Adding my voice, although I doubt anyone doubted it, in my case...|
I see the events in San Francisco this week as the opening shot in the "hot war" for the freedom to marry...this battle has been brewing for decades, and it has its roots in the earlier battle that interracial couples faced up until the sixties.
There were earlier skirmishes--and even some victories in Ontario, Canada and Massachusetts. But now there are thousands of people, well over a thousand married newly married couples in one weekend, who--together with their supportive families--are ready to fight any attempts to invalidate their marriages.
If you asked me the end-state I'd really like to see, it would be the separation of state and marriage, or, perhaps a streamlined civil process whereby any number of people of any gender could enter into a legal arrangement with the protections (and liabilities) of marriage...things like automatic joint tenancy in real estate, hospital visitation rights, treatment as a family unit by tax laws, assumed legitimacy of children, and those things in the 1,049 federal laws that relate in some way to marriage and relevant state laws.
My new brother-in-law is reading the "Finding Nemo" storybook (picture soon, I hope)...there is no doubting: this is what a family is.
Current Mood: optimistic
I think a mistake that was made...whenever it was made, in using the term "marriage" to describe what we use it to describe. It's largely a religious/spiritual term. If we had "civil unions" as the legal union, with marriage as the spiritual union, we wouldn't be in this mess.
Or, the conservative right would be coming up with some other way of discriminating...
Not that I'm cynical.
|Date:||February 15th, 2004 08:04 pm (UTC)|| |
Of course, I think the easiest way of cutting this gordian knot is removing the civil side of things completely...or perhaps a civil union for any group of people that want it--some people will want a "short form" for the many, many things that marriage currently means, financially, etc.
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 04:16 am (UTC)|| |
I wonder how much of the hubub about all this is because of the fear of "tainting the marital union" by allowing those nasty homosexuals to marry...and how much of this is driven by the fear of having to pay benefits to a new group of survivors.
All I can say is that the mayor of San Francisco really has some balls. ;-) I love it!
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC)|| |
yeah--probably more than his opponents gave him credit for, it sounds like...
I don't think the costs are that high...
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 06:56 am (UTC)|| |
I'm thinking costs to businesses (the conservative constituancy) potentially having to pay benefits for partners. Although a lot of companies do this now even without the marriage license.
Did Owen stand in line and get a license?
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)|| |
Oh yeah, they did the whole thing on Friday...sounds like that was the right time, because we hear that on Saturday and Sunday couples were getting turned away to come back the next day by the hundreds.
There was one touching story of a local couple that gave up their place in line to an out-of-town couple...the other couple both had HIV and had not brought medicines for two days, thinking it was just a day trip up and back.
Oh, my new brother-in-law's sister, in a panic trying to find them, went to the courthouse instead of city hall--she barged into the injunction hearing where the judge was ruling on whether or not he was going to grant an emergency injunction.
Apparently the sheriff's deputy tried to stop her, but she emotionally explained to him: "But I'm a WITNESS!" [She meant to Owen and Greg's wedding]...her earnestness convinced the deputy to bring her to the judge--who asked her, confused, "were you subpoenaed?" "No," she explained, to the growing amusement of the media present, and no doubt the consternation of the anti-gay marriage group present, "I'm here to witness for my brother who's marrying his partner of six years today and I HAVE TO BE THERE! Where is he?!"
They got her straigthened out and sent her across the street to city hall...apparently she came up from the blind side and didn't see all the crowds there...
Wow, I agree so highly! Why is the legal union in America between adults defined by some Judeo-Christian standard? So glad inroads are being made to gay unions going legal. (Now if they would only legalize pot . . .)
From what I've heard, ancient Brehon Irish law arranged for a number of different types of marriages - one where the woman owned & kept her wealth in the marriage, one where the woman became property of her husband, one where the couple had a temporary marriage that only lasted a year, etc. I like the cafeteria idea of marriage rights (sans sexist overtones of course ;) . . . Pick what works for you!
|Date:||February 15th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC)|| |
:) wouldn't that be nice..like you could record your union and pick and choose the conditions of your union's contract (joint property, survivorship, custody, etc.)...sort of like a short-form pre-nup...
or if you wanted the old-fashioned full-1,049 just check "all of the above."
