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Author Topic: 10% of Americans are gay -- urban myth explored
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We have all heard the well worn claim that "at least 10% of America is gay," haven't we? This 10% statistic has been used by gay advocacy groups for decades leaving Americans to imagine that up to 20 million of their fellows might be gay. But is this number a truism or propaganda from the gay lobby?

http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/huston/060314

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Wow. Where to begin with that piece?

The author seems bent on proving that 10 per cent of America being gay is too high. Fine, maybe it is. Doesn't affect as to whether gay people should be treated any differently from straight people. After all, there are visible minorities or religious groups who constitute a similar size of the population -- and I highly doubt the author would advocate discrimination on that basis.

quote:
In any case, there you have it. The 10% statistic seems to be a myth instead of a reality. Instead of 20 some million Americans being homosexual we see that no more than 5 million could possibly be so. It's fairly hard to believe that homosexuality is "normal" if less than 5% of the population are such, isn't it?
Ah, but the author is confusing "normal" with "common." The two are not the same. In any case, defining "normal" is very problematic.

quote:
Now contrast these numbers with the claimed number of homosexuals in the US. Using these statistics, it would seem that people with mental disorders are far more numerous than those who claim homosexuality.
So what? There are more obese people in the U.S. than out gay people. What's the point here?

quote:
Rather than assessing "normal" scientifically it appears that the mental health officials are driven by politics as opposed to science.
Tell that to the American Family Association, which seems to believe that politics is behind America catching TEH GAY.

quote:
But, this claim just does not wash with the social acceptance that homosexuality has attained over the last 20 or so years. Except for small sections of the US, being gay carries little if any stigma that might force people who are homosexual from answering truthfully on these often ananymous surveys.
Hardly. Despite the acceptance of many people, there are still a lot of bigots out there. And a lot of people are afraid to come out to themselves because of their families finding out. Finding out how many gay people there are is currently impossible, since there's no surefire "test" for it, and people will often lie on the topic.

And, as I mentioned above, so what? Just because the number is lower than previously thought doesn't mean that gay people should be treated as any less "normal" than straight people.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Wintermute
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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The 10% myth was disproved a long time ago. The original numbers were very flawed in how they come up with the 10%. The more accepted number in psychology is 1-3% of the population is homosexual.
quote:
Granted homosexuality was removed from being classified as a mental disorder in 1973 due to the efforts of gay advocates, but it stretches credulity to believe 20 million Americans could be considered mentally ill and, therefore abnormal, while a mere 3 to 5 million homosexual Americans are to be considered "normal." Rather than assessing "normal" scientifically it appears that the mental health officials are driven by politics as opposed to science.
It is correct that in the DSMV IV you will not find homosexuality listed as a disorder. In DSMV III it was listed as disorder. This does not mean it is 'normal' behavior is just means that it is not a psychological disorder. I would disagree with the statement that mental health officials were driven by politics as opposed to science. I would say it is the other way around. I would say science currently believes that homosexuality is not a disorder, or that the 'symptoms' could be described better by other disorders that really go after the root cause. As my abnormal psychology professor said why did they have a separate disorder for a depressed homosexual, instead of just depression? Why did the issue of homosexuality need to be part of the diagnosis instead of just under the history of the patient?
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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
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I don't have my cite on hand, but I shall look for it, but I thought it was 3% of the population was exclusivly homosexual, with the rest of the population falling into different degrees between homosexuality and heterosexuality. I know Kinsey is the one who came out with this idea, but I can't remember what the exact numbers were.

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"I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, EVIL stuff... and I want in."- Homer Simpson

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Jack Dylan
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quote:
Originally posted by Nocturnal Goddess: The Bittersweet:
I don't have my cite on hand, but I shall look for it, but I thought it was 3% of the population was exclusivly homosexual, with the rest of the population falling into different degrees between homosexuality and heterosexuality. I know Kinsey is the one who came out with this idea, but I can't remember what the exact numbers were.

I think he had some sort of scale, whereas heterosexuality and homosexuality were the polar extremes. He figured most people lay somewhere in the middle.

Here is the scale.

