Gays and lesbians frequently do have babies, I think what you mean to say is that the incidence of _unintended_ pregnancy is very low for gays and lesbians. This is what I regard as the only tangible difference between homo and hetero couples.
Churches DO approve of sex, but only if it is done expressly for the creation of more tithers. The Catholic Church appears to have always preferred quantity of life over quality of life. They took over 300 years to "forgive" Galileo, so I doubt of they will be changing their stance on creating as many Catholic baptized babies as humanly possible any time in the near future. Homosexuality has traditionally been discouraged precisely because it lowers the birth rate; see the history of Sparta as a case in point.
The problem is that there is crossover between the religious tradition of marriage and the legal status of marriage. My recommendation would be to make the two completely independent, thus finally achieving the ideal of separation of church and state. Churches have the right to not consecrate unions they disapprove of, for whatever reasons. But the state should not be allowed to discriminate, especially when that discrimination is based on religious mythology, not scientific evidence.
Refusing to grant same-sex couples the same legal status as other couples is blatant discrimination against the children of same-sex couples, of which their are many, regardless of whether or not you consider them "natural". Eliminating this discrimination is a fundamental civil rights issue. Yes, we probably should have a discussion regarding whether or not all the legal advantages conferred with the legal status of marriage are appropriate, but it appears obvious that you can't grant rights to some families while denying those same rights to other families -- that flies against the basic principles upon which our nation (USA) was founded. Is Ireland different? There the state has traditionally deferred to the church in ways that make uncomfortable those of us that believe in the principle of separation of church and state, but I believe the same civil rights arguments apply universally.
So Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald can now finally get married? They don't call them "Gaelics" for nothing!
Which points out a basic flaw of the system: taxpayers are punished for the law enforcement officer's failure to follow the rules, and the law enforcement officers themselves are apparently not held accountable for their own actions. Granted, people would be reluctant to work as police if they could be held personally responsible for any damage they cause, but couldn't we strike a better balance? Doctors are required to pay exorbitant sums for insurance to cover their mistakes, but police are bailed out by the state even in blatant cases of willful misconduct... something doesn't sound right about that. The advantage of making cops self-insured would be that eventually bad cops would find it too expensive to continue in that field, as their insurance rates would skyrocket after multiple claims.
I'm sure I'm just walking into this one, but... what's Uranus named after?
My high school English teacher recommended we watch "I, Claudius" to learn about Roman history. It was on PBS, and shockingly to me at the time, contained a significant amount of bare breasts. The real irony was that my high school English teacher was a fairly conservative Catholic Nun!
Cosmo? I've seen images in Cosmo that I consider pornographic, although it does contain mostly glamour shots to break down women's self image so that they'll buy more stuff they don't need... and that, my friends, is truly obscene!
I suspect most teenage girls (and boys) have looked at porn sites out of curiosity, since access is so easy. However, I'm pretty sure the majority of views are by men. No doubt there are a significant number of girls that use them in much the same manner as the boys do.
My coworker used to refer to his "Two inches of terror!" I _think_ he was joking...
No, but it does bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "playing with yourself"!
Leveling out of wages should be seen as an inevitable consequence of globalization. If you want to have huge inequalities of compensation again, the only way to achieve it is to make transportation much more expensive. We live in an age where jetting halfway around the world and owning cell phones is considered normal by low wage workers in even the most impoverished countries -- which is both a good thing and a bad thing. More of a bad thing, if you're used to being one of the privileged few. More of a good thing, if you're used to being poor and easily exploited.
You've summarized the H1B Visa argument in a single sentence...
Child labor laws were different then, and a greater percentage of families lived on small family farms. Huge corporate farms make it possible to amortize the costs of millions of dollars worth of equipment over significant acreage, but they require huge amounts of seasonal labor to function. The only way to keep seasonal labor employed is to have them move with seasonal demand; migrant labor can just as easily come from another country as another state. Oh, yeah, and 500 years ago, we picked all our own maize ourselves, without any help from you damn undocumented immigrant whites!