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Making the Case for Gay Marriage

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Posted on Jan 17, 2010
proposition 8 protesters
AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Stuart Gaffney, left, and John Lewis, same-sex partners for 22 years, outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco on Jan. 11.

By Bill Boyarsky

Why should we care about the Proposition 8 same-sex marriage trial in San Francisco? Most people aren’t gay or lesbian. Many think marriage is unimportant. Others feel Afghanistan, unemployment, Haiti and health care are much more deserving of attention.

Proposition 8 struck down a California Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex couples to marry. The proposition’s constitutionality is being challenged by a lawsuit in which the lead defenders of same-sex marriage are conservative Theodore Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies, who opposed each other in Bush v. Gore in 2000.

We should be cheering for them. When same-sex couples are denied the right to marry, they are treated unequally by the law, viewed as lesser human beings. “Legalizing same-sex marriage would … be a recognition of basic American principles and would represent the culmination of our nation’s commitment to equal rights,” Olson wrote in Newsweek.

A hero to the right when he won Bush v. Gore, Olson now finds himself fighting the fundamentalist Christians who helped George W. Bush win that narrow election.

In this trial, Olson, Boies and the others on their team are establishing the legal groundwork for an eventual hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s where this case is headed, most legal experts agree. It’s unlikely that the court, with its present composition, will legalize gay marriage in the United States. But Olson thinks there’s a chance.

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No doubt a major weapon will be the presentation of overwhelming evidence of unequal treatment of gays and lesbians.

Under the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Bill Clinton and supported by President Barack Obama, the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Aside from frustrating all the gays and lesbians who might want to marry, the ban on same-sex marriage is particularly unfair to those who married in the five states that recognize such marriages and the 18,000 wed in California before the passage of Proposition 8. Even though they have rights in their home states, they do not have them in the rest of the country or in their dealings with the federal government.

I talked about this with Jackie Goldberg, one of the nation’s most influential gay and lesbian activists. As a member of the California state Assembly, she was the author of the state’s domestic partner law. While a University of California student, she was a leader of Berkeley’s free speech movement. She fought for desegregation of Los Angeles schools as a school board member and served on the Los Angeles City Council. She and her longtime partner, Sharon Stricker, were married during the short time such unions were legal in California.

Even though Goldberg and Stricker have a legal marriage in their own state, they are denied a wide range of federal benefits. If Goldberg dies, “none of my benefits will go to my spouse,”  she said. These include survivor benefits for Social Security and related programs. Also, same-sex couples do not get as much aid for the needy aged, blind and disabled as straight men and women who are married.

Married heterosexuals are eligible for Medicaid even though only one spouse is ill. That doesn’t apply to legally married same-sex couples, according to the Government Accountability Office. Only heterosexual married couples are eligible for federal low-income housing subsidies or assistance for purchasing affordable housing.

Nor are same-sex married couples eligible for a variety of veterans’ spousal and survivor benefits, including pensions, indemnity compensation for service-connected deaths, medical care, nursing home care, right to burial in veterans cemeteries, educational assistance and housing. The same is true in the case of survivors of nonmilitary federal workers.

In addition, federal tax law discriminates against gay and lesbian married couples. Their gifts to each other can be taxed, as can property transfers from one spouse to another. They are denied the tax advantages of filing a joint federal return.

In all, the GAO counted more than 1,000 federal statutes in which marital status plays a part in determining various federal benefits, monetary and otherwise. Domestic partnership counts for nothing in the eyes of the federal government.

All of this is powerful evidence of unequal treatment. But there’s more to the story than legalities. As Olson wrote, “We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one’s needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.”

Goldberg also talked about community. “Part of the reason that people get married in public is because it is a way of saying we are establishing a family in this community,” she told me. In the past, she performed marriages of opposite-sex couples. “I used to ask the audience to make a commitment to this couple that they recognize the importance of this and will support them when times get tough,” she said.

Although they had been a couple for some 30 years, getting married and becoming part of such a community, with its rights and obligations, was profoundly moving to Goldberg and Stricker.

“It shocked me how emotional I was; I was stunned. We both were crying,” Goldberg said.

The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t make it easy to follow the trial, having voted 5-4 against permitting a delayed video on YouTube. But you can learn a lot from live blogging on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and firedoglake. Check them out.


