some time and will continue to do so. That family relationship has just as much value for gays and lesbians as for heterosexuals. That is what is being recognized and accorded due respect.

    You need to get your mind out of the gutter and deal with complete human beings with complete lives. Then maybe you won’t dismiss this out of hand as a civil rights issue about equal treatment before the law.

  46. jimmytwotimes

    Travelah, did you have a mother and father? If so, did they limit their interactions strictly to copulation? I’m guessing that there was a bit more to that relationship.

  47. travelah

    jimmy, I think I have explained my position well enough for it to be understood. Families entail a procreative relationship in some sort that by defintion can only be heterosexual. You have parents and you may or may not have offspring. The sexual relationship of two people does not contitute a family and as I’ve stated before I view homosexuality as behaviorial. Now you can continue to disagree with that.

  48. “Families entail a procreative relationship in some sort that by defintion can only be heterosexual.”

    Your definition fails to deal with the real facts on the ground and the reality of real people’s lives. It is a limited definition of your own choosing and will be disregarded.

  49. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah wrote: ”Families entail a procreative relationship that by definition can only be heterosexual.”

    Let’s extrapolate, for a moment, Travelah, your definition of “family” to include adoption, egg/sperm donors, surrogate parentage, offspring of rape, in vitro fertilization, concubinage, one-night stands, etc.

    How can your narrow construct of “family” survive in the face of multiple factors and considerations that are happening every day worldwide (including Asheville) to define a “family”? And that have happened since the dawn of humankind?

    What exactly are the essential factors and who are the essential people (think donors and Petri-dishes and such) that/who must be present to create offspring, and who must come together in relationships that form a “family”—in their own definition of “family” if not yours?

    In the final analysis, body parts coming together as you so graphically imagine, Travelah, do not a “family” make.

    An isolated conjoining of reproductive cells in any milieu does not a “family” make.

    A “family” is formed through human relationships. Period.

    And that is what the Asheville City Council must consider when discussing equality and civil rights regarding employee/family benefits.

  50. jimmytwotimes

    Travelah, you have explained your position just enough for multiple people on this thread to find it unclear, but understand that it neglects what a relationship actually is. You state that family is defined in a procreative way. Your definition excludes adoptive couples that can’t procreate.
    I agree with you that sex itself is a behavior, regardless of the gender of the participants. I disagree that family requires the intent and capability to produce offspring. If this is indeed not what you are saying then you have not explained your position well enough for it to be understood.

  51. “Families entail a procreative relationship in some sort that by defintion can only be heterosexual.”

    So all seniors who marry are not family, because they do not reproduce????

  52. travelah

    I have never met a senior who did not have or had a mother and father. Have you?

  53. travelah

    Jimmy, couples that cannot procreate still have mothers and fathers, do they not? The husband in that case refers to whom as family? His spouse only? No, his family is principly his parents, siblings and his spouse and her family.
    The reason several on here do not grasp this or do not want to is because several of you support redefining famiy to serve your social agenda.

  54. True, but your blanket statement sets a standard that many senior marriages cannot meet. You seem obtusely blind to that fact.

    I cannot have procreative activities with my dog, but she’s STILL family. Family can be any sort of closely bonded relationship.

    That’s just my opinion, I have no illusions of changing your mind on this issue.

  55. OMG! That radical social agenda Goldwater dude said….

    “Everyone knows that gays have served honourably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar.” He added: “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

    T. you might want to consider a different avatar.

  56. bobaloo

    The reason several on here do not grasp this or do not want to is because several of you support redefining famiy to serve your social agenda.

    Not grasping something and disagreeing with it not the same thing.

    I have two friends who have adopted two wonderful little boys and have been raising them, quite successfully, despite defying traditional gender roles.
    They are one of the greatest families I’ve ever seen.

  57. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Regarding Travelah’s fallacious ad hominem arguments, Davyne writes: ”I have no illusions of changing your mind on this issue.

    Davyne, of course you won’t, and you’d never know it if you did, because Travelah would never admit to it. His role in all the MtnX discussions is to be the Ultimate Straw Man.

    You should simply take advantage of this golden opportunity to engage with an Ultimate Straw Man in order to get out your own messages. Look how many other people regularly do so on a far-ranging variety of issues on many of these threads.

    There is only one thing you must remember in dealing with a straw man, especially the Ultimate Straw Man. With every posting, always restate the REAL issue or the REAL point or the REAL crux of the matter, which in the case of this thread is: Civil rights for Asheville city employees and their “families” is a fairness issue, not a radical homosexual agenda.

