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Do Conservatives or Liberals Have Better Gaydar?

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, culture, dishonesty, children, ethics, family, freedoms, gayrights, interesting, media, politics, religion, rights, sadness, safety, society, usa )

- 1916 days ago -
Last week the conservative world was roiled by prominent Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's dramatic reversal on the issue of gay marriage. Having learned two years earlier that his son, a college junior, is gay, Portman says he struggled deeply with the issue

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JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 11:21 am

Mother Jones
Do Conservatives or Liberals Have Better Gaydar?
Actually, it's a surprisingly close call.

By Chris Mooney | Fri Mar. 22, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

Last week the conservative world was roiled by prominent Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's dramatic reversal [1] on the issue of gay marriage. Having learned two years earlier that his son, a college junior, is gay, Portman says he struggled deeply with the issue—and finally pulled a Dick Cheney, coming out politically in favor of the same-sex marriages that many grassroots conservatives find viscerally abhorrent [2]. In an op-ed [1] explaining his reasoning, Portman noted that he and his wife were "surprised to learn" that their son is gay—but added that they now have "a more complete picture of the son we love."

Here's an interesting question: How do conservatives arrive at their assumptions about who is or isn't gay—in the absence of those people coming out to them directly?

A new paper [3] just out in the March issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology casts surprising light on this subject.

The researchers—at New York University and the University of Toronto—set out to examine how much liberals and conservatives rely on "gender inversion cues"—e.g., reasoning that a man who looks feminine, or a woman who appears masculine, must be gay. That's a highly stereotypical way of making up your mind, and likely an unconscious one to boot. It's also, the study shows, a specifically conservative form of gaydar.

The researchers showed subjects pictures 30 male faces. Fifteen of the men pictured were gay, and 15 were straight. The faces had also been ranked by independent observers, who were asked to determine how "masculine" or "feminine" their features were.

The research subjects were asked to decide, based on nothing more than looking at each face, whether the individual was gay or straight. Later, the subjects were also asked for their political views. Thus emerged evidence that conservatives, but not liberals, tend to rate more "feminine" male faces—e.g., having high cheekbones or a more slender face—as gay. Conservatives also made up their minds about an individual's sexual preference much more quickly than liberals did, overall—again, relying on nothing more than facial features.
Liberals did better on categorizing nonstereotypical subjects, where conservatives' gut classification approach broke down.

So who was more accurate? Well, that's the real trick: Overall, in the study as in the real world, there was indeed a moderate correlation between more "feminine" male faces and being gay. That doesn't mean this relationship holds up in all individuals, but it's true as a statistical average across large numbers of people.

Conservatives had better gaydar when it came to categorizing these stereotypical individuals. However, liberals did better on categorizing nonstereotypical subjects, where conservatives' gut classification approach broke down and they actually fared worse. Neither group was more accurate overall, however. Even though there's some truth to the stereotype that conservatives were using to make up their minds, liberals seemed to be adjusting their views on some of the faces in a way that kept them about even.

At this point you're probably wondering: What clues were the liberals going on in the study, if not facial stereotypes?

The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science [4]
The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck [5]
The Surprising Brain Differences Between Democrats and Republicans [6]
The More Republicans Know About Politics, the More They Believe Conspiracy Theories [7]
There's No Such Thing As the Liberal War on Science [8]

As it turns out, when the researchers ran the study again with one key modification, they were able to come up with an intriguing answer to this question. This time around, roughly half of the test subjects were required to remember a bit of gibberish—"7T4$RF%"—and type it in after every five faces that they saw. Obviously, this exercise is highly distracting—and that's precisely the point. It took up thinking bandwidth—and when thus distracted, liberals behaved just as the conservatives had in the first study. Now, they too relied on gender stereotypes to decide whether individuals were gay or straight.

In other words, it appears that liberals and conservatives alike snap to initial, stereotypical judgments about a person's sexual persuasion based on facial features. But liberals then engage in a more elaborate thinking process and often adjust their views away from the stereotype—at least when they're not distracted.
Source URL:


Beth M (138)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 11:32 am
I don't understand the purpose of labeling people because of their looks. Why is it difficult to judge people based on their actions?

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 12:02 pm
Your inferences could be legally deemed actionable against you Allan.
You cannot currently send a star to Beth because you have done so within the last day.

Gene J (290)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 1:24 pm
Not sure of the usefulness of this line of inquiry. But one thing that does seem to stand out in all this is that conservatives only wrestle with their consciences AFTER they discover they have a gay child. Whereas liberals tend to support wholeness for all people without first having to have personal experience. I think that says a lot about the different ways conservatives and progressives see the world. And it is why I am progressive.

Nancy M (169)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 1:34 pm
I am not sure it matters whose "gaydar" is better. what is more important is what they will do about it.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 1:46 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Nancy because you have done so within the last day

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:05 pm
Not sure what all this is about but i have found some very masculine looking men have been gay so dont get that
theory on looks

Noted thanks

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:09 pm

No one has accused Jeff Sessions of being gay, so why proclaim that he most definitely not gay?