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By David Ehrenstein, January 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Oh we know they’ll try anything.

The trial proceedings have been truly fascinting. Firedoglake.com has people in the coutroom and has been keeping a record.

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By WykydRed, January 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Ah! Thanks, David. I wasn’t sure if that would fall under “common law” or not. I was confused is all. Okey dokey, thanks again! I’m wondering if the fanatics will take away common law if gay marriage is made the “Law of the Land”. You know fanatics. If they can’t get what they demand, they’ll just take something else away to force their way…

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By Jackie, January 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all those concerned about other more important issues: Who is making you
follow this case? Who made you read this article and waste your time commenting?
Don’t just gloss over those questions; answer them in your thoughts. I am a
lesbian who advocates the end of marriage, period, and am much more focused
on the escalation of war, the prosecution of the Bush administration, the financial
situation, and health care vs. health insurance reform. I still read the occasional
article on the Prop 8 trial because it’s important in the civil rights’ struggle
regardless of my feelings about marriage. If the Prop 8 trial is a waste for you,
please stop wasting our time having to read your pointless comments. Perhaps
you are married and could give those extra minutes to your spouse.

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By David Ehrenstein, January 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

“Perhaps YOU define marriage in terms of privileges enforced by the government. This is NOT the definition of Marriage for most people.”

Most people are clueless.

“There are many cultures in which government isn’t involved in marriage at all. And yet they still have marriage.”

We’re talking about THIS culture. Try to keep up.

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By randomstu, January 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Stuart wrote…
> What same-sex couples are denied is having those
> vows recognized by the government, in a way that
> grants special status to their vow/contract, such
> that others are forced to recognize it.”

David wrote…
> IOW the very definition of Marriage.

Perhaps YOU define marriage in terms of privileges enforced by the government. This is NOT the definition of Marriage for most people.

For most people, Marriage is mainly defined by a commitment made with deep personal (often spiritual) meaning for the people entering into it, and for others who choose to support the commitment.

Most people don’t consider the government-conferred status the very definition of Marriage as you suggest, or even the most important aspect of Marriage. There are in fact people who consider the spiritual, emotional, and community (i.e., the voluntary support of the union among friends etc) as equally or more important.

There are many cultures in which government isn’t involved in marriage at all. And yet they still have marriage.

http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

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By David Ehrenstein, January 20, 2010 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

“What same-sex couples are denied is having those vows recognized by the government, in a way that grants special status to their vow/contract, such that others are forced to recognize it.”

IOW the very definition of Marriage.

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By randomstu, January 20, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

> When same-sex couples are denied the right to
> marry, they are treated unequally by the law,
> viewed as lesser human beings.

What same-sex couples are denied is NOT the right to marriage. Same-sex couples can get married, make vows to each other, have those vows enforced through legal contracts, and have those vows supported by each other and any of their friends/families/neighbors that choose to do so.

What same-sex couples are denied is having those vows recognized by the government, in a way that grants special status to their vow/contract, such that others are forced to recognize it.

When ANY couples have their vows/contracts given special status by the government (by ANY government involvement in the issue of marriage, beyond other contracts), then all unmarried people are treated unequally by the law, viewed as lesser human beings.

http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

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By David Ehrenstein, January 20, 2010 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

If gay people don’t want to get married they would only have that option if they COULD get married. So you’re talking about somethign that doesn’t exist.

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By WykydRed, January 20, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Well, there’s a point I’ve been ruminating over for some time. What if gay anyones DON’T want to get married? What if they just want to be together like Brangilina? I know in Colorado I have the right to do things like make medical decisions for the guy I live with. I am “entitled” to do all kinds of things where it concerns him. We live as a unit. What about all the folks out there who are gay? Why don’t they have the same rights without “marriage”? Is this a case of fight one battle at a time, or do folks find states are better at this idea? I haven’t seen it yet, anywhere I’ve lived! shit. Another thing that stirs the pot. Shouldn’t everyone be able to say, “We live together, so yeah, I can give a yes or no to this treatment/ insurance payment/ bank access”? Just because there ain’t a ceremony don’t mean you ain’t wed-locked

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By johannes, January 20, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

To Robertin Westenbury,

As you say it one of us is not human, well I am from Amsterdam, and we where the first to recognize the nead for a place in our society for Gay people, I lived with them I had Gay friends, who mostly are dead now, of their own stupidity, but thats something differend.

