Sunday, June 17, 2012

Military Gay Pride



OK, I'm trying to envision what the DoD's Gay Pride Month is going to look like...

I'm not being provocative or trying to be funny.  As most of you know, I am very libertarian on the issue of homosexuality, although I do take issue with noisy activism.

Here's where I'm coming from.  In the military, we celebrate Black History Month, Hispanic History Month, Asian-Pacific Islanders Month (I wonder how Japanese, Koreans, Hawaiians and Fijians all like being lumped into one government pigeonhole?), Women's History Month...

Each of these observances (except for Women's History Month, which is a stretch, but it works) is a celebration of language, folklore, dances, costumes, culture, food and music. They are fun for everyone, as the honored group invites in everyone to show off their culture.  Tuskegee Airmen, female generals, Asian scientists, Hispanic war heroes, all come in to speak at prayer breakfasts to honor each occasion.

So, someone help me out here.  What activities will mark Gay Pride Month?  Do homosexuals have special foods or dances that the rest of us don't know about?  Culture?  I could make jokes here about bathhouses and tea room sex (the always quaint British call it cottaging in merry ole England), but I won't.

Other than bringing in some gay veterans to speak, and holding diversity panels to lecture everyone, I don't know what activities they could feature.  Can anyone help me out?  Maybe I'm missing something...

64 comments:

Rational Nation USA said...

Not...

Always On Watch said...

What about a DoD Heterosexual Pride Day? Is that allowed?

Shaw Kenawe said...

"What about a DoD Heterosexual Pride Day? Is that allowed?"

That's been the default "Pride Day" for the military since the founding of this country.

It has been only through social changes that we Americans have learned to accept as full human beings non-white, non-male, and non-heterosexuals as worthy of defending and loving this country.

And that's only happened in our recent history

I suggest we all chill and just let people figure out how this will be celebrated. Take a deep breath, and try not to agonize over it.

Change is difficult to accept, I know, but it does happen over time.

Haven't you noticed?

Anonymous said...

It will include mandatory Gay sensitivity briefings, commander-led discussion groups, former victims of homophobes and a group hug.

Later that night the Gay population on will host "Answer the CALL OF BOOTY" Party at the O-Club.

Anonymous said...

Americans have been brainwashed thinking there is a higher percentage of gay people than there are. Some polls show people believe 30% of adults are gay.

Reality: only 2% identify themselves as homosexuals.

On a military base with 2,000 troops, you could expect less than 40 would be openly gay.

That's not even enough to hold a decent gay pride march on the base parade grounds.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/americans-have-no-idea-how-few-gay-people-there-are/257753/

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

You all get invited to P-town for tea dance. Keeps you out of mischief.

conservativesonfire said...

The military was not meant to be a social organization.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Shaw: Take a deep breath, and try not to agonize over it.

I'm not agonizing, I'm asking a question. You dodged it.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: It's a long drive from Hanscom to Provincetown, but it is a lovely one, once you get on the cape...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Other than bringing in some gay veterans to speak, and holding diversity panels to lecture everyone, I don't know what activities they could feature.

Can anyone help me out? Maybe I'm missing something...

I understood that question as snark.

But I'll answer: Perhaps military officers and decorated veterans can be invited to participate and, by example, show that *gasp* gays have always been in the military and have served our country with pride and distinction. That may even encourage the more reluctant to come out of their lockers.


The fact that you brought this up and scratched your head wondering what could possibly be the point of having a gay pride month made me suspicious about the point of the post, your protestations notwithstanding.



"So, someone help me out here. What activities will mark Gay Pride Month? Do homosexuals have special foods or dances that the rest of us don't know about? Culture? I could make jokes here about bathhouses and tea room sex (the always quaint British call it cottaging in merry ole England), but I won't.

But, my friend, you did, in a very cagey way, make your cute little jokes about "teh gays."

I guess I don't understand why you even brought the subject up.

Silverfiddle said...

Perhaps military officers and decorated veterans can be invited to participate and, by example, show that *gasp* gays have always been in the military and have served our country with pride and distinction.

Yes! I already suggested that, but thanks for concurring.

So I'll ask again, what else can they do to celebrate homosexuality that is in line with how other groups celebrate themselves?