This study reminded me of one that was used for men and women to determine interesting or attractive partners. When women are most able to conceive they chose the pictures of men labeled as more effeminate, when she is not at this point in her cycle, she will be more attracted to the "masculine" image. Of course, this is just a part of a much larger and more detailed study, but the choice of the "effeminate" males, remained consistent through the study.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:10 pm
My, my, my.....I hear an old song by Chubby Checker...."Let's Twist Again...." Republicans aren't anti gay and there is no study anywhere to support that lie. Republicans, for the most part, do NOT believe in changing the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman for a small percentage of our country who are gays and lesbians and they want to be recognized as marriage. To do so, would change the sanctity of marriage.

Obama, himself, stood boldly before the American people not too terribly long ago and stated as only Obama can do..."I believe marriage is between one man and one woman." He certainly didn't have a lesbian daughter when he later stated, after watching his ratings take a dive among the gay and lesbian community, that he believed in "Same Sex Marriage." Those damn popularity ratings has Obama jumping around like kangaroo. He must be totally exhausted by nightfall from flip flopping all day long.

Another miraculous change of heart happened recently with our beloved Hillary Rodham Clinton, who by all intents and purposes has her eye set on running for President in 2016 when she stepped out and proclaimed "I believe in SAME SEX marriage." Polls can make a prostitute out of the nicest people.

The New York Times recently printed an article that nine states plus our lovely District of Columbia have passed same sex marriage. So, after reading comments above, can we assume that the remaining 40 states are all red states since they want no part of this law? Just looking for clarity here.

Americans will always judge people by the way they look. I've heard liberals refer to republican senators as turtles, rats, and asses. It would appear that judging someone by their looks spares no political party.

George W. Bush was characterchured as the dear little fellow on Mad Magazine and then the liberals morphed into comparing him to a monkey. Michelle Obama's severe under bite and Obama's "ample" ears have been characterchured in the same cartoonish ways by the conservatives. This has been going on for decades.

Now we have a silly article written by someone with too much time on their hands who suggests that the conservatives have better gaydar when, in fact, we ALL judge people in our own ways.

Personally, I don't look at a handsome man and question if he is gay or not. I will say that when I look at a man who has his lips puckered up and his nails all shiny red wearing heels, I get the feeling he's probably having a good day being who he is.

I happen to have a very handsome son (all mothers think they have handsome sons BTW) and we've discussed on several occasions what if he told me he was gay? My answer was quick and that was I could never love him less. I told him my only sadness would be that he would not give me a grandchild but other than that I would embrace anyone he brought into our lives as his partner. He asked me my feelings on gay marriage and I told him our country should NEVER change the sanctity of the marriage vows for a small percentage of Americans. Further, I believed in civil unions and anything that could bind the love between two people but I could not go the gay marriage route. He asked me these questions because he has several gay friends in their 30's who have committed relationships. He then told me he did not believe in same sex marriage and stated that he was asked this question by his two gay friends. By the way, he isn't a republican. He says he is an independent. I give him 5 more years working, having children and paying higher taxes before he joins his "mama" on the republican side of the aisle. I am a patient mother.

All this to say that just because a person does believe in changing the sanctity of marriage as we know it doesn't make them anti gay. It has everything to do with their religious upbringings. People believe in different things. This is why we have a two party system. We vote for those who mirror our beliefs. None of us are bad people. We are just different.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:11 pm
typo: "recognized as married."

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:13 pm

I don't know that I have gaydar. I don't know until some one tells me or introduces a same sex partner. I guess I could care less who people sleep with, so long as it is two consenting adults.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:16 pm
and another typo: "All this to say that just because a person doesn't believe in changing the sanctity of marriage...."

I'm sure I have more up there...

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:18 pm
Yes, Kit, two consenting adults....whatever rocks their boat. It is not for me to judge and personally I don't care what two people do together....never have never will as long as they are in agreement.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:19 pm
When America's polls show us that 40% of all Americans are gay and lesbians (hopefully I'll be in my grace by then) then I would be more inclined to go the way of the majority. But for a very small percentage of Americans for me that is just a bridge too far.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:21 pm

I remember one when William H Buckley and many others came forward to apologize publicly for "being on the wrong side of history" by proclaiming their stand against the Civil Rights Bill. I loved his PBS show, the man was absolutely brilliant, but even Buckley could be accused of myopic vision.

Today, the exact same arguments used against full and complete acknowledgement of full rights for the African Americans, has been dusted off to be recycled for as the gay rights argument. Get some new material.

In 50 years, people will look back at us, and laugh about how stupid we were, and they will be correct.

There is no fixin' stupid or mean. We are all human beings, we all must have the right to love and loved.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:23 pm

I remember when....strike the word one... (correction)

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:28 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day.
Thanks Kit for showing the piece of illuminating history regarding human and civil right of marriage (which has nothing to do with religion however much some prefer to claim). In fact, until the Victorian era the Catholic Church even had specific sanctified service language for their marital blessing ceremonies between persons of the same sex.
Yes, history will proclaim the bigotry of those still seeking to deny LGBTQ persons the freedoms everyone else enjoys.
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Nancy M (169)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:29 pm
"Today, the exact same arguments used against full and complete acknowledgement of full rights for the African Americans, has been dusted off to be recycled for as the gay rights argument. Get some new material. "

Off topic but don't forget woman, we still don't have the ERA!

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:38 pm
Kit, I respect everyone's freedom of speech but I can tell you now that I totally disagree with your comparison of gays and lesbians to the civil rights act.

