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  •  the blame really must be shared for these hate (19+ / 0-)

    initiatives. primary responsibility goes to right-wing haters.

    BUT, some dems supported civil unions over marriage, which would provide a two-tiered system of "rights." If we are all entitled to equal rights, to human rights, to a life without discrimination based on our sex, race, etc, then we need to be clear that two-tiered systems that produce 2nd-class citizens are not acceptable.

    •  Some of us support civil unions as a means (7+ / 0-)

      toward greater equality, the end goal being not just equality of all actual rights, but equality of what we call those rights.

      I think you go too far in placing the blame on the civil union camp for this (although I enjoy imagining the thought process you think the voters had: "Well, I was going to support kids being adopted, but I hear that some liberals think we should push for civil unions first and then secure marriage.  So, fuck it, I guess I'll vote to prohibit kids from being adopted into gay families.")

      The tall people want what the short people's got - The Shaggs

      by burrow owl on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:44:05 AM PST

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      •  And I've never understood that logic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden

        (although I agree with the goal) but I think that's a separate discussion to have elsewhere so that this thread isn't hijacked.

      •  What does this mean? (6+ / 0-)

        Some of us support civil unions as a means toward greater equality, the end goal being not just equality of all actual rights, but equality of what we call those rights.

        What we call it is the right to equality for all people. There is no gray area here to my mind. It is the right to marry the person you love, the right to form a family with them, and, if you so choose, the right to provide an adoptive or foster home for a child or children who need loving parents and a loving home. What else do we need to call it???

        Civil unions represent a mindset of "seperate and less than equal" rights for gay citizens of this country, which is simply wrong. I remain mystified why anyone supports this idea, but to claim that it is about "moving toward greater equality" well, yes, it is better than no rights at all, but that is simply not good enough. Equality is a pretty simple concept after all. Everyone gets the same rights; not a seperate and less-than set of a subrights for certain people.

        •  It's a question of tactics. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, homogenius, Pris from LA

          Do we get to marriage sooner via the detour of civil unions, or do we get to marriage far, far later.  You opt for the latter, I opt for the former.

          The tall people want what the short people's got - The Shaggs

          by burrow owl on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 08:13:34 AM PST

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          •  Detours are longer, not shorter (2+ / 0-)

            I opt for the direct route, which I feel would be far quicker.

            Opting for the detour of going for separate and unequal civil unions allows people to say, well, no marriage right is needed, they can have civil unions instead so why give them marriage rights? It's a detour at best and a dead-end at worst. And it supports the idea that gay people do not deserve full equality.

            And you still didn't answer what you mean by "the end goal being equality of what we call those rights" -- if the end goal isn't marriage equality for all, then what is it? Civil unions for all? Are you advocating getting rid of legal marriage for everyone? I've heard that and don't agree with it but it is at least supporting true equality. But marriage for heteros and something else for gay people is a detour that delays the goal of true equality.

            •  I don't consider it a detour. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pris from LA, browneyes

              And I think you oversimplify the political reality. We have a long road to get to national marriage equality. There are many places where civil unions and partner registries at the state and local level are advancing our cause. For thousands of families these incremental advances are improving their lives in very real ways and helping to change hearts and minds.

              "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

              by homogenius on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 08:36:36 AM PST

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              •  No, I do not oversimplify the political reality (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pris from LA

                I know all too well that getting to full equality is going to be a long, difficult battle that will be fought on several fronts including political, legal, and moral grounds. And I'm also very well aware that legal civil unions are far better than nothing for gay couples.

                But that doesn't mean I will support civil unions in lieu of true marriage equality, because that is supporting the concept of a permanent second-class status for gay people, saying they do not deserve to be allowed to marry.

                This is like saying in the previous civil rights battles that segregated schools are better than no education at all for blacks, and most people are not comfortable with integrated schools, it would be difficult, so I'm for segregated schools. Sorry, but that just doesn't fly. And it also doesn't mean that one doesn't undertand that fighting for full equality is not an easy battle.

          •  We use every means we have. (6+ / 0-)

            Every inch forward counts. You are correct. In some states, having Civil Unions is a drastic improvement for many couples while marriage equality remains on the far horizon.

            Every inch forward means that more couples will have hospital visitation, more protection from fundiegelical family members swooping in after one partner's death to steal everything, more opportunities for healthcare for spouses and children, etc.

            Every inch is a victory to be savored and used to build momentum toward the greater goal.

            "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

            by homogenius on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 08:32:40 AM PST

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            •  I agree with everything you said here (1+ / 0-)

              If the choice presented to me as a voter is civil unions or no rights, then of course I would vote for and accept the civil unions, as a step in the right direction.

              But that does not mean the same (to me) as saying that I support civil unions, which would mean that philosophically, I believe that gay people should have civil unions but they should not have marriage. To say that you "support civil unions" means that you do not support gay people having full marriage rights, you support the idea that they should have something less than that.

              That is why I support full marriage equality, I do not support seperate and unequal civil unions or any other lesser legal status for same-sex couples.

              That in no way means that if we have a ballot initiative to allow civil unions, I wouldn't vote for it. I would, if the only other option is nothing at all. But I would vote for it as a compromise, while still strongly supporting full marriage equality for all of our citizens.

