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Downtown vigil backs marriage equality



Published: Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Sean Barron

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Amber Bell and Mara Brandenstein are a gay couple who enjoy activities such as going out to eat and to movies, riding bicycles and spending time outdoors.

They have a solid four-year relationship, take pleasure in everyday gatherings and are like most couples — which they say is precisely the point.

“We trust each other; we care about each other more than you can imagine,” said Brandenstein, a Youngstown State University political-science major with a minor in entrepreneurship.

Brandenstein and Bell, a YSU biology major from Sandy Lake, Pa., started dating in high school after having met as members of their school’s band.

They also were among an estimated 50 gay and straight people who attended a candlelight vigil Tuesday in front of the Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 125 Market St., downtown. The gathering was to show solidarity regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing on same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard about 80 minutes of oral arguments pertaining to California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment voters approved in November 2008 that bans such marriages.

Nevertheless, about 58 percent of Americans, including 81 percent of people age 18 to 29, believe gay marriage should be legal, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll.

Brandenstein said that she and Bell have experienced hatred and discrimination because of their relationship, including a few threats from certain members of Bell’s family. Making matters worse, someone in the Mercer County, Pa., district attorney’s office refused to help Brandenstein after learning the couple was gay, she contended.

“She told me, ‘Wait a minute, hold on. You made a choice,’” Brandenstein said. “Then she refused to talk to me and slammed the door in my face.”

Those at the vigil expressed hope the Supreme Court would rule in favor of what they see as marriage equality and equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Keep hope alive; keep the struggle going,” said Atty. Kim Akins, a member of Pride Youngstown, which hosted the event.

Sgt. Anita Davis of the Youngstown Police Department and a fellow Pride Youngstown member, said she hopes this outcome will be like that of Loving v. Virginia, a landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that struck down laws banning interracial marriages in the U.S.

“Proposition 8 is discrimination based on discrimination. It’s like a witch hunt,” she added.


Comments

1willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
The United States Constitution.

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2PJR(20 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

You could argue that Jerry Sandusky from PSU was just pursuing love and happiness but was it normal? The law and mainstream society didn't see it his way. Looking upon gays as a normal family unit equal to a heterosexual couple only undermines the value of a normal marriage which is the foundation of society.

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3BlueSteel(31 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"that they are endowed by their Creator" says it all. The Bible is very clear on what constitutes a marriage. It is also very clear that homosexuality is a sin (in both the old and new testaments) and that homosexuals won't see heaven. It's a shame that our country is going to hell in a hand basket, led by popular opinion and what is now deemed to be OK and politically correct.

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4willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created EQUAL,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable RIGHTS,
that among these are LIFE,
LIBERTY,
and the Pursuit of HAPPINESS.

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5willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Comparing all Gay People to convicted chid abusers is unadulterated, homophobic bigotry and hatred.

Bigotry is NOT what the Constitution is based upon.

As for the Christian Bible, it is a very important and ancient book, but again, the Bible is NOT what the Constitution of the United States is based upon.

There are many thousands of good American citizens who are NOT Christians and we, the Christian majority, cannot expect/demand people who do not take the Christian Bible literally to live by its precepts or commandments.

When Christians impose only one kind of thinking on everyone else --- no matter what their belief system --- it is a form of tyranny: the Tyranny of the Majority.

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6city_resident(513 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@PJR, Jerry Sandusky's victims did not give consent. Also, they weren't old enough to make that decision. How does this relate to same sex marriage?

@BlueSteel, Not everyone believes that their creator is defined by the Bible.

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7becky47(34 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Get over it people...not long ago it was illegal for the races to marry. If people are in love than they deserve to marry with all the legal rights that are awarded to a union between a man and a woman. It should not be anyones business but theirs. These couples do not pry into your lives and tell you how to live so don't pry into theirs. I lived long enough to see a black president I hope I live long enough to see a day when this will not be an issue and a person is allowed to marry the one they love. And for all of you that are curious...NO I am not gay...Just open minded

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8BlueSteel(31 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"Not everyone believes that their creator is defined by the Bible".