You come over as some body embittered, do not hurt people who think differend, do not push them away, that is not helping your situation, but your daily live is not that difficult, you can live and work and love, well someday things will change, you bether can belief in the future, and stay cool,


Salutation.

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By RobertinWestbury, January 20, 2010 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Johannes,

Humans do live with their feelings.  Hopefully the courts, if they do their jobs right, will rule minus the emotional ideas of all parties involved, and go by the rule of law. 

If I knew you personally and cared what you thought about me, then I would have to deal with your feelings.  But I don’t know you, nor do I care what you think about me simply because I am gay.  Therefore, I should not have to care what you think. 

The idea that equality is something we can only have if a majority of voters allows us to have that equality is so anti-American it’s beyond me how it went this far. 

If this court does it’s job, it will declare prop 8 (and thereby all the state propositions passed thus far) as unconstitutional.  They truly are. 

Then it will be appealed to the Supreme Court, and if they do their job, they will uphold the ruling of the lower court, thereby invalidating all the propositions and initiatives that the majority of Americans, who have no idea what this country is all about, that have been passed in the last 15 years. 

Then we’ll all have equality and as it should be, none of us who are gay will have to give a rats ass what any of you who have feelings against us think.

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By johannes, January 20, 2010 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

To David Ehrenstein,

I myself think that not every happening or human behavior is explanable, some circumstances in live have notting to do with laws or rules, its simple human feeling, you can not touch very old humankind mythical tressors so als “WEDDING “with out opsetting people, and wath is their to be won, to put every thing on the same place, specialy behaviors wath should be experienced in an surrounding of love and respect, what has that to do with equality, this big word equality wath is used in the American writing the whole day long, is misused and hollow, and not real excisting in the daily live.

If you wanth to know and feel wath I mean, give a look to the beautiful and full of tenderness and humeness, potret painting
of the Jewish bride by Rembrandt, in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, than you will understand wath I mean to say.

Salutation.

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By RobertinWestbury, January 20, 2010 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Ohmygodnotagain said

“Dumb issue.. there are so many more important issues being subsumed by this nonsense.”

Another stupid remark by someone unable to see past their blinders…. 

If there are so many more important issues for you then why did you take the time to make such an idiotic statement?  Surely taking a moment to type up your personal statement of displeasure is a waste of time you could be spending on more important issues…..

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By omygodnotagain, January 20, 2010 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

Dumb issue.. there are so many more important issues being subsumed by this nonsense.

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By David Ehrenstein, January 20, 2010 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

If people are equal Jonannes that means marriage for all.

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By algomajoker, January 20, 2010 at 6:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is simplistic, but how I see it.
Marriage is, by definition, a religious institution.  The fact that it appears, by name or reference, in laws or government activity, is fundamentaly unconstitutional.  The government should only recognize ‘unions’ between people, and it would be those unions that are protected throughout government activity and throughout the businesses world (insurance, banking, etc.) through legislation.
The religious ‘marriage’ can continue on as a part of your particular denominations religious practice.  If you don’t care for the position of your church, go find one that suits you better.  Americans are christians of convenience anyway, and protestant churches are as plentiful as channels on cable tv.  Don’t like the programming?  Change the channel.
But to deny any group, for any reason, fundamental constitutional rights, for religious reasons, sickens me and makes me truly despair of hope for the United States.

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By johannes, January 20, 2010 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

To Robertin Westbury,

Dear Sir, we are living together on this world, so you have to do with my feelings, humans are living with their feelings not their brains.

In Europa people can go live to gether in an special, so called PACT, its a kind of living together, specialy created for two of the same kind, as we say quatre main, gives on all fronts equalety, for all citizenlaws, people are equal.

This PACT thinking is coming from the feeling, that we don’t like people from the same kind wedding, we think its something given and with very sentimental feelings surrounded, more as a lethargic veil fading, coming to us from the past ages of humanity.

But times are changing, and new thinkings manifest them selfs, and must be taken in, thats living with the Zeitgeist, I wish you luck.

Salutation

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, January 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Wildflower….

I’m sorry if you took my meaning of

“You work on your issues, I’ll work on mine.  That’s the way we do things in America ”

to mean that I am a single issue person. Far from it. And I agree with you that single issue people can be part of the problem. (Not “ARE”, but “CAN BE”.) 