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Eppis: Do you know why being a revolutionary doesn't work in this country? Being a revolutionary in America is like being a spoil sport at an orgy. All these goodies being passed around and you feel like a shit when you say no.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Do they mean that 10% of each American is gay, or that 10% of the population is gay? If it's 10% of each American, which 10% is it?

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/Troberg

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
Do they mean that 10% of each American is gay, or that 10% of the population is gay? If it's 10% of each American, which 10% is it?

The part that likes show tunes. [Wink]

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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the supe-r-bowl is gay

[lol]

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Well, our Superheroes are gay...

Canukie - you make a very valid point about differences between normalcy and comman...cy... whatever. There is a big differency. [lol] No, really! I'm just in a silly mood.

"Cuz you're the wind beneath my wiiiiiiings!"

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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According to the Kinsey Institute site, which is referencing Kinsey's book The The Sexual Behavior of the American Male :

quote:
Males:
* 10% of males in the sample were predominantly homosexual between the ages of 16 and 55
* 8% of males were exlusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55. (p. 651, Male)
* 4% of white males had been exclusively homosexual after the onset of adolescence up to the time of their interviews, (p. 651, Male).

I have Kinsey's book at home and I can check how he defines "predominanty homosexual" if anyone is interested.

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-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Lssseee... that means 4% are 100% gay, 8% are .... 55 minus 16... I wish I would have been more attentive in Mrs. Wyrsbocker's class now... 39... three plus years is 7% or more... 10% are more than 50% gay.... I get 7.238% gay, not including that singer guy who was on American Idol, which would bring it up to almost 9.3%. So 10% is almost right.
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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
Canukie ...

Why Malruhn, I had no idea you were part of the 10 per cent ... er, felt that way about me.

And it's Canuckie, my honey bunny. [lol]

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Kid Kilowatt
Deck the Malls


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I wish I could remember the band, but I heard a song a few years ago with the (approximate) lyric:
Ten percent of us are gay
That's one in ten
So there's a fifty percent chance
Someone in Pantera likes men

Re: the link - what was scarier, that dude's picture, his spelling of "ananymous", or those Terri Schiavo links on the right?

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The book says, "We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."
- Magnolia

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Queen of Slugs
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Interesting. All of the work I'm familiar with- including detailed studies of medieval and Renaissance society- suggest a rate of 10-11%. It certainly is a number that holds true for my social community.

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"The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little." ­ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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The figure that is often quoted over here is 8%. I don't know how many "degrees" of homosexuality that includes, but I would guess it would be Kinsey 6s and 5s.

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I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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put it in writing
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Kid Kilowatt:
I wish I could remember the band, but I heard a song a few years ago with the (approximate) lyric:
Ten percent of us are gay
That's one in ten
So there's a fifty percent chance
Someone in Pantera likes men


Atom and His Package, "Hats Off to Halford"

"When you think of a metal head, tell me,
what comes to mind?
Is it stoned washed jeans, a mullet?
A guy who's evolutionarily one step behind?
Well, when Rob Halford came out of the closet
it may not have been a big thing,
but today we're one step closer
to hearing metal dudes sing,
'I want to be,
I want to be a homosexual'"

and so on. Atom's well worth checking out.

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and it's 1 - 2 - 3, what are we fighting for? don't ask me, I don't give a damn

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Allison
Tennessee Ernie Ford


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quote:
Originally posted by Wintermute:
In DSMV III it was listed as disorder.

Small tiny itty-bitty nitpick. It was listed in the DSM-II as a disorder, removed in 1973 when the DSM-III came out (wow, a Beavis-style pun).

Alli (heh, heh, she said "came out") son

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If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
Anatole France

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Wintermute
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Allison:
quote:
Originally posted by Wintermute:
In DSMV III it was listed as disorder.

Small tiny itty-bitty nitpick. It was listed in the DSM-II as a disorder, removed in 1973 when the DSM-III came out (wow, a Beavis-style pun).

Alli (heh, heh, she said "came out") son

thank you for the correction. Do you remember the original name for the disorder? or how many specific disorders were listed for homosexuality? I thought there were two, but I could be confusing the two when really they should be one. I thought there was one for 'unhappy homosexual' and one for "general homosexuality'.
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Allison
Tennessee Ernie Ford


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quote:
Originally posted by Wintermute:
Do you remember the original name for the disorder? or how many specific disorders were listed for homosexuality? I thought there were two, but I could be confusing the two when really they should be one. I thought there was one for 'unhappy homosexual' and one for "general homosexuality'.

