The Gay Fray

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jul 28, 2004.

?

I am . . . .

  1. Homosexual

    25 vote(s)
    9.2%
  2. Heterosexual

    201 vote(s)
    73.6%
  3. Bisexual

    31 vote(s)
    11.4%
  4. Other (I would have complained if there wasn't an "other" option)

    16 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    Michigan State Rep. Seeks to End Same-Sex Benefits for State Employees
    Bradstreet asks for legal opinion, heterosexual domestic partnerships not yet mentioned

    The Michigan legislature may soon get another chance to stand up to the bullying of the United States Constitution.

    Informational Request: Can any of our posters in Michigan advise as to the status of heterosexual domestic partnerships as pertains to employee benefits?

    Very simply:
    • If homosexual domestic partners get benefits and heterosexuals don't, we have a whole new problem that the traditionalist argument doesn't even touch.
    • If heterosexual domestic partnerships do get benefits, Rep. Bradstreet may be putting Michigan on the fast-track to breaking the traditionalists' legal strategy.​
    So ... help me out, folks. Anyone in Michigan able to fill in that gap?

    Heterosexual domestic partners (are / are not) entitled to benefits under state-employee contracts and the laws that govern them.​


    Thanks.
    ____________________

    Notes:
    Associated Press. "Rep to introduce measure opposing same-sex benefits for state workers". WOOD 8 TV (WOODTV.com), December 1, 2004. See http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2625725
     
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  3. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Actually there is such thing as being asexual too.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Source: Washington Post
    Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26458-2004Dec1.html
    Title: "Two Networks Bar Religious Commercial"
    Date: December 2, 2004

    NBC has simply stated that the spot is "too controversial", while CBS advised that it does not accept advertising "on one side of a current controversial issue of public importance".

    The Reverend John H. Thomas, president and general minister of the UCC, said the ad was about the inclusiveness of the church, and not about same-sex marriage; furthermore, Thomas noted that the ad received no complaints or controversy in a test-run in six regional markets earlier this year. He speculates that the rejection stems from jumpy nerves at the network: "Rather than uphold a kind of freedom of the airwaves, they're deciding it's wiser to censor some perspectives than to court reaction from the right."

    ABC's broadcast network refuses all religious advertising under a blanket policy, but their cable network (ABC Family) is among those that will air the advert. Other networks accepting the advert are AMC, BET, Discovery, FOX, Hallmark, Travel, TBS, and TNT.

    Wurtzel also described the advert as "throwing down the gauntlet at a variety of unnamed other churches" that reject gays or various minorities, and claimed the spot violates NBC's long-standing policy to avoid advertising that deals with issues of public controversy.

    I'm actually trying to recall what advertisements I've seen on NBC or CBS, but I watch them so infrequently that it may well be that safe-sex adverts, church adverts, and others pertaining to subjects of public controversy may well only be on cable stations.

    The advert can be viewed online at http://www.stillspeaking.com/default.htm
    ____________________

    Notes:
    Cooperman, Alan. "Two Networks Bar Religious Commercial". Washington Post, December 2, 2004; page A08. See http://www.stillspeaking.com/default.htm

    See Also
    United Church of Christ. "CBS, NBC refuse to air church's television advertisement". November 30, 2004. See http://www.ucc.org/news/u113004a.htm

    United Church of Christ. "God is Still Speaking". http://www.stillspeaking.com/default.htm
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Love, Marriage, and Profit
    Trump, Jones weddings demonstrate the sanctity of heterosexual marriage

    Michael Musto, of The Village Voice, appeared on MSNBC's Countdown to discuss the issue with Keith Olbermann. Olbermann asked, "Is this tacky or just business in the 21st century?" Musto responded that it is both; sensible yet incredibly tacky.

    On the one hand, what does that tell us about business sense, the capitalist vision, or love in the 21st century?

    As Musto put it:

    Now what exactly is up with Star Jones, of ABC's The View? It's kind of hard to explain; the best article I've found so far comes from the National Enquirer:

    And that's not all. I mean, the above merely explains Musto's comment about marrying a straight person.

    As to the rest?

    As Musto explained:

    And if that's not enough: part of the deal is that Trump's bride, Melania, will model for Graff's:

    So let's count this up:

    • Trump Sr. blasts son Donald Jr. for trading TV time in exchange for an engagement ring.
    • Trump Sr. gets free engagement ring in exchange for TV time.
    • Melania, a model, gets to model for Graff in exchange for the ring, apparently her first big gig.​

    And then:

    • Star Jones gets upset at groom for attending party and creating identity confusion among the viewers.
    • Star Jones' bridesmaids can't even get along for a day.
    • Star Jones' wedding was sponsored by corporations in exchange for product placement.​

    I'm sorry, but where the hell is the so-called "sanctity" of marriage?