Gays and Lesbians have jobs as CEO's of companies and hold other high positions. They don't have to use a restroom for "Gays Only." Gays and lesbians are a very small percentage of our population.

Apples and oranges here, Kit. We have 40 states that have not passed the same sex marriage law. Wonder why that is? Our country is nowhere near ready for such a change in our marriage vows. When our country IS ready there will be change.

Everyone has a right to be love and be loved. We aren't talking about that here. We are talking about changing the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman for a small percentage of our population. The states vote on this. So far, you've got 9 state seeing things your way and DC. You've got a long way to go. And it certainly won't be solved here or changed on Care 2 by any of us.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 2:53 pm
Equality and rights under the constitution to equally enjoy freedoms, the right to form loving, committed relationships with whom you choose and have a family that is equally recognized by the law is not something other people have the right to vote on when they are ready--those are rights inherently belonging to all.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:05 pm

The Roman Catholic Church did not declare the act of marriage to be a sacrament until a thousand years after it's formation. The use of the word "marriage" in the bible is modern translation. The act of marriage in the biblical years was the act of selling or trading a daughter in exchange for money or goods.

Marriage, all marriage in the United States is a civil union with official filing with the bureau of vital statics, any further ceremony is completely a celebration within the family and friends. No church can "make" a marriage. There is no sanctity - sanctimonious superiority perhaps.

There are no apples and oranges, only thinly veiled hypocrisy and more hyperbole.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:06 pm
People can enjoy all the freedoms they want in the United States and that includes the right to form loving, committed problem there. If they want to get married they need to live in one of the 9 states that passed the law. However, if they move to a state that doesn't recognize their marriage they will have a problem.

Once again, you are referring to a very small percentage of Americans.

You can interpret the laws the way you want them to be in your own mind but a law is a law. Civil unions seem to be working out just fine. What's wrong with that?

Nancy M (169)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:14 pm
Kit, you are correct that a LEGAL marriage is civil and requires that license, etc. But churches do perform Gay marriages, they just aren't legally recognized.

Small percentage of Americans? And so we deny them their religious rights to marry? When many in America do support that right?

Diane, you say that civil unions are working out just fine but I don't know of a state that allows them. IS it Colorado and that's it? There may be more but my state does not recognize them. (Every other state I have ever lived in does)

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:23 pm
Nine states and the District of Columbia have passed same sex marriage laws. Civil unions to me and in today's language is that two people come together without benefit of marriage. They are committed to each other in a long term relationship.

Remember the old law "Common Law Wife?" It has something to do with if you lived together with a woman for seven years she automatically became your wife. I haven't researched it but I remember reading about it some time ago.

Yes, only a small percentage of Americans are gay and lesbians. We do not change the sanctity of marriage as the majority knows and has practiced it for a gazillion years for a few people to feel better about themselves.

When our country's population identifies as 40% gays and lesbians then we have to "search our souls" for a solution. That would certainly cut our population in half wouldn't it? Hmm. lower taxes....

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:32 pm
Thank you Nyack and Nancy and others for helping show the example we have here of clear-cut bigotry and desire to deny freedoms enjoyed by oneself to others on non-factual grounds, coincidentally exactly the same religious arguments once used to prohibit interracial marriages in the US.
You cannot currently send a star to Nancy because you have done so within the last day.

Nancy M (169)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:34 pm
I do remember hearing about "common law" Dian but their are some states that had those laws and some that don't.

There are states that do not use the word marriage for same sex unions but they do have licenses and legal accommodations for same sex unions. YES, they are legal and above and beyond simply living together. It does give gays in unions the same legal rights as a marriage. I assumed that is what you meant Diane and YES, Colorado it seems did just pass that law.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:37 pm
But hospitals still deny those rights when not marriage and couples lose them if they move to another state if it is a union and not a marriage.

Thank you Nyack for providing the ever important FactCheck for misrepresentations.

Nancy M (169)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:38 pm
And BTW Diane, there are religions that do acknowledge gay marriage and same sex unions. I just posted a story a few days ago about a Church that will not perform marriages until they can perform them for ANY Couple who wishes them.

(Hopefully JL A doesn't mind that I posted that link).

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:42 pm
Not at all Nancy.
The Episcopal Church and Unitarian Church do marriage ceremonies where it is legal, too. Many other churches and pastors have done likewise when legal in accordance with Jesus's commands of what is to be His follower's priority.


JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:47 pm
LGBT demographics of the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The demographics of sexual orientation or gender identity in the United States have dramatically changed since the Stonewall riots in 1969, which marked the modern LGBT rights movement. Beginning in the gay villages of various port cities of the United States, the presence of openly LGBT people (the majority of whom had previously publicly identified as heterosexual due to cultural pressure against homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender identity) gradually emerged into most urban areas as LGBT-positive community institutions were established, more LGBT persons experienced less overall pressure against their identities by their peers and various anti-LGBT legal provisions were dismantled.

According to a Williams Institute review conducted in April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender—which would correspond to approximately 11.7 million Americans as of the 2010 Census.[1] However, a significantly higher percentage acknowledge having same-sex attraction without identifying as LGB. This makes it difficult to accurately record the demographics of LGBT people in the U.S.

Since such unions were first recognized in California in the 1970s, the number of legally recognized same-sex unions in the United States have also grown on a county-by-county and state-by-state basis.

