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Sep 04 2013

Homogamy?

A bakery in Gresham, Oregon that refused to sell a wedding cake to a lesbian couple has gone out of business. There is no explanation why — small businesses fail all the time, especially in this economy — but of course, everyone is guessing that they lost business thanks to their bigoted stand.

It would be nice to live in a world where everyone was so principled and knowledgeable that they’d avoid giving their custom to a business run by homophobes, but I don’t think we can credit that here. The article claims that all of the comments the bakery has received on their facebook page have been supportive; they also tied their denial of service to their religious principles, which is usually a successful strategy. Of course, Gresham is a Portland suburb, where weird culty religious attitudes that don’t involve organic food and saying “Namaste” don’t thrive so well.

It’s complicated. I think the most likely simple explanation is that stupid behavior is correlated with poor business practices, and multiple factors led to the business contracting. But guess who is convinced that it was the gays fault?

Vox Day, unsurprisingly.

So, we now know that in addition to being bad for marriage – in Britain a woman will soon no longer legally become a “wife” while in France women can no longer become “mothers” – we know that homogamy is bad for jobs and the economy. This is precisely why free association – or as its opponents call it, discrimination – is a Constitutional right.

It is a sign of considerable societal decline that such a fundamental human right is no longer recognized in the USA.

We don’t know that homosexuality is bad for jobs or the economy. I would think that discriminating against a substantial part of the workforce on the basis of anything other than efficiency would be sort of anti-capitalist and anti-libertarian, though, so I don’t understand why these far-right conservatives have anything to complain about. Except that it’s religious dogma.

What also irks me here though is that word, “homogamy”. This is another case of clueless twits appropriating a word because it sounds sciencey, and getting it wrong. Homogamy has a botanical sense: it refers to the timing of maturation of male and female reproductive organs. It also has a general meaning in reference to assortative mating: homogamous mating patterns are non-random mating relationships. You could say that my wife and I are homogamous, for instance, because we’re both of Western European and specifically Scandinavian stock — like most members of our society, the structure of social events promotes less diverse associations that are not accurately representative of the distribution of genotypes in the whole. We also tend to gravitate towards sexual relationships with people who “look like us”.

That’s homogamy. Using the term for biologically non-reproductive relationships like gay marriage is really, really stupid.

Oh, right, I already said this was from Vox Day.

131 comments

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  1. 1
    sbuh

    The article claims that all of the comments the bakery has received on their facebook page have been supportive

    Well yeah, but that’s facebook, where support just takes typing a few words and pressing enter.

    This isn’t Chik-fil-a though. How many supportive homophobes are going to swing by and pick up a cake on the way home to support their local anti-gay confectionary?

    I do agree though the big cause was probably a combination of factors likely tied to overall poor management. If you can’t remember “the customer is (almost) always right” then that doesn’t say a lot for your managerial skills right there.

  2. 2
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    in France women can no longer become “mothers”

    Oh, ghod, not this again! It was bad enough these past few months when we had this debate here, and all those bigots coming out of the woodwork with claims that the new law on marriage equality would make the words “father” and “mother” illegal, because reasons. And they repeated it again and again, as if it would make it true. But hey, anything to scare people away from teh ghey… ><

  3. 3
    John Pieret

    in Britain a woman will soon no longer legally become a “wife” while in France women can no longer become “mothers”

    Even if that was true (and I wouldn’t waste a nanosecond on the fool’s errand of checking on Vox’s accuracy) what possible difference would that make except to people obsessive over labels?

    This is precisely why free association – or as its opponents call it, discrimination – is a Constitutional right.

    Sure, you’re free to hole up somewhere and refuse to engage with certain others … sometimes you can even be successful at it (Augusta National, anyone?) … but then those others and their friends can refuse to engage with you and if you lose business because of it, tough shit!

    But if you enter into a business that purports to accommodate the general public, then the general public can demand access to it on the same terms as everyone else. Vox (rhymes with “pox”) is “defending” the right of Lester Maddox to keep blacks out of his restaurant with an axehandle.

    homogamy is bad for jobs and the economy

    For a libitard, it’s strange he doesn’t notice that the “free enterprise” sector (as in most of the Fortune 500) were way ahead of the rest of society in giving their LGBT employees equal rights. I guess the market failed in Vox’s opinion.

  4. 4
    jefrir

    So, “free association” protects the right of bigots not to sell to gay folks, but apparently not the right of everyone else to decide they don’t want to buy from bigots? Because that seems kind of backwards.

  5. 5
    Ruana

    …we know that homogamy is bad for jobs and the economy.

    Err, no, Vox. Anyone who objected to this business’ position would still have put their wedding cake money into the economy – just someplace else. Any money Sweet Cakes by Melissa lost assisted job retention at other suppliers.

    So obvious, it’s not surprising he missed it.

  6. 6
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    I really hate to do this, but once seen, some things can’t be unseen. I would really wish there had been some moderation in this sentence:

    Using the term for biologically non-reproductive relationships like gay marriage is really, really stupid.

    A gay marriage does not normally lead to biological children between the spouses, but it can happen. Trans* people are generally marginalised – and LHB trans* people far more than doubly so. I think they deserve some consideration. I know of course there’s no ill intent here, but I think the awareness that not all homosexuals are cissexual is kinda important.

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    Alas, they have NOT gone out of business, they’ve simply moved their business out of a storefront and into their home. It won’t do them any good, however: state law is very clear that if you do business with the public, even out of your own residence, you are required to adhere to state anti-discrimination laws. It also says that areas of their home where they do business with the public is a public accommodation, no different from any other place of business. So not only have they not insulated themselves from the law, they are invited the gay public into their home.

    I’ll grab the popcorn.

  8. 8
    Rey Fox

    The free market is glorious and wonderful when someone succeeds in it, but whenever a business fails, it must be someone or something else’s fault. It really is like God in that respect.

  9. 9
    MJP

    So, “free association” protects the right of bigots not to sell to gay folks, but apparently not the right of everyone else to decide they don’t want to buy from bigots? Because that seems kind of backwards.

    It’s like how “free speech” protects the right of bigots to say their nasty bullshit, but if anyone else criticizes them for it, that’s “censorship.”

  10. 10
    holytape

    The Vox Day Word Calendar* A new word every day without the bother of those pesky definition.

    Example:
    Those masticable gays have taken their katzenjammer to the millefleur we know as western society.

