Marriage Equality Debate Tonight at Castro Valley Library

Six local community members — three for and three against same-sex marriage — will defend their views about marriage equality beginning at 6 p.m. at the Castro Valley Public Library at 3600 Norbridge Ave.

Marriage equality is still a polarizing topic, and tonight, members of the Castro Valley community will debate it at their .

Moderated by Castro Valley High School's debate team member Reema Kakaday, six people — three for and three against same-sex marriage — will beginning at 6 p.m. at the Castro Valley Public Library at 3600 Norbridge Ave.

Billy Bradford, a gay Castro Valley resident and activist for Marriage Equality USA and GetEQUAL, will argue in favor of same-sex marriage along with the Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring of and Dr. Irene Landaw, a pediatrician at Kaiser.

Nehring is gay and legally married with a family, Bradford said. Landaw is a "straight ally" who believes marriage should be equal, Bradford said.

Castro Valley residents Stacy Spink, Peter Hauer and Trinity Bustria will argue against same-sex marriage rights.

The debate came about after several months of back-and-forth interactions through "letters to the editor" submissions to the local community newspaper, Bradford said.

Bradford said he doesn't expect an end to the debate, but is hoping that a face-to-face discussion will help the community understand his position.

"People who are curious of us and why we care so much, I want them to see us and our passion," Bradford said. "I think they think we are trying to hurt marriage but we are no different from them. We want the same things."

Security guards will be on hand as a precaution, Bradford said.

— Bay City News

Michael Stuber July 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Dear Tim: I attended and I am not damaged
Summer Hemphill July 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM
People who cite religious parables two thousand years old in justifying their bigotry toward gays should be mindful of the fact there have been some changes since then ! For example most people don't think the earth is flat anymore,although Tim Marona undoubtably still does ! Hey Tim there is no such thing as "God",but gay people are real & you can actually touch one if it's consensual ! I'd ask what gay people have ever done to you,but this a family based media site so please spare us the details ! At least gay people have pride,you on the other hand have our pity !
Bob July 19, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Society advances at a slow rhythmic pace. There are groups of people who hold onto their ideologies because it is their base of comfort. Society's view of the world is defined by information and exposure. People who are limited in both will hold onto their base of comfort because it gives them structure. There are some people who have to have structure. By holding on to these comfort bases creates the slow rhythmic advances in society. The traditional ideology of Marriage is primarily a religious comfort base. As generations pass away and new ones come, society will slowly advance. Younger generations will have more information and more exposure because they will know more friends and family members who are gay. Exposure will assist expanding the limits of their information. The realization there is nothing to fear from gay people will be the natural result. There are a lot of people all over the U.S. who are still limited in factual information about and exposure to gay people. Until the majority of these people are educated with factual information and get to know gay people, our society will trudge along at the same slow pace. The good news is eventually gay marriage will be accepted. Unfortunately it may not come fast enough for the current generation.
Dalamar July 20, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Well articulated Bob. I will dare say the gay rights activists are going about their movement the wrong way to gain progress. Please let me explain. The concept of marriage originally began with religion. No amount of debate will ever change religious beliefs. Gay rights activists need to concede and let the religious keep their definition. The legal interpretation of marriage primarily came from parceling out personal property due to divorces, tax litigations and deaths. If gay rights activists want to make real progress, they are going to have to start with a wave of “divorces” in courts to push the issue of what separating partners are entitled to. Several states already have common law marriages on the books. These laws were the result of many non married couples getting divorces and setting precedents. Gay couples need to follow the lead. They should stop being so committed to each other and be more like straight couples. They need to start getting divorces and start being greedy so that the common law marriage rules have to eventually apply to them. By reverse definition, gay marriage rights would be established. Bridging the gap between common law marriage and non-religious legal marriage would be much easier.


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