In the battle between the bigots and the progressives, something is kicked around, and thats the idea of Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships, offered up as a compromise. Giving as many benefits as possible to LGBTQIA families provided that they are not called marriages. There are different flavors with different benefits throughout the USA, but just like marriages, they do not extend past the state line. Some states have parity or recognition of civil partnerships and marriages from other states. However the violation of the full faith and credit clause prevents these legal unions from being recognizes USA-wide.
Now for your for your average LGBTQIA couple they are looking for 3 things from marriage, firstly all the legal benefits of marriage, secondly all the legal responsibilities, and thirdly the actual recognized state of being married.
Now probably the strongest example of a civil union is that in the UK where aside from the name, its a marriage, however thats a rare case in a progressive country.
If you work for a decent company in a decent state and you are in a domestic partnership you may not have to worry about the legal limitations of domestic partnerships, but in the real world, your spouse may not be entitled to visit you in hospital, they may not be able to share your medical benefits, and every year LGBTQIA couples are penalized because they cannot jointly file taxes. There are also many rights recognized universally throughout the US for married couples, including immigration benefits, inheritance tax loopholes and simple spousal privilege in court (the right to refuse to testify against your spouse). Just like any cheap knock off, its not as functional, reliable or worth the same as the genuine article, and fobbing us off with Civil Unions is an insult.
Now on the right, with groups like NOM, the ADF and other hate groups the problem is that they do too much. NOM in particular are guilty of this little fiction, they frequently claim that its about protecting marriage, but then promote bills that would ban civil partnerships as well.
You look at their efforts around the USA, which vary from fighting against states that give benefits to same sex partners, or dare to pass real civil partnerships.
The problem for them is anything that gives LGBTQIA couples rights is a problem for them, so of course they are going to fight against civil partnerships. “The queers are thinking above their station” is the meme they are trying to spread around.
While on the other hand, being too much for the bigots, not only are civil partnerships separate but equal, quite often they do not provide all the rights of marriage.
The 1898 Plessy vs Ferguson decision codified into law the idea that provided you gave african american people something that sounded the same as given to white people, you could make them use different train cars, different stores, and different rights.
We need marriage equality, our forebears in the civil rights movement would not have put up with this, we owe it to ourselves, and their memories to keep fighting the good fight.
I’m honestly not pimping out Matt’s Stop 8 videos but he keeps hitting the mark.
This is a familiar meme thats been spread around by NOM and its minons since Proposition 8 passed in California, claiming that African Americans came out in large numbers to vote for Proposition 8. The story they told was that African Americans voted against marriage equality because of their conservative values, which is just a huge stalking horse to hide what’s really going on. Prop 8 passed with a slim majority, of 2%. Polling suggests that after the dust fell and the implications were realized, the general population were so horrified that if an anti-Prop 8 were to hit the ballot in California today, it would pass with a landslide majority.
What happened was a textbook Hate group hatchet job, straight out of the annuls of those opposed to the equal rights movements at the turn of the 19th century, and not only are the tactics the same, one of the groups being targeted were one of the groups who were targeted back then. In the 1890s there was a strong union between the suffragettes and the african american rights communities, and was motivated to the point at which the civil rights era could have predated the first world war.
However those who opposed the efforts managed to turn the white women and african american men against each other, playing on the racial fear mongering of african american equality against the women, and the proto-feminist fears of the african american men, creating a split that took generations to heal.
Now a new battle for equality is looming, and the natural allies of the LGBTQIA population are the African American population who knows all about the hatred and intolerance of right wing christianity. So once again the forces of intolerance once called the Citizens Councils, and the Klu Klux Klan, now their face is groups like NOM and other right wing christian groups. Its the same message, repackaged with Television adverts, threats of million dollar campaigns against politicians and judges who dare rule against them.
So yes the hatermongers are back, with new tricks, lies and technologies, peddling the same old hate on TV, radio, the internet and even attempting to get it onto the iPhone.
But as the fearmongers have evolved, so have we, our lost brother Alan Turing gave the world the computer, and out of that we are united against hatred from corner to corner of this planet. Today we had 33 visitors from alaska, 28 visitors from hawaii, 968 visitors from Texas, 68 visitors from Brazil, 3 visits from Saudi Arabia, 11 visits from Israel, 8 visits from South Africa, 44 visitors from Japan and 149 visitors from New Zealand.
These tactics have been used before, and yes a few generations back they held back equality, but in this generation, in this time, they just seem past their sell by date.
So NOM has started up another front group, like the ruth institute, called DefendDOMA.org.
Honestly its sick-making on so many grounds, the homophobia and bigotry expressed, but also the hypocrisy.
The rights of the minority cannot be in the hands of the majority, its one of the many lessons learned during the process of moving towards equality in this country.
Defending DOMA is unethical because marriage is not threatened, and nobody has come up with an iota of proof that allowing marriage equality would damage heterosexual marriage in any way.