I guess I asked a hard question...

Anonymous said...

"So, someone help me out here. What activities will mark Gay Pride Month? Do homosexuals have special foods or dances that the rest of us don't know about? Culture?

SF, I can answer your question.
I am a gay military member - a male lesbian.

I would have other male lesbians and gay females gather for a cookout and burger burn, with social drinks to encourage mingling and potential marriage between lesbian men and gay women.

As far as culture, I would encourage strong family homes with loving parents (one man and one lady). Family members would be brought up that it is ok for a guy to have lesbian thoughts about his wife, and a woman to think gay thoughts about her man.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Perhaps you're expecting to celebrate the wrong thing? Perhaps the only thing to expect is acceptance. It's not about food, nor language, nor customs, since I'm pretty sure the majority of our gay military are Americans, and they share those things with us all.

Perhaps just acceptance of the fact that finally we've matured as a country and will no longer tolerate discrimination or hatreds based on the color of one's skin, or religion, or sex, or sexual orientation.

It's that simple. And years from now there will be no need to celebrate these milestones. Right now, however, since not everyone can grasp this simple human idea of acceptance, I think we need the celebrations.

Does that answer your question?

Always On Watch said...

Shaw,
That's been the default "Pride Day" for the military since the founding of this country.

But without the label or banner.

Sometimes labels DO matter.

Frankly, I find all sorts of "pride days" rather offensive and egomaniacal. "See, me, me, ME!" these pride days shout.

Pfffft.

Perhaps this applies to all those pride days: "Methinks that thou dost protest too much."

The Constitutional Insurgent said...

I think Shaw hit it with "Perhaps military officers and decorated veterans can be invited to participate and, by example, show that *gasp* gays have always been in the military and have served our country with pride and distinction."

Personally, I'm not a fan of any diversity celebration month, but generally my involvement [and the infringement on the activities of anybody serving] is relegated to seeing posters from the EO shop in some common areas.

People who are making this into a huge controversy are those who look high and low to be offended.

Silverfiddle said...

Perhaps just acceptance of the fact that finally we've matured as a country and will no longer tolerate discrimination or hatreds based on the color of one's skin, or religion, or sex, or sexual orientation.

I agree with you, but it makes for a pretty dull "celebration."

I'll take Hispanic month, with the dancing, costumes, and all that food!

Z said...

Anonymous 'the male lesbian' is cracking me up!

A lot of gays I've known cringe when events happen which particularly only celebrate sexual inclination....of course, that's because I live in L.A., where the Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood features fishnet stockings, false eyelashes, and G strings...and make all gays look like fools.
Do they make KHAKI G STRINGS for the newly outed Army?

AOW is right...and we'd all be arrested for having a Straight Parade...

Other activities, SF? the mind boggles and I'll leave it at that.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, SF! xx

-FJ said...

Maybe they'll form a New Sacred Band... like " The Village People."

FreeThinke said...

"I am very libertarian on the issue of homosexuality, although I do take issue with noisy activism."

YUP! That's the crux of the matter.

It's the NOISY ACTIVISM we should be decrying -- accent on the noisy.

Most of the “causes” are in fact righteous. The method of trying to deal with them, however, has been fiercely destructive.

I don't care whether it's Negro Civil Rights, Women's Historic Denial of Equality –– [Face it, the gals have been our true rulers -- the Power Behind Every Throne –– all along. Even many of the Popes, at least those who were not sexual inverts, had mistresses –– and a host of bastard children! – "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." ;-] –– Cripples' Rights, Public Concern for the Mentally Defective, the Emotionally Disturbed, the Criminally Insane, the Drug-Addicted, Abused Prostitutes, Date Rape, Marital Rape, Child Sex Abuse, Victims of Poverty, the Daughters of Bilitis or the Sons of Sodom and Gomorrah –––– the tub-thumping, nose-thumbing, rabble-rousing, fire-breathing, ululating, snorting, sneering, snide, contemptuous, violent dismissal of all things NOT sad, dreary, depressing, depraved, pathetic, ugly and markedly abnormal has wrought havoc in Western Society.

