Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty fame and solo artist) Has A Big Gay Chip On His Shoulder.

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    May 30, 2009 7:08 AM GMT
    Rob Thomas' Big Gay Chip

    Singer Rob Thomas wrote this article for the Huffington Post.

    THE BIG GAY CHIP ON MY SHOULDER

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-thomas/the-big-gay-chip-on-my-sh_b_208183.html

    I am a straight man, with a big gay chip on my shoulder.

    A while back on my Twitter page (yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds), I mentioned that, if I believed in the devil, Pat Robertson might be him.

    Being a fairly liberal-leaning guy with either liberal friends or Republican and Christian friends who don't believe that being one has anything to do with the other, I was surprised at how many people took offense to what I had to say.

    These people weren't friends of Mr. Robertson but friends, apparently, of God. They had "spoken" with him and he had assured them that he was no friend of the gays. He also told them that he loved America more than any other country and was a huge fan of Dancing With the Stars.

    The small controversy or "Twitter-versy" (patent on phrase pending) all started when I had made the mistake of asking why two people of the same sex shouldn't be able to make the same life-long commitment and (more importantly) under the same god, as straight people. Why can't my gay friends be as happily married as my wife and I? It seemed simple to me, but let me start off by telling you a series of things that I believe to be true:

    I am a person who believes that people are born gay. I don't think you have any control over what moves you or to whom you're attracted. That's why it's called an attraction and not a choice.

    I believe that America is a great nation of even greater people. I also believe that anyone who says that this is a "Christian nation" has RHS, or revisionist history syndrome, and doesn't realize that most of our founding fathers were either atheist or at least could see, even in the 1700s, that all through Europe at the time, religion was the cause of so much persecution that they needed to put into their brand new constitution a SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE so that the ideals of a group of people could never be forced onto the whole. (I also find it funny when people point out to me that it says "one nation under god" in our pledge of allegiance, not realizing that this was an addition made in 1954 during the communism scare of the McCarthy era. It's not surprising, however, knowing that these same people would punch me in the mouth if I called Jesus a Jew.)

    I believe the fact that an atheist, who doesn't believe in God at all, is allowed to enter into the holy land of marriage while a gay Christian is not, shows that this law is arbitrary. Are we to believe that anyone who doesn't live their life according to the King James Bible isn't protected by the same laws that protect those who do? Using the same argument that I've seen on the 700 Club, that would mean that Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim weddings are also null and void.

    I believe that to deny this right to the gay population is to say to them, "this god is not your god and he doesn't love you." There isn't one person who is against gay marriage that can give me a reason why it shouldn't be legal without bringing God or their religion into it. Still, I'm amazed at the audacity of a small, misdirected group of the ultra-conservative Christian right wing, to spend millions of dollars, in a recession, on advertisements to stop two men or women who love each other from being able to be married, but when you present any opposition to them, they accuse you of attacking their religion. Isn't it funny that the people who are the quickest to take someone's basic rights to happiness are always the loudest to scream when someone attacks their right to do so?

    But this isn't a paper about religion. How could it be? Since we clearly have a separation of church and state, how could a conversation about laws have anything to do with religion at all? I'm writing about basic civil rights. We've been here before, fighting for the rights of African Americans or women to vote, or the rights of Jewish Americans to worship as they see fit. And, just as whites fought for African Americans or Christians for Jewish Americans, straight people must stand up and be a voice for gay people.

    I've heard it said before, many times, that if two men or two women are allowed to join into a civil union together, why can't they be happy with that and why is it so important that they call it marriage? In essence, what's in a name?

    A civil union has to do with death. It's essentially a document that gives you lower taxes and the right to let your faux spouse collect your insurance when you pass away. A marriage is about life. It's about a commitment. And this argument is about allowing people to have the right to make that commitment, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Anything else falls under the category of "separate but equal" and we know how that works out.

    The support of legalizing gay marriage is in no way meant to change the ideals of the section of Christians who believe that homosexuality is
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    May 30, 2009 7:26 AM GMT
    Sounds like a pretty damn awesome guy. I think there are loads of people who think this but they are just afraid to speak up cause everyone will call them gay.
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    May 30, 2009 7:28 AM GMT
    Thank jeebus for straight people with sense.

    Can you link the article, Erik?

    That said, I wish Rob Thomas would go back to their earlier style, but I guess Matchbox Twenty is dead now. *sigh*. I loved Yourself, or Someone Like You, hated Mad Season, and all his recent works are a bit so-so.
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    May 30, 2009 8:23 AM GMT
    Sedative saidThank jeebus for straight people with sense.

    Can you link the article, Erik?

    That said, I wish Rob Thomas would go back to their earlier style, but I guess Matchbox Twenty is dead now. *sigh*. I loved Yourself, or Someone Like You, hated Mad Season, and all his recent works are a bit so-so.


    Done-I put it just below the title in the original post...icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 30, 2009 12:19 PM GMT
    Thankee. icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 30, 2009 1:20 PM GMT
    Thanks Erik!

    I love this thought ...

    "I've heard it said before, many times, that if two men or two women are allowed to join into a civil union together, why can't they be happy with that and why is it so important that they call it marriage? In essence, what's in a name?

    A civil union has to do with death. It's essentially a document that gives you lower taxes and the right to let your faux spouse collect your insurance when you pass away. A marriage is about life. It's about a commitment. And this argument is about allowing people to have the right to make that commitment, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Anything else falls under the category of "separate but equal" and we know how that works out."
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 30, 2009 1:22 PM GMT
    Glad to see ....
    Shows that knuckle-dragging backward-thinking American Conservatism is in its death throws
    as these younger people enter the voting block we are going to see a big change in the discourse here in the supposed land of the "free" icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 30, 2009 2:19 PM GMT


    Thanks ErikTaurean!!!