Seems to me over 11 million people is a lot of people to deny equal freedoms to under the law just because some prefer to be bigots.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:04 pm
Excellent points Nyack. And I'd add to your point about selective constitutional defenses that there is a similar selectivity regarding the Bible typical among those using unwarranted religious arguments.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:24 pm

Legendary in my own mind, possibly however, not incorrect on the facts. Any state that has legal civil unions for those who are "labeled" as LGBTQ are married. That is they will enjoy the legal status of marriage. Which is the most basic point, as it applies to legal documents, rights to insurance, medical information and consent...etc...

No church in the United States can surpass the law of the land. Every state does required a legal "certification" for marriage. Each state may call it by a different name, the legal result is the same.

This country is based on the premise of a Republic that uses democratic ideals for instituting the processes of that republic. Twist it as you may, this is NOT a theocratic country and no religion of any form takes precedents over the laws of the land.

Should I chose I am able to disagree with your right to free speech. By no means does that give me the right to suppress your right to speak freely. That ain't apples and apricots - freedom is for all or it's for none.

Roger Skinner (14)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:29 pm
@Allan Yorkowitz your comment about Obama is disgusting and BS. It is both off-topic and has no basis in fact.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:34 pm
This is too funny and sad.

"The bigots have no problem taking taxes from those 11 million, do they?" Gays and Lesbians are Americans who work for a company or are self employed. When they work they pay taxes. They pay into social security for the retirement and medicare for their healthcare one day. They aren't any different in that regard. What two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is none of the government's business. They are Americans, first, who work and pay taxes.

Also, people have choices to make. 99% of us have WILLS. If some of you do not have Wills you need to do something about that. The government doesn't waltz in and take a dead person's assets. The only time this happens, and it is rare, is when someone doesn't leave a Will and has no heirs. You are beginning to worry me with your elementary logic. When the government steps in it is to tax the inheritance but there are legal ways to get around that.

One of the best bosses I ever had was a lesbian who was in a committed marriage. They flew down to Puerto Rico and got married. Once they got back to Virginia they weren't officially married but it didn't matter to them. In their minds and hearts they were married. Every intelligent person in our country has a Will. When one dies that person leaves it to someone. When the other person dies they leave the assets to someone...of their choosing. To not have a Will is ridiculous.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:42 pm

"Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.
Dag Hammarskjold

The arc of American history almost inevitably moves toward freedom. Whether it's Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the expansion of women's rights or, now, gay rights, I think there is an almost-inevitable march toward greater civil liberties.
James McGreevey

For as long as the power of America's diversity is diminished by acts of discrimination and violence against people just because they are black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, Muslim or gay, we still must overcome.
Ron Kind

If a person is homosexual by nature - that is, if one's sexuality is as intrinsic a part of one's identity as gender or skin color - then society can no more deny a gay person access to the secular rights and religious sacraments because of his homosexuality than it can reinstate Jim Crow.
Jon Meacham

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:45 pm

The most difficult thing is to pry a bigot from closely held beliefs.
Miss Kitty~~~

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:51 pm
This is far too easy.

Married couples, committed couples have Wills. You can hand write a Will or you can go to an attorney like I did and spend money on setting up a Trust as well as a Will. This isn't about gay and lesbian couples. It's about common sense. I could opt to leave my assets to my next door neighbor and not my husband. If I stipulate that in my Will my neighbor receives what is designated for them to receive in a Will.

And, Kit, I know you are calling me a bigot simply because I have a different opinion. I am a realist. You are a dreamer. I have never ever called you names because you disagree with me.

Guess liberals all have "that" in common. It's never necessary to personally attack someone who disagrees with your core beliefs. We are all different for good reason.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:52 pm
Laugh out loud!! Are you suggesting that gays and lesbians have NO next of KIN? Unbelievable dialogue here.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:55 pm
Nyack, you are suggesting that gays and lesbians aren't like "real" people. They have mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles etc just like the rest of us.

Diane O (194)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 4:57 pm
I work in the wealth management business. We have committed gay and lesbian couples as clients and they are extremely precise in who gets what and when. They aren't abnormal people. They are highly intelligent people who know what they need to do to take care of each other in life and in death. You seem to be presenting this community of Americans are dumb people. They are human beings. They have choices to make like anybody else.

Do you have a Will? Don't answer. Just raising a question.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:19 pm
Spouse should be the legal next of kin for everyone in a committed relationship who wants to marry.
Thank you Nyack for astute recognition of the language of bigotry.

Also, thank you Nyack for reminding those having trouble reading of what the topic of this thread is and should be addressed in comments from here on consistent with respectful behavior required by the code of conduct..

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:27 pm
So many stars deserved by most here: you either received or
You cannot currently send a star to Roger because you have done so within the last day.
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Thank you all for your respectful on topic contributions.

John B (185)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:31 pm
Thanks J.L. for the extremely interesting post and what a quite interesting discussion go on. I feel that liberals have better gaydar. However I don't use look to to determine sexual preference. I listen to their language and use of gender neutral pronouns. Read and noted.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:32 pm
You are welcome John and thank you for highlighting one of the subtleties less informed persons could well miss. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last day.

Roger Skinner (14)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:33 pm
@Diane O. If you think Republicans aren't anti-gay, then you haven't been paying them much attention. Here are just a few of the typical comments Republicans make:

In any case, I'm confused about your statement, " When America's polls show us that 40% of all Americans are gay and lesbians (hopefully I'll be in my grace by then) then I would be more inclined to go the way of the majority. But for a very small percentage of Americans for me that is just a bridge too far."