  11. 11
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @Gnumann #6

    Thanks for mentioning this. As a matter of fact, the very first same sex couple legally married here in France was a lesbian couple where one partner is a trans woman. They tied the knot even before marriage equality became legal. Why? Because of our sadly unenlightened legislation and medical attitudes on trans* issues, which prevent trans people to change identity unless they undergo complete sex reassignment surgery. Which mean that a trans person who keep hir reproductive organs have to live with the gender xe was assigned at birth. So the trans woman in this case is still legally considered a man. That way, she was able to marry her girlfriend even though gay marriage was still not on the books.

  12. 12
    unity

    Funny how no one has thought to put the closure of the bakery down to god’s will…

  13. 13
    raven

    Their religion doesn’t say anything about not selling merchandise and food to gay people.

    The OT bible says you are supposed to stone gays to death though.

    As well as adulterers, nonvirgin brides, disobedient children, apostates, atheists, blasphemers, someone who marries a nonJew, and sabbath breakers among others.

    1. They are the worst of cafeteria xians. Not only are they ignoring almost all of the 513 rules of the bible, they are making up new ones and claiming they are in the bible.

    2. They are also selling mostly to people not in their little cult, whatever it is. Who aren’t going to know or share their disreputable values.

    I doubt if their anti-gay bigotry had much to do with their business closing. Really, they don’t seem to be very bright like most fundies, and that would do it right there.

  14. 14
    Louis

    It must be a slow news day. Teddy is a go to source of fuckwittery when all else fails.

    Louis

  15. 15
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I’m guessing gay marriage “forced” this bakery to move into cheaper digs in the same way that the Affordable Care Act “forced” some businesses to lay off workers and slash hours long before it went into effect.

  16. 16
    brucegee1962

    “I would think that discriminating against a substantial part of the workforce on the basis of anything other than efficiency would be sort of anti-capitalist and anti-libertarian, though, so I don’t understand why these far-right conservatives have anything to complain about.”

    You’re giving libertarians way too much credit. I’ve spoken to a black libertarian who explicitly said that he thought businesses should be allowed to discriminate against anyone based on anything, including race. They don’t tend to advertise that, but it does follow from their philosophy — and they tend to push itmore vocally for things like smoking laws, where they say a restaurant, for instance, should be able to allow smoking if they think their customers would prefer it.

  17. 17
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    Holy crap, I’m glad of this important update on UK law. When I get home, I’ll have to remember to mention it to my … um … to the woman to whom I’m married. Good job we’re not in France, since “mummy” is still a fair percentage of my son’s vocabulary, and I’d hate to have to reeducate him!

  18. 18
    chigau (違う)

    At first I saw it as Hogmanay…

  19. 19
    tsig

    A small business fails therefor America is doomed!

    Details at ten.

  20. 20
    bcmystery

    Just a small point, but Gresham is quite conservative. It’s one of the ‘burbs people flee to from Portland because they’re sick of all the goddamn weirdos and hippies. This supports your point that the bakery probably didn’t fail because of a principled stand against bigotry; most of the people who frequented it likely shared the values of its owner to some degree.

    As far as that goes, as colorful as Portland is in popular culture, it’s not like it’s a giant collectivist commune. While there are plenty of eclectic beliefs (and don’t even get me started about the damn fluoride debacle), much of the weirdness is the result of marketing, not values. Kooky sells … for now. Ergo, we’re kooky!

  21. 21
    PDX_Greg

    As a Portlander, I am somewhat proud to report that I overheard a local TV station report that the bakery owners cited a huge drop-off of business which they blamed on the “negative publicity” resulting from them “standing up to their convictions”. This is paraphrasing, since I don;t have a perfect auditory memory.

    I am proud that a large percentage of our locals actively chose to avoid a business that chose discrimination, and chose to publicly defend its bigotry as a virtue when the news picked up on the story. And note that this bakery was in a slightly more conservative suburb than most of Portland proper, although I’m sure it’s a raging liberal hotbed compared to, say, the Texas legislature. Of course, there were plenty who were “proud of them for standing up for their convictions” if frequent posters to local news sites are any measure.

  22. 22
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    That’s homogamy. Using the term for biologically non-reproductive relationships like gay marriage is really, really stupid.

    I don’t think Vox Day knows it’s an existing word. I think s/he’s made a portmanteau of the words “hegemony” and “homo”, presumably, judging from the context, to produce what s/he thinks is a clever new word for “rule by homosexuals”. What’s that old cliche about “A little bit of knowledge…”?

  23. 23
    Jerry

    I’ve come to the conclusion that anything involving or mentioning VD is a total waste of my lifespan and attention. I feel like I lose neurons just reading his nonsense.

  24. 24
    Rey Fox

    So, “free association” protects the right of bigots not to sell to gay folks, but apparently not the right of everyone else to decide they don’t want to buy from bigots?

    Listen to the howls of indignation any time any LGBT or similar group stages a boycott of something. The free market is only good if it protects and coddles the right people.

  25. 25
    PDX_Greg

    Here is a link from another TV station that relayes the fact that the owners reported a 50% sales drop. See, there is hope for Gresham after all!

    http://www.katu.com/news/Sweet-Cakes-responds-to–222094901.html

  26. 26
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @John Pieret #3

    Being an Englisher, I presume that if it were true that “in Britain a woman will soon no longer legally become a “wife””, I would have heard of it. I have not.

    @jefrir #4

    So, “free association” protects the right of bigots not to sell to gay folks, but apparently not the right of everyone else to decide they don’t want to buy from bigots? Because that seems kind of backwards.

    When you think about it, Libertarianism and Religious Conservatism are actually rather contradictory of each other… odd how they always seem to go together.

    @Gregory in Seattle #7

    Oh, please tell me there is some way to alert Portland’s gay community to that fact? Having a crowd of gay people standing in their living room every day asking if they can have a wedding cake would drive the proprietors of Bigoted Bakers™ to distraction :D

    @PDX_Greg #21

    That is truly awesome. I want to believe the lack of business was due to that. And therefore, I shall take a leaf out of the religionist’s book, and believe precisel that :)

  27. 27
    raven

    I’ve come to the conclusion that anything involving or mentioning VD is a total waste of my lifespan and attention. I feel like I lose neurons just reading his nonsense.

    True.

    He really isn’t worth paying attention to. VD is basically the internet equivalent of some guy pushing a shopping cart around the park while drinking out of a bottle in a brown paper bag.

    I do believe he is potentially dangerous though and that is worth remembering. His father is in prison for tax evasion and conspiracy to kill a federal judge.