I think what’s going on right now is that we have issue overload.  We have outrage overload.  What ends up happening… issues and outrage become mundane, normalized, and then we can be screwed by people who are in a position to fuck with us that way.

E. G.

Senator Ensign, who clearly broke at least one and probably more laws while trying to cover up his affair.  The affair is none of anybody’s business, except the people directly involved. (Frankly, they all probably deserved whatever they got, they’re all a pack of lying GOPER slimeballs).  However, when you start payoffs to buy silence and so forth, that’s illegal BS that ought to be rocking Ensign’s world.  So why isn’t he resigning?  Because he thinks his scandal will be forgotten in the sea of corruption that surrounds the US Senate and many of its occupants.  He thinks that people will equate what he’s doing to Kanye West taking the mic from what’s-her-name and saying somebody else should have won the Grammy.

Our press has fucked us, and Ensign, and the memory holes, and every lie of omission they tell, every glam story, every conspiracy theory, every known lie that spews from their lying mouths has just turned this from something that used to be manageable into what we live today.

This is ugly, poorly written, and I’m tired of thinking about it so it’s getting the “Submit” button.  But as bad as it is, it’s better than what you’re going to hear on Faux News tonight about the special election.

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By David Ehrenstein, January 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Duncan Lance Black, Oscar-winning author of the “Milk” screenplay is an ex-Mormon.

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By lichen, January 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Yes, some people, some right wing democrats wish to abandon abortion and gay rights so that they can win ‘southern states’ despite the fact that the democrats are pro-war and pro-corporatism, so this wouldn’t actually mean anything; despite the fact that yes, anti-abortion and anti-gay policies do mesh better with other right wing political views.  The National Equality March put together a wide range of left politics alongside GLBT equality; it is the responsibility of everyone to do so; and if the right wing members of the ‘working class’ wish to throw it all away, they are responsible for doing so (not that electoral politics means a thing in our non-democracy that is totally co-opted by corporations.)  But no thanks; I’m not go along with you.

There are gay members of every ethnicity and group; the mormons not only funded prop 8, they immediately excommunicate and throw away any of their kids that ends up with an entirely natural homosexuality.  Those people do need to be stopped.

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By WykydRed, January 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Is this stupid country (yes it is!) ever going to go back to the ACTUAL Constitution and grow the hell up? Why do religiously bigoted dickweeds have any power whatsoever when the Constitution clearly denies it to them? Why are SO many voices raised in demands for equality and treating people like human beings being laughed at behind closed doors?

You know, I keep hearing about “surveys” and I have never, ever in 52 years met anyone who has ever been in survey? I’m sure if each and every single human being in America were actually surveyed about ... well, everything, America would find itself in the complete opposite of what “news” say it is!

Stop making life miserable for any and everyone else, live YOUR life any damn way you want to (I’m pro drug use, abortion, smoking, and making anything anyone else doesn’t want you to do legal) and let everyone else live their lives the way THEY want to. The Constitution protects One (1) person. It does not care about “majorities” or “numbers” when it comes to individual freedoms. Just stick your “ole time religion” where the sun don’t shine and deal with YOUR “god” how YOU have to and leave others to deal however the hell they want to with whatever they want to!

If I ever were to be included in any damn survey, I would loudly and clearly state that if you’re stupid enough to want to get married, you should just marry whoever you pick. Christ, there is zero love in this country anymore, so it’s lovely when when it comes shining through the evil blackness. And since I do know lots of gay couples, gay guys and lesbians, who have adopted some really lucky children, I can and do state they are like any other parents. They screw up. The house doesn’t get cleaned immaculately every minute of every day. Sometimes they just stand in the middle of the kitchen and scream.

But then there’s always laughter and boys without any fear or shame huggin’ their dads. Not their “fathers” but their dads. And their moms. They’re normal, happy, maladjusted ticks, just like every other kid raised by “normal” people. If your “god” is pissed about it, I’m sure “he” will handle it. But since YOUR dumb ass has to do it, obviously there is no god because you aren’t getting YOUR hysterical, dumbassed way, so YOU have to play god and smote other people none of you ridiculous “religious” bigots have any right to even annoy let alone de-humanize.