      •  those are your thoughts, not mine (3+ / 0-)

        If it is ok to have a separate but equal marriage system (marriage v. civil unions), then why not ok to have a separate but equal adoption system (yes if married, no if not). IF separate but equal is ok for marriage, why not ok for everything some will argue.

        Once you have separate but equal marriage system, then it is easier to openly discriminate because benefits can be provided to marriages but not civil unions. As time goes by, more of this two-tiered system is institutionalized in our social, legal, political and economic systems.

    •  The majority of politicians are afraid of the (8+ / 0-)

      church.  The church says they "own" the institution of "marriage" so people are trying to change the terminology to avoid a fight with the church.

      Problem is that what we really need here is a fight with the church.  A big one in which they lose because they have no right to put their dogma on secular ballots imo.

      •  Undermine, and destroy.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fixed Point Theorem, sethtriggs

        Religion thrives on misery. Most religious people on the left don't see that, because they themselves are far above enjoying the misery of others. But it is those doubts, fears, terrors that drive people into churches who would otherwise never have a "spiritual" thought.

        It's interesting to note that religion in Canada began its terminal nosedive at almost exactly the same time universal medicare was instituted.

        On s'engage, et puis, on voit. (Napoleon)

        by sagesource on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:33:14 AM PST

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    •  I support civil unions for all. (14+ / 0-)

      That is, state laws should focus solely on civil unions: the package of legal rights and obligations that two people commit to for each other, whether the two people are gay or straight.

      Marriage is a religious institution and ought to be solely the prerogative of each church to celebrate, recognize, or not.

      That's how it's done in most European countries.  First you get your civil union (at the courthouse), and then you may or may not get married (at church).  Whether you get married (the religious act) has no bearing on the legal rights and obligations of the civil union.  It has solely to do with how your own church celebrates and recognizes your relationship.

      And that is, I think, the solution we ought to adopt here in the U.S.

      Civil unions for all, under the law.

      Marriage according to one's own church.

      •  exactly! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, Pris from LA, NCrissieB

        if everyone can't play nice with marriage, nobody gets one!  all the state should do is grant civil unions, wherein everybody gets all the same rights.  if people want to get "married," they can go to their church.

        "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 08:52:02 AM PST

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      •  this is a reasonable alternative, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, Pris from LA, NCrissieB

        but not sure viable. i think the fundies would fight, which would delay equality for years. in the past few years, the percentage of people approving marriage for all has increased, so it may be faster to build on that.

        •  It might take the wind out of their sails (3+ / 0-)

          Most of the propaganda behind it contains something like "marriage is a sacred institution" or some notion that one of their gods finds it objectionable and therefore everyone should.  Take that attachment to any sort of tribal ritual away and they have much less of a leg to stand on--it's not infringing or usurping their tribal rite--and their hate stands exposed for what it is - "I object to other people getting what I've already got because they're not part of my tribe."

          Because as of now, no court in the land can nullify any religious ceremony performed in any church (which begs the question - has there been a church that's tried legalizing their marriage rites when they include gays, and sued for discrimination if it wasn't accepted?), so why should a religious institution get to nullify a legal grant of rights?

          They've made some money swindling people into thinking that it's the government who wants to force their church into performing wedding ceremonies for people they don't want to.  And dog knows that's the furthest thing from the real issue, isn't it.

          He Lied. He Spied. He Must Be Tried!

          by athenap on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:57:54 AM PST

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      •  Yes! Why are there legal effects from a religious (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        ceremony or ritual?  Does anyone get any additional legal rights after being confirmed, or after a bar/bat mitzvah, or after having gone on hajj?  Does the tax code care if you're a divorced Catholic who can't remarry in the church, or if you're an Orthodox Jew who hasn't been able to obtain a get?

        The only legally-relevant issue should be whether a couple has registered a civil union with the appropriate government agency.  Anything else (like a religious ceremony) should be a private matter between you and your religion's dogma.

        Alas, I know that it's politically unlikely that the solution suggested by NCrissieB would ever be adopted ... but I believe it's the right answer to this problem.

        "Specialization is for insects." -- Heinlein

        by BachFan on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:48:31 AM PST

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      •  Fine by me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        But I also think unmarried people should be able to adopt or foster children.

        Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

        by barbwires on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 11:54:58 AM PST

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    •  I understand your point...however: (5+ / 0-)

      If everyone who wanted to "get married" had to get a civil union before a Justice of the Peace, like they do in France, in order for the State to recognize the union, (I mean State as in government in general, not the States of the US) it would work from a civil rights standpoint.

      Another issue: it would also be a great comfort to Seniors, the Disabled and others who right now have to "live in sin" to not avoid losing benefits. Imagine if they could get a church marriage and not be considered civilly united -- technically unmarried by the State's definition?

      The government should get out of the "Marriage" business, and do a global search and replace on the US Code to give all rights enumerated to married couples to those who have entered into civil unions.

      Palin had her 15 minutes. They did not go very well.

      by Pris from LA on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:39:09 AM PST

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      •  i agree with your point if it was implemented now (0+ / 0-)

        instead of trying to use a two-tier system over x period of years to reach that goal. The problem is that if we had a two-tier system for x period of years, even if implemented as strategy to reach civil unions for all, during those interim years a two-tier system would become institutionalized in our social, political, educational, etc system. it is very hard to remove separate systems or discriminations once institutionalized.

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