Given that I was six in 1973, I don't remember [Big Grin] . But, records show that the diagnosis of homosexuality per se was removed in 1973 and replaced with "Sexual Orientation Disturbance," which was supposed to be used only if the person felt discomfort due to their orientation. Discomfort with homosexuality, of course, was assumed by some to be due to the orientation itself, while the majority of professionals felt that the discomfort might simply arise from society's prejudicial treatment of the orientation and not from the orientation itself (a view that it still widely held).

In 1980, "Sexual Orientation Disturbance" was replaced with "Ego-dystonic Homosexuality," which was used when a person was severely conflicted by their orientation and was desperate to change the orientation. This was removed entirely in 1986.

The general discussion in the APA and other professional organizations was (and is) that a person with symptoms of distress who also had a homosexual orientation could be treated without reference to the orientation. If the distress arises from the orientation, that distress is treated the same as if a person has distress due to depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any other syndrome - address the source of the distress (does the person feel ashamed of who they are? If so, why and where does the shame come from?), and help the person accept the orientation, just like you'd help a person accept something else they can't change (a body type that doesn't fit the societal norm of beauty, for example) but that isn't, in and of itself, wrong or bad.

Allison

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If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
Anatole France

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Queen of Slugs:
Interesting. All of the work I'm familiar with- including detailed studies of medieval and Renaissance society- suggest a rate of 10-11%. It certainly is a number that holds true for my social community.

What? What detailed studies of medieval and early modern society are you referring to here?

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Canukie - you make a very valid point about differences between normalcy and comman...cy... whatever. There is a big differency. No, really! I'm just in a silly mood.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh Malruhn! Not normalCY!!!! People who say 'normalcy' hang my munchkin :| I don't know why...

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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"Normalcy" just makes me think of Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks dancing around in goat-skin leggings.

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I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

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Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


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nice reference to P.A.G.A.N

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

"It's you, but distilled into one place." - JK. http://www.theheldhand.blogspot.com/

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NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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[Smile] Thanks.

I can't help it, though. For almost 20 years now, whenever I hear that word, I just get a vision of them doing that weird stiff-legged dance. (20!? How'd that happen?)

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I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

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Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


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I gotta get that on netflix [Wink]

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

"It's you, but distilled into one place." - JK. http://www.theheldhand.blogspot.com/

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
If it's 10% of each American, which 10% is it?
Apparently you only ever use 10% of your brain. My guess is that it's the gay 10%.

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Cactus Wren
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
Wow. Where to begin with that piece?

I am going to begin with something that may at first seem tangential:

quote:
quote:
Except for small sections of the US, being gay carries little if any stigma that might force people who are homosexual from answering truthfully on these often ananymous surveys.
Hardly. Despite the acceptance of many people, there are still a lot of bigots out there. And a lot of people are afraid to come out to themselves because of their families finding out. Finding out how many gay people there are is currently impossible, since there's no surefire "test" for it, and people will often lie on the topic.
Oh, my.

Surveys.

For some years I worked in "marketing research", performing surveys. (Those annoying people in the mall, with the clipboards: "Hi, I'm doing a survey, may I ask you a few questions?") Most of the surveys we did were about products and advertising, but a few had to do with other topics, including one about people's sexual habits. It involved many very intimate questions, starting with "How many sexual partners have you had in the past year?" and going on from there.

To ensure that the questions were answered honestly, it was done entirely on a computer, self-administered. And it was entirely anonymous.

Most surveys aren't anonymous: the interviewer will ask you for your name and phone number, and probably for your address as well. There's a reason for this. A pseudo-randomly selected 10% or so of survey respondents will receive "confirmation calls": "Hello, John Blank? This is Jane Doe, from Insert Name Marketing Concepts. Did you do a survey in Hillvalley Mall last month? Good ... was the interviewer polite and courteous? About how long did it take? Were you offered any money to do the survey? How much? When was it offered?" ... and so on.