The “dog” of Western Civilization has grown more than a dozen tails –– each of a different length and thickness. All are wagging furiously in all directions at once –– each at different pace, in a different style, and a different degree of force. Often they slam into each other or get twisted up with one another causing pain, distress and further confusion. The combined force of all these appendages ––each having assumed a life of its own independent of the poor animal from which they have sprouted –– is enough to weaken, confuse, confound and disturb the poor animal to such an extent he can no longer function, and may soon drop dead from all the unwarranted stress on his poor, beleaguered body.

Most homosexuals are in fact bisexuals –– the biggest unacknowledged fact of life in Christendom. Most have had enough discretion, good sense and consideration to keep this aspect of their lives to themselves.

It is AGGRESSION of ANY kind for which we should reserve our contempt.

It is my fervent hope –– and daily prayer –– that all unregenerate busybodies, arrogant pricks, and self-appointed “experts” on human behavior end up in the hottest corner of hell.

Genuine ignoramuses should be spared. After all they can’t help being what they are, can they?

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

FreeThinke: I love your "dog of Western Civilization" paragraph!

You should make a blog post of it over at your place so it can stand for all posterity.

Ducky's here said...

@FT - Most homosexuals are bisexual

---
Why don't you publish your field research. Probably more interesting than your normal hyper Germanic rants.

Silverfiddle said...

(At the risk of sounding like I'm copying Larry the Cable Guy...)


@ Ducky: Why don't you publish your field research. Probably more interesting than your normal hyper Germanic rants.

I don't care who you are, now that's funny!

I love caustic humor. So Ducky, keep up with the caustic, just add in more humor.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"AOW is right...and we'd all be arrested for having a Straight Parade..."

Every parade I've been to since I was a little girl waving a flag at the 4th of July parade has been a "Straight Parade," so I don't know what you mean by your comment.

OD357 said...

Frankly, I find all sorts of "pride days" rather offensive and egomaniacal. "See, me, me, ME!" these pride days shout.

Pfffft


AOW I agree. And a Pfffft from me also.

FreeThinke said...

SilverFiddle,

BEWARE of giving The DEVIL his DUE!

I strongly advise against it. I assure you Ol' Scratch will never return the compliment –– unless he uses it as a ploy to distract you from his true –– always evil –– purpose.

I'm glad you liked the "Dog" parable. I'm waging a one-man war against, clichés, stock phrases, stale shibboleths and tired old bromides. It's hard work, but occasionally Inspiration strikes.

I probably ought to wage one against redundancy too, but I prefer to think of it as Enriched and Enhanced Emphasis –– at least in my case. AHEM! ;-)

~ FT

PS: Do pop over to the new blog, and opine to your heart's content. Even Canardo would be welcome, if he could manage to stop being a Bloody Boor and childish Attention Hog for one bleeding instant. - FT

Kid said...

Maybe they can re-enact scenes from the movie The Birdcage.

Thersites said...

Have you seen the Navy's latest recruiting video?

Finntann said...

@"Can anyone help me out? Maybe I'm missing something... "

What we celebrate is unimportant, what is important is to break large groups of people into small, narrowly defined self-interest groups and to pit them against one another.

@"Right now, however, since not everyone can grasp this simple human idea of acceptance, I think we need the celebrations."

So, how does dividing people into groups promote acceptance? How many white supremacists have slapped their foreheads in the middle of Black History Month and exclaimed "Gee! I didn't know that" and switched over to the other side?

CIVIS AMERICANUS SUM

It is the only label that matters

Shaw Kenawe said...

Finntann, I don't think any parade or any reasoning will get through to fringe groups like the white supremacists. I think what these "pride" celebrations are attempting is to get people to not be afraid or "the other," to see that we all share a common humanity. That's all.

This seems to irritate a lot of folks. Curious.

We humans, by nature, always break up into groups. We're tribal, like our cousins the chimps and gorillas.

The Irish, for example, have celebrated St. Patrick's Day for decades, green beer, rivers, and hair--it's Irish Pride, isn't it? And it's done up very big in Boston, New York, and Chicago every year.

I've yet to read anywhere irritation at that group identification. Some group pride is apparently more acceptable than others.

Cheers.

Thersites said...