At least not yet.

But they will. It is written that every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...

Repent and change your ways now, while you're still on this side of the grave.

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9walter_sobchak(1909 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

What if I, as an 18 year old man, wanted to marry my mother's younger sister who is 26? What about the younger sister's daughter, who would be my first cousin? Should we sanction this marriage of two consenting adults who may deeply love each other? I mean, how does this affect me?

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10zz3(931 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

walter thats not unusual in some areas. I'm just happy you can get anyone to come downtown! It seems to do a good vigil business

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11TERRAPINST(302 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Classic liberal spin move. Disagree with the desires of the left and you are a prejudiced, hate-monger. Not allowed to even cite the well-researched anthropological evidence that supports the idea that the breakdown of the traditional family unit has lead to tremendous pains within American culture. The old attack on Christians has become standard by this group, well ask Muslims how they feel about this or Jewish people-pretty similar, and to suggest that the Constitution was not based upon Judeo-Christian ethics is to possess very little knowledge about the development of the document. One argument has been the genetic factor fair enough if an alcoholic, which most research says is based in biology likes to drink and drive for happiness is the DUI statute violating his pursuit of happiness? People who disagree with this are no more bigoted and ignorant for that disagreement than those who favor it in their judgments about the opposition.

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12DwightK(1256 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Terrapin, the breakdown of the family is occurring but it is being accomplished by heterosexual couples. Almost half of the children born today are born to unwed parents. Gay couples choosing to marry and adopt are providing two parent homes, which, as we know, are more stable than single parent homes. Gay couples getting married creates more stable families.

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13willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

??? ". . . and to suggest that the Constitution was not based upon Judeo-Christian ethics is to possess very little knowledge about the development of the document."???

Terrapinist, (1) You'd better check your high school text book facts again: Thomas Jefferson was a deist --- NOT a Christian. In fact, he rewrote the New Testament, editing out ALL the miracles of Jesus because he did not think they actually occured.

(2) the traditional family has been undermined by heterosexuals who divorce and remarry and divorce again --- and who procreate outside of marriage. Gay civil marriage will strengthen the institution of civil marriage, not undermine it.

(3) Alcoholism is a disease. Homosexuality is not a disease. There is no comparison between the two. Again, you had better check your modern medical text books on this subject.

Homosexuality is an inherent (genetic) sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex. It is not a choice; one does not choose it from a menu of selections. If that were the case, heterosexuals could simply choose to be homosexuals and vice versa.

Almost every educated person agrees that sexual orientation is NOT a choice; rather it is just like race, eye color, height, intelligence, etc.

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14nojimbo(223 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Do people really think gays love someone of their own sex because they made a choice? Like they could have chosen a traditional relationship but chose to be gay so they could personally endure the stress and bigotry that often comes with it. What maroons these so called "Christians" are. If this were truly a choice, wouldn't virtually everyone choose the "easy" path --- a partner of the opposite sex with protections of legal marriage and the praise and welcoming of family and society? Being gay is not a choice, it's who a person is, probably from birth. There have been gay people since the beginning of human history. The only difference now is that young people (especially) are waking up to this and saying "why do we pretend being gay is a choice and keep discriminating against people just for being who they are?"

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15walter_sobchak(1909 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

There is no conclusive scientific proof that homosexuality is a genetic trait. If it were, it would be recessive and would eventually be bred out since, by logic, the homosexual will most likely not reproduce. Bi-sexual, maybe. But, once again, any genetic evidence? This would suggest that maybe homosexuality or bisexuality is a genetic abnormality. This begs the question: Does this make pedophilia a genetic trait or an abnormality? Show me the gay gene and I will accept it then.