Occasional surveys, like "Sexual Habits", are entirely anonymous and thus not subject to confirmation calls. Survey-office managers love such projects. Because the little stipend -- the "incentive", the two or three or ten dollars you're given for your time and trouble -- comes out of the office's petty cash drawer: $3 for each of fifty surveys, $2 each for two hundred, $10 each for forty, $5 each for seventy-five. Hence the confirmation calls, just to make sure that too many surveys aren't made up out of whole cloth, pulled out of the interviewers' asses ... at the manager's instigation. In my workplace it was called "SSing"

An anonymous survey can, and in my workplace invariably was, entirely invented. I was once responsible for eighty questionnaires about cheese puffs, saving my office $160. (No, I didn't get any of it.)

And that's how the "Sexual Habits" survey was completed in our office. I never filled any out, but I knew who did. The answers given reflected nothing more than the experiences and imaginings of our employees -- two eighteen-year-old boys, one nineteen-year-old Mormon girl, and three retired ladies in their sixties.

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“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -- Edward R. Murrow

IOToriSparrowANK!

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Barbara R.
Deck the Malls


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Cactus Candy: "An anonymous survey can...(be)
entirely invented."

That is what I have believed all along. This is especially likely when a person fills out one of those questionnaire-type surveys as opposed to a face-to-face interview with the survey taker. It becomes possible to make up an exciting sex life and fill in the responses on the questionnaire to fit the respondent's idea of what an exciting sex life should be. And if the great majority of the survey's respondents do this, then the survey takers get amazing results!

Barbara R.

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jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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Just look at the guys picture at the cite in the OP. He sure looks like an example of a clear thinking individual.
quote:
It's fairly hard to believe that homosexuality is "normal" if less than 5% of the population are such, isn't it?
Less than 5% of the US population lives in Indiana. Does that mean Hoosiers are "abnormal"?

George Orwell had a great line--
      "Sanity is not statistical"
I think the same can be said for morality and even "normality".

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
Just look at the guys picture at the cite in the OP. He sure looks like an example of a clear thinking individual.

An ad hominem attack ... but probably one of those few times where an ad hom is also a correct argument.

(IOW, we were all thinking it, weren't we? [fish] )

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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When I saw the picture, I double-checked to make sure I wasn't reading the Onion.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Fun with a 9mm
Deck the Malls


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A. Who cares if one in 10 of one's friends are gay? Does one like that one LESS than the other 9?

B. It has become soooo trendy to be gay or bi or wiccan or whatever! When I was in college, almost everyone I knew had jumped to the other side of the fence at least ONCE. I knew a guy in the Drama Dept. who did it several times because he wanted to be accepted. NOT TO MENTION that it's a really nifty way to get back at the parents for all the wrongs they've perpetrated on one over the years. "Happy Thanksgiving, M & D, I'm a lesbian." [Roll Eyes]


Just MHO.

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I'm not mean, you're just a big sissy. -Happy Bunny

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.- Verbal Kint

Trespassers will be pelted with jellyfish.- Daniel Cluley

Posts: 221 | From: Bradenton, FL | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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All you have to know about that essay is that there is a link on the top for Alan Keyes. This guy makes Rush Limbaugh look like a bleeding-heart liberal. He makes Pat Robertson seem like a clear thinker. He makes Phred Felps look ... well, Phred still looks like Phred.

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"The large print givith, and the small print taketh away" -- Tom Waits, Step Right Up

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." -- Salvador Dali

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Fun with a 9mm:
AIt has become soooo trendy to be gay or bi or wiccan or whatever! When I was in college, almost everyone I knew had jumped to the other side of the fence at least ONCE.

::Canuckistan makes mental note: go back to college!::

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

Posts: 8429 | From: New York run by the Swiss (Toronto) | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by Fun with a 9mm:
AIt has become soooo trendy to be gay or bi or wiccan or whatever! When I was in college, almost everyone I knew had jumped to the other side of the fence at least ONCE.

::Canuckistan makes mental note: go back to college!::
Somehow, your avatar seems exceptionally appropriate for that post!

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"The large print givith, and the small print taketh away" -- Tom Waits, Step Right Up

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." -- Salvador Dali

Posts: 2443 | From: Illinois | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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