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Anti-gay Marriage Amendment Gets a Hearing

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Thursday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment — which would change the US Constitution to define marriage as a union “only” between one woman and one man and ensure continued second-class citizenship for GLBT folks — was a most interesting affair, however repugnant the reasons behind it. As Andy Humm of Gay City News reports, save for Republican committee members (including anti-gay chair Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX]), the GOP had precious few representatives in attendance. What? Have they already made up their minds? Oh well, the Human Rights Campaign’s Winnie Stachelberg says the proceedings went well, at least from a pro-gay activist point of view. Read what was said for yourself.

I have more to say on the entire matter: Please check out my “Bigots, Control Freaks, Piddlers, and Twiddlers” on is-it-a-blog-or-is-it-an-ezine Open Source Politics.

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  • Doc

    In 2000, more than 60% of Alabama whites voted to continue to have a state constitutional ban on interacial marriages (the measure to repeal did go through but at 60/40). So this is a red meat issue for the GOP rightist base.

    Note the cryptic language in the proposed ammendment to try to strip out all civil union recognitions too.

    As a gay man, I have dismal hopes for equality in this country.

  • Eric Olsen

    I see this as an inevitable Hegelian counterreaction to the gains that have been made by gays culturally, legally, even spiritually (from the perspective of organized religion) over the long run and especially in recent years.
    Things will swing back toward the center, then forge ahead again. Please keep your spirits up Doc as the future of equality is bright in the big picture.

  • The thing that worries me about this issue is that they could conceivably screw up the tax laws because they don’t want to recognize them as official “marriages.” One of the biggest problems with unrecognized unions is that they miss out on any tax benefits of being married, commonlaw or otherwise, when it comes to inheritance and wills, etc. The tax rates are much higher with non-spousal recipients than if their was recognition of a spousal relationship. If they try and “appease” the gay community and pro-gay activists by changing the tax laws instead of just going to the source and allowing gay marriages to be recognized it could create an awful lot of loopholes. Hopefully they figure that out and just recognize the marriages as they should.

  • Eric, I believe you’re right about the “squishy middle” getting nervous. Doesn’t make them right. I must say, though it is kind of you to offer comfort, that it is easy for someone who has never known a day of inequality under law to suggest patience to someone who has not ever had that privilege and has seen many people die without ever having it. Your good intentions are noted, but that statement only makes this person feel worse.

  • I know this wasn’t even directed at me, but I am tired of seeing opinions thoughts and feelings get discounted because someone doesn’t know the what it feels like to be discriminated against. You may be right. I don’t know the feeling of discrimination.

    Telling me I am ignorant every time I try and stand with someone who is being discriminated against is counter-productive.

    Maybe I see more clearly because I have never been discriminated against. Maybe the discriminators have opened up to me because they thought I was an ally. You can’t simply ignore me because my experiences may be different. They are still experiences, and I am sorry if I am over-reacting, but for you to discount Eric’s statement the way I have seen others discounted really pisses me off.

    Why is it that you can’t just let us stand together on this one? Being patient is more a sentiment of the legal/political system is it not? Does someone have to be discriminated against to comprehend that?

    I must just be ignorant because I am a white male.

  • All I said was that his statement, though well intended, did not help me and many like me. Sorry, but when people tell me to be patient, it only makes me feel despair. This is about more than being discriminated against — lots of people are discriminated against but still are equal under law. Every day without equality is torment for many people. That is just the truth. What, I can’t express that? I am only allowed to smile and say “thanks for caring,” through my tears? Inequality under law is a MASSIVE deal and a MASSIVE punishment.

    And where in the heck did that last statement come from?

  • You imply an ignorance with your previous post. You say that it is “easy” for someone who hasn’t been discriminated against to preach patience, and while that might be true, having been someone who has been told on many occasions that I “have no idea” what it’s like, to fill in the blank, I take exception. That is an exceptable response some of the time, but I hate when I am made to feel bad by someone who’s side I am trying to be on.

  • And I apologize for that. I hate being made to feel bad by people trying to be on my side. Neither of us means to hurt the other. Perhaps it can not be helped.

  • perhaps. I also went a little nuts for some reason when I saw that one little sentence in your post. Don’t know why for sure, but some days certain things strike you in certain ways.

  • All I can say is I am glad that folks like you and Eric are on the side of justice and equality for all. (At the same time, I don’t think people necessarily should be rewarded for doing what is decent and right, for doing what decent humans are supposed to do. Should one get a reward for returning something to its rightful owner? I think not and would never accept such a thing, even if it were offered.)

    Anyway, just don’t tell me to be patient and expect me to be grateful. That is demeaning. I shouldn’t have to be. Not when it comes to equality under law in a land that promises it yet strenuously works to violate its own word. It would be one thing if we were talking about bread or shoes, but the government is withholding something vital, something that simply makes life not worth living, you know? And then they expect our loyalty and jingoism and tax dollars. Bastards.

    Indeed, life without equality is not worth living, IMO. Sometimes I am so ready for the next part of the journey.

  • I agree with you wholeheartedly, but with an open society where the majority rules, sometimes even the most obvious ideas and ideals for some will always take time and convincing for others. Not to mention the pure amount of time it takes to travel through the checks and balances of a paper-based democracy.

    While these things do seem tedious and might extend periods of unfairness, a certain amount of them are necessary. To ensure fairness, time must be taken and things must be put through the proper channels so that an agreement can be reached even when it is something important. With that in mind preaching patience is the best thing in my opinion. I understand the frustration, but checks and balances are important to slow down bad ideas and as a result good ones suffer the same fate.

    I am not saying the system is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is probably one of the best in the world because it lets perserverance of good issues pay off in the end, while disproving bad issues. If a few people just “made it so” then the legislation would be flawed as well no matter what good end it brought or how right the people were who enacted it.

  • Doesn’t make it acceptable.

  • The fact that it stops bad things from happening too, doesn’t make it acceptable?

    That is a fundamental philisophical difference that I am willing to live with. I would love to hear a better solution in a better system.

    In the meantime lets hope for enlightnment and expediency.

  • Not to my mind. No one ever had to decide on whether you could be equal. You just were. Imagine how demeaning that feels to those of us who have to wait and work and plead to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law.

    Yes, expediency. Even one more minute on inequality is unbearable.

    Hope? In short supply, my friend.

  • All I am saying is when was the last time you saw social change happen in a day? Eventually the reality of the world has to take over. You are different than I, and because of that understanding takes time. To expect more is ridiculous and Utopian. Instant social change is a wonderful thought… but…

    Again, I reiterate that I am on your side and I stand with you as much as humanly possible.

  • Where did I say I expect anything? I said that the reality is unbearable and that hope, for me, is in short supply. Very different.

  • Stu

    Myself and many, many people here in Massachusetts are supporting an Amendment to Protect Marriage. We are outraged at what the SJC did. Gay marriage is against the laws of nature (even the lowest of animal world don’t do what gay men do), and it is offensive to Christians and, indeed, all the religions of the world. What God calls an abomination can not, at the same time, be a sacrament – this is an insult, a mockery!

  • bhw

    Not that “many,” Stu. In an article addressing the basic irrelevance of the Church on this issue in MA, a recent poll said that almost 80% of MA residents are in favor of either civil unions or gay marriage.

    Please don’t paint MA with your broad brush of intolerance.

  • Frank Blakely

    I will get straight to the point. This entire controversy of homosexuality exists solely because of a basic lack of understanding of Man and his basic purposes and goals. The argument that homosexuality is not a choice and that homosexuals are equal to, say, blacks (slavery) or women (suffrage) is a lie. Just because you don’t remember choosing proves nothing. Do you remember every choice you ever made; particularly the ones for which you didn’t want to take responsibility? I’m not trying to make you wrong. What is right about homosexuality?

    Knowing that there is a road out of this mess is a good thing; you don’t have to be gay. My saddest day was when I realized that I had no choice- I was gay, period. Once I discovered how to get back to my basic goals, it was the happiest day of my life. You don’t have to be gay. You DO have to use a workable technology. All these confusions about Mankind have been propagated by psychiatry (a complete and provable fraud: http://www.cchr.org ) so its no surprise that people are in such a mess.

    Basically, the confusion is that you have been taught that you are an animal who has never been anyone before this life. If you had been going along just fine in female bodies for the last million years and suddenly you find yourself stuck in a male body, and DIDN’T REMEMBER IT, all those appropriate feelings you had as a woman would confuse you; until you had an explanation for it: GAY. I suppose if you believe that you are that slab of meat sitting in that chair then you might think, “How could I have existed before my body was made?” I am not going to argue the existence of the spirit, you can make up your own mind about that. I am simply letting you know that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GAY. There is something you can do about it:
    and look up the confusion formula of the ethics conditions: http://www.smi.org/route/page49.htm

    Finally, the purpose of Marriage is Creation. The only thing homosexuals create are make-overs and really good broadway shows. : ) No, really, producing healthy, happy children to continue the human race is the primary creation of marriage. Incredible sex is just a bonus. Just because many fail at marriage just indicates a lack of workable technology in that area – (e.g. any church or counselor that uses psychiatry).

    This message is part of my own application of the condition formulas. I am no longer gay. I choose to join the (sexual) group that promotes the survival of the Human Race the most: heterosexuals who want to create a stable family.

  • Anthony g

    Hey! We homosexuals have rights too!