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  1. ralph wrote:

    Thanks IK, hilarious! Ricky Gervais’ tweet takes it right to the hoop, a slam dunk!

    Between this ruling and the earlier one on the ACA, this should make the upcoming GOP debates actually worth tuning in to, if only for the entertainment value of watching them engage in the circular firing squad that can only result in one man (or Fiorina…nah!) standing. One can only hope (and pray, tax free) it’s the right man for the right job, the only one who promises to do “various things very quickly”.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    Well, we here in Texas have not given up yet. It’s not over yet

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  3. ThatGuy wrote:

    All good, Hassan, the rest of the country is used to Texas looking stupid.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  4. Hassan wrote:

    THATGUY, haha, time will tell who is really stupid.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  5. ThatGuy wrote:

    Won’t be the people looking out for their fellow human beings and equality. Some marriages have already happened in Texas.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    People who are opposing gay marriage will look just as stupid as people who opposed mixed race marriages. Even before this decision, 70% of Americans (and everyone in Canada and Mexico) had the right to marry, and nothing bad happened.

    It is your right to disapprove of same sex marriage. That doesn’t mean you have any right to stop it, unless you can prove direct harm.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Great article about the Netherlands, which was the first country to fully legalize same sex marriages, back in 2001.

    The result? Even politicians who fiercely opposed the law back then now say it was a good move. For example, the leader of the Christian Democrat party who fought against it says: “At the time I opposed same-sex marriage, I was led by fear. Having seen so many happy gay and lesbian couples getting married, I realize I was wrong. I don’t understand anymore what made me treat gays and lesbians differently from other citizens.”

    And the institution of marriage “has suffered no ill effects at all.”

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 6:10 am | Permalink
  8. C-Dawg wrote:


    Way back in the late ’90s, I was against DADT (military) and couldn’t even conceive of 2 guys getting “married”. But some decent folks asked me why I was against it all, and other than “ick” and “my magical friend in the sky is against it”, I had no constitutional/lawful answer.

    It was explained to me that “those people” paid all the same taxes that I paid, so why not all the rights? The tax thing pretty much sealed it for me, if we are forcibly taking taxes from a citizen, then why can’t 2 adult citizens get married?

    The “magical friend in the sky disapproves” argument? We allow 2 opposite sex adult atheists to marry, or a Wiccan & a Hindu are allowed to get married. Because religion isn’t part of the law/constitution. The 1st amendment of the constitution prevents it from being part of the equation.

    So I’m asking you to just give it some thought. You can still go to church, still read your book from G*d, but why do you want to prevent some other Americans quest for freedom? You got yours, and that’s great, but why not them?

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  9. Hassan wrote:

    C-DAWG, because things do not end there. Other than worrying about moral decay of society, and rebellion of humans against God, I have no issue, as I have lived and ignored other immorality (murder/rape/theft/cheating/lying/banks bailouts/fornication/gambling……..), so I can live through homosexuals getting married as well.

    The issue is my freedom, which is I do not want any part in these immoral acts, I should not be compelled to do deal with people I do not want to, government should not force/compel me to deal with them (or anyone for that matter). Also the issue (which Alito and yesterday Roberts raised), non-profit organizations (churches/mosques etc) will lose non-profit status if they do not take part in homosexual marriage.

    If government can guarantee me above two rights (religious institution not losing tax exempt status, and me not dealing with people I do not want to deal with), then I have no problem (constitutional).

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink
  10. C-Dawg wrote:


    I hear you and completely agree. I can’t stand people with swastika tattoos that show up in my operating room wanting me to give them an anesthetic. And yet, because I live in a democratic republic, I have to serve them up an awesome anesthetic experience, or else I’ll get fired from my job and possibly sued by the patient. And the swastika tattoo was something they chose to do, not something they were born with.