  28. 28
    Chiph

    Homosexuals are “bad” for a given business only insofar as bigoted individuals working for that business cause problems.

    Bigots vs. everyone whose values are slightly different than theirs = the eternal showdown.

  29. 29
    roro80

    I’ve heard every time you decide not to buy from hateful assholes who want to hurt you and your friends, an American Bald Eagle loses its wings. Because freedom.

  30. 30
    alwayscurious

    There are half a dozen bakeries within half a mile of where they used to be located. Not to mention that nearly every grocery store larger than 7-eleven has a bakery. It’s a tough market for a bakery–doubly so for a bakery that is turning away prospective customers as they come through the door. If negative publicity broke the business, it was only because they had already positioned themselves badly.

  31. 31
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @raven

    “The sins of the father…”?

  32. 32
    Victorious Parasol

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing ;
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
    There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
    And drinking largely sobers us again.”

    If I’m remembering my Pope footnotes, ol’ Alexander was pointing out that knowing a little something about something leads to arrogance, but “drinking largely” (studying something in depth) can lead to humility and maybe even wisdom.

    It sounds like Vox Day is sipping the Kool-Aid rather than guzzling from the Pierian.

  33. 33
    bcmystery

    I’d like to think there actually was a 50% sales drop, but a friend who’s a member of the Gresham Chamber of Commerce says they were struggling before all this. And there’s always the Christian Martyr posture so many of these folks adopt. The quote from one of the shop owners in the news story PDX_Greg links is telling:

    “I believe that we’re living in a time that’s very hostile towards Christians. Our First Amendment rights are being stripped away and I’m willing to stand up and take this fight.”

    Maybe opposition to their bigotry really did do them in. But it also might be a convenient scapegoat for a business that was already failing.

  34. 34
    george gonzalez

    Hmm, so they are moving their cake business to their home?

    In almost every jurisdiction you can’t run a food business making food in a home, because, rules. You need a kitchen with 18 inches of clearance between floor and appliance, a floor drain, certain numbers and sizes of food prep surfaces, sinks, and and-washing sinks. Certain types of non-porous floors and surfaces, certain size plumbing, electrical and ventilation, etc, etc, etc.

  35. 35
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @roro80

    PMSL

  36. 36
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Victorious Parasol

    That’s the one :) thanks.

  37. 37
    michael kellymiecielica

    I don’t comment a lot on this site, and a couple other posters cover this, but I am so sick and tired of this argument from people like Day. Despite the lack of evidence for this let me just grant that bakery failed because LGBT people and allies successfully boycotted the place. By Day’s own stated principles this should be a legitimate outcome. His entire argument rests on the notion that freedom of association includes the freedom not to associate. Fair enough as far as that goes. The point being if the baker should not be compelled to provide services for LGBT couples than LGBT people and allies should not be compelled to give a such place custom because they have same exact rights as the baker. If the baker has the right not to associate with me, then I have the right not to associate with the baker. Gah! Why isn’t this clear to people like Day?

    Now the business, from the articles, doesn’t seem to be facing fines or anything, and the legal investigation was just starting. Furthermore, Christian right legal groups, i.e. ADF and Thomas More Society, are chopping at the bit to defend cases like this, as they did in New Mexico with the photographer. It’s pro bono as well. So it’s not like the state bankrupted the baker. I don’t really see any thing an honest libertarian should be mad at.

    I’m sick and tired of LGBT boycotts being called things like “economic terrorism” (this was either Bryan Fisher or Bam Bam Barber, I can’t quite remember) when LGBT people and allies don’t want to support companies like Chick-fil-a that support terrible groups that are directly harming LGBT people.* And then the same damn groups calling for boycotts of companies like JC Penny because *gasp* they have a lesbian for a spokesperson. Hypocrisy much?

    I don’t even like boycotts generally (I prefer buycotts), mainly because I think they are ineffective and distracting, but what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it is legitimate for the bigots to vote with their wallet, then goddamnit it is legitimate for me to do the same thing.

    *Chick-fil-a funded groups that then turned around a stoked fear, violence and repression in Uganda and helped get the “Kill the gays” bill introduced. One of my annoyance with the media around that whole incident was that they portrayed the LGBT boycott as only about the CEO’s position on marriage. No, it wasn’t just about that and in the grand scheme of what is wrong with Chick-fil-a that is such a small sin it barely matters.

  38. 38
    Victorious Parasol

    @Thumper: You’re welcome! Once upon a time I could’ve recited it from memory…

  39. 39
    moarscienceplz

    One of the people who commented on FB to support the bigot bakery wrote:

    Its very frustrating to have people do all they can to cause others strife just because they don’t agree with a lifestyle.

    Damn, just overloaded another irony meter..

  40. 40
    PDX_Greg

    By the way, Willamette Week, a weekly Portland newspaper-tabloid covering local news with a progressive bent, did a revealing article on Sweet Cakes after their religious conviction rhetoric hit the airwaves. The paper called the bakery posing as perspective customers asking for cakes to celebrate such celebrated Christian values as premarital pregnancy (the second one for their imaginary customer), divorce, and human stem cell research. and a even ordered a cake for a pagan solstice celebration cake complete with a pentacle decoration,

    All of these were quoted prices by the bakery. You can read the sad but delicious article here, which also includes another bigoted bakery that is 50 miles from Portland.

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-20698-the_cake_wars.html

  41. 41
    Pteryxx

    *Chick-fil-a funded groups that then turned around a stoked fear, violence and repression in Uganda and helped get the “Kill the gays” bill introduced. One of my annoyance with the media around that whole incident was that they portrayed the LGBT boycott as only about the CEO’s position on marriage. No, it wasn’t just about that and in the grand scheme of what is wrong with Chick-fil-a that is such a small sin it barely matters.

    QFT. There should be one of these investigative footnotes on every article when some Christian right-wing group or other complains about prayers in classrooms or crosses in parks.

  42. 42
    cartomancer

    Actually the -gamy element comes from the classical Greek gamos, meaning marriage. So “homogamy” seems a perfectly acceptable neo-Greek formation to describe marriages where the two partners are the same in some way. It does have a specific biological sense these days, sure, but so do many terms with other uses in other contexts.

    Admittedly marriage as understood by most classical Greeks was almost entirely about the perpetuation of citizenship and inheritance through the legitimation of offspring – and hence a lot of -gamy words use it more in the context of breeding than legal relationship recognition, but still, if you want a Greek root word for marriage then gamos is it.