Have fun at the Fudgepacker's Ball again this year, Finnie. Are you taking FT with you as your date again this year?

-FJ said...

If not, Shaw seems perfectly willing...

Silverfiddle said...

Every parade I've been to since I was a little girl waving a flag at the 4th of July parade has been a "Straight Parade," so I don't know what you mean by your comment.

Really? How interesting. What, pray tell, made it a "Straight Parade," as opposed to simply a patriotic one?

What, in your opinion, could they have done to make otherwise?

Ducky's here said...

@FT -- Even Canardo would be welcome
----

You censored me. But believe me, I've been thrown out of better places than that.

Silverfiddle said...

Not everyone enjoys foul-mouthed rants, Ducky.

Would you walk into someone's house talking like that?

I bet Jersey doesn't talk like that around his children, so why do you guys bring such language here?

Finntann said...

@Have fun at the Fudgepacker's Ball again this year, Finnie.

Funny how when the subject involves sodomy Thersites pops up.

The expression "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." pops to mind.

Alas, Therry. I don't run that way so your search for a soulmate is far from over.

Trasna ort féin!

FreeThinke said...

Do pop over to the new blog, and opine to your heart's content.

Even Canardo would be welcome, if he could manage to stop being a Bloody Boor and childish Attention Hog for one bleeding instant.

~ FT

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaw Kenawe said...

SF, one of your commenters, not I, brought up the subject of "Straight Parades." I just made an observation.

Anonymous said...

"Most homosexuals are bisexual"

The biggest bullshit I ever saw

Rational Nation USA said...

I think there should be a Hienz 57 Pride Month.

Teresa said...

Perhaps they will dye their bodies rainbow colors? Perhaps after doing that those filled with gay pride will run a 26 mile marathon in the nude and have fun with each other? I don't know... I just had to get a little bit snarky. Couldn't resist.

First the homosexuals clamored for privacy rights and for people not to bother them in the bedroom. Well now they don't want privacy and have left the bedroom and expect people to be rejoicing filled with gaiety and support them publicly. Which do they really want - privacy or public support? That's what ticks me off about these gay activists, their given this and that, and demand more.

The Constitutional Insurgent said...

Theresa, Respectfully, I think you're confusing the two. Gays had advocated for their sexual acts to not be criminalized [some of the same sexual acts as heterosexuals engage in], just as straights haven't [except in extreme cases] had their sex lives criminalized.

By desiring to enjoy the same rights, benefits and opportunities as any other American citizen of the same stature [consenting, of legal age, etc..] is not hypocritical in the least where is regards privacy.

Teresa said...

@Constitutional Insurgent

I respectfully disagree about your assertion that homosexuals are not being hypocritical.

When I said this "First the homosexuals clamored for privacy rights and for people not to bother them in the bedroom. " I was referring to the same thing as when you stated this "Gays had advocated for their sexual acts to not be criminalized [some of the same sexual acts as heterosexuals engage in], just as straights haven't [except in extreme cases] had their sex lives criminalized."

The question is: Are homosexuals really the same as heterosexuals? Can they perform equally? One particular task which has been relegated to man and woman since the beginning of time? With regards to natural procreation?

Demanding privacy and that their goings on in the bedroom be decriminalized is a far cry from demanding that we as citizens publicly support their openness in the military or gay "marriage". If they really only wanted to be left alone and to not have to worry about being hauled off for their bedroom sexual escapades then they wouldn't be demanding for support in the public square. Don't Ask, Don't Tell was the perfect medium.

Do they want privacy or public support? That is hypocritical.

The Constitutional Insurgent said...

Theresa - I thank you for being civil..it's a rare quality among internet discussions these days.

I'm still not seeing how wanting the same rights, benefits and opportunities as every other American citizen is being hypocritical....unless.....you define citizenship as being able to procreate within a relationship. Because the answer to your other questions is a resounding yes. Gays want the same goals out of life as straights. They can undeniably perform equally in all tasks commensurate with straight Americans.

Some people seem to demand that they be denied the opportunity to pursue these goals based solely on the fact that they are biologically attracted to the same gender.