    The importance of everyone getting in their two cents regarding the definition of “family” is because that definition is the crux of the matter for the City Council, i.e. who are the specific “family” members who should be eligible for employee benefits?

    Travelah, you have such extensive knowledge on so many issues and topics, and if you put all that knowledge to good use in a constructive manner, you could really make a difference. Playing the Ultimate Straw Man does have its limits.

  58. jimmytwotimes

    The reason several on here do not grasp this or do not want to is because several of you support redefining family to serve your social agenda.
    Well that’s where you are wrong. I (and I gather several people on this thread) aren’t interested in redefining anything. The definition of family has been pretty wide open for the whole of human history. It’s people with an anti-gay agenda that wish to redefine things. The fact that amendments to outlaw same-sex marriage include language redefining marriage, thus limiting that definition, is proof that the meaning of family has historically been a pretty subjective thing.

  59. “You should simply take advantage of this golden opportunity to engage with an Ultimate Straw Man in order to get out your own messages.”

    Well ok, then. This is how the Dept of Defense (DOD) handles the issue. Being married to a career military man I’m well aware of the importance of how DOD looks at survivor and health care benefits.

    In their survivor benefits plan for their career retirees they make this distinction:

    Person with an Insurable Interest

    http://www.military.com/benefits/survivor-benefits/survivor-benefit-plan-explained

    A member who does not have a spouse or dependent child when eligible to make a program election may elect to provide coverage for a person with an insurable interest in the member. The Department of Defense defines an insurable interest as “a natural person with an insurable interest who has a reasonable and lawful expectation of financial benefit from the continued life of the participating member, or any individual having a reasonable and lawful basis, founded upon the relation of parties to each other, either financial or of blood or affinity, to expect some benefit or advantage from the continuance of the life of the retired member”. If the election is for a person who is more nearly related than a cousin, no proof of financial expectation is required.”

    An election for insurable interest coverage, for other than a dependent (as described in 10 U.S.C. 1072(2)), made by a member retiring on or after November 24, 2003 under a military disability provision, who dies within one year after being retired due to a cause related to the disability for which retired, shall be voided and any premiums paid for that coverage will be paid to the person to whom the annuity would have been paid.

    DOD is not getting into the “morality game” they just define who is eligible for benefits. They appear to not give one whit if that person is of the same sex.

    BTW back in the mid 60’s the military led the way in educating active duty regarding our inherited prejudices. All officers were instructed on race relations and all the wives were sent a command invitation to go to the Base Commanders home where we were instructed how we had a moral responsibility to consider how appropriate our views were on blacks and other minorities. It appears the DOD is leading the way in survivor benefits too.

    Betty, that said. I’m well aware that this can be a public soap box…I just wanted to stress to Travlah, that I had no illusions of changing his mindset….On. Anything.

  60. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Davyne, yes yes yes. You DOD policy information is the very kind of REAL information that the City Council needs, and you should send it to them posthaste.

  61. jimmytwotimes

    The reason several on here do not grasp this or do not want to is because several of you support redefining family to serve your social agenda.
    Well that’s where you are wrong. I (and I gather several people on this thread) aren’t interested in redefining anything. The definition of family has been pretty wide open for the whole of human history. It’s people with an anti-gay agenda that wish to redefine things. The fact that amendments to outlaw same-sex marriage include language redefining marriage, thus limiting that definition, is proof that the meaning of family has historically been a pretty subjective thing.

  62. jimmytwotimes

    The reason several on here do not grasp this or do not want to is because several of you support redefining family to serve your social agenda.
    Well that’s where you are wrong. I (and I gather several people on this thread) aren’t interested in redefining anything. The definition of family has been pretty wide open for the whole of human history. It’s people with an anti-gay agenda that wish to redefine things. The fact that amendments to outlaw same-sex marriage include language redefining marriage, thus limiting that definition, is proof that the meaning of family has historically been a pretty subjective thing.

  63. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah asks, rhetorically: “What is the strawman I am supposedly presenting?

    You present yourself as the Ultimate Straw Man, Travelah, the kind you want to present, and you do it extremely well. You are the best!

    I just wish you’d decide, though, through some epiphany or whatever, to direct your intelligence and knowledge and experiences toward some worthwhile issues and productive solutions, toward some REAL issues and REAL solutions that affect REAL people in the REAL world, rather than seeking gratification in derailing MtnX threads as the Ultimate Straw Man.