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC)|| |
objection & suggestion (mixed post)
Minor(?) objection from a religious, observant Jew: if you're going to call it "some Judeo-Christian standard" please include *all* religions which have that standard (e.g. Islam). US law is based on Judaism only in that Christianity started as an offshoot of (and *opposed* to) Judaism. Early laws discriminated against Jews as much as against any non-Christians (not allowed to hold government offices 'cause wouldn't take a Christian oath), and we still have to worry about things like job discrimination (e.g. won't work Saturdays = not hired). To claim that government attempts to prevent same-sex marriages are based on Judaism is pushing it.
Query: are there any states where a couple can apply for a marriage license without both people showing up in person? Perhaps what the US government "needs" is for a wedding to take place, complete with civil license, and then to have it turn out that both people are of the same gender (a la the Citadel case).
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 06:15 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: objection & suggestion (mixed post)
Well, I think the San Francisco case is going to be a test case...we'll see!
|Date:||February 17th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: objection & suggestion (mixed post)
Maybe, but (as I understand the current state of things) they can claim that those marriages aren't legal 'cause of state laws w/o necessarily challenging the state laws.
|Date:||February 17th, 2004 07:48 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: objection & suggestion (mixed post)
The mayor has done the best thing possible--because, just like with the federal constitution versus federal laws, if the judges agree that the 2000 ballot proposition is unconstitutional, it's trumped.
I'm afraid I would not yet call Massachusetts a victory, it's an ongoing battle with a month long lull going on. When the state constititional convention reconvenes next month they'll be trying to force thru DOMA once again, thanks to three very backwards politicians (the governor, the head of the state senate and the head of the state house of representatives) and about a dozen supporting state reps from the central and western parts of the state.
The pro-gay marriage side managed a six hour filibuster on the third attempted amendment, after defeating an extreme draconian attempt and having an extreme gay rights bill equally shot down. The third bill, a false compromise, would have just as much destroyed gay rights in many categories as the first one that was defeated but to a slightly less extreme.
The battle goes on.... and on... as long as there are idiot politicians....
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC)|| |
guess we need to keep up the political pressure there...not that it's going to change many minds...
If two citizens, taxpayers of legal majority in their area of residence, want to legally combine their assets into a family unit, the sexes of those taxpayers should not of any importance. Personally, I'd prefer that the limit not be two, but lets go one step at a time.
|Date:||February 16th, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: My thoughts.
That was my brother's feeling as well...I look forward to another of Heinlein's "before his time" ideas coming true--group marriage, renewable term marriages, line marriages, as well as the old-fashioned vanilla kind...let each family find its own, individual solution...
|Date:||February 17th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)|| |
Things to keep in mind
First, let me state that I completely and unconditionally support the idea of gay marriage. I think that it's morally the right thing for this country (and any other) to "allow." I just hate the fact that it is even necessary to make an issue of it.
However, when we start looking into a number of other forms of marriage, we need to also look at the long-term and fiddly arrangements that these would involve. You need to remember that things like insurance companies need to know who they are insuring at any given point. I think one or two year civil unions would be a nightmare to insure! I think that you also need to consider how you would like to handle children out of a deliberately short-term union. And so on and so forth.
Which is not to say that I think that polygamy or serial monogamy is necessarily a bad thing, just very hard to legislate.
The neat and tidy thing about defining marriage as a life-long union between two people (regardless of gender) would be that effectively NOTHING would need to change about any system (except possibly some wording on documents to make them gender neutral).
|Date:||February 17th, 2004 07:55 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Things to keep in mind
I actually think it's not that hard...the only thing that would probably change is that the actuarial categories of insuring--for example with our company's insurance: self, self + spouse, self + single child, self + family--with something that simply counts self, spouse(s), and children...
One of my cousins is an actuary, and a darn bright one...I'm sure he could figure it out.
|Date:||February 17th, 2004 08:17 pm (UTC)|| |
Always in motion is the future....
Within my lifetime, I think I will see...
Some form of gay marriage/civil unions in all of the states
A state or two added to the union.
A state or two removed from the union.
A black person become president.
A woman become president.
Women becoming a majority in congress.
Spanish becoming our second official language.
And the Devil Rays will win the world series. Okay, that will never happen.