    None of which makes Mr. Beale’s screed even remotely sensible of course. But we could have guessed that without reading it.

  43. 43
    Jacob Schmidt

    Thumper

    When you think about it, Libertarianism and Religious Conservatism are actually rather contradictory of each other… odd how they always seem to go together.

    Ha. Religious conservatism and the bible often contradict each other.

  44. 44
    raven

    @raven

    “The sins of the father…”?

    Sometimes.

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    It’s not definitive but it isn’t a good sign either.

    Look at Kent Hovind’s kids. Eric seems to be a clone. Chad is selling some kind of biblical financial scam.

    Or just look at Theodore Beale and his father. They are very similar and not in a good way.

  45. 45
    Travis

    I love it when these free market types complain about people decided not to do business with those with odious attitudes. We are free to make our own decisions about where to do business except when they agree with the attitudes displayed, at which point we should be forced to give them business.

    I especially like it when someone like Vox Day complains like this. He has asked his readers to boycott Pizza Hut, Norton Anti-Virus, and I am sure many others, but when people do the same to people he agrees with, well, that is just unfair.

  46. 46
    raven

    Norton Anti-Virus

    I had Norton antivirus for a while and wasn’t too happy, or unhappy with it.

    After I stopped it, for years afterwards, I got scareware messages from them often, some of which shut down my computer.

    That right there ensured that I would never send another dollar their way. It’s incredibly sleazy.

  47. 47
    Anders

    Homogamy seems to have 2 different meanings, according to Wikipedia. The “Biology” definition unsurprisingly matches your description, but it seems to have a Sociology meaning as well, were same-sex marriage is among the legitimate uses of the word. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homogamy

  48. 48
    Travis

    raven,
    Oh, I know. Norton is notorious for latching on to a person’s computer and never letting go. It is every bit as bad as other malware, such as toolbars and such.

  49. 49
    I've got the WTF blues

    Maybe their cakes just suck. Did the silly fucker who can’t even spell the name of his blog correctly ever think of that?

    They really want their lunch counter moment to pad their persecution meme.

  50. 50
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    At first I saw it as Hogmanay…

    Hee, so did I. Hogmanay puts an interesting twist on it.

  51. 51
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Hee, so did I. Hogmanay puts an interesting twist on it.

    Well, Hogmanay Melchett did want to marry George St Barleigh, although George’s CO sabotaged the relationship. :)

  52. 52
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    I was going to say that this was par for the course for the racist sexist homophobic dipshit, but I refuse to click through and see whether he’s threatening anyone this time.

  53. 53
    Inaji

    I suppose the bakery wouldn’t have had a problem with a Hogmanay cake, as long as it wasn’t requested by a lesbian couple.

  54. 54
    william boyd

    Gay bullies can be a powerful enemy, but I wonder if this has anything to do with the $50,000 fine they are going to be assessed.

  55. 55
    Inaji

    william boyd:

    Gay bullies can be a powerful enemy

    Gay bullies? I think perhaps you meant GLBT peoples who are fighting for the right to be treated as full human beings.*
     
    *Yeah, and there’s a unicorn on my lawn.

  56. 56
    magistramarla

    I think that a gay couple should rent the same storefront, open a bakery and enjoy great profits.
    The perfect name for it would be Karma.

  57. 57
    william boyd

    Caine: /sarcasm

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Inaji

    Ah, thanks, William. I have obviously not had enough tea yet, sorry.

  60. 60
    rabbitbrush

    #40 PDX-Greg

    Some of the comments at Willamette Week are quite funny, such as:

    James Sweet beernotwar • 3 months ago
    Yeah, but if you REALLY want to follow the teachings of Jesus, public enemy #1 is fig trees. Especially when they refuse to grow figs out of season. Jesus really hates that.
    30 1 •Reply•Share ›

    JoeNCA James Sweet • 3 months ago −
    God does hate figs.

  61. 61
    marcus

    Yeah bad business practices. I work in retail, and I’m not positive, but the general rule seems to be, “If someone wants to buy something, fucking sell it to them!” Just sayin’.

  62. 62
    A Surprise to Many

    I’m pretty sure that in Vox Day’s world homogamy would be the ONLY sort of sex permitted. Homogamy among severely heterosexual white Christian bullies, that is.

    Add another item to the Vox Day Identification Chart: not knowing what words mean.

  63. 63
    Philip Cohen

    I’m a clueless twit who promotes use of the term homogamy for same-sex couples. I covered the history of the term, in biology (a little) and (much more important) in social science, in my article on the subject: Cohen, Philip N. 2011. “Homogamy Unmodified.” Journal of Family Theory and Review 3:47-51 http://www.terpconnect.umd.edu/~pnc/JFTR2011.pdf

    You may be surprised to learn that you don’t know everything. I know I was (and it turns out that was the last thing I needed to know, so now I really do know everything).

  64. 64
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    …we know that homogamy is bad for jobs and the economy.

    I’d think that any law which results in an increase in marriages (and eventually divorces) would be good for the economy.

  65. 65
    Inaji

    Philip Cohen:

    I’m a clueless twit who promotes use of the term homogamy for same-sex couples.

    If you self describe as a clueless twit, well, I’d say that perhaps you need to be on the quiet side and listen to what marginalized people would have to say about all that. Also, given that a scary amount of people don’t know how simple words work, I’d say any attempt to mainstream homogamy would be, at the very least, an exercise in futility.

  66. 66
    Pteryxx

    Also, given that a scary amount of people don’t know how simple words work, I’d say any attempt to mainstream homogamy would be, at the very least, an exercise in futility.

    …I’m not linking to this church forum this is from, but quite a few of these posts are floating around. Also it has been overheard in the wild.

    Does homogenized milk come from gay cows?
    I mean, drinking milk is kinda gay. But i have heard that homogenized milk came from gay cows?!

  67. 67
    Inaji

    Pteryxx, unfortunately, I’ve heard that myself. More than once. *sigh*

    Also, do any of us of really need an attempt at introducing yet another word to add to the division (us/them) pile? I sure as fuck know I don’t need that sort of idiot noise. Signal boosts are needed, constantly on every level, and I’m all for that.

  68. 68
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Does homogenized milk come from gay cows?

    I wonder, does this person think that all Homo Sapiens are gay?

  69. 69
    anuran

    All the comments they allowed to be shown were supportive. I know several people whose critical comments were removed

  70. 70
    I've got the WTF blues

    I dunno, there is probably a rationale I am missing here, but doesn’t adding gender/orientation based qualifiers onto the word marriage sort of work against the ideal of marriage equality?