    Civil rights for Asheville city employees and their “families” is a REAL issue, a fairness issue, a “family” issue—in spite of efforts by yourself and other to reduce it to a radical homophobic discussion about body parts and fodder for homophobic gamesmanship.

  64. travelah

    Betty, do you really know what a strawman logical fallacy is? The real issue is whether or not this is a civil rights issue. That is how it is consistently framed and that is what I object to. For you to suggest that the homosexual activist community does not present this matter as a civil rights issue is disingenuous. Read the title of the letter for a clue.

  65. travelah

    To add further, there was nothing rhetorical in what I asked.

  66. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Travelah, you regularly project your extended self (alter ego) throughout these treads by way of fallacious ad hominem diversionary specious arguments, setting your extended self up to be attacked, ergo, derailing the topics, so you can then sit back and watch the train wreck. You are your own straw man, the Ultimate Straw Man, the best I ever saw, even though it is an old, old trick.

    Again, the issue at hand—benefits for all city government employees—is one of civil rights, equality, and fairness for all city government employees and their families.

  67. Ashevegasjoe

    I still would like to know why we would have a majority vote on the rights of a minority?? That just doesn’t make sense, I mean minorities would never have rights if it’s up to a vote. Aren’t they statistically screwed?

  68. johncopeland

    TRAVELAH –
    “Wikipedia: Civil and political rights: are a class of rights and freedoms that protect individuals from unwarranted action by government and private organizations and individuals and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without disrimination or repression. Civil rights include: Protection from discrimination (based on gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, natural origin, age, immigrant status, etc.)”
    Betty you are correct.

  69. travelah

    Johncopeland,
    From Wiki:
    Protection from discrimination (based on gender, religion, race, national origin, age, immigrant status, etc. Some activist organizations include sexual orientation within the auspices of civil rights protections although there is continuing controversy over this issue in several countries)

  70. travelah

    Again, the issue at hand—benefits for all city government employees—is one of civil rights, equality, and fairness for all city government employees and their families.

    It is is quite clear that the agenda is to define sexual orientation as afforded civil right status. That remains an unenforced assertion.

  71. johncopeland

    Trav –

    It is quite clear that your agenda is to define homosexuality as a “chosen” lifestyle and therefore not afforded civil rights status. That is your “choice”. In your case, it could be said that self inflicted ignorance is your “choice” as well. While you await confirmation of the fact that homosexuals are “born” homosexual rather than choosing to be homosexual you may continue to claim ignorance by way of science not yet being in a position to “prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that homosexuality is by birth and therefore continue to discriminate against other humans beings who are American tax paying citizen’s that are being taken advantage of by the US government and society as a result of a “majority vote” which is in itself discriminatory. How convenient for you. Many others might ask when did you “choose” to be heterosexual and why? I personally do not care what you think any further as you mind is “set” much like a Republican of the day. I find it sad that ignorance and prejudice still abounds, however as an adult, I know it exists and that some will never change.

  72. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The U.S. Supreme Court today (3/2/10) refused to block the District of Columbia’s gay marriage law, thus allowing D.C. to move ahead with issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning tomorrow. In addition to D.C., same-sex marriages are also legal in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and Vermont.

  73. Ashevegasjoe

    So, why do we have a majority vote on the rights of a minority??

  74. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Ashevegasjoe, you have asked the best and most fundamental question in this entire discussion.

    The answer to your question lies in “checks and balances” that is at the heart of our democracy: three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—that work together and keep each other in line. No one branch can grab too much control for too long without the others reining it in and restoring balance, albeit the process is sometimes painfully slow.

    This three-part separation of power at every level of government—all the way from local city government up to the U.S. Congress, President, and Supreme Court—has worked for more than 200 years, but it does take time for the “checks and balances” to happen, especially in regard to hot-button controversial issues.

    Look how long it took for racial equality to actually come about. The struggle, sometimes a violent struggle that culminated in the 1960s civil rights movement, had been evolving since colonial times, and the ERA (equal rights for women) seemed to go on forever in fits and starts and with seemingly insurmountable setbacks.

    So, what is happening in Asheville now with the struggle for equal city employee benefits is one level of that process. It’s sometimes hard to watch, like sausage making, including all the pushing and shoving that happens among the three branches until balance finally comes. The hope is that the city council will do the right thing without it having to be fought out in the courts and taking even longer.

    When the U.S. Constitution was adopted and enacted, along with its subsequent amendments, this separation of powers ensured that the rights of minorities would be protected and that the majority in any one place could not, through “mob rule,” suppress a minority without the other branches stepping in to correct it.

