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Overturning Prop. 8
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robiform



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 248
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject: Overturning Prop. 8 Reply with quote

I am very happy that this unjust proposition has been declared unconstitutional. Putting issues of civil rights, such as marriage equality to a popular vote is known as "tyranny of the majority" and it's very wrong. If you go back to the sixties, and consider what would have happened if say, the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act had been put to a popular vote (especially in many area in the South), you can see why these propositions, referenda, or whatever they're called are not and should not be what this country is all about.

I often wonder what people who are so adamantly opposed to marriage equality and/or other civil rights for our gay and lesbian friends and relatives are so afraid of. How would a gay couple getting married affect the marriage of a heterosexual couple? And for those who cite the Bible as justification for their feelings about gays and lesbians, let's remember that those who wrote the Bible thought that slavery was perfectly OK!!
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never got an answer as to why a gay couple getting married threatens my marriage either, but then, I'm from Massachusetts where same-sex marriage is legal.

Of course this decision will be appealed to the 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals, and what will happen there is not certain. What is interesting, though, is that the 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over 8 other states that also have outlawed same-sex marriage, and if the 9th Circuit upholds this recent decision, those states' bans could be tested also.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2508

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand why gay couples would want the same rights as married couples, but I truly don't understand why they insist upon calling those unions marriages. Obviously, they don't want the same kind of interconnection as is usually associated with marriage, so why such insistence? Regardless, attempting to join two bolts or two nuts in the same way one joins a bolt and a nut is fruitless.
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who says they don't want the same "interconnection"? Or maybe I'm just not getting what you're saying? From what I understand, the status of marriage confers certain rights not otherwise available to gays, i.e., parental rights, hospital rights, insurance, Social Security, etc.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:
From what I understand, the status of marriage confers certain rights not otherwise available to gays, i.e., parental rights, hospital rights, insurance, Social Security, etc.

I think these rights could also be obtained thru civil unions. I wonder what kind of abuses of this "marriage act" between same sex individuals would be perfomed just so that two people (who are not necessarily in love or for love) could take advantage of all that you mentioned above: insurance, social security, income tax filing, etc. Of course, I realize it's being done already in heterosexual marriages at times, but it does make me wonder. In fact, I was reading an article recently where it mentioned that many marriages these days don't actually end in divorce as they would have in years previous, but the couple separates and stays married, just to take advantage of these rights given to married people.

Well, we already know marriage has become a mockery even more so than in the past. What's one more?
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly Tee.
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tee,

Well, just from my own knowledge, here in MA we have not had a run on gays moving here to take advantage of the law, nor have I heard of any heterosexual same sex couples getting married. There are so many downsides to marriage (if you're a hetero same sex couple), I can't imagine any benefits outweighing this. For instance, in MA, in seeking a divorce, everything the couple owns is thrown into the marriage pot, and the judge decides who gets what. With national health insurance about to take effect, I can't see any other benefit to a hetero same sex couple taking advantage of getting married. In MA, single gays as well as straights can adopt, so there's really no benefit to marriage.

I know your feelings are sincere, and I'm not demeaning them, but I really don't see how a committed gay couple in love (and I've known a few) who gets married is making a mockery of marriage.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:
I know your feelings are sincere, and I'm not demeaning them, but I really don't see how a committed gay couple in love (and I've known a few) who gets married is making a mockery of marriage.

No, Lee, I don't feel you're demeaning my thoughts or feelings here. And, of course, that is exactly what they are--thoughts and feelings--as are yours.

It really does boil down, I believe, to what the word "marriage" means to people. Thru the ages, it has always meant a union between a man and a woman. Why, all of a sudden, is this to be changed? Regardless of any individual's feelings on the whole issue of homosexuality, there is another answer out there for people who wish to share a life together, with all the benefits, without calling it marriage. It's a civil union. Why can we not keep marriage to mean a union between a man and woman and a civil union to be between people of the same sex--at least for now?

Maybe in 5-10 years, this issue will have naturally evolved as people in the gay community wish. Usually that's how things work. One toe in the door and it will become reality on down the road. But in the meantime, it's being pushed/shoved/crammed (take your pick) at many people to change the meaning of the word "marriage" and maybe it's a little too soon to do that. Both sides get totally defensive, not wanting to give an inch in either direction, and hostility and hate erupts. Go with the conciliatory gesture now, which actually provides everything that is being asked for, and have patience that natural evolvement will occur. Not that I wish it would--I'm just saying, with human nature being as it has been in the past, it's probably inevitable.
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robiform



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 248
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that I've started a spirited (but civil Smile ) discussion here!