  71. 71
    Inaji

    What a Maroon:

    I wonder, does this person think that all Homo Sapiens are gay?

    I’ve heard people discussing how they think “homo” shouldn’t be used in that regard, because it’s been irrevocably tainted by those icky homosexuals.

  72. 72
    Inaji

    I’ve got the WTF blues:

    I dunno, there is probably a rationale I am missing here, but doesn’t adding gender/orientation based qualifiers onto the word marriage sort of work against the ideal of marriage equality?

    Yep.

  73. 73
    Philip Cohen

    I dunno, there is probably a rationale I am missing here, but doesn’t adding gender/orientation based qualifiers onto the word marriage sort of work against the ideal of marriage equality?

    It’s a matter of scientific classification, not a political statement about rights and equality. There are marriages with different sex compositions, and these have implications for demographic analysis. We use Greek and Latin words for all this stuff: pat/matrilineal, pat/matrilocal, hypergamy, polygamy, etc. etc. Homogamy and heterogamy fit here. Legally I would call it “marriage.”

  74. 74
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    A Surprise to Many (formerly Mattir) -

    OT: Please email me at leslierussellgreen with that yahoodotcom suffix many people use for emails … nothing urgent, just a chat if you’d like …

  75. 75
    Inaji

    Philip Cohen:

    Legally I would call it “marriage.”

    Yeah, goody for you. Meanwhile, on planet earth, the rest of us think it’s bit more important to change attitudes and the status quo concerning marginalized people instead of having a lovely quibble over words. Signal, not noise. All you’re adding is noise. Divisive noise.

  76. 76
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Caine,

    I’ve heard people discussing how they think “homo” shouldn’t be used in that regard, because it’s been irrevocably tainted by those icky homosexuals.

    No surprise there.

  77. 77
    I've got the WTF blues

    Misappropriating sociological terms is hardly what I’d call conducive to either good scholarship or the cause of equality.

    But I suppose YMMV

  78. 78
    Rey Fox

    Regarding “homogamy”: Plants are the biggest perverts of all, of course.

  79. 79
    Inaji

    Rey:

    Plants are the biggest perverts of all, of course.

    Well yeah, but you don’t see people making a fuss about that.

  80. 80
    Philip Cohen

    Meanwhile, on planet earth, the rest of us think it’s bit more important to change attitudes and the status quo concerning marginalized people instead of having a lovely quibble over words. Signal, not noise. All you’re adding is noise. Divisive noise.

    Meanwhile, elsewhere on planet earth, nice people have some clue about who they are insulting before making up trash about them. If you care to be informed, visit my blog at http://www.familyinequality.com.

  81. 81
    Bicarbonate is back

    @ Philip Cohen 63

    A good read. I agree that endogamy could be used for homogamy in the sense of P.Z. in any case.

    Over the next ten or twenty years there’s bound to be a lot of lexical creation for kinship.

  82. 82
    Philip Cohen

    @ Bicarbonate 81: Exactly, thanks. (I’m still stunned you actually looked at the article.)

  83. 83
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I dunno, there is probably a rationale I am missing here, but doesn’t adding gender/orientation based qualifiers onto the word marriage sort of work against the ideal of marriage equality?

    it may be being used badly in this particular case, but please tell me how the world would be better for queers with everyone running around, “I see no sexual orientation” (or in the case of marriage, “I see no gender”).

  84. 84
    mhph

    Caine:

    Well yeah, but you don’t see people making a fuss about that.

    Well…

    I should like here to draw attention in passing to the naïveté with which every plant expresses and lays open its whole character in its mere form, reveals its whole being and will. This is why the physiognomy of plants is so interesting; while in order to know an animal in its Idea, it is necessary to observe the course of its action. As for man, he must be fully investigated and tested, for reason makes him capable of a high degree of dissimulation. The beast is as much more naïve than the man as the plant is more naïve than the beast. In the beast we see the will to live more naked, as it were, than in the man, in whom it is clothed with so much knowledge, and is, moreover, so veiled through the capacity for dissimulation, that it is almost only by chance, and here and there, that its true nature becomes apparent. In the plant it shows itself quite naked, but also much weaker, as mere blind striving for existence without end or aim. For the plant reveals its whole being at the first glance, and with complete innocence, which does not suffer from the fact that it carries its organs of generation exposed to view on its upper surface, though in all animals they have been assigned to the most hidden part. This innocence of the plant results from its complete want of knowledge.

    –Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation

    Schopenhauer was the greatest of the philosophic old cranks. It’s very easy to imagine him shaking his fist at some nearby flowers, yelling “SLUTS!”.

    The bakery probably would end up going out of business whether or not their sales dropped off, though. It is (in many places) illegal to refuse people service on grounds of their sexual orientation. I remember fondly how often I heard the following exchange when people were debating gay marriage in Minnesota.

    Bigot:

    But this could result in flower sellers or bakers to do things like sell wedding flower arrangements or cakes to gay couples, in violation of their conscience!

    Sensible Person:

    This wouldn’t – that’s been illegal since the mid 90′s!

  85. 85
    I've got the WTF blues

    I find it difficult to express, but I see a difference between creating classifications for marriage based upon orientation/gender and “not seeing” orientation or gender.

    But as I said, there is probably a rationale I am missing. I fit squarely into the “traditional” classification for marriage and, as hard as I try, I still misstep when discussing these issues. My apologies for having offended.

  86. 86
    Bicarbonate is back

    @mhph #84

    That quote is so pretty and quaint.

  87. 87
    carlie

    I covered the history of the term, in biology (a little) and (much more important) in social science,

    But it’s ALREADY our word. Other fields trying to take our words is what gets science into so much trouble, because perfectly good, useful, specific words get all co-opted and used for other things that don’t mean the same thing at all, and then people go and get mad at scientists for using the word in ways other than what they’ve heard out on the street. I take great umbrage at the concept that the use of the term in social science is “much more important” than its use in biology. HARUMPH, I say.

  88. 88
    Nick Gotts

    Philip Cohen,

    What’s the problem with “same-sex marriage” and “mixed-sex marriage”? They have the advantage of being unambiguous, not having existing meanings that clash with the ones you want to establish for “homogamy” and “heterogamy”. Or perhaps “same-gender marriage” and “mixed-gender marriage” would be better – but that’s probably something those who don’t identify as either a woman or a man could comment on more usefully than me.