So, since blacks are only about 12% of the population, we shouldn't have given them equal rights? Or Hispanics which are only about 16% of the population? How about Asian Americans that are less than 5% or Native Americans who are less than 1% (even less than the most conservative estimate for gays)? Since when do we exclude people from our American rights if they just aren't a big enough group? That makes no sense to me. You say that is different, but I don't see the difference. Just because the people of a state vote against something, doesn't make it right. If we had left Civil Rights to the states, there would still be some where segregation is legal today. So blacks should just have moved out of the states they had been born and raised in if they didn't like it?

You say, "...personally I don't care what two people do together....never have never will as long as they are in agreement." But that is all marriage really is, an agreement between two people.

As for your noting "the sanctity of marriage", marriage was first and foremost (and still is) a civil contract. Nowhere in the United States do you have to have a religious ceremony or even blessing in order to get married. It is basically a government construct. The religious context for it is pretty much a latecomer and hasn't really changed what governments already had in place.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:38 pm
Thank you Roger for providing excellent source information relevant to the topic and the data related to rights...and also, there are many rare diagnoses that are disabling--so because something is rare freedoms and rights should be denied is exactly opposite of established case law--some by the current SCOTUS.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:44 pm

In Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I think that fits quite nicely.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 5:46 pm
Thank you Kit for reminding us of an important definition of an activity inconsistent with the Code of Conduct (and providing it).

Roger Skinner (14)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 6:22 pm
After a couple of comment on comments made here, I guess I should comment on the article itself for a change. Frankly, I'm unimpressed and wonder about its conclusions.

"The researchers showed subjects pictures 30 male faces. Fifteen of the men pictured were gay, and 15 were straight. The faces had also been ranked by independent observers, who were asked to determine how "masculine" or "feminine" their features were."

How were the pictures selected? Where did they come from? How much of a correspondence really exists between having "masculine" or "feminine" features and sexual orientation? For that matter what exactly is the difference between "masculine" or "feminine" features? It says, "there was indeed a moderate correlation between more "feminine" male faces and being gay." Moderate? What does that mean? I'm used to studies that say something is statically significant, but "moderate" seems a bit (dare I say) wimpy. It also doesn't say how accurate the "gaydar" was. How many "gays" were identified correctly? Were some "straight" identified incorrectly? What would happen if pictures of women were used instead? Would the findings hold up or be different? What if the pics were of gay men with "masculine" features and straight men with "feminine" features? Could anyone tell the difference then?

I suppose this could lead to interesting discussions, but does it really tell us anything new?

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 6:37 pm
"A Scale of Magnitudes for Effect Statistics
Suppose you get a correlation of 0.47 between two variables. Is that big or small, in the scheme of things? If you haven't a clue, you're not alone. Most people don't know how to interpret the magnitude of a correlation, or the magnitude of any other effect statistic. But people can understand trivial, small, moderate, and large, so qualitative terms like these need to be used when you discuss results. One day, stats programs will include these terms in their output. In the meantime, we have to do the job manually using a scale of magnitudes. I'll now explain a scale of magnitudes for linear trends (using the correlation coefficient), differences in means (using the standardized difference), and relative frequencies (using relative risks, odds ratios, and differences in frequencies).


Jacob Cohen has written the most on this topic. In his well-known book he suggested, a little ambiguously, that a correlation of 0.5 is large, 0.3 is moderate, and 0.1 is small (Cohen, 1988). The usual interpretation of this statement is that anything greater than 0.5 is large, 0.5-0.3 is moderate, 0.3-0.1 is small, and anything smaller than 0.1 is insubstantial, trivial, or otherwise not worth worrying about. His corresponding thresholds for standardized differences in means are 0.8, 0.5 and 0.2. He did not provide thresholds for the relative risk and odds ratio."

Does that help Roger?

Lynn D (0)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 2:32 am
Well, at least I know what gaydar is now --- thanks for interesting article!

Danuta W (1250)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 2:46 am

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 3:45 am
It's an interesting study, but we all use stereotypes, liberals and conservatives alike. We liberals don't want to admit to this but we do when we label the conservatives. Anyway, sexual inclinations should be a private matter, and the state, every state, should implement laws of equality to all of its citizens!

Diane O (194)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 3:48 am
Interesting Opinion Article:

Are the only people who still oppose homosexual “marriage” reactionaries, religious fanatics or haters? That’s what the loudest voices are suggesting, but are these accusations accurate, experiential and rational? Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments regarding the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. It’s conceivable that the Court, as it did with abortion in its 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade, will rule that homosexual “marriage” is an American right. The snowball seems to be rolling downhill, and getting bigger.

This issue is often reduced to an emotional question: Why shouldn’t two men or two women who care about each other be allowed to marry? The Obama administration is supportive of homosexual “marriage,” and even many libertarian Republicans have reversed their opposition.

As with other social issues, homosexual “marriage” is an ideological and emotional issue, where it is tempting to label people and institutions “good” or “bad,” but it’s more complex than that.

