Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Monocheres » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:34 pm

PAMELA HESS, Associated Press wrote:WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday he supports gays being able to marry but believes states, not the federal government, should make the decision.

"I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said in a speech at the National Press Club. "I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."


Wow that's a jaw dropper! ... Heh, well, only if you haven't heard about this before. I've actually known about his stance for a long time now. His daughter is gay. Kinda makes a difference when it's your own family, huh?

Uh ... but wait, he does weasel out a bit:

Cheney, who has a gay daughter, said marriage has always been a state issue.

"And I think that's the way it ought to be handled today, that is, on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that," he said.


Okay, so Cheney thinks each state should independently decide whether to recognize gay marriage. What's the consequence of that?

Image

Purple = Same-sex marriage
Indigo = Unions granting rights similar to marriage
Green = Legislation granting limited/enumerated rights
Blue = Foreign same-sex marriages recognized
Lt. Gray = No specific prohibition or recognition of same-sex marraiges or unions
Yellow = Statute bans same-sex marriage
Orange = Constitution bans same-sex marriage
Red = Constitution bans same-sex marriage and other kinds of same-sex union

The ability of people to move unfettered from one state to another in this transcontinental nation of ours is one of the great personal freedoms that straights have always enjoyed, and one of the factors that have made this country so prosperous. But if a same-sex couple gets married in New England, they can't, for instance, take their honeymoon in Miami. Or if they do, one of them better not get sick and have to go to the hospital. The other will just be a "roommate" who'll have to wait for visiting hours. And forget about moving anywhere else if they find a better job.

As a straight, I've always taken that freedom for granted. But this ... sucks.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby draque » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:05 am

There's a very widely held belief in people who have never had to deal with the laws that civil unions are present in most states and nearly identical to marriage. If this were true, there would still be some progress left (the whole "separate but equal" issue), but we would be infinitely closer to a workable set of laws regarding the subject. When I've confronted people with this, they've generally been more surprised than anything else. Even among fairly socially liberal (but straight) people, there is often a sneaking suspicion that an analogue for marriage already exists and that the gay rights movement is pressing for rights that they do not possess.

I'm really not sure where the myth came from, but it's frustratingly prevalent nearly everywhere I've seen the subject brought up.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:26 pm

draque wrote:there is often a sneaking suspicion that an analogue for marriage already exists and that the gay rights movement is pressing for rights that they do not possess.

I'm really not sure where the myth came from, but it's frustratingly prevalent nearly everywhere I've seen the subject brought up.


It comes from a deliberate propaganda effort by the religious right; they have promoted the chant of 'equal rights not special rights', which is a lie that suggests that gay people already have equal rights and are demanding more.

To the fundamentalist Christians, this is actually true - faggots and dykes have the same, equal right to choose to be straight and get married to the opposite sex, and to stop choosing to be freaks and deviants as everyone else. This is their worldview, so, from their perspective, giving equal rights to Queer folk is nothing more than making being a freak and a deviant monster legal and socially acceptable. To them, equality is 'special rights', because in their worldview being Queer as a normal state of nature does not exist. Gay animals notwithstanding - humans are above animals, after all, made personally by a personal god, and thus exempt from the laws of nature. Other than death and disease, of course. And physics. And everything else -but that is irrelevant.

This propaganda has been very well funded, and very well pushed, and it enters the general population subtly, subconsciously, partly because it is based on existing bigotry, and partly because if accepted, it permits people to do the one thing they love the most - to not have to worry about stuff anymore. Being outraged is a lot of effort, and nothing beats being able to just let shit go.

The cure is knowledge and education to counter the enforced willful ignorance of the fundamentalist propaganda machine, which really translates to a counter-propaganda machine being needed, and it needs to be very well funded, because opinion really can be bought and sold by clever enough advertising.

The problem is that fundamentalist voices are incredibly well funded, and incredibly uniform - they all pretty much follow the same page of what to be frightened of, so they all pretty much fight as a unified force, which gives them, as an army, vast power for their actual size.

Queer folks, by comparison, are not unified much at all, are very diverse in opinion and attitude, sometimes even opposed to each other, and basically like herding cats. It's hard to get even close to the needed level of funding and work out of Queer folk to get the job of counter-propaganda done, especially when a good number aren't even sure they like the idea of having to use propaganda to get across something that should already been obviously true to everyone.

This is why the fundies win so often. Fundies can agree and work for a common cause, driven by the two most powerful emotions known to mankind - fear and hate. Their goals are clear, and their efforts coordinated.