  89. 89
    carlie

    Plus there are already the words “monogamy” and “polygamy”, and throwing homo and hetero into the mix defining entirely different traits is bound to be confusing.

  90. 90
    Anthony K

    What’s the problem with “same-sex marriage” and “mixed-sex marriage”? They have the advantage of being unambiguous, not having existing meanings that clash with the ones you want to establish for “homogamy” and “heterogamy”. Or perhaps “same-gender marriage” and “mixed-gender marriage” would be better – but that’s probably something those who don’t identify as either a woman or a man could comment on more usefully than me.

    Plus there are already the words “monogamy” and “polygamy”, and throwing homo and hetero into the mix defining entirely different traits is bound to be confusing.

    I don’t understand these objections at all. Confusing to whom? Biologists? Non-Greeks? Certainly not social scientists.

  91. 91
    roro80

    Philip Cohen — I’d also like to point out that whatever the intent — and no matter what qualifications the person making the argument has, no matter the status as a member of the community or awesome ally status or activism work — the word “homogamy” is already used much more commonly to disparage LGBT couples than it is in any scientific manner. Case and point: Vox Day. I’ve seen the word written in probably 10 separate contexts, and all of them save yours, Philip Cohen, have been used as a sneering way to connect LGBT couples to polygamy and child molestation. Your paper makes it clear that that is not your argument, but the LGBT community is not some special isolated culture that scientists can just passively observe in an ethnography sort of way. It’s not a long-ago thing we can wonder at, using whatever terms we wish because all directly affected are dead, but something that is really capable of being actively harmed by false association with ethically wrong sexual behavior.

    So I can understand wanting a word for sociological designation of legally married people of different gendered pairings than man-woman. Please don’t think, though, that there are no consequences or context for choosing a particular word. In this case, there most certainly are.

  92. 92
    roro80

    ^^Note: not more than any scientific manner, but more than in this scientific manner.

  93. 93
    Will

    the LGBT community is not some special isolated culture that scientists can just passively observe in an ethnography sort of way

    That’s…not how ethnography works. I think you’d find it difficult to locate an ethnography (especially as done by anthropologists, who tend to spend much more time in the field collecting data than other ethnographers) where the person claims they are “passively observing” a “special isolated culture.” Ethnographic observation is exactly the opposite of passive observation. As far as the idea that ethnographers think they’re looking at “special isolated cultures,” at least since Eric Wolf published Europe and the People Without History, ethnographers have been keenly aware of the ways societies are interconnected.

    I also find the arguments against using homo- and heterogamy quite perplexing. The fact that people misuse words does not mean we should abandon using them in technical or scientific ways, just that we should seek to clarify them when we encounter them. Do you advocate that we stop using “theory” to describe evolution by natural selection because it’s abused by creationists?

  94. 94
    carlie

    Do you advocate that we stop using “theory” to describe evolution by natural selection because it’s abused by creationists?

    I advocate the cessation of using it in a colloquial sense, actually.

  95. 95
    roro80

    Will @93 — Well if I used the word “ethnography” incorrectly from my single cultural anthropology class 10 years ago, which is entirely possible, I do apologize. My point, though, remains, that the people being described in a scientific manner by this term are also being disparaged by it on a regular basis.

    Of course I don’t think we should stop using scientific or technical terms because other people misuse them. But if we are making up a whole new meaning for a scientific term (Philip’s paper was written in 2011), we have the flexibility to choose one that is not disparaging to the group being described, unless we don’t care about disparaging that group. This term is not set in stone, and its long history doesn’t have to do with LGBT people getting legally married. There’s not really any reason not to choose a word that doesn’t (a) already have a scientific meaning, and (b) already get used by bigots as a way to disparage LGBT couples.

  96. 96
    chigau (違う)

    When I did my undergrad in anthropology in the early 1970s, ‘participant observation’ was treated with suspicion.
    Ethnographers were expected to observe without participating.
    Like primatologists.
    Very little mention was made of the impossibility of doing this, let alone the extreme racism involved.
    and rank stupidity of even attempting such a thing.

  97. 97
    Anthony K

    Very little mention was made of the impossibility of doing this, let alone the extreme racism involved.
    and rank stupidity of even attempting such a thing.

    When I did my undergraduate in anthropology in the early nineties, those things were indeed mentioned.

  98. 98
    Inaji

    Will:

    I also find the arguments against using homo- and heterogamy quite perplexing. The fact that people misuse words does not mean we should abandon using them in technical or scientific ways, just that we should seek to clarify them when we encounter them.

    I think that an enthusiasm for classification tends to forget about what’s going on with people at ground level. As someone who has been a GLBT activist for well over 30 years, I’ve heard an awful lot of talk from people. People who are, for whatever reason, against equality of any kind, are often the very first adopters of any new classification, for the purpose of boosting noise and creating division. This is what I should have had the patience to say the first time around.

    A lot of people who have a vested interest in pushing bigotry adore sounding knowledgeable, and that includes sounding all ‘science-y’, and what they do with their fancy science words is horrible and damaging, like what Vox Day did. So, it’s not so much a desire to say, “hey, you can’t do that!”, but to understand potential effects outside your specific sphere.

  99. 99
    Kagato

    Come on, Vox Day is clearly using “homogamy” to mean gay marriage, as a logical extension of other common relationship descriptors.

    You know, like how “bigamy” means a bisexual marriage (the logistics if which are left as an exercise to the reader), or how “monogamy” means getting married to yourself.

  100. 100
    adobo

    @99
    lol
    Kagato wins the homosubthread!

  101. 101
    Will

    @roro80 #95: I point it out because I think it’s important to not make it seem like this is how ethnography works. I am one of those people “being disparaged” by the term, though I don’t personally find it particularly disparaging (or any more disparaging than most of what those asshats say). I get that people use it as a term that they try to load with negative meaning, but we still use the word “polygamy” in kinship studies despite the same problem with it.

    I don’t think that Philip’s paper was “making up a whole new meaning.” That meaning has been there in the social sciences. He’s just advocating for its usage because it fits with already existing kinship taxonomies. I’m not personally going to use it (even as I teach kinship), but I also don’t see the problem with using it in that context. I get that using another term colloquially, like carlie suggests, might be more useful and less confusing.