    Are these sorts of charades what people in eleven states rejected the U.S. Constitution in favor of?

    Pardon me if I'm not impressed. Are traditionalists going to "defend marriage" against this kind of crass hollowing? Should we outlaw corporate sponsorship of people's weddings? After all, what business does business have in such a sacred ritual?

    It seems love isn't worth as much as we might think. At least, not among heterosexuals.
    _____________________

    Notes:
    MSNBC.com. "Countdown With Keith Olbermann". December 9, 2004. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6693535/

    Shipp, Patricia. "Star Jones Wedding Mayhem". NationalEnquirer.com, November 23, 2004. See http://www.nationalenquirer.com/stories/feature.cfm?instanceid=62818
     
  8. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,990
    <i>"Should we outlaw corporate sponsorship of people's weddings? After all, what business does business have in such a sacred ritual?"</i>

    Much like Christmas.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    Now there is something we can agree on. Happy day.

    (And no, that's not sarcastic.)

    :m:
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    ("He's simple, he's dumb, he's the pilot")

    Source: Washington Post
    Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60180-2004Dec12.html
    Title: "Marriage Rites and Wrongs"
    Date: December 13, 2004

    When I was in elementary school, I was an odd duck for not having read Lewis' Narnia tales; I once owned a Martian trilogy by Lewis, and was ultimately surprised when, in high school, I found out folks looked to him for religious definition.

    How times have changed.

    Even since the advent of Sciforums (Exosci), we've seen arguments from the flock that look to C.S. Lewis, yet here where Lewis' ideas are inconvenient to contemporary sentiment, they are ignored. That suggests something about the paucity and insincerity of the Christian-derived traditionalist argument.

    Or so says me. William Raspberry considers Lewis' words in his December 13 column:

    One of the problems in the Gay Fray is the long-running practice common to political Christians whereby an asserted Biblical perspective is held as self-evident. Many people who call themselves atheist remember developing that notion after finding it impossible to discuss "God" with their Christian neighbors and family; it is similar to the attitudes that call Hinduism "atheist".

    The difficulty that arises then often comes because liberals, given to compassion, recognize that they owe their neighbors' frustrations fair consideration. Since the 1990s, however, liberals have been trying to keep up with the hyperactive tantrums of conservative talk radio and contempt for American people and institutions.

    I understand that someone who believes God will hurt or reject them if they allow people in love to get married would want to meddle in other people's lives, but that's just the point. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, for this American Caesar (e.g. the Constitution) also renders unto you what is yours. The government can't, at least as I see it, force churches to honor and endorse what they call adulterous (e.g. homosexual) marriages any more than it can force churches to not honor and endorse what they call adulterous (e.g. second marriage of divorcees) marriage.

    However, neither can a church force its policy on the political public. The citizens of the United States are governed by the Supreme Law of the United States Constitution. The churches answer to the Supreme Law of God. While I won't go so far as to call these assailants of the Constitution traitors, I would wonder why they would seek to obliterate the social institutions that protect their deviant, defiant, Biblically-violative religion.

    What's so offensive to Christians about marital fidelity, anyway? As Raspberry noted, is it really a bad thing for gays to be committed to one another?

    Additionally, is it really so offensive that people should receive equal protection under the law?

    It would seem that the answer on both counts is yes: The traditionalists argue that fidelity is bad and equal protection is violative.

    Rather than advising, "Love it or leave it," I'll simply receive these Christians with hope:

    Welcome to America. Get to know it.

    My question to the traditionalists: "Why is equality of gender so damnably offensive to you that you would reject the U.S. Constitution?"

    Osama bin Laden is at least decent enough to admit he wants to wreck America. In that respect, he's one up on the traditionalists.

    Come on, traditionalists, stand up and be counted. Be proud of your hatred. Sure, I'll still hold you in contempt for that, but at least the charge of "cheap, hypocritical, liars" will come off the list.

    Traditionalists are shown to be charlatans.

    Another question worth asking is, "What respect do traditionalists think they deserve?" After all, as they strive to reduce people to second-class citizens based on their gender, I don't have a whole lot of respect for them. However, that doesn't trouble me as it does in other cases. This lack of respect is exactly what they ask. After all, we gotta be fair, right?

    So as traditionalists continue to compare people to rapists and dogs in order to carry out their assault on the Constitutional core of American equality, what general respect are they owed? They are neither rational nor even civilized.