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16Attis(879 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

projimbo: all human behavior, and certainly all human sexual behavior, is a matter of choice; that's what distinguishes us from animals which are locked into genetically dictated behavior. Do you really think rapists, prostitutes, pedophiles, necrophiles, and assorted other deviants who define themselves principally by their sexual behavior (as do homosexuals) are born with a genetic dictate for deviant sexual behavior? If so, where's your genetic evidence? Being homosexual, unlike being Black or Female, is a chosen minority status.

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17BlueSteel(31 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

In the Bible, the sin of homosexuality is listed right next to theft. Just as there is no genetic excuse for stealing, there is no genetic excuse for homosexuality. Environment, culture, and choice (gasp) make one a thief, and the same factors make one a homosexual.

Just because Hollywood says it's OK to be gay, doesn't make it right.

I pray that today's youth wake up and hear the Truth that Jesus died for their sins and that they don't have to live their lives in the bondage and sin of homosexuality.

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18DwightK(1256 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Rap music is offensive too but I don't think it can be outlawed any more than gay marriage.

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19cambridge(3013 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I've never had to make a choice between being straight or gay. I'm straight and no amount of thought or reflection is going to change that. Those of you that had it come down to you making a choice of being gay or straight obviously are not as "normal" as I am and should seek counseling so you can sort out your own lives and leave others to do the same.

Gays getting married will have no affect on me....or any of you for that matter.

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20TERRAPINST(302 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Willi: Jefferson, while primary author, Constitutional CONVENTION of many-mostly Christian ratified the document. Further you are correct about the issue is deism with Tom, but while he recoiled from the magic acts as most scientists do- had deep adherence to teachings and tenant primarily of Christ. You're right I don't know of any homosexual miracles, except maybe Elton John , BUT "Jefferson admired Christianity in terms of its compassion and morality. He compiled a work of the gospel stories, leaving out the miracles. His work, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," surely doesn't sound like a guy who would say morals teachings of bible sucked. That aside there is great scientific research supporting sexual preference is wired in so to speak, but comparing it to race is apples to oranges. Sexual BEHAVIOR is not the same as skin color and therefore bears nowhere near the same dynamics as associated with the application of law. Pedofile argument primary example while sever I admit. The alcoholism thing is purely semantical on your part and I won't answer that. Biology is biology-I don't care at all about the sexual leanings of anyone "live it up" I do take issue with constitutional CREATIONS of rights ramifications for those type of activities and its a slippery slope. Finally food for thought-what of Bi-sexuality if choice isn't an option?

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21DwightK(1256 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Gay couples already do everything in life married couples do. Why are we penalizing them by not allowing them to have the same rights every spouse has? The matter before the Supreme Court involves a couple married in Canada. One spouse died and the other had to pay an estate tax of $360,000 because the estate couldn't pass to her because they weren't considered married. What is the point of that after they spent more than 40 years together?

If I die, my wife wouldn't have to go through this nonsense. Why should anyone's loved one be penalized under the law?

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22nanana(15 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Relatives who were in sports and showered with a gay didn't like being leered at. So you say that the young thirty and under support the gays? What a myth. Today the gays want to gain acceptance and the blessings of Christians. Toleration is one thing but to revere them is another. I say nay to their wanting marriage and to be equated with the heterosexuals. Heterosexuality is exclusive to heterosexuals as is a normal marrige. Change is good! Try it the normal way.

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23willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Sexual Behavior and inherent Sexual Orientation are two completely different entities.

Sexual Behavior is a choice; Sexual Orientation is not chosen.

Scientific Studies in men indicate that bisexuality is not a true sexual orientation, but rather a chosen sexual behavior. These studies indicate that men who consider themselves bisexuals are actually homosexuals who have, on occasion, behaved like heterosexuals.