Queers, on the other hand, find it difficult to agree and work for common causes, and they are driven more by outrage and grief. Outrage and grief cannot even compare to fear and hate in terms of motivational power. Oh, Queer folk still try, some of them anyway, and those few do fight pretty hard. When they aren't arguing policy and politics, of course.

Frankly, I've found it astonishing that there have been any gains at all for Queer folk. Considering.

Two minorites - one driven by fear and hate, and coordinated by powerful leaders, and the other driven by outrage and sadness, split into countless factions who often barely function together.

Fuck.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Monocheres » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:39 pm

Hmmm.

It seems to me this diversity and lack of unity within the "queer community"[*] is a logical consequence of how they originate. Queerness (is that the right generic term for several very different conditions?) is a potential outcome of fetal development that applies equally to all races, nationalities, ethnic groups, across all countries and continents. But it simply occurs randomly, with a certain frequency. Other than the condition of being "queer" (gosh is there a better way to phrase this), what do queer folk have in common with each other (other than mutual attraction, in the case of gays and lesbians)? They actually have more in common with their straight relatives, or with their ethnic group, or with their nationality, or with their language-group, etc.

Imagine some ideal (or hopefully, future) society where all gender and orientation based prejudice had been expunged. No one would pay any attention to whether you were "queer" or not. There would be no particular need for a "queer community". Your community would be your community, and you would simply be accepted in it like anyone else.

Then we could get down to the business of persecuting people for real perversions, like philately. (Shudder.)

//]

[*] My use of "scare quotes" in this post was deliberate. But not as a way of disparaging GLBT folks. I hope it's clear from the entire post that my intent is the exact opposite.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Coda » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:53 pm

I've been trying to work up a series of arguments that I could bring up in a debate on the matter in such a way that I can play off of the compassion that no one wants to admit they lack. I want to start with an example of some privilege that married couples with biological or adopted children get in a context completely unrelated to sexual orientation in such a way that it would seem offensive and absurd to argue that someone should be denied that privilege, and then iterate through examples until I come across one that happens to involve two people of the same gender in the context of a household (no sex necessary!). If I can make it look like a government attack on religious beliefs, even better. I'm usually a good debater but I'm not particularly experienced in arguing this particular viewpoint (it's a fairly recent development -- if you talked to me five years ago you wouldn't have seen me take this side), so I'm lacking in examples and evidence.

The only thing I really have right now is an age inversion; you can't claim a tax benefit for caring for an elderly parent even if you're changing diapers, even though you have to put more time and attention into caring for such a person than you do for your 17-year-old kid that's basically independent but still a write-off.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Kosmonauta » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:10 am

eeeh... actually, there is no clear reason to why people are queer at all. There is evidence of genetic influence, influence of a series of things in the womb and even after being born, 'till the age of 5 (or less than that). A decent source usually combines aspects of all, but there are studies focusing in each one of these aspects up to today. So... no scientific conclusion, sorry.
I find it personally offending, due to my particular situation, the assumptions that 'I was born this way' considering that, in my particular case, I did chose but still don't see why I should not have the right anyway. To justify that we don't need to go around and give rights to people like me is like saying that you can't give rights to communists, or muslins, or people who like to dress like goths. Those are choices of lifestyle, and save for some eventual guantanamo, eventual school shootings that are used to justify active persecution of the goth kids in the school, nobody tries to take their rights, do they? I mean, clearly our choices of lifestyle do not deprive us of rights in this world.

Ugh, democracy is such an illusion....
(I still agree that it's the worse kind of government expect for all the others that have been tried, though... I just think we don't do a very good job trying)
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Coda » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:16 am

Democracy IS a bad idea. The US is a republic -- much better, really, but everyone seems to want to make it a democracy.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby draque » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:44 am

Coda wrote:I want to start with an example of some privilege that married couples with biological or adopted children...


I'm not sure if that's a good starting point. To many people, "gay" is synonymous with "pedophile." For that reason, I think that if you're facing a very staunch opponent, you should focus first on addressing gay people as members f societ. If they hold the gay=pedo opinion, it will inevitably come up, and can be addressed there without you having to bring it up in the first place (which would weaken your argument against it).
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Relee » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:52 am

The U.S. is kind of a suck ass repubic. It's not equally representative of the country. Different people's votes count for less for their candidates than other peoples votes, because they come from hick-country. When I visited Tennesee I was told that most folks there don't even bother voting because their votes only count as a tenth of a vote, or something.


