Throughout the day on February 17th, 2012, I had a Twitter conversation with Stephen Gutowski. He goes by @collegepolitico on Twitter. Our discussion started out with culture in general and switched over to gay marriage. The exchange is a bit disjointed and pretty hobbled (damn you, 140 characters!), but I think we both said what we wanted to say and ended it cordially (a rare thing on Twitter).
Here we go:
CP: The left has always been the aggresor in the culture war because they want to transform America into something it isn’t & never was
SS: @collegepolitico What aggressive culture things are we doing, in your opinion?
CP: @SSupposition mandating religious institutions pay for things they find morally objectionable would be a starting point
SS: @collegepolitico We can discuss that further if you want, but really quick… what are some other examples? I’m curious.
CP: @SSupposition The left, perhaps not every liberal but the left generally, pushes for different attitudes on religious, sex, & culture.
CP: @SSupposition Liberalism is about moving us to a very different place from where we are now as a society, no?
CP: @SSupposition gotta go now but that’s the general idea I’m talking about. Conservatives want to conserve. Liberals want to change.
SS: @collegepolitico That’s pretty vague. When do you think our culture was at a good place? The 50s? 60s? 40s?
SS: @collegepolitico Wow. That’s a really horrible world view. Change is bad? You’re really fitting into the college Republican stereotype well.
CP: @SSupposition The change liberals want is bad, yes. Conservatives want to conserve traditional American principles & values.
CP: @SSupposition Liberals want something radically different
SS: @collegepolitico Are you opposed to gay marriage?
CP: @SSupposition Yes but not for the reasons you’d probably assume
SS: @collegepolitico I don’t like assuming. Why are you opposed?
SS: @collegepolitico I’m curious as to how you feel about this article by the MRC: http://t.co/HJGs3Am7
CP: @SSupposition What about it?
SS: @collegepolitico Do agree with the premise of the article? Basically… homosexuality is bad.
CP: @SSupposition On gay marriage I believe the aspect involving gov is the tax status which is intended to encourage long term relationships
CP: @SSupposition I can see an argument for why heterosexual marriage should be encouraged by the state but not gay marriage
CP: @SSupposition That is where I personally fall on the public policy side of the issue
CP: @SSupposition The premise of the article is that attacking the bible and promoting homosexuality to teens is not appropriate
SS: @collegepolitico So, you’re opposed to homosexuality?
CP: @SSupposition on what level?
SS: @collegepolitico Well… how do you feel about homosexuality? Do you think people are born gay? Why should kids be protected from it?
CP: @SSupposition Be very specific in what you’re asking me please…
CP: @SSupposition I honestly don’t really want to dive deep into my personal opinions on homosexuality in ways that don’t relate to policy
CP: @SSupposition I would say that all people are sinners and all people are loved by God
SS: @collegepolitico Oh. You’re Christian. Didn’t know that. So do you think being gay is morally wrong?
CP: @SSupposition I would say that the way Glee attacks the bible in order to promote their view of homosexuality is what is wrong there
CP: @SSupposition I am Christian but what you’re asking about is a personal view that doesn’t deal with public policy
CP: @SSupposition So I’d prefer not to get into it on a public forum like twitter, ya know?
SS: @collegepolitico I’m sorry, man, but that’s pretty weak. Are you afraid to say that you think being gay is morally wrong?
CP: @SSupposition How about it’s none of your business. Why are you prying? Why do you care so much where I personally stand of sexual morality?
SS: @collegepolitico Cuz it’s who you are and it does guide your public policy decisions. Should Obama not be asked about his personal beliefs?
SS: @collegepolitico Also, homosexuality is not just sexual. It’s also about love. It’s a way of life.
CP: @SSupposition I told you why I oppose gay marriage as public policy. The conversation is over.
At this point, I was pretty disappointed, but I didn’t want to let it go. So, I backed off his personal views of homosexuality and questioned his (in my opinion) bizarre reasoning for being opposed to gay marriage.
SS: @collegepolitico Still don’t get your reasoning: “intended to encourage long term relationships”. Gays don’t have long term relationships?
CP: @SSupposition what interest does the state have in encouraging long term gay relationships? I don’t see one.
SS: @collegepolitico The same as straight couples. Gay couples can have kids and buy houses… what’s the difference?
CP: @SSupposition gay couples can’t procreate…
SS: @collegepolitico What’s the difference between procreation and adopting or using a surrogate?
CP: @SSupposition the only reasoning I see for gov to be in marriage is to encourage the best possible environment for raising kids
SS: @collegepolitico Ah. And now you’re saying that being raised by a gay couple is worse than being raised by a straight couple?
CP: @SSupposition so that the kids can grow up stable and become productive members of society to perpetuate the state’s existence
Obviously, pretty pissed off at this point.
SS: @collegepolitico Gay parents = unstable, unproductive kids?
CP: @SSupposition I’m saying that having a male & female influence is best for the child. Having that be their birth parents is ideal.
CP: @SSupposition not necessarily but the ideal is a home with both biological parents, no?
SS: @collegepolitico Nope. My wife used to work for CPS. I promise you that is not the case.
CP: @SSupposition That is the ideal situation. The marriage policy deals with trying to encourage the ideal on a broad scale.
CP: @SSupposition it isn’t about whether it works perfectly in all situations but what is the general ideal
SS: @collegepolitico That sounds a lot like social engineering. I’m curious though… what harm would come of making gay marriage legal?
CP: @SSupposition it’s a form of social engineering but at least there is a viable state interest involved. I dont see the same for gay marriage
SS: @collegepolitico Viable state interest in low income families not having 10 kids. Costs taxpayers a lot! Why not make that illegal?
CP: @SSupposition personally I don’t support it because I don’t see a state interest in tax breaks that encourage long term gay relationships
CP: @SSupposition that’s a different issue involving the welfare state
CP: @SSupposition Anyway I think you’ve got a pretty clear idea of where I personally stand on public policy aspect of this.
CP: @SSupposition Clearly you don’t agree but this has been a good conversation
SS: @collegepolitico I do disagree with your reasoning, but I appreciate your high level of discourse. I’ll stop pestering you… for now!
CP: @SSupposition lol
Here’s my take on this. He obviously thinks that kids raised by gay couples are worse off than kids raised by straight couples. The only reason that is even slightly true is because of bigotry towards gay couples. The worst part about being raised by two men or two women is the attacks on them by intolerant bigots. If that ended, there would be zero difference. His convoluted reasoning for his personal opposition to gay marriage is not something I have ever heard before which leads me to believe it is just his way of opposing marriage equality on religious grounds, but not having to say that directly. I find it quite weak that he can’t just come out and say that he thinks being gay is wrong and that gay couples do not deserve the same rights as straight couples because of his own personal religious beliefs.
He said “Conservatives want to conserve traditional American principles & values.” What does that even mean? Traditional at what time? Before the Civil War when slavery was legal. Or maybe when women couldn’t vote. Was that traditional? Or how about when black people only counted as three fifths of a person? That was in the freaking constitution, for Pete’s sake, but we changed that. What Stephen doesn’t want to accept is that he is on the wrong side of history. Gay marriage is coming. Change is coming, and it’s a good thing! Gay marriage will be legal and the United State of America will look back at this sad time and hang its head the same way it does when it looks back at the 50s and and its many “whites only” signs and institutional segregation.