Really all the rainbow folks, we’ll all get it. Eventually. I just think Americans LOVE being Nazis. Hang in there. Kids spend their teens doing everything their parents hate, so it’ll come around. Just grab on tight and keep making noise!

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By RobertinWestbury, January 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Johannes,

It doesn’t matter to me what you can and cannot accept.  I don’t care what your feelings are on the matter.  I shouldn’t have to care what your feelings are on the matter. 

This is a free country that guarantees equal treatment under the law to everyone. 

In this country, everyone is free to live their lives according to the dictates of their own beliefs without the 2cents of others mattering. 

Minus a valid governmental reason to deny us marriage equality, the government must provide marriage to us as it does to heterosexuals. 

It is entirely a matter of rules and laws.  That is the only basis the court will rule by.  Not by the prejudical beliefs of people who cannot accept what is clearly a natural part of the human condition as human.

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By johannes, January 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

To Robertin westbury,

The point is its nothing to do with laws and rules, but just with feelings, just human feelings, its the sentimental feeling between you and me, and my feelings tels me, that it is not just two men who make love, its not as it should be, this is nothing to do with religion, but with human natural feelings.

Don’t try to hurt me, its just that I am not against you, but I can not accept it as a Human.


Salutation.

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By RobertinWestbury, January 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

*And for a little more Jewish perspective on the issue, check this out: (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/nov/06112107.html)

No thank you. 

I could care less what the perspectives are of the various religions opposing equality.  The court also should not care one wit what religions have to say about it. 

This is a constitutional issue, and that is all anyone should argue by - for or against.

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By RobertinWestbury, January 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

“They never stop,  they wanth more and more, they create small countrys in other countrys, they play always the quatre main, they help and give advantage to their own group, so they benefit all the time, thats the politic they have to follow as an minority.”

More nonsensical gibberish from Johannes… We will never stop Johannes until we have full equality.  That is our birthright under the US constitution.  It is not a matter of more and more indefinately. It is a matter of more and more until we reach equal treatment under the law.  And the more we seek is not yours to grant us, but the courts’ to acknowledge and uphold. 

Criticized?  Only by bigots like you.

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By wildflower, January 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Re WilliamW Wexler: “You work on your issues, I’ll work on mine.  That’s the way we do things in America.”

Which is one of the reasons why America is in a big mess today.  If you doubt this, just reflect on the issue of abortion, which has dominated our national dialogue for some time now.  Year after year, millions of Americans have focused primarily on this one issue and voted accordingly. In the meantime, all hell has broken loose in almost every direction possible:

Thousands of lives have been lost as a result an illegal war in Iraq

Jobs are gone and the U. S. faces highest jobless rate in a generation

Lives of millions of Americans are at risk because they lack healthcare

Laws protecting investors from theft & corruption have been deregulated

No plans have been developed to deal with global warming and the future

U.S. pubic airwaves have been taken over by rightwing Murdoch Empire

Laws protecting consumers from deceptive products have been tossed

My point is there are a number of critical issues out there that need to be addressed. Clearly, they are all important including the one you are addressing, but to focus and/or vote solely on one issue at the expense of other important issues is unwise.  Americans simply cannot afford to lose sight of what is happening in the big picture at any time. If we do, we’re toast.

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, January 19, 2010 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

RobertinWestbury,

Thank you for articulating what I could only sputter with f bombs in every other phrase.  I’d say your post nails it; yours is the intelligible version of what I wrote first and then deleted because I thought I might get banned for posting it.  :-o

Having calmed down a bit, I think there are two facets of this fight that tend to elevate me to the pissed off state.  The first one is that denying LGBT marriage is a blatant denial of the civil/human right for each person to choose their spouse.  Recognizing this right has no impact on “opposite marriage” supporters.  They are fighting against one group’s civil rights because they CAN; it’s the ignorance of so-called “majority rule”.  Their interpretation of it is that whatever the majority wants they should get.  So what if the majority decides that anyone that’s more than half Northern European loses their right to vote, Carl? The majority is going to be brown and black skinned people in a couple of short decades. 