As for The Gays, they get a lot of help from White Knights, people who aren't gay and might not even know anyone who is gay but won't suffer discrimination or suffering within their sight. They make anything their business and fight crusades for people they know nothing about. Mostly they're rich ideallists who do battle with rich tyrants over the definition of right and wrong.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Coda » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:46 am

draque wrote:I'm not sure if that's a good starting point. To many people, "gay" is synonymous with "pedophile." For that reason, I think that if you're facing a very staunch opponent, you should focus first on addressing gay people as members f societ. If they hold the gay=pedo opinion, it will inevitably come up, and can be addressed there without you having to bring it up in the first place (which would weaken your argument against it).


No, no, I think you missed what I was trying to do. I was trying to sneak it in by starting with a scenario that doesn't involve "gayness" or sex at all. The line of argument I'm trying to accomplish is to first convince the person that certain rights and privileges are good -- play on their compassion, make them want to help honest people who are suffering hardships. I don't even want to be CLOSE to the actual issue at hand until I've got them playing into the trap. Mentioning sexual orientation wouldn't come until the trap is sprung and there's no way to waffle your way out of it without contradicting yourself.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Monocheres » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:55 am

Kosmonauta wrote:eeeh... actually, there is no clear reason to why people are queer at all. There is evidence of genetic influence, influence of a series of things in the womb and even after being born, 'till the age of 5 (or less than that). A decent source usually combines aspects of all, but there are studies focusing in each one of these aspects up to today. So... no scientific conclusion, sorry.

I find it personally offending, due to my particular situation, the assumptions that 'I was born this way' considering that, in my particular case, I did chose but still don't see why I should not have the right anyway.
...
I mean, clearly our choices of lifestyle do not deprive us of rights in this world.


I obviously can't offer any kind of authentic experience about this subject, all I can do is offer my best effort at analyzing the situation based on what I hear or read, and maybe coming up with some creative wordsmithing about it. So if you've heard any declarative statements from me that seem to be a little too didactic, that's just me taking a short-cut to get the ideas across. I'm still just putting them out there as working theories. Like any theory, they're only as good as how well they fit the facts, and how predictive they are, so they're open to be falsified if the facts don't fit, or if the predictions don't pan out. However, even if a theory isn't entirely proven, it still might be useful.

Now since I've been visiting here I've absorbed the fact that many people who do have an authentic experience of this insist that it's not just a choice, it's something truly ingrained in them. I'd be curious about what the rest of the members here think. But I'm perfectly willing to entertain the idea that perhaps the situation is complicated and diverse. Human life is complicated and diverse. That's one reason why I'm personally a little uncomfortable with using the word "queer" as a generic term, because it seems to lump together a lot of very different human experiences into one arbitrary category.

As for your notion that people should not be denied rights just because of life-style choices, I need to ponder that a while. In the meantime, from a purely strategic perspective, I think that's a weak position to take in the current political climate. You're asking the majority in this country to accept a major redefinition of a concept that they thought was already perfectly understood (Marriage=Man+Woman=>Family) and moreover had been understood that way for thousands of years. That's a lot of inertia to overcome. If you can assert that this definition is too restrictive and would discriminate against a category of people that have no choice in the matter and cannot help who they are, then many people of compassion may be swayed to your cause. But if they somehow get the notion that it's just a matter of personal whim and an arbitrary choice, then I imagine their flip answer would be, well no one's denying you any rights, just make a different choice and you can have them. I don't think you want to hand them that kind of propaganda victory.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby draque » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:15 am

Monocheres wrote:Now since I've been visiting here I've absorbed the fact that many people who do have an authentic experience of this insist that it's not just a choice, it's something truly ingrained in them. I'd be curious about what the rest of the members here think. But I'm perfectly willing to entertain the idea that perhaps the situation is complicated and diverse. Human life is complicated and diverse. That's why I'm personally a little uncomfortable with using the word "queer" as a generic term, because it seems to lump together a lot of very different human experiences into one arbitrary category.


Just turn the situation around. Think of something that you're not sexually or romantically attracted to. Now think of being told that you must choose to be attracted to it, and how clearly impossible that would be. It's only when you define sexuality purely as outward actions that it can make any sense. If I so chose, I could suppress my own desires, form a heterosexual relationship and have 2.5 kids. If the definition of "sexuality" is divorced entirely from inward feelings and traits, then this would effectively make me straight. The definition that is used within queer communities typically is focused on inward feelings, though.