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24BlueSteel(31 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@DwightK - I had two elderly aunts. One was a widow and the other never married. They lived together for over 40 years until the younger one died. They were best friends and did everything together. Having never married and not having any children, she left everything to her sister, who had to pay a huge estate tax because they weren't married.

Where do you draw the line?

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25nanana(15 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

We make far to many excuses for them. Thieves and killers will tell you that they couldn't help it either. Then there is the bipolar crowd. A real mess would be a gay bipolar thief who kills.

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26GoPens(397 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

My nightly prayer,

Dear Heavenly Father,
Please save me from your followers...

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27Knightcap(699 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Marriage should be between a man and multiple wives. I would like to have three. 1. A very rich woman where I don't have to work. 2. A woman that is a very good cook, housecleaner and can mow the lawn. 3. And a beautiful woman 30 years younger than me for exrtacurricular activities. Gays are sickos. Change the marriage law for multiple babes for guys.

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28TERRAPINST(302 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Not the most articulate argument Knightcap, but theoretically not far off. Maybe would like to pursue happiness through multiple wives who don't know of each other. Im sure I could twist the First ammendment and equal protection clauses to accommodate such a request. The old orientation versus behavior so the it is an absolute choice if purely behavioral. Race no choice-- sexual activities and it is the activity that defines the classification-lotsa choice. Again bear no issue with civil unions and truly possess no prejucies with homosexuality, multiple family members who I adore. This is not in any way a right as recognized with 220 years of precedent , is pure judicial acvtivism and the left usually has disdain for that unless it suits them. Maybe the Supreme Court should determine all our presidents- that's judicial activism too. However, should someone state that they belive homosexuality is immoral as they have been taught in their value pool, they will be called ignorant, judged. Its funny how someone is a bigot if they disagree. Hate tactics purely.

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29Millerh113(126 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel."

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30Lostworld(7 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

You can put lots of fancy names on things, like "marriage equality" and "pro-choice". But when you come right down to it, it is still a perverted lifestyle and murder of the innocent.

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31nojimbo(223 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

GoPens you're right on target. Jesus went out of his way to fraternize and help society's outcasts of the time like tax collectors and prostitutes. He made a point to teach that all humans are sinners and that the high priests were no better than the common people. Now, today's "Christians" (i.e. supposed follower of Christ) don't want homosexuals to be "equated" with "normal" people like them (heterosexuals). What would Jesus do, indeed.

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32TERRAPINST(302 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

State's rights issue like divorce. No place in Supreme Court. Let legislatures represent the will of the states-so far its codified in 9 states, only have 41 to go. In Canada since national law permitting marriage do you know that Catholic Universities have been accused of hate crimes for disavowing homosexuality.. Guess that Freedom of Religion thing isn't important anymore. Further would Notre Dame be forced to provide dual benefits to married same sex employees in opposition to their religious beliefs? Curious questions that most certainly will lead to countless lawsuits that activism promotes.

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33willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Knightcap: The desire for multiple wives that you defined indicates that you would like to use, abuse and oppress women --- and treat them like sex objects.

I think that would qualify you as a male chauvinist.

Are you proud of this?

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34Knightcap(699 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

willinyny: Just trying to make a point. No desire for three wives. Mrs. Knightcap would be p'd if I brought two more woman in the house. Leave marriage the way it was and the way it is now. Otherwise, every so often a minority group will want multiple wives, multiple husbands, brother marrying sister, father marrying daughter, someone marrying an organization to get benefits, etc. Let the gays have a civil union or an agreement like a rental contract or something. Sorry, marriage is between man and a women.

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35willinnyny(83 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Do you think that Knightcap and Terrapinist might be Republicans?

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36BlueSteel(31 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@GoPens - Since you pray to the Heavenly Father, wouldn't that make you one of his followers, too? And you're asking him to save you from yourself? LOL!

