The discussion about the thread in question basically started and stopped with this:
This is a damn shame. Here we have an example of gays screwing with traditional marriage. A generation ago this sort of thing would have gone on without incident and 13 couples would have had the memories of a lifetime.
This is from post 1 in the thread, and already the discussion is little more than baiting. The discussion that followed consisted of posts that can be summarized as:
-pointing out a flaw in the article's premise
-historical context for why the article may be flawed
-a personal attack (in a polite manner)
-a personal attack (that has been deleted)
-thread closed, with moderator statement
...and the first two responses were hardly stated in a way that read as "oh, wow, this article brings up a very good discussion about local issues. Let's provide counterpoint!"
A thread was started that had no future or ability to be discussed without becoming a flamefest.
And yes, there are reasons to PM moderators when you have an issue rather than taking it to this sub-forum. Furthermore, PMing every poster who has a thread closed after 5 posts is ridiculous when 99.999999% of threads that are closed are shut down for very obvious reasons, such as flaming, being a duplicate, reaching 1000 posts, or inappropriate content. I thought that was pretty clear in this case too, that the thread needed to be shut down when it did because it had no potential for intelligent discussion following a first post about "gays screwing with traditional marriage" [sic].
So, the moral of the story (and this can be for everybody) is that if you want threads to remain open for discussion, don't start them with harshly worded and extremely controversial statements. This is true for all forums and sub-forums. For example, if you posted this link:
...with the title or opening statement "proof that Dusty Baker and Chris Heisey are morons who love to bunt like a fat kid loves cake!" then the thread probably won't last long. However, posting it with the title of the article and a snippet, and then asking for input or saying what you might have discerned from the article that could be a good discussion point, then it might be a good source of discussion.
This also seems like a good time to necro this thread:
And allow people to start discussing it once again. What constitutes a healthy or good thread/post, and what doesn't? I am aware that we don't have the voting system in place any longer, but this is still a valuable resource for posters, new and old, to look through.