Tee and dick: from what you've said, I gather that you have misgivings about same-sex marriage. It's been my experience that gay couples are not all that different from straight couples in their desire to make a relationship work. In our society, married couples have certain privileges that are denied to unmarried, cohabiting couples (gay or straight), and so I, as a straight person, can well understand why so many gay couples would like to be able to have spousal responsibilities and privileges. In Florida, where I live, there was a case a few years ago of a lesbian couple, one of whom was terminally ill. She and her partner had been in a long-term relationship, but that didn't matter to the hospital where the woman spent her last few days (or for that matter, to the woman's family, who disapproved of the relationship). The woman's partner had to sue in order to visit her and it was a just a really sad story. Had they been legally married, the dying woman's partner would have been considered a spouse, and would have been able to act as next of kin.

Someone mentioned civil unions; and actually, in many countries in Europe, (including those that permit same-sex marriage) ALL couples have to have a civil ceremony. If they so desire, they can certainly have a religious ceremony. However, in this country, with its hodgepodge of laws regarding marriage, if a couple gets married in say, Connecticut (which allows same-sex marriage), are they still married if they move to Florida? In theory, "civil unions" sounds like a good idea, but until and unless these unions have the same legal validity as marriages do, the people who are in these "unions" will not have the same rights (e.g. acting as next of kin) as married couples have.

I am old enough to remember when couples of different races were not permitted to marry in a number of states, so the idea of same-sex marriage is not an outrageous concept for me. I can certainly understand that many people who perhaps have a more conservative background than I do have misgivings about same-sex marriage. However, that's what I like about this forum--we can have civilized discussions, maybe agree to disagree, and perhaps find common ground on other topics!
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think it's outrageous that the sanctity of my marriage has been destroyed. We were almost at the 20 year mark, but now we might as well just give up the ghost. Darn fragile thing, marriage. The doings of complete strangers can muck it up so easily.

How terrible that we haven't been able to defend marriage from people... who want to get married.
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 948

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, it is perfectly fine to restrict marriages to men and women only - but then the government has to get out of the marriage business. If the government offers this property-sharing arrangement and benefits to consenting of-age adults, then it has to offer it to all adults, regardless of gender. Would gays and lesbians marry just for the benefits? Possibly some of them would. But as it has been said, they have just as much of a right to game the system as heterosexuals do.

So we have two choices. Marriage as a religious institution only, restricted to men and women, and civil unions as the government alternative, OR marriage for everybody provided by the government and churches alike.

As fas as I'm concerned, after Drew Barrymore and Britney Spears's Vegas marriages, Anna Nicole Smith, mail-order brides for green cards, John Edwards, and Tiger Woods, the addition of gays and lesbians to the marriage pot can only raise the standard.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
Well, I think it's outrageous that the sanctity of my marriage has been destroyed. We were almost at the 20 year mark, but now we might as well just give up the ghost. Darn fragile thing, marriage. The doings of complete strangers can muck it up so easily.

The heels are beginning to be dug in. For me, that's when valuable dialogue becomes non-existent, with everyone trying to up one another. The statement above is not what is being said here at all (at least that's not what I was trying to get across) and this conversation will soon go the way they do on critical subjects such as these.

Even Martin Luther King, Jr, knew that to reach their goals, they had to win the small battles along the way. And how they fought them was just as critical. Goals are reached in small steps. Changing the meaning of "marriage," which has been around for so long, is not accomplished overnight. So, yes, I do have my thoughts and feelings about this, as Lee said, and I appreciate that she accepts that this goes for everyone. So we work first with respecting those feelings and then the next generation grows up thinking differently. But ignore respecting those feelings and we may as well all give up right now.
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erhea13



Joined: 01 Nov 2008
Posts: 117
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:

Maybe in 5-10 years, this issue will have naturally evolved as people in the gay community wish. Usually that's how things work. One toe in the door and it will become reality on down the road. But in the meantime, it's being pushed/shoved/crammed (take your pick) at many people to change the meaning of the word "marriage" and maybe it's a little too soon to do that. Both sides get totally defensive, not wanting to give an inch in either direction, and hostility and hate erupts. Go with the conciliatory gesture now, which actually provides everything that is being asked for, and have patience that natural evolvement will occur. Not that I wish it would--I'm just saying, with human nature being as it has been in the past, it's probably inevitable.