Monocheres wrote:You're asking the majority in this country to accept a major redefinition of a concept that they thought was already perfectly understood (Marriage=Man+Woman=>Family) and moreover had been understood that way for thousands of years.


This is an argument that can be very frustrating to deal with. The reason for this is that while most people admittedly believe it to be true, it is not. The biggest point is that it only really applies to western history. Elsewhere in the world, many different religions accepted and even sanctioned same sex unions that were performed. In addition to that ,though, there's the issue of marriage in the Western world. 2000+ years ago (the minimum number that can accurately be described as "thousands"), polygyny was a generally accepted practice, with women as property, wildly different than 1 man, 1 woman. You were the one who brought up not long ago how new the current form of relationship pairing is.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Monocheres » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:30 am

draque wrote:
Monocheres wrote:You're asking the majority in this country to accept a major redefinition of a concept that they thought was already perfectly understood (Marriage=Man+Woman=>Family) and moreover had been understood that way for thousands of years.


This is an argument that can be very frustrating to deal with. The reason for this is that while most people admittedly believe it to be true, it is not. The biggest point is that it only really applies to western history. Elsewhere in the world, many different religions accepted and even sanctioned same sex unions that were performed. In addition to that ,though, there's the issue of marriage in the Western world. 2000+ years ago (the minimum number that can accurately be described as "thousands"), polygyny was a generally accepted practice, with women as property, wildly different than 1 man, 1 woman. You were the one who brought up not long ago how new the current form of relationship pairing is.


Actually, I agree, and I accept your clarification of what I said: They think/believe it's a universal definition, and it's the inertia of such a big majority, within these borders, holding such a belief that would need to be overcome.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Monocheres » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:51 am

draque wrote:
Monocheres wrote:Now since I've been visiting here I've absorbed the fact that many people who do have an authentic experience of this insist that it's not just a choice, it's something truly ingrained in them. I'd be curious about what the rest of the members here think. But I'm perfectly willing to entertain the idea that perhaps the situation is complicated and diverse. Human life is complicated and diverse. That's one reason why I'm personally a little uncomfortable with using the word "queer" as a generic term, because it seems to lump together a lot of very different human experiences into one arbitrary category.


Just turn the situation around. Think of something that you're not sexually or romantically attracted to. Now think of being told that you must choose to be attracted to it, and how clearly impossible that would be. It's only when you define sexuality purely as outward actions that it can make any sense. If I so chose, I could suppress my own desires, form a heterosexual relationship and have 2.5 kids. If the definition of "sexuality" is divorced entirely from inward feelings and traits, then this would effectively make me straight. The definition that is used within queer communities typically is focused on inward feelings, though.


That is already the way I understood it, which is why I found Kosmonauta's position (that it was entirely a choice on her part) to be novel. Rather than challenge her on it, though, I reserved judgment and deferred to others here who could speak directly about their own experiences.

It strikes me, however, that those in the B subcategory of the GLBT category may be able to have it both ways. (You may interpret that statement on more than one level. :mrgreen: ) In other words, the fact that their orientation is so flexible is something ingrained in them, something they cannot simply will away, yet because of that very flexibility, they really do have an open choice of life-styles.

This is another case for why I suggest that the state of affairs ;-) may actually be complex and diverse.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby strange_person » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:48 pm

Coda wrote:
draque wrote:I'm not sure if that's a good starting point. To many people, "gay" is synonymous with "pedophile." For that reason, I think that if you're facing a very staunch opponent, you should focus first on addressing gay people as members f societ. If they hold the gay=pedo opinion, it will inevitably come up, and can be addressed there without you having to bring it up in the first place (which would weaken your argument against it).


No, no, I think you missed what I was trying to do. I was trying to sneak it in by starting with a scenario that doesn't involve "gayness" or sex at all. The line of argument I'm trying to accomplish is to first convince the person that certain rights and privileges are good -- play on their compassion, make them want to help honest people who are suffering hardships. I don't even want to be CLOSE to the actual issue at hand until I've got them playing into the trap. Mentioning sexual orientation wouldn't come until the trap is sprung and there's no way to waffle your way out of it without contradicting yourself.
What about the people who are more comfortable with contradicting their own previous statements than revising their ideology?
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Coda » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:04 pm

Those are, of course, the kind of happy Orwellian doublethinkers that can really screw things up. Of course, those are the kinds of people I'm not likely to end up trying to reason with in the first place, so there's not much debate that can be done.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby draque » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:34 pm

Monocheres wrote:That is already the way I understood it, which is why I found Kosmonauta's position (that it was entirely a choice on her part) to be novel. Rather than challenge her on it, though, I reserved judgment and deferred to others here who could speak directly about their own experiences.