No. The majority rule has to be that the rights of each minority group are protected FROM the majority.  If all of these goofy Constitution-wagging gun nuts would read and understand the document plus the body of statute law, contemporary thought, and judicial rulings regarding it, they’d holster their weapons and sit down for a good cry.  Remorse would set in as they realized they don’t have the right to do whatever they feel like doing as long as they’re willing to accept the consequences. (This is the idiocy of Libertarians I’ve encountered).  Of all groups, you might think Libs would be supportive of LGBT marriage rights; but so many of those who claim to be Libs because the GOP has been such a drastic FAIL are severely conflicted; they are displaced Xtain fundies and they can’t stomach gays.  At the same time many of them are being led by guru Glenn Beck who most don’t even know is a Mormon.  Oh, the dissonance when they find out their leader is a heretic.

The second facet of this is that religious activists such as the Catholics and Mormons are the ones leading the charge to deny civil rights.  You might think the Mormons would have some resonance with this issue as they fought and lost a battle to maintain one of their sacraments (polygamy) to “majority rule”.  Catholics… let’s see. Aren’t these the same people who deny their clergy the right to marry at all? Shit.  So what are these two religious organizations doing pumping millions of dollars (in violation of their tax-exempt status) into political campaigns to deny civil rights of others?

I never used to pay much attention to Mormons until Glenn Beck came along.  Then I began reading about them, their history, their crackpot founder, their murderous leaders, goofy conspiracies about commies behind every tree, heretical views, fraud, gazillions of dollars.  I found websites set up by former Mormons to aid those trying to escape the “church”. 

Before Beck, I was pretty much a live-and-let-live agnostic.  Thanks to Glenn for opening my eyes about the dangerous cult that plans to turn the US into a Mormon theocracy.  You think the Taliban are bad… just wait.

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By David Ehrenstein, January 19, 2010 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

“Contradiction in terms”? it’s the Heterosexual Dictatorship that has always set the “terms.”

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By David Ehrenstein, January 19, 2010 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

You make yourself trivil by your ridiculous dismissal of a serious socio-political issue, Mundt.

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By johannes, January 19, 2010 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

They never stop,  they wanth more and more, they create small countrys in other countrys, they play always the quatre main, they help and give advantage to their own group, so they benefit all the time, thats the politic they have to follow as an minority.

And this picture is the same for all minoritys, Gays, Lesbiêns, Jews, Moslims, and others, thats why they are so easy critisysed, its all so self-evident.

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By Mundt, January 19, 2010 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

Gay marriage? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Worse than trivial; it is ridiculous.

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By RobertinWestbury, January 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Actually William Wexler, I think your reply to Carl was right on. 

How stupid to label an issue that greatly affects millions of people as trivial.  I’m sick of people complaining that this issue isn’t important enough to get press.

These are people who are denied nothing.  If they were they wouldn’t be so dismissive of an issue where others are denied something as basic and important as marriage rights. 

If it’s not important to you Carl, fine.  Don’t waste your and my time by commenting.  Just STFU and comment on something you do consider important.

And why oh why would we support polygamy?  Why would you make such an idiotic question?  The issues are in no way related.  Victimizing teenage girls by marrying them off to older men has nothing to do with marriage equality for gay people. 

You always know you’re dealing with a bigot on this issue when they:
1. Claim the issue is trivial
2. Bring up polygamy
3. Bring up incest
4. Comment that in state after state the people have voted against marriage equality - as if that means anything valid. 

Carl didn’t employ #3 or #4, but bringing up #2 raises all kinds of questions about his true motives.

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By David Ehrenstein, January 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

The trial should make hash of “compelling interest” of breeders in maintaining the status quo. It’s doing this by giving The Court a history lesson—Professor Chauncey presiding.

Turingin63 next month I well remember the “before time” of gay life in New York City. Wasn’t there for the first day of Stonewall but hung around quite a bit the rest of the week (as the uprising went on for days.) Quite a change in the air as a result.
Joined G.A.A. and served alongside Vito Russo on the Media Comittee. Much fun.

But none of it was connected to marriage.

Back then the big fight was getting others gays and lesbians to Come Out.

Pulling teeth was easier. Most people were loathe to come out to THEMSELVES much less the rest of the world.

Well all that has changed. Now being out is the norm. And with theat norm comes. . .wedding bells.

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By dihey, January 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

“A country divided on its marriage rights cannot endure”. This is not a flippant joke but my sincere conclusion. Gay persons are not a vanishing minority. Like blacks they are a vibrant component of our nation.