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37BlueSteel(31 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@nojimbo - Yes, Jesus was a friend to sinners, but in no way did he condone their sin. He came for the sinners to show them a better way - to renew their minds and change their lives. What did he say to the adulturous woman who was about to be stoned? "Go and sin no more!" He didn't say "Hey, this adultry thing is becoming pretty popular. How about me and you hooking up later? Everyone's doing it nowadays. I know what the 10 commands say, but that was so B.C. We live in the now. Let's do whatever feels good and pleases our desires. It's not like there are any consequences for doing it."

True, we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. But we have a choice to choose between what is right in the eyes of God and to turn away and rebuke what is evil. Would you like to be "equated" to a thief or murderer? All sins are the same in the eyes of God.

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38TERRAPINST(302 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Willi: Once again you show your lack of intellectualism by labeling and lumping, that is the antagonistic hate mongering method of the liberal elite-no basis in fact whatsoever. Please tell me why you think under the Federal scheme of law why this issue belongs before the Supreme Court? That's all. Please quit you're second grade name-calling BS. It demeans you. Why isn't the legislature an okay way to handle this like it has in 9 other states. Here's why and it is why your emotionalism is absurd, not quick enough and it doesn't provide those with same sex leanings enough triumph-grow up and stop manipulating the law. If legal marriage is what you want, why does it matter HOW you get there. Let the PEOPLE decide, problem with that is it may not go your way. Just to let you know rulings in your favor will be so narrow they really won't make much difference except is states where already legal-You'll win the battle war's a tie.

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39Guins(13 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" there must be a whole lot of non-sinners here. What choices a person makes is between them and God. As a married Catholic I am far more affronted by the marriages that take place like Kim kardashians that mean absolutely nothing, than the relationship that is between Neil Patrick Harris and his partner. That's where the breakdown is, marriage is not being treated as a permanent commitment but as something fleeting. I would rather my children be gay and committed to their partner than straight and treat it as a joke.

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40DAWABBIT(30 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Mama taught us that if they're gay and want to be friends you should stay away. An uncle put it much more bluntly. He said that those boys will dwell on the toys reserved for the girls.

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41fillbilly(3 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

So as in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of The Son of Man be. Straight, Gay, Bi-sexual, Try-sexual, whatever...we ALL SIN. Being gay is no more of a sin than lying or using God's name in vain. God's judgement is upon us ALL. SIN is SIN is SIN. We ALL fall short of the glory of God!!! Jesus sees our heart. What does this weekend holiday mean TO YOU? If a person is truly a Christian, they understand what Jesus did for us SINNERS and really should NOT JUDGE.

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42Robert_Neville(123 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

This whole thing is over rights. So why did the law change that when a child becomes 18 years of age and still on your insurance you as the parent. Do not have the right to sign for them to go into surgery. Married couples do not have the right to review or see there spouses medical records. I can go on and on.

If the gays want rights then we need to fix all the laws. I myself do not have more rights then anyone else. So what rights have the law with held from gay marriage? People 18 to 21 have not seen what older people have seen. The fact is if this passes then what is the face of America going to look like?

With the low birth rate in America. We currently replace a 1/3 of the population. People the fact is if we continue to have less people we will all be dead. Thank you abortions for this one. Culture of death lives on.

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43Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, God did create all men equal. What does that mean? Well, we know that it does not mean that God is for homosexuality and for gay marriage because the Bible is very clear on how God feels when He called it an abomination. He considers homosexuality a sin. He was also the one who defined marriage. So, it disturbs me when someone uses the name of God and twists it to fit what they want it to fit. Yes, God created all men equal and He gave them all the freedom they want to choose whatever it is they want to do with their lives but do not take that to believe that He approves of homosexuality.

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44Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

And I am disturbed by people calling sin, which is a choice, a sickness or something that they cant help doing.

When you choose to get drunk continuously over and over to the point where you can no longer control yourself, you call it a disease. It was a choice that you made every time that you picked up that drink.