That in it's essence, is hypocritical. I generally want to be left alone and not have my relationship with my wife [I'm a straight male BTW] be criminalized. I also want to sanction my relationship with her in a way that provides for the legal benefits and protections afforded to American citizens.

Who am I [or you] to deny that to my fellow citizen?

KP said...

Shaw repeatedly makes salient arguments. As well, in relative short order, this subject will be, and should be, a no brainer.

Needless to say, there are members of any movement that seem to undermine their own cause. That is true in all aspects of life.

FreeThinke said...

Many thoughtful, heartening comments today on this most divisive, factionalizing of subjects.

The mistake many make is in equating "homosexuality" with "Gay Activism." They are two different animals.

Many who believe they don't like homosexuals probably have known and liked many of them -- possibly even been married to one and had several childfren with him or her -- without even realizing it.

As that limitless, unbounded source of wisdom and keen insight, Will Shakespeare, said somewhere in Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth than may be included in your philosophy, Horatio."

How well do we really know anyone? Many secrets remain well-kept and well-hidden –– to the benefit of all who might be adversely affected were they to be revealed.

Your priest or psychiatrist could very well know your husband -- or your wife -- a great deal better than you do.

Canardo wanted to know where i did my "field research," did he? Experiencing Group Therapy in New York City would be my answer. Also, I keep my eyes and ears wide open, and have been blest –– or possessed –– with uncanny powers of insight and divination since early childhood. (:-x

The loudmouthed, boorish, overly aggressive elements in any identifiable group usually strike the silent majority as obnoxious, undesirable and out-of- order.

This goes for strident, vociferous elements among Negroes, Jews, Italians, Germans, Poles, Irish, Semites, Women as a Self-Identified "Victim" Class, Teamsters, Coal Miners, Steelworkers, Autoworkers, Homosexuals, and singular figures such as Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Bella Abzug, Morris Seligman Dees, Betty Friedan, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Ellen Goodman, Joe Conason, Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Bill Maher, et al.

The reason most conservative WASPS and good, obedient Roman Catholics don't qualify is their naturally tepid, bland, dispassionate, undemonstrative nature. This is also why they fail to stimulate the public's imagination, and have a notable lack of "charisma" -- and why they have great difficulty gaining and retaining political power.

What was it my new alter ego Walt Whitman supposedly said? Something like "Be curious not judgmental."

Yes, indeed! If we listened to each other with greater interest, and looked more carefully at Reality, instead of dwelling on the neurotic, paranoid fantasies we tend to project ONTO Reality, we'd all be a great deal better off.

Truly wise men are loath to draw conclusions on scant evidence -- and never on hearsay.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Ms. Shaw made a very good point when she asserted that virtually ALL parades and festivals have traditionally been basically white, Christian and heterosexual in their orientation.

It's the simple truth.

~ FreeThinke

PS: KP. as usual, you show yourself to be a temperate, wise and kindly man. - FT

Finntann said...

@virtually ALL parades and festivals have traditionally been basically white, Christian and heterosexual in their orientation.

Wouldn't that be the expectation in a country that. even still, is predominately white, Christian, and heterosexual?

Teresa said...

Free Thinke,

I forgot to tell you this on the other thread. I will definitely stop by your blog. I look forward to having many great conversations with you. Thanks for inviting me to stop by. Its been a crazy week for me both with my job and health so I am sorry for the delay in my response.

Our heated conversation spurred me to write this article - http://teresamerica.blogspot.com/2012/06/open-minded-brain-cells-where-art-thou.html

Ducky's here said...

Well Freethinker, I did lighting design for a theater group for a couple years and I was the only straight in the tech group.

Weren't too many bisexuals but it was an excellent lesson in being a minority. Something none of the right wingers here have ever experienced. I recommend the experience.

Teresa said...

"Weren't too many bisexuals but it was an excellent lesson in being a minority. Something none of the right wingers here have ever experienced. I recommend the experience." Really?

So you know all about our lives and what we have and have not experienced?

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: Weren't too many bisexuals...

How do you know? You were that intimate just hanging some lighting?

And this comment shows you to be an ignorant blowhard:

Something none of the right wingers here have ever experienced.

I've been a minority everywhere I've been, except for where I was born and where I live now.

Teresa said...