    @chigau #96: Sorry, but I am highly skeptical of your claim. Participant observation has been a staple of sociocultural anthropology since Bronislaw Malinowski and Franz Boas in the early 20th century. I find it extremely difficult to believe that cultural anthropologists doing ethnography ever advocated for passive observation over participant observation. I have to wonder if you were taught by cultural anthropologists or biological anthropologists (especially given your comparison of ethnography to primatology). Participating in your informants’ ways of life is exactly the point of ethnography from an anthropological perspective because the whole idea is to better understand their society from their perspective. Can you give an example of ethnographies that are based on (or claim to use) strictly passive observation? I’d be interested to see them, because I have not come across any.

  102. 102
    Bicarbonate is back

    Very hazy memories substantiating Caine #98 here. Homo- and hetero-sexuality made up around the same time by the same sort of people who gave us “hysteria”, you know that very serious syndrome studied by Charcot et al. (notably by removing parts of the cranium of one of his study subjects and leaving here there, that way, with her brain exposed). Hysteria or why does having a uterus makes you act so crazy?

  103. 103
    Will

    @Caine: That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. =)

  104. 104
    Inaji

    Will:

    I don’t think that Philip’s paper was “making up a whole new meaning.” That meaning has been there in the social sciences. He’s just advocating for its usage because it fits with already existing kinship taxonomies. I’m not personally going to use it (even as I teach kinship), but I also don’t see the problem with using it in that context. I get that using another term colloquially, like carlie suggests, might be more useful and less confusing.

    Okay, my main objection is that attempting to mainstream homogamy simply wouldn’t be useful or positive. Androphilia and gynephilia are much better terms than homosexual and heterosexual, and they are inclusive rather than exclusive, but you don’t see people advocating mainstreaming them for the reasons of inclusivity and all around positivity. I see the attempted mainstreaming of homogamy to be divisive, and providing the antis with another arrow in their arsenal of bigotry.

    Of course, that’s the way I see it, from under the GLBT umbrella. Others may well see it differently.

  105. 105
    chigau (違う)

    Will #101
    I switched to archaeology mostly because of the insistence on remaining detached while living with your subjects of study. Sure go live with them and eat what they eat but don’t get involved.
    It was all very Prime Directive.
    My text books are probably still in a dark corner of my mother’s basement, I may look for them at Xmas.

  106. 106
    roro80

    Caine #98

    I think that an enthusiasm for classification tends to forget about what’s going on with people at ground level.

    Thanks Caine, that’s closer to what I meant about being careful of studying LGBT communities and couples like dispassionate ethnographers.

  107. 107
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Speaking of words the social sciences seem to have borrowed from biology and repurposed, there’s also “asexual” :-/

    Nick Gotts #88:

    What’s the problem with “same-sex marriage” and “mixed-sex marriage”?

    I wonder if it’s because big impressive greek words like “homo-/heterogamy” sound more sciency and serious? (It’d be interesting to have the input from someone with a background in sociology of science, here…)

    Caine #104:

    Androphilia and gynephilia are much better terms than homosexual and heterosexual, and they are inclusive rather than exclusive, but you don’t see people advocating mainstreaming them for the reasons of inclusivity and all around positivity.

    No, not in a society where gender binary is so ingrained in the culture.

    Kagato #99:

    *bows in awe*
    How many sniny internets do we send you? :)

  108. 108
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    It’d be interesting to have the input from someone with a background in sociology of science, here…

    That’s scientology, thank you very much.

    I would also like to point out that it’s completely ridiculous and irresponsible to suggest out that people would try to gain unearned credibility by using

    big impressive greek words like “homo-/heterogamy” [that] sound more sciency and serious

    Clearly, that never happens. Xenu forbids it.

  109. 109
    Inaji

    Oh, how I would love a world where there was just the term marriage.

  110. 110
    chigau (違う)

    Caine

    Oh, how I would love a world where there was just the term marriage.

    Works for me.
    Where is this place?
    And can I get there by Greyhound?

  111. 111
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    Where is this place?

    A couple galaxies over, I think.

  112. 112
    ck

    Canada has had same-sex marriage since 2005 (2003 in most provinces). Our society hasn’t collapsed. We don’t have non-stop gay-sex orgies in the streets. There are still plenty of churches within walking distance of residential areas in virtually any city. No mass imprisonment of Christians for homophobia hate speech has occurred.

    It’s almost like it had no effect to anyone except those who wished to get married and couldn’t. Funny how that works…

    in France women can no longer become “mothers”

    Strictly speaking, this is true. In France women can become “mères”. The malevolent ghey agenda struck again, and cruelly eliminated a noble English word from the vocabulary of francophones everywhere. Will the gay mafia stop at nothing in their quest to destroy society?

  113. 113
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine #104

    Androphilia and gynephilia

    Those really are better. Why don’t we use them?

  114. 114
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine #109

    I did recently get very irate with a person, who to be honest didn’t really deserve it. They were telling me how their friend got “gay married”…

    Me: “… you mean they got married?”

    Them: “Well yeah, but to a man.”

    Me: “Why does that matter?”

    Them: “Well, I guess it doesn’t…”

    Me: “So why’d you say it?”

    And off I went on my self-righteous high horse. He didn’t really deserve the level of awkwardness I created, but I think I had a point. Why do people insist on informing you of the sexuality of their newly-married friend, but only when that friend is gay? It strikes me as a sort of round-about way of informing you that they have gay friends, look how hip, trendy and Liberal they are! Which is, I think, a big part of the reason I find it annoying.

  115. 115
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Canada has had same-sex marriage since 2005 (2003 in most provinces). … We don’t have non-stop gay-sex orgies in the streets.

    Don’t give up hope. I’m still working on that last part.

  116. 116
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Fruitcakes. Forgot the obligatory quote:

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can start gay-sex orgies. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

  117. 117
    Inaji

    Thumper:

    It strikes me as a sort of round-about way of informing you that they have gay friends

    Yeah, I think that’s often the case. In some cases, though, I think people mention it because they might want to talk about it a little bit, be a little uncomfortable. It can go both ways, and I’ll admit an impatience when I hear that sort of thing. With some people, they act as if they’re talking about an exciting, exotic species at the zoo.

  118. 118
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    With some people, they act as if they’re talking about an exciting, exotic species at the zoo.

    I have never witnessed a class of undergraduates taught by someone other than me or Emi Koyama that didn’t have this feel when talking about intersex folk for **at least** a substantial part of the class. I’ve witnessed it once for a class not taught by EK or me on trans* folk.

    To their credit, In the last 5-7 years teachers have been better. Many of them don’t themselves appear to be zoo-gawking. However, they clearly don’t know how to keep the dynamic out of their classes using tools such as I detailed when talking about the gingerbread person in TD.