When you have sexual desires that you choose to act on that are sins, you can not say that you cant help yourself. You are not an animal out of control. It is a choice that you make. Just as the married man who is deeply attracted to a woman at work, must control his urges, so does the man who is attracted to another man. And when you choose to act on those wrong urges, don't try to justify it by saying that you are born that way. Everyone is born with urges. You don't have to act on them.

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45Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

It is just absurd that we have to change the definition of marriage to fit peoples sexual urges and desires!

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46Robert_Neville(123 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Laurieljc we live in a country that if you do not agree then you are the odd one. I agree with you we do not need to change the definition of marriage. Were are my rights upheld at Judge Kennedy Congressman Ryan and President Obama. Wait if the majority agree then that is all we need. How about upholding rights for religions or is it to hard to do politicians in America. Shame on all of them. For doing the hard right. Shame on everyone that takes the easy way out.

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47Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

One may not believe in the God of the Bible but they will when they die. Repent and turn from sin and ask Christ for forgiveness. The Bible is clear about homosexuality. Most of us were born either male or female and the parts are designed like pieces of a puzzle. If a baby is born with both parts then an operation can be performed to go with the dominant one. A man's part wasn't designed to penetrate another man in my opinion .This is not rocket science.

Now as Christians we are to love the person but we do not love the sin.We can live and let live with what someone chooses to do -its their life-and its their after life. However, we don't have to accept what they do as right and we don't have to condone it as right.Marriage is defined by a man and a woman in the Word of God and that is good enough for me.

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48Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@nojimbo "Now, today's "Christians" (i.e. supposed follower of Christ) don't want homosexuals to be "equated" with "normal" people like them (heterosexuals). What would Jesus do, indeed."

- - -The same thing he did with any other sinner preach the good news to them, heal them and ask them to repent and follow Him. If they didn't repent He would say shake the dust from your sandals and move on. Preaching to the lost and condoning what they do are two very different things.

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49Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@willinnyny - Jefferson was a Diest but he left the parts in the New Testament on homosexuality being sin and their were Christians that contributed to the Constitution.

As far as heterosexuals divorcing and making a mess of society -you are right. But does that mean we go further in the wrong direction of sin. Divorce and remarrying aside from marital unfaithfulness is not OK in Christ's eyes. People have thrown in the towel because they are self -centered children instead of willing to work at a relationship. Divorce rates maybe improving slightly now but there is a long way to go.

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50uptowngirl(111 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I did not marry my husband because I wanted a tax break, to inherit money upon his death or to be included on his health insurance. I married him because I loved him, wanted to have a family with him and to grow old with the person I love most in this world. I think the heterosexual divorce rate will be a drop in the bucket if same sex marriage is legalized. Granted I know a small number of gay people and let me just say they are disproportionate in their disregard for others, victim mentality and why it is all about them compared to the straight people I know.

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51One_Who_Stayed(237 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

This thread is Hilarious!

willinnyny Started this whole debacle with the following post:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
The United States Constitution.

As of the time I write this - there are 54 posts from people arguing what "God" says and what the "Constitution" says (as though any of you know exactly what that might be).

The law of the land we live in is, in fact, the Constitution of the Unites States (you know - the one that begins with "We the People"). Throughout this whole thread - no one has seemed to notice the fact that the the first quote is not from the Constitution at all. It is from the Declaration of Independence.

No where in the original Constitution does it state that all men are created equal or any of that. In fact, it took the 13th amendment to the Constitution to say that Black People were equal. Slavery was abolished - this happened in 1864 and ratified in 1865 by the way (almost 100 years AFTER the founding of this country). And I have no idea what you all think you understand about what God wants, but I'm figuring you're as wrong there as you are in the legal part.

So all you arm-chair legal experts go back to debating gay marriage, but please leave God and Law out of it - will ya?

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5276Ytown(1241 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

U.S. adults, on average, think homosexuals make up about 25 percent of the entire population, official data reveal that gays and lesbians comprise between 2 percent and 4 percent of the population.

Bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population, while 1.7% are gay or lesbian. Transgender adults make up 0.3% of the population.

http://gaylife.about.com/od/comingout...

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53Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@One_Who_Stayed - - -1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (NIV).

I think that is pretty clear. Two cities were destroyed as a result of this sin in the old testament. People can repent and change their behaviors and be forgiven and that is good news for all people regardless of their sins.

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54Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

One_Who_Stayed: While I am sure that everyone here appreciates your history lesson on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independ. and even your information on the 13th Ammend., I am sure that no one here, on either side of the argument, appreciates your condescending attitude. And understanding what God wants is quite clear. Open the Bible it and study it as closely as you have the Constituation and Declaration of Independ. It is crystal clear. Leave God and Law out of it? Imagine a country where decisions were made without God or the Law....hows that working out in Youngstown now? Sheesh!

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55One_Who_Stayed(237 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@BigBen and Laurieljc

My condescending attitude comes from your complete and utter disregard for the basic tenets that this country was founded on, namely separation of church and state. And your pseudo-intellectual recital of the "Constitution" makes you even worse.

Of course your God is the only one right? Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and any other of the hundreds of other religions practiced in this country are all wrong I guess. Fundamental Christianity is all there is and our laws should be based on that because you say so - right?

Luckily, the laws we all live by in this country are not subject to your approval or the approval of mainstream Christianity. I can live with your silly-ass reciting of bible verses and sayings as "proof" of your point because, in your mind at least, it does prove your point. But when you start misquoting and putting your interpretation and spin on documents that this country is founded on you have now crossed the line between what I can just smile and accept as "your opinion" and what I cant. If you are going to quote some of the greatest words ever put to paper, at least have the common decency to know which document you are quoting from.

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56One_Who_Stayed(237 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

By the way Laurieljc

Youngstown is doing better now than it has been in the last 30 years not due to Gods efforts, but those of the hard working long suffering people that live, work, play and yes. . . worship here. Either way Youngstown is doing just fine thank you.

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57Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

One Who Stayed: I know what this county was founded on and it was founded by Christian men who wanted freedom from the oppression of the Church of England. I know my history. Just because they wanted separation of church and state in politics it didn't mean that the founding fathers gave up their religious beliefs or that those beliefs didn't shape the decisions that they made in the political arena. Our laws are based on many of the 10 Commandments! That is the beauty of living in America. We vote for those who believe as we do and want to uphold our values. That is the way that it is done. So, Americans can and will choose if there is going to be same sex marriage and many will base it on their religious convictions- as it has been done since the beginning of the country. And yes, there are many other religions that are practiced in this country and none of the ones that you mention condone homosexuality but that was not my point. My point is simply this: We should not have to change the definition of marriage based on someones sexual urges and desires. Its as simple as that. This is America, right or wrong, people get to live and let live, but that does not mean that they get to change the definition of marriage to fit their sexuality.

Oh, and by the way, someone else used the quote about all men being equal and where that quote came from. I was commenting on the content of his comment, which was the important part, not critiquing where he got it from!

And Youngstown is not better than it was thirty years ago. That is crazy to say. Maybe you need to study the statistics of crime in the city and of the declining school performances. Maybe the fact that there has been a mass exodus from the city that began more than thirty years ago and continues today, should give you a clue. There are those that are doing their hardest to improve the city and I applaud their efforts, but lets get real here about the condition of Youngstown. But again, this has nothing to do with my point which is that people should not get to change the definition of marriage to fit their sexual urges and desires.

Now if you are done attacking, we can continue our discussion. If you want to attack, take it elsewhere!

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58Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

And I see comments here by people who say that if you quote what the Bible says about homosexuality or if your are giving your opinion against it, you are judging. The Bible says many times that we are to warn others about sin and its consequences and help them. We are to teach others. We are not to condone the sin. So, if that is what the Bible says and you quote it or comment on what it says, how is that judging? Especially if God says that you are supposed to talk about it?