It strikes me, however, that those in the B subcategory of the GLBT category may be able to have it both ways. (You may interpret that statement on more than one level. ) In other words, the fact that their orientation is so flexible is something ingrained in them, something they cannot simply will away, yet because of that very flexibility, they really do have an open choice of life-styles.

This is another case for why I suggest that the state of affairs may actually be complex and diverse.


Ah, I see where you're coming from there. Honestly, I would classify myself as bi if I ever felt anything in regard to romantic attraction to women (I've had my fun in the past and don't have any kind inhibitions about sex with women, just don't feel anything romantic for them, and am overall less physically interested than in men). That having been said, the attractions that I feel both in terms of physical and emotional attraction are something completely out of my own control. While someone who is bi can ignore attractions to one gender, they're still not making a choice of who to be attracted to, only a choice of what attractions to ignore.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Monocheres » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:33 pm

Coda wrote:I've been trying to work up a series of arguments that I could bring up in a debate on the matter in such a way that I can play off of the compassion that no one wants to admit they lack. I want to start with an example of some privilege that married couples with biological or adopted children get in a context completely unrelated to sexual orientation in such a way that it would seem offensive and absurd to argue that someone should be denied that privilege, and then iterate through examples until I come across one that happens to involve two people of the same gender in the context of a household (no sex necessary!). If I can make it look like a government attack on religious beliefs, even better. I'm usually a good debater but I'm not particularly experienced in arguing this particular viewpoint (it's a fairly recent development -- if you talked to me five years ago you wouldn't have seen me take this side), so I'm lacking in examples and evidence.

The only thing I really have right now is an age inversion; you can't claim a tax benefit for caring for an elderly parent even if you're changing diapers, even though you have to put more time and attention into caring for such a person than you do for your 17-year-old kid that's basically independent but still a write-off.


Actually I think you can already take some tax write-off for elder-care (don't know the details but I do think it exists). If that's true, then unfortunately your program is already on weak footing.

I think you may also be on the wrong track in this sense: Marriage creates kinship where it didn't exist before. Any analogy you try to make based on kinship relationships that already exist will hit a roadblock the minute you attempt to say that same-sex relationships should be granted kinship status.

I'm groping here, but maybe a better analogy to start with is adoption. What if no one were ever allowed to actually adopt someone who wasn't a blood relative already? What if that were based on some arbitrary religious belief that only "natural" parents were real parents? Oh sure, you could foster an orphan child. You can even foster them all the way from infancy to adulthood. They can think of you as their "mommy" or their "daddy" all they like. But everyone knows you aren't really their parent, now, are you? Forget about any tax right-offs on your federal, that's just for real parents. If you try to move to another state, that state might not recognize your fostering arrangement, and may reassign your child to someone else, no matter how attached they are to you. If your child gets sick, you can take them to the hospital, but the minute you hand them over to the doctors, you have to say bye-bye. They can cry for you, they can plead with the doctors to let their "mommy" or their "daddy" sit by their side through the night in that frightening place. But no, you only get to see them for 1 hour a day during visitor period. Flipping things around a bit, your fostering arrangement doesn't really commit you to the child in any real way, so any time you felt like it, any time at all while they were growing up, you could just up and decide to drop the poor little tyke back at the orphanage, and nobody would bat an eye. Because you're not really a family.

Wow. That's really getting to me.

You might want to start with that.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Coda » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:13 pm

That's a really good argument. Very compelling. Would work well farther into the trap, but it's a little too close and too hypothetical to really open with. Remember, my goal is to avoid bringing the listener's biases in until they've already started to contradict them.
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Re: Cheney supports gay marriage (?)

Postby Kosmonauta » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:25 pm

Monocheres wrote:That is already the way I understood it, which is why I found Kosmonauta's position (that it was entirely a choice on her part) to be novel. Rather than challenge her on it, though, I reserved judgment and deferred to others here who could speak directly about their own experiences.(...)


Just to clarify something, I am a male :o
But no worries, it would be sexist to assume a kosmonauta (Космонаута - russian version of astronaut) had to be male.

Anyway, I would like to state that my own experiences do not, by all means, means that this is the general rule of things. I do not question people or put doubt in people who experience it in other manners, that's just my particular understanding and perception of my experiences. And I absolutely still hold that such rights should not be given because "some people are just born different" but because "some people just are different" by whatever reason.
Kosmonauta
Aw, they grow up so fast!

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