  119. 119
    Nick Gotts

    I don’t understand these objections at all. – Anthony K. @90

    So far as my comment was concerned, I don’t understand your lack of understanding, since I don’t see how I could have been much plainer: “same-sex marriage” and “mixed-sex marriage” are unambiguous; “homogamy” and “heterogamy” are not – even within social science. Do you not regard clarity as generally advantageous?

  120. 120
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Nick Gotts

    I think Anthony K was saying that **in practice** confusion does not result from these usages.

    Consider the word “set”. In practice, the use of set to mean both a collection of things (say, tennis games) and individual things (say, a device for collecting and displaying television signals) does not result.

    Even in a stadium watching a large tennis tournament, “Did you see the replay on the set” and “Did you see the replay of the set” are sufficiently unambiguous that confusion does not reign unless a person isn’t hearing all the words.

    When someone hateful is going off on queer marriage destroying the US as we have known it (oh please, oh please, oh please) “homogamy” is clear as a bell – even to social scientists.

  121. 121
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine

    I think you’re right to say they may be a little uncomfortable with it. I think it’s indicative of a certain attitude in that, while logically they know that being gay is fine and they’re not against it, on some deeper level they still regard gay people as “other”. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out that your friend is gay if it’s relevant to the story (though the times that it would be are few and far between), but why point it out when it’s irrelevant? As you say, it’s like they’re some exotic species of pet that they want to show off.

  122. 122
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out that your friend is gay if it’s relevant to the story (though the times that it would be are few and far between)

    …Needing to mention sexual orientation? Hells, yeah. This kind of situation totally happens to me all the time:

    So I was going down on my new friend and we were having a really great time, or so I thought. But then I heard a noise that made me think maybe my friend wasn’t enjoying it quite as much as I was. Panicked, I stopped and asked, “Wait, do you even like gay sex? Because I don’t want to be doing this if you aren’t merely consenting, but joyously and enthusiastically consenting.” Fortunately, the answer to the question was yes. But then I got all embarrassed b/c I realized I had gone about asking for consent totally the wrong way. It mattered whether the sex in the moment was joyous and desired, not whether gay sex in general was joyous and desirable to my friend. After all, I still needed to use CCC even though my friend is gay.

  123. 123
    Inaji

    Thumper:

    but why point it out when it’s irrelevant?

    I suspect because they don’t know any better,* so it is an opportunity to do a bit of quick educating.

    *As in, it’s still not the norm. Which shows how much work we have to do.

  124. 124
    tomfrog

    in France women can no longer become “mothers”

    I think this (very) stupid comment stems from the fact that in order to comply with new egalitarian legislation towards gays and lesbians and their legalized parenthood, the state will replace the mentions of “father” and “mother” on its legal documents with the words “the parents”. That’s it. Yep…

    As we say in French: Quand on est con, on est con…

    OT: Wow, we got COMIC SANS back!! YEAH!!

  125. 125
    Inaji

    tomfrog:

    OT: Wow, we got COMIC SANS back!! YEAH!!

    Nice, ennit? I am digging it.

  126. 126
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine

    Yeah, maybe because it’s not the norm it’s “interesting” and therefore, to them, worth mentioning. I know they’re not being malicious, I just fnd it irritating.

    @Crip Dyke

    yeah i suppose specifying gay sex was a bit unnecessary, Maybe just “are you enjoying this?” would have been better; but you did the right thing in asking.

  127. 127
    Alex the Pretty Good

    “Economy news” like this make me glad that I work for (the Belgian branch of) one of the major US corporations that signed the amicus brief against DOMA back in 2011.

    One of the important arguments presented in that brief (aside from the fact that DOMA forced companies to discriminate against their own employees) was that the whole idea behind DOMA is economically harmful. You’d expect a good liberturd like Vox Day to accept the opinion of Billion Dollar companies like Google, Starbucks, Microsoft, Time Warner or BNY Mellon over his own hasty assessment … right?

    @ Philip Cohen, 63
    There is already a perfectly cromulent word to describe the marriage of a same-sex couple: monogamy. As in “[Relationship with me withheld for privacy purposes] has been in a monogamous relationship twice. First with her asshole abusive Christian husband. The last ten years or so with her wife.”

    Just out of curiousity … what’s the accepted social sience terminology to describe my marriage to my ex? “Heterogamy” (since we were in a heterosexual relationship)? “Bitheogamy” (we were “unequally yoked”)? Or maybe even miscegenetic? (yes, I’m going there) How different from “normal” does a relationship need to be for it to get its own special world to indicate its “not normalness”?

    @ Caine, 79

    Well yeah, but you don’t see people making a fuss about that.

    Except of course those allergic people who don’t care for the annual bukkake-fest.

    @ Caine, 104

    Androphilia and gynephilia

    I’m not sure whether those would actually work better. Of course this can be a cultural/linguistic difference between the US and Dutch (my native language) but I always had the impression that “-philia” was used more in the meaning of “unhealthy/unacceptable sexual attraction to” as in “zoophilia”, “necrophilia”, etc … it certainly seems to have been used that way in the early post-war Netherlands (50s to 70s), when “homophilia” was still being used in a more negatively charged way.
    Caveat: I was a child in the 70s, so it’s possible that my understanding of the term is different from that of the adults of the time.

  128. 128
    vaiyt

    As for me, I think Western civilization and morals are a crock of bullshit and they aren’t decaying fast enough.

  129. 129
    Inaji

    Alex:

    I always had the impression that “-philia” was used more in the meaning of “unhealthy/unacceptable sexual attraction to”

    It is used that way, however, the suffix itself is in the root of -phile, as in bibliophile, Anglophile, etc. It can be used positively as well as negatively.

  130. 130
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Alex the Pretty Good

    -philia
    combining form
    suffix: -philia1. denoting fondness, esp. an abnormal love for a specified thing.
    “pedophilia”
    •denoting undue inclination.
    “spasmophilia”

    It comes from the Ancient Greek “philia” which is normally translated as “friendship” or “affection”, but more specifically referrs to platonic love (they had four different words for love, each subtly different). So literally translated, “paedophile” just means “one who loves children”. I’m not sure why we insist on using it in the sense we do, it seems to me that a word with a suffix to do with eros (Greek for sexual love) would be better.

  131. 131
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    pederasty already had a definition: it meant the actual act of sex with a child.

    They needed a name for the mental obsession with having one’s sexual partners be children

    It’s not accurate, but b/c people assumed that sexual abuse came from a place of loving children too much (ick) they made the choice they could.

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