And to the person who said that sin is sin. Yes, it is. Your adultery and my premarital sex is sexual sin, just like homosexuality is (though God calls that one an abomination!) Its all sin. We dont condone it or change the definition of God-created institution to make it more acceptable. We dont flaunt our sexual sin in the streets like on Gay Pride day. Why dont we have Adultery Day! We can have marches and maybe men could bring their mistresses with them! Hows that sound? Or what about Premartial Sex Day! You are right, sin is sin and when we talk about it and what the Bible says about it, it does not mean that a person is judging.

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59Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"Of course your God is the only one right? " - - -Correct. Before a U.S. citizen takes the stand in court they place their hand on the Bible.You may not like absolutes but that doesn't make a truth any less real. Jesus said no one can come to God except by Him as in not any other. There is no other name by which one can be saved.

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6076Ytown(1241 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Isaiah 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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61dawn421(265 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I feel sorry for all the homophobic idiots out there that continue to spew the crap in comments. why does it bother you so much if a gay couple get married? Do you know a gay person when you see one? You are probably surrounded by more than you know and i bet it did not affect you did it?

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62Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@ dawn "homophobic"- -- No , wrong it isn't about being fearful it is about not recognizing homosexual marriage. You need to reread instead of calling people idiots who are obviously your intellectual superior.

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63OKthen(23 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

dawn421@

I had met Trent Rapp who owned the DQ in Canfield and it was very evident that he was gay. The law didn't see it his way when he was arrested for soliciting minors.

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64dawn421(265 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

hey OK he was a pervert, big difference from just being gay. That is the problem with homophobic idiots, they include perverts in the mix when it has nothing to do with it. at Bigben, which i doubt, no you are not my intellectual superior, and i ask how you came to that conclusion by my comment? the comments here are stupid and have no bearing on the rights people have as a married couple. They should have the same rights as hetero couples and i know they pay their fair share of taxes and insurance premiums so get off the bible train and the high horses and let them live. if it bothers you so much better stay home because the gays are out there more than you think.

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65Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@ Dawn -Yeah you don't come across as polished and the arguments here a forged from God's Word which to non believers is foolish. But the Bible states that those who don't believe in God are indeed fools. Take a good look around at His creation an acorn growing into an oak tree for example. The human eyeball and all its complexities and all that happened by accident? It takes a lot more faith to believe that. Common sense tells you that a man wasn't designed to penetrate another man's waste exit.

You call people idiots because they disagree with you on a topic. The topic by the way is about gay marriage not people being afraid of gay people that is one of those really ridiculousness arguments. So there are gay people around us so what do you suppose that is some kind of news flash? Guess what there are Christian women and men all around you too and they pray and read the Scriptures and love even their enemies. You can't say the same and there is a reason for that.

I got news for you there is a God and you will stand before Him. And doubt not about Bigben I come by it honestly alright.

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66TYzzer(2 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

So two men who love each other have a right to get married...

And if they are brothers...there shouldnt be any objections on moral grounds...after all its a civil right, right?

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67zz3(931 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

nojimbo how ignorant are you? You guys sound like Obama "How dare anyone have an opinion different than you" You digbat!! And as a member of a group no matter what group catholic,jewish etc.. who the heck are you or anyone else to determine how their religion should interpet things HOW IGNORANT. Make up your own union call it something else like JUBO for example and fight for it to be added as a recognized union. Don't hone in on someone elses and attempt to change it to your liking. DO your own work!!! And also as a point i do have many gay friends and they dont talk as much about this as these extremist do. Do your own fighting.

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68dawn421(265 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Big words for a small mind @Bigben. lol

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69Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

@dawn I don't expect you to understand the big words your right I should have watered it down for you .Take a break now and watch some cartoons. Class dismissed. LOL!

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