    If I moved to a country with a theocratic form of government, all my problems with swastika patients would be solved. But then of course, I’d be living in a theocracy (Iran, Saudi Arabia, many others). So maybe I’ll just do what everyone else has to do when they come face-to-face with an immoral customer/patient , take care of business and keep enjoying living in America (and many other great countries), or go find a theocratic country that makes me happy.

    I’m not trying to be snarky or sarcastic, but you see, the “freedom to not deal with certain people” was already tried here in America, and it worked out badly. That’s why I have to take good care of a worthless meth-head, because if I say no to that, then I can say no to someone with a darker skin color than me, or someone with a different religion than me.

    Problem solved, yes?

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  11. Hassan wrote:

    C-DAWG, you seem new here, as what you are suggesting, has been refuted many times by.

    When someone comes to do business with me, I do not ask them to bring list of their sins and share with me (in Islam, we are encouraged to hide our sins and repent, rather than boast on them). So gay/straight/cheater/terrorist/adulterer/fornicator/gambler/drinker will get same services as I am providing.

    On the other hand, if terrorist walks in to help him in act of violence, adulterer comes to facilitate adultery, drinker comes to facilitate drinking, a banker comes in to facilitate usury, a homosexual comes in to help him in his marriage, then I refuse to do so.

    The two things are not same, they are clear distinction, otherwise no one will be served (as all are sinners).

    You have not answered my other issue, non-profit organization losing tax exempt status because they do not marry homosexuals?

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  12. C-Dawg wrote:


    I believe we are talking about the same thing. When someone comes to my O.R. for an elective surgery (perhaps a knee scope), I don’t ask for a list of their sins, but as I place the ECG pads on their chest, I can’t help but see a giant swastika tattoo. And imagine if I were Jewish! I still have to serve up a great anesthetic.

    Non-profit issues: hey, I’ll be the 1st person in the history of internet comments to say “I don’t know”. But honestly, wouldn’t it be better if religions paid taxes and then they could say & do what was right? Like endorse political candidates, Mormons could go back to the 70’s and exclude African-descent folks, etc. It sounds bad, but I like the honesty of it, rather than jumping through hoops to do anything to retain tax-exempt status. Besides, since they are non-profit, there would likely be very little tax collected, probably none at all in many cases.

    Feeling good now?

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  13. Hassan wrote:

    C-DAWG, no we are not talking about same thing. A person with swsatika coming to you for medical treatment is not same as you being forced to go to be on call doctor for Nazi party event.

    The problem is for-profit are already forced to do business with events they don’t like. So nothing is good for us. Unless religious organizations are exempted.

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  14. C-Dawg wrote:


    It just seems that if I can “man up” and take care of a horrible patient who offends me, then every other American can do the same.

    I’m really trying to help you come to terms with living in a democratic republic that still has some serious racial problems. Returning to an era where we can refuse service/business/medical care to people that sin differently from us (or look different, or worship different, etc) is the way back to a terrible time for this nation.

    Consider watching some of the documentaries on the African-American experience in the South from the civil war through the 70’s. You know, no service at lunch counters, no hotels you’re allowed to stay at in many towns, and a whole lot worse. That’s the situation I’m imagining when we start talking about denial of service for people who offend us.

    Documentaries: try Freedom Riders, Eyes on the Prize, Slavery by Another Name, Breaking the Huddle are all fantastic, they got me thinking about all mistreated people in America, persecuted for skin color, religion, sexual/gender identity.

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  15. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think you two have stumbled upon a fundamental truth — that freedom is always a compromise. I support freedom of speech, even when someone is saying something I think is wrong. Their freedom of speech infringes on my freedom to be left alone.

    We find compromise in laws. If a “terrorist walks in to help them in act of violence” then they are doing something illegal and you do not have to help them (in fact, you are required to not help them if you know).

    Me, I can see both sides of this issue. Someone should not be forced to do work that they find repulsive (we are not a nation of slaves). But that was used as an excuse to exclude people based on race in the past, and so we passed laws prohibiting that.