We live in an age, and a milieu, where we are encouraged to indulge every inclination and urge. We are warned that denying these urges is unhealthy, even psychologically dangerous, but history and experience have demonstrated that many inclinations and urges (kleptomania, sexual predation, attractions to alcohol and drugs, pedophilia, etc.) ought to be resisted. Happiness is not achieved by satisfying urges. In fact, greatness is often achieved by resisting urges.

If we are going to alter the definition of marriage to include relationships other than one man and one woman, aren’t we entitled to a rational explanation for why the following are nonsensical scenarios?

Why can’t four consenting men and three consenting women who desire to marry, marry? What is so special about two-person marriage if traditional marriage is no longer special? Haven’t the rights of these four men and three woman been abridged by preventing them from marrying?

Why can’t 12-year old boys and girls who are more intellectually advanced and more emotionally mature than many adults marry?

Why can’t a Muslim man and 50 consenting women who desire to establish a harem marry?

Many modern Americans – just look at groups like PETA and Earth First – believe that other animals should have the same rights as human “animals.” Already, cats and dogs enjoy greater legal protection than human fetuses in the womb. So, why shouldn’t a man who wants to ensure that his pet is cared for after he dies be allowed to marry his pet?

Once the relationship between one man and one woman is no longer special and uniquely sanctioned, none of these alternate “unions” can be summarily dismissed. Yet if any union of any number of consenting persons can be considered “marriage,” then the potential for abuse and mistreatment is multiplied, even more so with children who are involved in these menages.

We know that one man, one woman relationships often fail; however, many produce a beautiful female-male complementarity, and children to ensure the future of the human race.

As to diversity, what is more diverse than a natural family, composed of a human mother, father and children? When so many children are neglected and abused, shouldn’t we be striving to reinforce stable families where both male-ness and female-ness are exemplified?

Every person is entitled to respect. It is hard to separate beliefs and behavior from the person, but actions ought to be judged, not a person’s heart, which cannot be known. Still, changing the very definition of marriage to satisfy the emotional urges of a select group goes far beyond respect. Moreover, it sets a culture on the dangerous path toward decline, eroding the institution most responsible for continuing the human race.

A million Frenchmen, and even a majority of Americans, can be wrong. Moral choices are connected to human freedom and how it is used, and sometimes abused. Using freedom well is a lifelong challenge.

Thomas M. Doran, a writer and educator, is the author most recently of “Terrapin” (Ignatius Press, 2012).

Read more:
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Nancy M (169)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 7:27 am
"Are the only people who still oppose homosexual “marriage” reactionaries, religious fanatics or haters? That’s what the loudest voices are suggesting, but are these accusations accurate, experiential and rational?"

Well, as discussed on This week this morning, apparently so. Old people are the ones opposed to it. Younger people have no problem with it.

And even my 85 year old mother supports gay "civil unions" with licensing and legal rights. And yes Kit it is a semantic point with her, the end results is the same.

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 7:56 am
Diane, being gay isn't an urge!! People are mostly born that way, like you were born with blond hair and (if that's the original color) and your disposition. It's not something you can just turn on and off at will! And you may think it is wrong but it isn't. There are enough of us hetersexuals to over populate the world a little bit more, don't worry!

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 7:59 am
From Wikipedia:

Recent polls or ballot votes that show a majority of that state's population supports same-sex marriage.
Recent polls that show less than a majority of that state's population opposes same-sex marriage.
Recent polls or ballot votes that show a majority of that state's population opposes same-sex marriage.

There is much coverage and research on public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States, with most recent polls showing majority support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Support has increased steadily for more than a decade, with supporters first achieving a majority in 2010.[1] An August 2010 CNN poll became the first national poll to show majority support for same-sex marriage,[2] with nearly all subsequent polls showing majority support.[3][4][5][6]

Support for same-sex marriage generally correlates with lack of religious fundamentalism, young age,[7] higher education, and residence in the Northeast and West Coast.[8] Women are also more likely to be in support than men.[4]

FactCheck: The data supports you Nancy and not those who disagree with you.

On bigotry (e.g., like interracial marriage history):
"Why does change happen so slowly? Older folks tend to adopt their positions on social matters while young, and retain them throughout their life. Young people appear to be more accepting -- in this case of racial differences -- and gradually shift the culture's opinion as they mature and enter into positions of authority. They in turn are followed by other young people who are even more accepting. Thus, it takes decades to effect change."

Now to end the violation of code of conduct related to hijacking of threads deemed disrespect of everyone else by the perpetrator:
Nyack is correct that the topic isn't gay marriage but is gaydar.

cecily w (0)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 8:00 am
"Common Law Marriage" can be initiated in nine states--but will be recognized in other states, although some states will consider it only in terms of probate . It is based on public recognition of a contract, which is how it differs from "living together". Again, the basis is public perception of a CONTRACT (even if that contract is neither written nor registered).

As for actual "marriage", some protections are necessary--both parties need to be adults (in order to protect children), and both parties need to consent (in order to protect both from being coerced). Further, in the US it is understood that marriage occurs between two people--not more. Religions can refuse to perform ceremonies for marriages they don't recognize. Beyond that, why does anyone care who somebody else marries? Why is it anyone else's business?

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 8:23 am
Stars sent where I could and deserved (e.g., Louise and Cecily) but too soon for some: sorry Giana, Lynn, Nancy, and Nyack. I've found that bigots often build immunity to seeing or hearing facts that reveal that bigotry to themselves.