The hypocrisy comes from the flip flopping, currently its the vote of the people meme, they know whats best, but were it the people supporting it they’d still be clamoring to the representatives/senators that they had to stand firm against the gay tide.
This to me is still the best argument against the tactics is this video on Reel Love
Despite all our hopes that Maryland would vote for marriage equality, at the last hour, a few democrats decided to stab equality in the back. We know why they did it, the brutal bully tactics of the National Organization for Marriage and their associated groups convinced them that standing up for what is right, was unacceptable.
I don’t exactly know how to react, I was honestly expecting Maryland to stand proud and true for equality, but apparently I had more faith in those delegates than they deserved. Apparently loud and hate-filled groups of church members berated those delegates, including one of the original sponsors into cowardice.
The “Black Church” is constantly raised up by hate groups like NOM and FRC as being opposed to marriage equality, in an effort to try to make us feel uncomfortable about striking back. But hatred is hatred, whether it comes from someone who is still hated, or a straight white man. The church was forced on their ancestors as a way to control them, a way of justifying what was happening, and now they are trying to justify hatred against us with that same church.
You don’t get a free pass to practice hatred, just the same way as an abuser who was abused does not get a free pass to abuse.
We have not lost this fight, and we will never give up fighting, no matter what the arsenal arrayed against us. This was a tactical loss, and Maggie Gallagher and her winged monkeys should know that the only thing they have a hope of doing is delaying the march of equality.
As far as Tiffany Alston and Melvin Stukes go, I hope that they find it difficult to sleep at night given the harm they have done to Maryland, and its families.
One of the main claims on the surface of the National Organization for Marriage is that its only about the particular institution of marriage. They say that they are happy for gay families to have civil unions with all the benefits, provided that its not daring to look like marriage.
However if you look at their other issues claiming that marriage is about children or their attacks on any Civil Union bill that dares to look like marriage rights. I managed to have a very short and unhelpful e-mail conversation with Maggie Gallagher, in which I asked her about all the other benefits.
“Given that LGBTQIA families will, and in fact already do have children through a variety of sources, would you agree that it is better to give them the legal structure and framework of marriage rather than leaving them in a very tenuous situation in terms of linkage to both parents, and other issues such as family medical insurance and immigration status?”
She gave the following response,
“I think second-parent adoption is far more relevant than gay marriage to nonbiological parents in non-traditional unions. The way that marriage protects children, according to the social science evidence we have, is by bringing together and keeping together the child’s own mother and father in marriage. Outside of that framework, which does not apply to same-sex couples, it’s just not clear whether legal marriage will help or hurt children–or most likely make little difference.”
Its interesting that she practically ignores my question, however she admits she’d “allow” second parent adoption. She attempts to rubbish the gay marriage would mean anything for the children of those parents, which is clearly showing what she feels about gay relationships. Aside from the fact that being married gives certain automatic legal benefits to your spouse, there are many legal hurdles to approximate legal rights for your children.
The more stable the home environment you are in, the better for the child, and suggesting that parents being married will benefit children, is at the core of people like Maggie who want children to only be born in marriage not in cohabitation for straight people.
My key point was about benefits for immigration which are very dear to my heart but Maggie ignored that, and when a couple who want to get the same right to be together as straight couples, NOM jumped on the story saying that daring to ask for immigration benefits was a step too far.
The original story is here, and if you want to take a look at it, you’ll realize its almost a Brazil style comedy of insanity with the situation. Currently there are at least 36,000 same sex couples who are binational, and each of them get none of the basic immigration benefits, a simple vegas drive chapel through would give a straight couple.
Maggie made it clear that her purpose is to block gay equality, while claiming that she doesn’t hate gay people, which is untrue, she considers being gay an affliction, claims our actions harm children and says everything short of quoting levitical law at us.
So they claim marriage is the only issue, but thats a lie.
Here’s the monthly hate from Jennifer Roback-Morse, the founder of the Ruth Institute. She claims to be a foundress, but thats just bad grammar, I’m all for female empowered names, but firstly she’s an anti-women’s rights activist, and secondly founder is entirely gender neutral….
Watching this piece I really found myself thinking of a Big Brotheresque huge wall tv from 1984 spewing hate and judgement against those she hated.
Firstly, the studies exist showing no such consequence. On a related note she claimed that she were going to show the problems in Massachusetts, and then used the “well nothing has gone wrong yet” excuse.
Secondly, she’s a racist who keeps on claiming the african americans are flat against marriage equality like when thats not true at all. Yes there are some vocal churches where bigotry reins free, but recently a group of african american churches publicly apologized for the overal opposition to marriage equality. Not to mention there are many african americans who are progressive liberals, which is unsurprising given how many are democratic voters.
Thirdly she talks about equality as tho asking for equal treatment under the law offends her personally.
Fourthly catholic adoption agencies are not reputable, they are bigoted and hate-filled having no place within the adoption system.
As an aside it seemed like a really odd cadence in her voice, which again reminded me of the vocal inflections of other hate-mongers… i’m not a trained vocal psychologist but i’d be curious as to what they would say.