    Taking this in a different direction, we now have people who claim a religious exemption against vaccinations. But the science clearly shows that they are endangering other people’s lives (even worse, children’s lives). So whose freedom is more important here? It is a balancing act, and somebody is going to lose some freedom.

    The place where I disagree with this discussion is that I don’t think this balancing of freedoms in anyway influences whether or not gay people should be allowed to marry. Of course they should.

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  16. Hassan wrote:

    C-DAWG, again you are not seeing the difference. An event/an act directly associated with things that offend you versus people.

    So as IK said, we have freedom of speech, so there will be many events offensive to me, and I am not advocating to stop them, but why force me to participate in such events? (no one is). Similarly I will not deny a person for a service just because he is gay. But I will not participate or part in his wedding (an event).

    I will service a gambler, but I will not facilitate his gambling event etc.

    Racial issues are not related to homosexuality, I know many blacks (muslims and christians) who are repulsed by being associated with such vile sin.

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  17. Hassan wrote:

    BTW, if not mistaken (need to find source), there was someone who refused to print nazis material for customer and city/government (not sure court) sided with her.

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  18. wildwood wrote:

    Hassan, I think churches should pay taxes. Many are involved with politics, in spite of that being against tax rules, but are never held accountable. As an agnostic, I should not have to subsidize religious organizations of any kind. Just as you don’t want to serve those you think immoral, I don’t want the money I pay in taxes to support churches, mosques or synagogs. As it currently stands, not only does the government put money into religious organizations under the guise of them helping the less fortunate, the land that all these establishments are sitting on are causing municipalities to lose tax revenues that would otherwise come from businesses that do pay taxes.

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  19. Hassan wrote:

    WILDWOOD, luckily mosques will be always net negative in US (knowing they are always run of charity and barely make it). Will government shut down business if it is not making money?

    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  20. ralph wrote:

    As a scientist and an atheist, I find the whole religious argument of homosexuality as being immoral and sinful to be completely illogical, if not comical. Science teaches us that sexuality is a sliding scale, as we clearly observe homosexual behavior throughout the ENTIRE biological kingdom. Go to any zoo and you’re likely to find two same-sex animals going at it (or attempting to). As members of that kingdom, we humans are bound to produce our fair share.

    Where traditional orthodox religions go off the track is confusing a purely biological phenomenon with their conception of morality. But they typically separate the human race from the rest of the animal kingdom to begin with, so there’s that. This issue will not fully subside until The Invisible Man in the Sky gives it a pass (as if) or takes a final bow.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  21. Hassan wrote:

    RALPH, you are correct in terms of root cause. The people of faith treat humans separately as we are better than animals in many regards. When we stoop low, we get compared to animal as they do not have concept of morality. Serial adulterer is compared to pig (by atheist as well), terrorist are considered as animals as they kill others indiscriminately.

    So to us whether animals are scientifically proven to have some gay or not, is irrelevant.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  22. ralph wrote:

    Hassan – I think you are measuring the term “better” in a purely subjective sense. Better at what? Wasting limited resources and despoiling the environment, all in the name of profit? Denigrating and belittling the impoverished? Better at highlighting our superficial differences and exploiting the weak?

    Animals in the wild kill exclusively for survival (food) or in defense (to avoid being food). The only species I’m aware of that kills indiscriminately is the human species, very often out of sectarian differences. Even those within the same major religion (Shiite v. Sunni, Catholic v. Protestant)! How moral is that?

    Read anything by E.O. Wilson, the famous biologist. The few, five or six, species identified that have evolved a social compact, from insects to higher mammals, display cooperative behaviors that can be associated with what we define as “moral”, but indiscriminate killing is uniquely a trait of our species that has emerged from our pathological tribalism and an irrational fear of anything or anyone that is not like “us”.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  23. ralph wrote:

    Correction – reviewing some of Wilson’s work, he has identified about 20 (not just five or six, as I suggested earlier) species that have evolved what he refers to as “eusocial” behaviors, the most complex forms of social behavior in the animal world, which involve specialized divisions of labor and responsibilities within the organization, but only the human species has taken it to the next level to fully dominate the entire planet.