I totally agree. With this particular issue, belligerance on one side increases the belligerance on the other. I personally know many people who supported Prop. 8 because they define "marriage" as being between a man and a woman, not because they are opposed to same-sex relationships. In fact, California's conception of Civil Union does actually confer the same rights to gay couples as marriage for straight couples. The argument generally revolves around the word "marriage" itself and how it is to be defined.

I'll put it out there and say that I do not understand and am not very comfortable with the idea of same-sex relationships . . . but its not my place to decide another's lifestyle insofar as it does not affect me. Thus I voted against Prop. 8 for that reason and the fact that I saw it becoming the fiasco it has and that it will cost a lot of money to keep arguing it in court when it is a social issue that is generally better left to people to figure out amongst themselves. However, there are a few things that really bother me about the recent court ruling:

1. The presiding judge is an openly gay man. That is as much a conflict of interest as have an orthodox Christian, Jew or Muslim presiding. There is absolutely no way for him to mitigate his personal stake in the decision.

2. From what I understand, he made his ruling based on the United States Constitution only. Before everyone gets outraged by this objection, let me explain. This was tried in state court. Consequently, it dealt with a provision in the California State Constitution that allows a vote to both put a Proposition on the ballot and make it into state law. By ignoring the California Constitution, the judge places it and its authority in question. I live in California, and because I dislike and distrust most of my representatives, I do not want to see the ballot propositions and referenda jeopardized. What I feel any judge should have done is decide in favor of the Proposition under California State law and allow it to move to federal review, where the United States Constitution holds absolute authority.
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robiform



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erhea13: In your comment, you pointed out that Judge Walker is an "openly gay man"--do you have proof of this? And even if he is gay, by your reasoning (and that of people who oppose what Judge Walker did), the only objective judge who could rule on Proposition 8 would be someone who is asexual, because (by that same reasoning) a heterosexual judge would no doubt rule to uphold Proposition 8!

I'd also like to mention that Judge Walker was originally nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan, who isn't exactly a hero to those of us who are progressive in our political thinking. Walker's nomination was blocked by the Democratic majority in the Senate; he was not confirmed until George H.W. Bush pushed the nomination through.

Again, I understand that people of a conservative background might not be comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage. As I see it, marriage can be both a civil and a religious commitment. If we're talking about marriage from a religious standpoint, that's one thing; according to the freedom of religion clause in the First Amendment, a member of the clergy can refuse to conduct a marriage for whatever reason. From the standpoint of a civil commitment, I think that Judge Walker had it right--there is no legal reason to prevent two consenting adults from being in a marriage and having all the rights and privileges granted to married couples.

Finally, I want to repeat something I've mentioned before: Issues of civil rights should never be put to a popular vote. "Tyranny of the majority" is just as wrong as "tyranny of the minority"!
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three points:
1) We make distinctions between things all the time. We do not want to confuse apples with oranges or bicycles with automobiles or cats with dogs. Our language couldn't function well without making those distinctions. In my opinion, the same is true of marriage and same-sex partnerships. They are both unions, just as apples and oranges are both fruits, but they are different kinds of unions; just as cats and dogs are both animals but different kinds of animals. Again, I don't see why, if the same rights as those accorded to married couples are what gays want, they are unwilling to accept civil unions.

2) The rule of law is in a great many ways, a tyranny of the majority. Not everybody agrees with criminalizing use of some drugs, but, because the lawmakers, elected by voters (usually a majority of them) make using those drugs a criminal act, it becomes so. Further, if Prop 8 goes to the Supreme Court and is tossed out, the Constitution itself can be changed to reflect what the populace of at least 34 states have decreed--marriage is a union between a man and a woman. That would be, of course, tyranny of the majority, but it would nonetheless be perfectly legal, as it is in those states.

3) There are a couple of interesting opinion pieces on the Yahoo news page. One of them suggests that marriage as a union between a man and a woman is primarily a protection for women. I'm not sure I quite agree with the stance the piece takes, but it's well worth taking a gander at.
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