Helmut H (28)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 8:37 am

pam w (139)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 9:23 am
Diane O..."Kit, sometimes I believe you think you are a legend in your own mind"


"Polls can make a prostitute out of the nicest people. "

++++++++++++ Apparently, POLITICS can make people BITCHY.

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 9:27 am
Thank you Pam for highlighting out a second type code of conduct violation our frequent poster has chosen. I do have trouble with people who behave as if the rules only apply to other people.

Diane O (194)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 12:21 pm
Keep up with current news.


March 18, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's embrace of gay marriage Monday signals she may be seriously weighing a 2016 presidential run and trying to avoid the type of late-to-the-party caution that hurt her first bid.

Her chief Democratic rivals endorsed same-sex marriage as much as seven years ago, and it's widely popular with Democratic and independent voters.

By supporting gay marriage a full two years before the next presidential primary warms up, Clinton may render the issue largely settled among Democrats, should she decide to run.

But things could be vastly different in the November 2016 general election, regardless who wins the Democratic nomination. That nominee is virtually certain to support same-sex marriage, whereas there's a strong possibility the Republican nominee will not.

That could be a problem for the GOP nominee if same-sex marriage becomes a prominent issue. A poll released Monday shows a dramatic shift in attitudes about legalizing gay marriage, with 58 percent of Americans now supporting it.

Three years ago, the figure was 47 percent, the ABC News/Washington Post poll reported.

Partisan breakdowns show why it's virtually essential for a Democratic presidential hopeful to support same-sex marriage, and why it's difficult for GOP contenders to do the same.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and 34 percent of Republicans support same-sex marriage, the ABC-Post poll found. Unless Republicans' opinions change significantly in the next two years, a GOP presidential hopeful may struggle to win the nomination without opposing gay marriage, even if the position causes problems in the November general election.

For those who lived "through the long years of the civil rights and women's rights movements, the speed with which more and more people have come to embrace the dignity and equality of LGBT Americans has been breathtaking and inspiring," Clinton said in a six-minute video, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

Clinton recently stepped down as secretary of State, freeing her to talk more openly about U.S. domestic political matters. Some Democratic activists cautioned that her Monday statement isn't a sure sign she plans to run for the office that her husband, Bill, won two decades ago.

"I have no idea whether she is going to run or not," said veteran strategist Jim Manley. "All I know is that she was going to have to make this move quickly after stepping down as secretary of State if she was even going to think about it."

Other potential Democratic candidates got there earlier. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo announced his support for same-sex marriage in 2006, and then made a major push in 2011 to enact it into state law. In part by promising political help to Republican legislators whose votes he needed, Cuomo claimed a major victory only two years after the same legislature had refused to legalize gay marriage.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, also eyeing a presidential bid, followed suit. After giving only partial support to a gay marriage proposal in 2011, he made it a priority in 2012, and won passage in the Democratic-dominated legislature. O'Malley, pursuing an ambitiously liberal agenda, also led the recent decision to rescind Maryland's death penalty.

Vice President Joe Biden is credited -- or blamed -- for nudging President Barack Obama to announce his support for same-sex marriage last May when Biden endorsed the idea in a televised interview.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states and the District of Columbia. Civil unions are legal in eight more states, with Colorado on the verge of joining. Many other states have outlawed gay marriage.

Americans' attitudes, especially among Democrats, have tipped the balance on gay marriage in the space of one presidency. Obama, Clinton, Biden and other Democratic presidential candidates opposed legalizing same-sex marriage in 2008, although they endorsed versions of civil unions.

Clinton's bigger problem that year involved a different issue: opposition to the Iraq war, which had become deeply unpopular with Democratic voters by 2007. Clinton defended her 2002 Senate vote authorizing an invasion of Iraq. Obama, as an Illinois state legislator, had condemned the war from the start. By lagging behind Obama on this key issue as the 2008 primaries approached, Clinton lost valuable ground to the lesser-known lawmaker from Illinois.

With major Democratic politicians now taking a similar stand on gay marriage, the issue seems unlikely to play the type of role in 2016 that the Iraq war played in 2008.

President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. DOMA requires the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. It also allows states to do the same when dealing with gay or lesbian couples married in other states.

In 2000, Hillary Clinton was typical of prominent Democrats in saying marriage "has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman."

Bill Clinton recently wrote an op-ed saying it's time to overturn DOMA. The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law this month.

As support for gay marriage becomes the mainstream position among Democrats, the issue is increasingly divisive among Republicans. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio last week became the only Republican senator to support legalizing same-sex marriage. He did so after learning that one of his adult sons is gay.

Dozens of prominent Republicans have urged the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA. But many GOP-controlled states have asked the court to uphold the law.

Diane O (194)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 12:27 pm
The problem with putting articles up for discussion on a liberal website is that you leave yourselves wide open for comments from those of us who simply do not agree with you. It appears that any time someone posts something you don't like you attack and use the "Code of Conduct" scare. I don't break the Code of Conduct and I have made it a point to know what is it.

If you don't agree with my comments then you simply should say you disagree and then post your comments. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten liberals who respond do so with name calling. Where's the proof? Go back over your OWN threads and take a stroll down memory lane. It's all there.

I don't support the President and I never will. I'm not alone. 47% of Americans don't support him either.