    *sighs happily X 2*

    -us guys
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    May 30, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    Very well said. Nice to see Rob Thomas is smart and articulate and not just a pretty boy singer.

    He really nailed it about the right wing anti-gay Christians. Their view is entirely solipsistic, that America should be run the way they think is proper and if they don't get their way, their rights are being violated (as they try to violate the rights of others).
  • stevendust

    Posts: 398

    May 30, 2009 4:14 PM GMT
    My family had a Rob Thomas obsession going on for awhile so I really didn't enjoy the man too much outside of his Matchbox 20 days, but this has completely brought me back around for him. I respect Rob Thomas.
  • imbrad

    Posts: 377

    May 30, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    what a well writen article. it's nice to see a very progressive and intelligent piece come out of this debate.

    it almost brought me to tears... i've been exhausted by this whole thing. i'm growing tired of living among people that blatantly hate other people, regardless of what the issue/reason is. When something like this comes along it feels so good to breath a sigh of relief and know that someone is on 'our' side!

    thank you very much!
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    May 30, 2009 4:39 PM GMT
    It was just a couple years ago he was linked to an affair with Tom Cruise. O the drama.
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    May 30, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    I don't like his music.. but I like him as a person.
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    May 30, 2009 5:27 PM GMT
    I really enjoyed reading his candid take on this. I feel like there is definitely a momentum building in our society right now.

    Thank you for posting this. I will definitely be sharing it.
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    May 30, 2009 5:51 PM GMT
    Sean_85 saidI don't like his music.. but I like him as a person.



    I have to agree with you on that. Thanks for posting this Erik !
    It's good to see that some folks in the Str8 community have
    some damn sense ! icon_lol.gif

    We have and are gaining allies in this fight and I think it's only a
    matter of time before WE WIN !

    Speaking of allies, as a self professed "pagan for peace" I am
    still delighted to discover and see some support for us coming
    from the religious community !

    Byron Williams an African American Pastor from Oakland weighs in
    on the ruling to uphold Prop 8.
    :
    http://byronspeaks.com/_home/index.php/20090526220/Latest/Prop.-Ruling-Separate-and-Still-Unequal.html

    The California Supreme Court upheld the slim majority that provided the margin for Proposition 8 to step outside of the boundaries of the Constitution thereby applying an asterisk next to the equal protection under the law clause at it relates to the LGBT community.
    There is something very disconcersting that allows the majority to take away the rights of a minority. Though a decision that was expected by those closely following the issue, there are troubling anomalies created by the courts decision. Upholding the ban on same-gender marriage, while preserving the 18,000 marriages performed based on the court’s decision last May that same-sex marriage was lawful creates two different class distinctions.

    Regardless of where one comes down on the issue; the trajectory in California is clearly headed toward full equality for gay marriage. While that, along with the affirmation of the 18,000 couples whose marriages are still valid ought to provide some measure of comfort, it is difficult to be hopeful when one’s second-class citizenship has been justified by the courts.

    The court was deferential to the will of the people by allowing marriage to only be between a man and a woman.

    How can the state comply with having the definition of marriage for one class of people, deny it for another, and not have it challenge the equal protection clause? It seems the problem hinges on a single word: marriage?

    Maybe the court ruling suggests that it’s time for the state to get out of the marriage business altogether.
    Let the term "marriage" be one that is the property of religious institutions, but everyone, regardless of their beliefs, must apply and receive a domestic partnership license that provides equal rights and privileges by the state.

    This would allow the state to be consistent with its own Constitution, remove marriage from the debate, and insure that all are created equal and have been endowed with certain unalienable rights, among them life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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    May 30, 2009 7:24 PM GMT
    I liked this response to the Huffington Post article:

    by K.J. Dwyer

    With regards to the state, marriage is, first and last, a civil contract. The proof of this is that when one seeks to dissolve a marriage, they don't go to their priest, minister or rabbi to get a divorce; they go to court.

    The fundamental problem with marriage in the United States is that clergy are allowed to administer the civil contract of marriage. Yes, people have to obtain a marriage license through the public sector, but practically any ordained "minister" can perform a legal marriage once that license is obtained.

    By giving the power of the state to the clergy to administer civil contracts, the United States has blurred the line between the Separation of Church and State and allowed religious bigotry to "define" what a marriage is.

    If every citizen were required to stand in front of a judge to get legally married, the incoherent rants of religious bigots would be relegated to their proper, marginal place and this whole initiative to deny gay people the franchise of marriage would be a non-starter...


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    May 30, 2009 10:38 PM GMT
    ManMachine23,

    I fixed your link so the masses could see the article. icon_biggrin.gif


    http://byronspeaks.com/_home/index.php/20090526220/Latest/Prop.-Ruling-Separate-and-Still-Unequal.html
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    May 30, 2009 10:53 PM GMT
    I wouldn't go so far as to call it well written, but he has earned my respect for allowing his opinion to be published.
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    Jun 13, 2009 4:18 PM GMT
    http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid89864.asp


    Advocate interview of him.


    Something to Be

    First he called Pat Robertson the devil. Then he used Huffington Post to call for an end to same-sex marriage bans. Rob Thomas is an ally -- one who didn't sleep with Tom Cruise, but loves that you think he might have.
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    Jul 30, 2012 12:09 AM GMT
    I love Rob Thomas.