Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the view from the other side: why civil unions aren't enough

From an Andrew Sullivan post:

We are so often told by opponents of marriage equality that they do not oppose our right to have basic legal protections. What they do not understand, because they have never had to understand, is that without legal marriage, gay couples are always subject to the veto of family members who have more say over our spouses under the law than we do.

and this:

Until you have been treated as sub-human, it's hard to appreciate how it feels. We will not give up. And we will win in part for the sake of those who never made it to see this day.

This is what my faith teaches me, whatever the Vatican insists. Our love really is stronger than their fear.

so to bridget, chris and others who offer the mealy-mouthed 'i'm ok with their civil unions but, euww, i don't want them to be married because marriage is meant to be straight' i say that this is a civil rights issue.

you're either for equal rights because you truly believe in liberty for ALL and that all men were created equal, and thus how the world works for one set of the citizenry is how it should work for ALL - or you don't and think that our Constitution is only for straight people.

pick one.


Anonymous said...

Me Chris here,

Tell me intellectual why did people voted yes on prop 8? Not all who voted were religious.Why... what do you think did it Screed?

Please educate us. :)

Anonymous said...

Chris said:

U.S Constitution :

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There is your constitution babe.

Orange said...

Ding, honey, take some Motrin or tequila for the new headache. And remember: The blogger always has the prerogative to delete comments. It's not "stifling dissent" if the "dissenters" in question have the entire rest of the world to speak their piece in. The Constitution does not say they need to exercise their freedom of speech in your inner sanctum. And clearly, they're not engaging in open dialogue—they're just saying the same crap over and over, even though you've made it clear that you view that crap as clear bigotry, and they've made it clear that your arguments in favor of civil rights and equality mean jack shit to them.

ding said...

Chris, learn something about the Constitution, first.

Denying equal rights based on sexual orientation is not about exercising freedom of speech.

And read up on the legal opinion about whether California voters can supercede state supreme court will with a simple vote. Y'all took on a major undertaking without understanding whether or not you legally could.

From Feminist Law Professors:
"The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed a suit challenging the validity of recently passed California Proposition 8. They have asked for enforcement of the ban on same-sex marriages to be stayed pending the resolution of their challenge, which alleges that Proposition 8 is invalid because it is a constitutional revision rather than a constitutional amendment. (N.B.: They describe the difference between a revision and an amendment on p. 15 of their petition as follows: (1) a constitutional amendment “seeks to elaborate or improve upon existing constitutional principles,” while (2) a constitutional revision “seeks to change the ‘underlying principles’ upon which the Constitution is premised.”) As a constitutional revision, they argue, the ban on same-sex marriage cannot be enacted through the initiative process, as it was, but, under the constitution, must be considered and passed by supermajorities of both houses of the legislature prior to being submitted to the voters or to a constitutional convention. Because Proposition 8 did not follow the more deliberative process prescribed for constitutional revisions, they argue that it is invalid."

There's your law for you, BABE.

And frankly, you still haven't made an argument why sexual orientation is grounds for having your civil rights taken away.

I'll let your comments stand for now, but watch the tone and the sexist condescension or I'll delete your ass.

Anonymous said...


Freedom of expression was for the people who voted in California, that part of the constitution was posted for why they voted. Sorry for the babe comment.

ding said...

But where does it say that 'freedom of expression' can supercede state supreme court law?

Do you see what I'm saying?

Freedom of expression doesn't trump other, more important, constitutional prvileges and ideas like equal protection under the law.

California law had already established that sexual orientation was equally protected as other categories - basically, that the way the world works for everyone else is the way it should work for this sector of the population.

And now a simple majority vote is enough to reverse state law?

What else can a simple majority take away that has been already protected by constitutional law?

Do you see what I'm saying?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do.I'm just not agreement with you, that is all I am saying. People exercise their voting rights and who am I, and you to tell people how to vote? We can scream and hollar and voiced our disagreements, but I can't change what they did in California.

The people spoke.
Equal protection under civil union should be the law. Don't you think so?

wade said...


Allow us to vote on removing YOUR constitutionally protected rights and lets see how you react. Would you quietly accept? Would you say "oh well, thats how the majority voted?"

Highly doubtful!

Why do you people expect us to roll over and accept this injustice?

Anonymous said...

I don't expect you to rollover Wade. Keep standing! And, no I am not being funny.


ding said...

But Chris (and I appreciate your staying so long here), you still haven't explained to me why equal protection should be different for some folks when there's that word EQUAL in it.

You're basically saying that gays can be equal but just not as equal as the rest of us and it's ok for a simple majority of state citizens to decide on who's more equal than whom.

I acknowledge your disagreement but I have to say that your reason (rationale) behind your disagreement seems to be a little short-sighted.

Have you thought of the impact of that kind of reasoning?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have thought about it and I guess I am saying just that (equal in some ways). Maybe it boils down to the way I believe and how what I believe is impacted by people wanting to change from what I have always believed. People were not always gay in this country or at least not open about it. Bridget mentioned her talks with African American people who are offended by the comparison with their Civil Rights struggles. I can understand why this is a slap in their faces and why they may have voted against Prop 8. You cannot change your skin color. People have always seen marriage between members of the opposite sex. Look, maybe it does appear that I am discrimanating against gays to a degree or it appears like I am. I'm not homophobic, far from it. It ticks me off when people think if your not supporting gays totally your a hater of gays. Totally not true. I understood Bridget's concerns because I felt the same, and I'm sure I am not the only one that feels this way. How I view marriage is between two people of the oppostite sex, period. On the other hand I would not want to deny anyone benefits owe to them in the case of partners who are gay. That is my dilemma.

Anonymous said...

Correction- "that is why African Americans voted "for" Prop 8. I just found out because of lawsuits, it's going to the supreme court. This is going to get interesting.


SiddityintheCity said...

Ding, I don't know how you're engaging in this conversation without exploding from frustration.

Chris, you say this: "Yes, I have thought about it and I guess I am saying just that (equal in some ways)."

and then this: "Look, maybe it does appear that I am discrimanating against gays to a degree or it appears like I am."

This shows you to be bigoted and discriminatory, if not actually afraid of/hating homosexuals. It's not just that you "appear" to be discriminating. You are.

"Equal in some ways" is not EQUAL. It's discrimination. You don't want to sound like a bad person, so you say you aren't homophobic. BUT THEN you turn around and say homophobic things. "Maybe it boils down to the way I believe and how what I believe is impacted by people wanting to change from what I have always believed." and "How I view marriage is between two people of the oppostite sex, period."

In other words, you're saying "I just don't want them to enjoy the same rights I enjoy because that makes me feel icky, even though it will have absolutely no discernible impact on the rights that I enjoy."

You haven't said anything about how giving gays the right to marry will negatively impact your rights or quality of life. There's no logic here as to why or how you can rule some people less equal than others.

So back to Ding's sentiment--either you are for equal rights and liberty for all, or you're not. Pick one. Sounds like you are saying you don't believe in equal rights FOR ALL. Just for heterosexuals.

And if that's the case, okay then, at least own that. Yeesh.

ding said...

Chris, there have always been gay people. *Always.* You can't change your orientation, either.

And they're not going away just because folks are more comfortable with them in the closet.

But this isn't about the existence of gay folks.

This is about you saying that your support of taking away marriage rights for gays is really not about them but about *your* beliefs ("Maybe it boils down to the way I believe and how what I believe is impacted by people wanting to change from what I have always believed"); in other words, you are voting to reinforce *your* belief system, despite evidence to the contrary.

So it's not about gays at all, but about you - but which has the consequence of harming and discriminating against gays.

But like Sid says, numbering gays among the marrying population doesn't really affect you, materially.

(It makes you realize gay people exist, perhaps, but gay people have always existed and one's ignorance of that isn't their responsibility.)

So I think we should all acknowledge that Chris has experienced a breakthrough here: gay people have always existed and people have always believed different things.

I think we're making progress.

ding said...

All joking aside, this is a question directed to anyone else who might be anti-marriage equality:

What's your skin in the game?

What are you afraid will change for you if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry and form families?

Anonymous said...

How about I was being honest at the same time trying to be fair, weighing my thoughts, you know people,humans do it all the time.and I own it.
And if you're gay and offended because I am not totally on you side. Your going to have to deal with people not agreeing with you. No, gays do not make me feel icky. Let me ask my friend here with me if I send that message to him..... nahhhhh he said. I'm pretty cool he said ;)

That's life.

SiddityintheCity said...

That's a lot of words to not answer a question.

What is your stake in gay marriage? How would gays being able to marry physically, materially affect you?

What are you afraid will change?

Anonymous said...

S.S lol... Marriage between a man and a woman.

Hey Ding, good job on your analysis. My roommate informed me to leave this alone. So I'm bowing out and leaving you ladies alone.

If I change my mind I will let you know Ding.

Peace, Chris!

ding said...

...And so there we have it, folks.

A (non)acknowledgment that there is no personal investment in the issue, that there is no personal feeling against gays themselves, that gays do not make one feel icky and one is sorta ok with some kind of equality - but just not the same kind of equality as the rest of us.

Inside the mind of a pro-Prop 8 voter.

Thanks for playing, Chris.