Constitutional Insurgent,

I have no problem with homosexuals attaining certain benefits like their partners' health benefits and hospital privileges but changing the definition or meaning of marriage is something I cannot support. I could probably support civil unions as long as they were secular and churches could not be forced to civilly marry homosexuals.

I used to work with a guy who was gay. He is one of the coolest and funniest guys that I've met. So I have nothing against gays but I believe in upholding and defending the institution of marriage as it has been since the beginning of time. So, yes I am against change that perverts definitions. Loving and caring for someone who happens to be the same sex doesn't fulfill the requirements/ obligations of marriage.

Who is a citizen to force me to publicly support something that I don't support? That is what homosexual marriage does. It forces society, we the people, to not only accept their relationship but give our blessing to that relationship. It forces people who believe homosexual acts are sinful to support something against our beliefs. Respecting the person is different from approving of their actions. The same thing goes for the alcoholic. Love the person, hate the disease.

KP said...

Thank you for your kind words FT. I have made a short cut to your blog. Good to see!

Z said...

Ducky "Something none of the right wingers here have ever experienced. I recommend the experience."

You been following all of us around? "NONE of the right?"
wow. Trust me, plenty of us have been the minority, and plenty of us have learned a lot from that.

KP said...

<< it was an excellent lesson in being a minority. Something none of the right wingers here have ever experienced. I recommend the experience. >>

Be careful, Ducky. Assuming the left, right, middle or the man from Mars has not experienced intimate, short or long term knowledge of being a minority or the vitim of prejudice can be fraught with errors.

No need to go into detail unless you ask for detail. Safe to say no group has a lock on feeling the grip of prejudice; certainly not political groups.

KP said...

Life is tough. Don't give up. Never give up. As Alice In Chains said in 2009 "Black Gives Way To Blue".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB7htfZc-WQ

Z said...

KP...the richest thing I ever experienced, I think, was having been a minority in a certain setting and being insulted for it. It was in Paris and I practically skipped home from the dinner party where it happened while my husband kept saying "But, how can that have pleased you?"

"because NOW I KNOW how it feels, I REALLY know...that's a gift." It added a new dimension to my life in many ways. Matter of fact, I relayed that story to our friend Kili and that's partly what brought us so close so fast, her being a Black young woman.

Sam Huntington said...

The Vikings loved the label everyone placed on them, and made the most of it. They actually gained territories with little more than their reputation, and then later created a franchise benefitting Minnesotans.

We should be curious about people who want to reveal the-most-personal aspects of their nature. Why should they do such a thing? Who really cares whether someone has a homosexual orientation? Are they not getting enough attention? Isn’t this compunction to share the most personal aspect of their life something best addressed by a certified psychotherapist, rather by people who share their affinity for wearing feathers in a public setting?

Finntann said...

@Something none of the right wingers here have ever experienced.

WOW!!!

I got news for you Bub... there are conservative-libertarian homosexuals too!

ROFLMAO

Finntann said...

Oh, and try being a six foot tall white dude in Pyeongtaek, Hachinohe, Kitanakagusuku, or Pang Mapha.

KP said...

Finntann ... keeping it real!

FreeThinke said...

"I have no problem with homosexuals attaining certain benefits like their partners' health benefits and hospital privileges but changing the definition or meaning of marriage is something I cannot support. I could probably support civil unions as long as they were secular and churches could not be forced to ... marry homosexuals".

A very reasonable, humane and decent position, Teresa. Anyone with a modicum of good common sense ought to be able to live comfortably with that.

There are a few other things you said I might argue with, but I would never say you -- or anyone else -- doesn't have a perfect right to the views they hold -- unless they advocate outright persecution of societal elements held in contempt by the majority.

All I can say about marriage is, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." ;-)

Very few "normal" marriages are ideal, but many are. You might be surprised at the high level of affection, mutual support and integrity found in many unsung, unnoticed homosexual relationships some of which have lasted a lifetime.

As with any minority group it's only the noisy, obnoxious, incendiary types who attract attention. Unfortunately, they tend to give all the others a bad name.

I couldn't agree more by the way with your objection to government forcing churches to perform marriage ceremonies, which to the church, make a mockery of the sacrament.

Take care,

~ FT