    He describes it here in about eight minutes in an interview with Big Think.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  24. ralph wrote:

    While we’re on the topic of morality, thought I’d just share this one other recent short piece with E.O. Wilson speculating about ET, which leads him into an explanation of prevailing theories about the natural evolution of moral instincts, which appear to emerge from inter-group competition that favors altruistic behaviors within the group that help it to survive and succeed (ultimately to the greater long term benefit of the individual).

    In short, selfishness often wins out for certain individuals within the group (to a point), but fails miserably between competing groups in terms of the group survival and prospects for success (strength in numbers and cooperation), which helps explain why selfish (often wealthy) people can be either admired (eg. FDR) or reviled (Trump) within a given context. We need both leaders, who are often egocentric and selfish, as well as heroes, who are more altruistic and group oriented. We are a conflicted species, to say the least, which also accounts for our creativity.

    Enjoy and learn. I love this guy!

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  25. Iron Knee wrote:

    Revisiting the question of non-profit status for churches — I too would remove automatic non-profit status for churches. But that in no way means that we wouldn’t have non-profit companies, which would still be tax exempt. But a church should have to qualify the same as a non-church for the designation of non-profit. That way, those parts of a church that are non-profit would remain tax exempt, while the profit making parts of the church would pay taxes like anyone else. It seems wrong that churches can compete against regular businesses, when they have the unfair advantage of not paying any taxes.

    So Hassan, your question about whether the government would shut down a business if it is not making any money is irrelevant. If it is a for-profit company, then it will run out of money and go bankrupt. If it is a non-profit, then it still has to get enough donations to stay alive.

    Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  26. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    C-Dawg, the point that I believe HASSAN is trying to make is not the point you were talking about. He is not saying he would refuse to provide a service to a gay person, but that he would not facilitate them in some action that promotes homosexuality. In your example of the swastika tattoo it is very simple. You were not asked to give the patient a tattoo, you were asked to perform some unrelated service. If you were a tattoo artist and asked to provide a customer with a tattoo of a swastika and you believe that to be offensive you should not have to create that art.

    That’s a big difference from your argument.

    Monday, June 29, 2015 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  27. wildwood wrote:

    What actions constitute promoting homosexuality?

    Monday, June 29, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  28. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Oh I don’t know Wildwood, use your imagination. Lets not get hung up on my poor vocabulary.

    Monday, June 29, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  29. Iron Knee wrote:

    Unfortunately, PSgt, your example doesn’t work. If I am a tattoo artist, I can legally refuse to draw a swastika. I could likewise refuse to draw any image containing sexual content.

    There is a difference in discrimination in what services you provide, and discrimination in to whom you provide those services. The former is legal, the latter (when done against a protected class) is illegal (and wrong).

    Besides, providing a cake to be used in a same sex wedding really doesn’t promote homosexuality. And churches are already exempt from performing wedding ceremonies for gay couples.

    Once again, when considering discrimination against gays, replace sexual preference with race and see if you would be ok with the discrimination. Should a tattoo artist be able to refuse to tattoo a black person? Should a baker be able to refuse to bake a cake for an interracial wedding (even if based on “sincere religious beliefs”)?

    Monday, June 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  30. wildwood wrote:

    I tried PATRIOTSGT but couldn’t come up with anything. That’s why I asked. 🙂

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  31. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    I agree on that point IK, one cannot deny a service to some while providing the same to others. But what I was trying to say is they should be able to say no to providing a type of service, like tattooing KKK, or Hells Angels Rule, or ISIS Forever, or Gay Is The Way. Of course they cannot discriminate by saying I’ll do it for you, but not you. If I create websites for a living, I should be able to refuse to make a site I feel is offensive whether it’s a gay site or a straight site. If I make wedding cakes, I should be able to refuse language or symbols I find offensive, but cannot discriminate based on the person alone. If I make Happy Birthday Tony, then I need to do it for everyone who wants one.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink