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Have I slipped into Opposite World today?

So, on the one hand, the Catholic church is EXTORTING Washington, DC by threatening to pull all of its public services if same sex marriage is approved, impacting one third of DC's homeless (the majority of whom are ostensibly heterosexual, it should be noted), as well as other services.


Let that sink in for a bit.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Mormon Church gave its full support to an equal rights bill in Salt Lake City that bans discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing and employment, and it was passed unanimously by lawmakers. WTF is up with that?

Of course, the ordinances had to include very specific language that clearly exempted THEM from being affected by the law, but, hey, it's a step in the right direction, right? So let's just forget the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS they threw at California to ban gay marriages there (which, of course, they're still against), m'kay? THANKS!


My sources:




( 14 comments — Comment )
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
I've always said that "Equal Rights" was the correct fight to be taking up, not re-defining marriage. Your confusion only lies in the fact that the Mormon church's position has been mislabeled as "hate" for gays instead of for what it was: protection of one of their religious beliefs.

The GBLT community can win the fight for equality very easily (and already have won in CA according to the domestic partner and civil union laws here) if they don't insist on equality being the re-definition of a religious term.

Let me say it again: That fight has already been won in California. Same-sex couples registered here as Domestic Partners have *ALL* the same rights and privileges (in California) by law that Married couples have.
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
Not one single piece of legislation has ever stated that a religious organization has to change its views or do anything it does not believe. Claiming that churches will suddenly be required to marry same sex couples is nothing more or less than scare mongering.
Nov. 12th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
I'm referring to the definition of Marriage itself being a religious term.

I'm all for removing it from legislation altogether and calling all marriages, domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc. under the same generic term. That's a fight that will equalize the playing field.

Married couples can still consider themselves married, but they will also be domestic partners in the eyes of the law.

Nov. 12th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Marriage is not solely a religious term and hasn't been since the first laws that legislated it.

In theory your idea isn't a bad one, and one I've considered as well. In the end, however, my own opinions about separate not being equal, heterosexual privilege, the idea of "if not now, when?", and the fact that my marriage in absolutely no way impacts anyone else's marriage have lead me to firmly believe in the cause of marriage equality.

I'm blessed to belong to a religion that actively marries, supports and celebrates gay and lesbian couples. :)
Nov. 12th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, Darrel, that's not quite entirely true. There are several small but important differences between civil marriage and domestic partnership in CA. Having had to get a domestic partnership for insurance purposes, I can assure you that they are vexing.

A *small* sample:
- DPs need to get their application notarized. Married couples just need witnesses.
- DPs can't get hitched unless they've lived together for a certain amount of time and can show mingling of finances. Married couples don't have to live together to get married, and can maintain entirely separate accounts.
- DPs and married couples are treated entirely different by employers. This is the problem with different classifications. If there was only one classification, all employees would be treated equally.

These are the ones that have affected me directly. I know of several others who have been impacted by other differences. Sure, they're small and not too expensive (though I will say that having to prove year after year that I'm in a domestic partnership to my partners employer is getting a little old already), but when you say we have *all* the same rights and privileges, you're not exactly correct.
Nov. 13th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Not to mention those 1,000 other things the federal government doesn't grant, of course...
Nov. 13th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Of course. I gave Darrel the benefit of the doubt on that one. :-)
Nov. 13th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
I was specifically referring to CA State law... and yes, there is much farther to go to get it to apply at the federal level.
Nov. 13th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
- DPs need to get their application notarized. Married couples just need witnesses.

Having been married, I have to point out that this is not entirely true. You need a witness *and* someone licensed in the State of California to perform weddings. This requirement is actually greater to get married, since finding a notary is easier and frequently less expensive.

- DPs can't get hitched unless they've lived together for a certain amount of time and can show mingling of finances.

I can't locate any such requirement in the law. Maybe this was a former requirement that was eliminated with subsequent legislation. The law as I read it only requires that those applying to be domestic partners are same-sex, or one of them is over 64 years old, adn that they have at least one residence in common. I don't see any requirement that finances already be mingled or that cohabitation be established for any period of time. In fact, it states that the cohabitation address need *not* be in both persons names, and that they can also have other residence addresses. It even says that one party can move to another address for any period of time and not invalidate the domestic partnership.

- DPs and married couples are treated entirely different by employers. This is the problem with different classifications.

If that is still going on in the State of California, the employer is breaking the law. My employer has changed all of its policies to read "Married couples and Domestic Partners" everywhere that Married couples used to be mentioned.

...though I will say that having to prove year after year that I'm in a domestic partnership to my partners employer is getting a little old already

Your employer should also not be requiring recurring proof that you and M are domestic partners, unless they also require that of married couples. IMO, they are breaking State law if they are requiring that.

It's a slow, but steadily progressing fight for equality... it will eventually get there, and just look how far its gone in just the last 8 years.

From my point of view (where I don't have an emotional interest in it myself other than wanting to see my friends be happy), I'm trying to help focus the direction of the equality fight on the smoothest path as I see it. This path does not include redefining what "marriage" is, though.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
Remember, though, you're only talking about California state law - in Maryland, there is no such thing as a Domestic Partnership, and even those limited employers who so choose to enable benefits for their DPed (stupid term) employees, such as the one I work for, we have to jump through all those hoops John mentions - having joint accounts, having to be together for a year, having to provide copious amounts of proof, etc., that no heterosexual married couple needs to provide (in fact, I don't believe they even need to provide a copy of their marriage license - they just say they're married, and who checks?).

All this begs a much bigger question, and actually goes to the heart of your statement of seeking the smoothest path - Why create a separate legal institution when one already exists? Heck, in California they now have *three* separate states of being (married, married before the SSM law was repealed, and DPs). That's far more work, money and energy than just saying, "OK, you're all married now."

If you really want us to be happy, that's the way to do it. :)
Nov. 13th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
If it wouldn't make the short-sighted, selfish, religious right unhappy at the same time, that might work... but unfortunately, they have the voting majority as well.

I also think that redefining a religious term ("Marriage") by legislation would be unconstitutional... at least as I interpret the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Edited at 2009-11-13 09:08 pm (UTC)
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Well, again, you're saying "marriage" is a religious institution, and I'm saying, as far as the laws of the U.S. government are concerned, it's not (or, at best, partially recognized as such). The laws can define "marriage" any way they like, but so can the churches, and as long as the government isn't telling the churches that they must conform to the government's definition, no church's rights are being infringed here. They did it in Loving v. Virginia and numerous other historical cases, they can do it here.
Nov. 16th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
Marriage is not a religious term. The religious term for a blessing of union is "holy matrimony". It is unclear where the institution of marriage started, but it certainly predates any modern religions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage#History

Regardless, even if you want to claim it's a religious thing, it's hardly been unchanged for centuries. Up until very recently it's been primarily a financial transaction where one man exchanges property (a daughter) in exchange for other property (a dowry). If you want to keep a traditional definition of marriage, we need to go back to arranged marriages and women being property. Otherwise the definition of marriage has already changed many times over, and it's a little late to be raising the alarm now.
Nov. 16th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
As far a I can tell, there is no requirement for heterosexual couples to co-habitate before getting married, but there is for domestic partners, so that is one difference.

And you may say that it's against the law, but as far as I know, the requirements to treat domestic partners just like married couples is only a requirement for state and local governments (and other public agencies). They do not pertain to corporations. There is no law that says a company must provide benefits to domestic partners if they do so for married couples.

And you and I will have to disagree about definitions. There can never be true equality until there is just one institution for couples regardless of orientation. Otherwise there will be two sets of laws, an inherently unequal situation. There's a reason why most people know that "separate but equal" is a recipe for injustice.

( 14 comments — Comment )

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