    It’s a good system—a tripartite democracy—and while the U.S. democracy is still in its infancy as far as civilizations go, it is unique among the world’s systems of government, and worth fighting for and preserving.

  75. travelah

    The difficulty here is that the “right” of the minority has not been defined as such and to get to the point where it is defined will require a “majority” of some sort.

  76. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The majority of Asheville City Council officials want to be an equal opportunity employer, ergo they wish to treat all employees fairly and equally and do not wish to discriminate.

    The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) contains a number of prohibitions known as “prohibited personnel practices” that prohibit employers from discriminating “for” or “against” employees or applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. It also provides that certain personnel actions cannot be based on attributes or conduct that do not adversely affect employee performance, such as marital status and political affiliation. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has interpreted the prohibition of discrimination based on attributes or conduct to include discrimination based on sexual orientation. Additionally, Presidential Executive Order 13087, issued in 1998, provides for “a uniform policy for the federal government to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

  77. travelah

    That is good for federal employees only and only as long as Bill Clinton’s executive order stands.

  78. Betty Cloer Wallace

    With the CSRA of 1978, the EO 13087 of 1998, and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision (3/2/10) refusing to block the District of Columbia’s gay marriage law and allowing our nation’s capital to proceed with issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, we now have broad legal foundation—currently standing—and definition of equal rights on many levels in all three branches of federal government. The common term “law of the land” provides precedent for all other levels of government—way ahead of what the Asheville City Council is considering.

    Furthermore, the number of states that have legalized same-sex marriage is growing, and numerous city-county municipalities nationwide can see the future and are already providing employee-partner-family benefits, several in North Carolina. It’s unlikely the National Guard will be called up on this issue as in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s (we’re all arguably more reasoned and less violent now), but it could happen.

    The process is slow, but it is evolving, and Asheville City Council has stated its intention for fairness and equality by voting affirmatively in concept and asking staff to provide specific research for proceeding toward provision of employee-partner-family benefits for all city employees. Hopefully, it will not come to an expensive court battle.

    Alexander Pope said, “Be not the first by whom the new is tried, nor yet the last to lay the old aside.” But ‘tis usually better to be near the front of the pack rather than mired down in the sludge at the tail end.

  79. Alan Ditmore

    Parts of SC are a lot better than I thought. It just goes to show how it is really urban verses rural and that sizeable cities in even the most bigoted state can be doing the right thing for equality, childless taxpayers, and the environment.

  80. Daniel Withrow

    Travelah, you’ve suggested that family is defined procreatively; when confronted with counterexamples, you’ve suggested that the people involved still consider their parents, siblings, etc. to be family.

    This is a dodge. Yes, they may (or they may not, in some cases)–but that’s not the question. The question is whether people may consider those with whom they have no procreative relationship to be family.

    I know a child who has no relationship, for very good reason, to his biological parents. He has two very loving adopted parents. He does not consider his biological parents to be his family. He does consider his adopted parents to be his family. The adoptive parents have no biological children of their own. They consider the boy and one another to be their family, in addition to considering their blood relatives to be family.

    Which of those relationships, if any, do you not consider to be familial relationships? Are the husband and wife family to one another? Is the boy family to them?

    Incidentally, you don’t need to consider sexual lifestyle to be a civil rights issue to support same-sex benefits. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that being able to marry the person of your choice is, absent compelling state reason otherwise, a fundamental civil right. A white person may marry a black person without the state’s interference; a prisoner on death row may get married without the state’s interference; a person with thousands of dollars in unpaid child support may get married without the state’s interference. This has been settled law for decades.

    The burden isn’t on us to prove that same-sex couples ought to be able to get married. Instead, the burden is on you to show that there is compelling reason for the state to interfere in this specific kind of marriage, when it’s not allowed to interfere in other kinds. I invite you to make your case.

  81. Daniel Withrow

    To be fair, there is some silliness in the letter. Of course preachers, no matter how bigoted, should be able to speak out on issues. They may not campaign for specific candidates, but tax-exempt status does not and never has prevented expressing opinions on issues. Furthermore, urging the city of Asheville to revoke their tax-exempt status is about as reasonable as urging me to withdraw troops from Afghanistan: they can’t and I can’t. Tax-exempt status is determined in DC, not in city hall.

    Finally, the letter’s broad-brush characterizations of both Asheville and Columbia are small-minded and unworthy. People are complicated. Generalizations like that never hit the mark.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.