I repeat my firm assertion that the fundamental advocacy for ‘gay marriage’ is actually much simpler than most writers think. It has long been accepted that a State can discriminate as long as a coherent ‘compelling interest’ to do so is accepted by all courts of law up to the US Supreme Court where this case is almost certainly going to end up. Forget about ‘constitutional rights’. Advocates for ‘gay marriage’ must tear to shreds any ‘compelling interest’ that the State of California advances to uphold prop 8 because the ones that this State advances are merely fig leaves to cover its primitive nakedness.

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, January 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

I apologize to Carl for being so rude.

And to the rest of the readers as well.

Sometimes things that are better left un-typed get typed anyway.  And that was the SECOND EDIT.

I regard this as a personal flaw which will get better as I evolve.

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By lichen, January 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Good post William Wexler; the mormons should be forced to pay for violating their non-profit status in order to spend money on their hateful, disgusting agenda to strip other people of their rights.

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By David Ehrenstein, January 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

If you want to “protect marirage” then ban divorce.

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, January 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Hey Carl…

shut up, and get the fuck off my planet.

For those of you following this issue, you may be interested in Fred Karger’s group, Californians Against Hate.  Fred has taken on the Mormons, who pumped about $21 million into passing Prop 8.  He could use a bit of support himself, as they are now engaging him in a legal battle which he can’t afford.  Perhaps you can help him out.

In case you’re keeping score, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a front group for the Mormons, which has allowed the “church” to pump millions into Prop 8 and Question 1 (Maine).  They have successfully overturned 2 LGBT marriage laws, and I suspect that someday they’ll be here in Iowa. 

The notion that somebody should be prioritizing what issues need to be worked on first, especially for SOMEBODY ELSE, is so absurd that it’s laughable.  You work on your issues, I’ll work on mine.  That’s the way we do things in America (Carl, are you reading this?) 

BTW, I’m not gay.  I don’t have to be gay to see the civil rights issue here.  It’s MLK Day, America’s non-holiday holiday.  This holiday rides in the back of the bus.  I don’t have to be black to understand that black people (and their white supporters, like me) fought for civil rights back in the 60s. Some of us died. For those of you who think that gays and those of us who support their rights aren’t equally dedicated to this civil rights issue, think again.

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By Carl, January 18, 2010 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

He wrote:
“Others feel Afghanistan, unemployment, Haiti and health care are much more deserving of attention.”

He means sane people think those issue are more deserving attention. The powers that prefer that workers become fixated on trivial matters, such as this.

BTW, when will homosexuals come out in support of polygamy? Those people are actually imprisoned.

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By wildflower, January 18, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

So-called moral people trying to play God are always a sight to behold, and California’s arrogant Proposition 8 supporters are no exception. 

After creating a Proposition that has obviously brought about a considerable amount of suffering and hostilities on individuals who are gay, Prop 8 supporters have now proclaimed that broadcasting the gay marriage trial would be wrong because it could put their witnesses at risk for suffering and hostilities– God forbid Prop 8 supporters should suffer from the hate they sow.

The fact that the Supreme Court recognizes the potential for suffering of these Prop 8 witnesses while completely ignoring the suffering already experienced by individuals within the gay community as a result of Prop 8 seems unjust and prejudicial to me – talk about blatant discrimination.

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By Robert, January 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many critics of gay marriage say that domestic partnership in California grants gay couples all of the rights of marriage; unfortunately, this is far from true. My hospitalization insurance, provided by my union and paid for by my former employer, does not recognize domestic partnerships.  If we could legally marry we would already have this coverage.

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By lichen, January 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

Yes, prop 8 and the entire sick movement against gay marriage is a deeply bigoted, discriminatory bunch determined to prevent us from enjoying the practical and necessary privileges that they take for granted.  This article leaves out another important issue—if you are straight, your spouse can be extended citizenship, while gay international couples are often lost at sea.  The lack of gay marriage also causes huge problems for gay couples raising children. 

While some cynical, meanspirited folks claim there opposition to gay marriage is from a total philosophical viewpoint against marriage, you don’t see them out with signs picketing for the revocation of marriage rights for straight people—no indeed, their supposed ethics are entirely bent on a homophobic rejection of our rights.  In that sense they are just like the christian churches that illegally spend money on anti-gay marriage campaigns and claim they believe in ‘family’ and ‘community’ all the while excluding and abusing their gay kids.

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