Based on your comments you would think that Obama won by a landslide in both elections...far from it.


Diane O (194)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 12:30 pm
A gift for Nyack:

"In 2000, Hillary Clinton was typical of prominent Democrats in saying marriage "has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman."

Howeve, NOW she may be planning to run in 2016 so she must "pave the way" to spoon feed the liberals what they want to see. Politicans have no shame....Obama did the same thing.


JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 1:00 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Nyack because you have done so within the day.

Please be respectful--there is nothing about gaydar in the disrespectful of all members in your hijacks about Hilary--the topic of this thread--post your huff post article as a new thread if that is what you want to discuss--an appropriate place in compliance with code of conduct.

. (0)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 1:20 pm
JLA- just to be clear , Google Reggie Love .

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 1:27 pm
Allan, I chose to privately tell you I limit myself to reliable and credible sources--you chose to go public in another attempt with another off-topic post to hijack this thread (which a commenter noted you had tried unsuccessfully to do before). If you want to discuss that, please post your article yourself and discuss it in a thread where it is topical.

Sharon H (282)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 2:34 pm
@Nancy M...that church is right here in my neck of the woods. It's about 7 miles from me. It's been in our local paper several times. I'm SO proud of them too!

Nancy M (169)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 2:38 pm
YAY for them. Glad to know that. My niece who works for the Methodist Church in NY sent it to me.

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 3:02 pm
Except the Catholic Church routinely married same sex couples up until the Victorian era (so did so for more centuries than not to date)...hard to find something factual there to agree with I know Nyack.

Birgit W (160)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 3:59 pm

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 4:17 pm
There is nothing related to gaydar in the Hilary comments posted that you were drawn to respond to, as hijackers/trolls intend by the definition of those terms--sorry if I confused you Nyack.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 5:09 pm

JL A (281)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 5:25 pm
You are welcome Jennifer--and everyone else who came to post and didn't because of the hijacking dynamics you saw, I appreciate your interest in the actual topic of gaydar.

tiffany t (142)
Sunday March 24, 2013, 9:48 pm
equal rights, who cares about views, change the laws

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Monday March 25, 2013, 8:09 am
"Gaydar", which is something that REALLY EXISTS, is more a matter of an "aura" surrounding a person, a Spiritual kind of "energy" maybe, than the way a person LOOKS. It is like the "color aura" that some spiritually-developed people, or psychics, say they can see.
Gay people, whether Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, have "Gaydar" to recognize each other. That is why they generally avoid "hitting on" straight people, as some straight people seem to fear so much!
I have "Gaydar". I don't understand it, but I have it. Many years ago, when I was in Group Therapy, I could ALWAYS zero in on the ONE Gay person in the room. This was BEFORE GAY PEOPLE WERE COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET. The Gay person, sensing sympathy, would take me aside and say, "I've never told anyone this before...." and I'd KNOW what they were going to say next!
Again, it usually has NOTHING to do with the way they look, mostly {I am talking about Gay men}, except that I have seen ONE correlation. Gay men have longer EYELASHES. I don't understand this. I just note it.

I don't think this "test", as set up as described, has much validity. {Way too small samples, for one thing.}
Again, it is maybe something about the way a person moves, that is very subtle and registers on an unconscious level. Or else, as I said, a Spiritual kind of "aura". Not how "masculine" or "feminine" they LOOK. {Altho, now that Gays are more out of the closet, they may ON PURPOSE cultivate "masculine" or "feminine" looks, to attract the sort of partners they want to attract. Back in the days of the closet, it would have been less open.}

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Monday March 25, 2013, 8:15 am
Thank you, JL A, for your attempts to KEEP THIS THREAD ON-TOPIC.
Damn the hijackers!!!
Look who's got an "agenda".....!!!!!
Thank you, JL A, LET'S ALL HELP HER!

JL A (281)
Tuesday March 26, 2013, 8:27 am
You are welcome BMutiny and I have observed a number of posts deemed violations of personal attack and blatant bigotry removed by Care2 of she who claims innocence of such violations.

Diane O (194)
Tuesday March 26, 2013, 3:11 pm
It is not unusual on a public forum for a thread to go off topic. We don't live in a perfect world. What we know is that different topics morph into fringe conversations. There's no way we can stop that. It happens. It's all about the left and the right being extremely passionate in what they believe. I believe in freedom of speech...yours and mine.

My posts still stand in case you haven't noticed. We are a divided country. Obama only won by 47% always keep that in mind. You might want to believe that he won by a landslide but he did not. That means you will have opposing views to threads you put up and that's the way it is and will remain. When Obama walks out of the White House in 2016 you will be pummeling the republicans in much the same way you are experiencing here. And, you will want to post your opposing views.

I don't personally attack people but I do respond to personal attacks just the same way you have done here. You responded. I have every right to respond with an opposing view. For you to think otherwise is, well, unrealistic and "sensitive."

Like you, I don't need any help. I have my freedom of speech. You may not like it but....I have the right to respond.

You didn't win anything. But I don't mind if you celebrate.

JL A (281)
Tuesday March 26, 2013, 3:29 pm
The topic remains "gaydar" for anyone still having trouble reading, being respectful and complying with Care2's standards.

JL A (281)
Tuesday March 26, 2013, 3:39 pm
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. “ – Bertrand Russell

seemed to fit for those reading and trying to be on topic...
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