Making friends with the gaybors

I’m coming around to you, Charles Murray.

As I’ve written before, Charles Murray (of The Bell Curve fame) has just published a book called, “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010”.  I should really read this book before writing one more thing about it, but this is striking.

One of his quotes from the book was:

Data can bear on policy issues, but many of our opinions about policy are grounded on premises about the nature of human life and human society that are beyond the reach of data. Try to think of any new data that would change your position on abortion, the death penalty, legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage or the inheritance tax. If you cannot, you are not necessarily being unreasonable.

I, of course, lost it.  But what’s interesting is that Murray has changed his mind on at least one of these things.  In this Charlie Rose interview (17:45), Murray says on same-sex marriage,

I’ve changed my mind on this one … the fact is that my wife and I know many same-sex couples and they have great marriages.

Interesting that what took to change his mind — and it was not an easy mind to change — was people and relationships, not facts and data.  I think that’s a fair way to change one’s mind because what is data without the real people to live it out and back it up?

We can produce all kinds of studies on how kids raised by same-sex parents are just like every other kid on the block, how marriage equality is good for everyone, how the promise of  equality can save gay kids’ lives, and how, yano, gays are going to save the world someday.  But that means nothing if you don’t actually know happy, well-adjusted, independent gay people who have a positive impact on your life.  Most of us are not very good at abstracting lessons from data in any meaningful way.  We need to bear out the facts in our lives with the people we know, love, and trust before changing our minds.

So, make friends with your local gays/straights.  They’re probably more interesting than you anyway.


Thoughts on Which I Have Lots of Authority to Speak: Marriage Equality in Jerz Edition

The NJ State Senate has passed the marriage equality bill by a vote of 24-10, a gain of TEN yea’s since the 2010 vote (TEN!). It’s going to the Assembly next where it’s likely to pass and then on to the Governor’s desk where it’s likely to be approved quickly because our governor is committed to freedom, equality, respect, and true conservatism.

Just kidding!

It’ll actually be vetoed with aplomb.  But, Governor, as a fan of yours, allow me to remind you why marriage equality is a mark of a real conservative and your approval will only help you in your next race.

Continue reading

This is probably not good news

Jersey Comeback starts with a punt

Chris Christie is de-fin-i-te-ly running for President in 2016.  You know how I know? Because today, not a week after delivering a bad-ass State of the State that made me almost want to move back to Jersey, he elegantly removed himself from the state’s bubbling battle for marriage equality without committing to much anything.

Continue reading