    "Separate but equal" does offer a solution. Christians should vote on their church affairs that pertain to the Supreme Law they choose to answer to, and leave the Supreme Law of the Land in America to the people who choose to answer to it. Separate, sure, but equal, and reflective of an affirmation of the social contract.

    After all, reality requires a rational approach lest the species opt out of life. Let rationality prevail in this life, and traditionalists can be secure believing they'll be rewarded with all the irrationality they could dream of and more in the next life.

    Christians used to look up to C.S. Lewis. What happened?
    ____________________

    Notes:
    Raspberry, William. "Marriage Rites and Wrongs". Washington Post, December 13, 2004; page A21. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60180-2004Dec12.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2004
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    Source: Washington Post
    Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1638-2004Dec15.html
    Title: "D.C. GOP Chooses a Gay Chairman"
    Date: December 16, 2004

    Let us hope this is something more than mere cosmetics. After all, the GOP doesn't listen to Democrats, liberals in general, or anybody not in the GOP when it comes to certain issues.

    It is truly a challenge facing Kabel, who described the local GOP as being about "the city". After all, a gay state chair explaining to people what a party stands for at a time that the party seeks to hurt gay people at the state level .... It is enough to simply say he'll have to convince local voters that this is not Dubya's GOP he represents.

    Good luck to Mr. Kabel; if he can insert some common sense into the GOP, we all benefit.
    ____________________

    Notes:
    Montgomery, Lori. "D.C. GOP Chooses a Gay Chairman". Washington Post, December 16, 2002; page DZ02. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1638-2004Dec15.html
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    The Latest Greatest
    Notes from the Gay Fray

    The Southern Baptist Convention notes a legal battle under way in California:

    Furthermore, BPNews notes, despite winning eleven states in November, traditionalists are still worried that advocates of same-sex marriage will score big in 2005:

    Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund made clear that the traditionalist argument still asserts that homosexuality is not an "immutable" characteristic like race. Rena Lindevaldsen of the Liberty Counsel turned to the child-bearing argument:

    • • •​

    The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the judge who will decide on the constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage has denied San Francisco the opportunity to submit expert studies to counter traditionalists' claims that homosexuality is a mental disorder and that homosexuals can be cured.

    SF Deputy City Attorney Kathleen Morris was discouraged that the city would not be allowed to respond to the argument, but Judge Richard Kramer said he intends to base his ruling on legal arguments and not factual disputes, which some perceive might be a sign that the statements already submitted don't need any refutation.

    • • •​

    Also from California, via the AP:

    I should take a survey of traditionalists. Does this outrage you for treating gays well, or make your case that gays don't need to get married? (There is, of course, the note about the hundreds of other legal rights not included.)

    • • •​

    Meanwhile in Montana, unmarried same-sex partners have won health benefits comparable to unmarried heterosexual partners:

    ____________________

    Notes:

    Foust, Michael. "MARRIAGE DIGEST: Same-sex 'marriage' legal battle begins in Calif.; Newfoundland, too?; Democrat wins in Washington state". BPNews.com, December 31, 2004. See http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=19818

    Egelko, Bob. "S.F. can't challenge 'mental disorder' argument". SFGate.com, December 28, 2004. See http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/12/28/BAGT0AHU9B1.DTL

    Wronge, Yomi S. "New benefits for gay couples". MercuryNews.com, December 30, 2004. See http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/the_valley/10528798.htm

    Farrell, Allison. "Court rules for same-sex benefits". Missoulian.com, December 31, 2004. See http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2004/12/31/news/top/news01.txt
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    Questions for Homosexuals
    Modern questions for the modern era

    (1) Will you wait 'til you're married, as the old heterosexual myth of virtue suggests?
    (2) Will you get married just to have sex, as many heterosexuals--according to myth--do?
    (3) Will you worry when your son or daughter takes a lover 20 years their senior?
    (4) What will you say when your son calls you a hypocrite because "you did it when you were young"?
    (5) Will you reprimand and/or punish your child for wearing white shoes after Labor Day?
    (6) Will you be disturbed by your son's choice of wardrobe--e.g. baggy jeans to show off a satin thong?
    (7) Will you tell your son he can't go out in a skirt that short?
    (8) Is it really that you don't want your daughter marrying that particular man, or is it an "everyman" thing?
    (9) Will you let your son get nailed under your roof, where you might have to hear it?
    (10) Will you complain that, "No daughter of mine will have hair that long, it's indecent!"?

    • • •​

    I must take a moment here to remind my homosexual neighbors to consider carefully the challenging issues facing heterosexual marriage, and ask again if this is really, really worth it.

    Certainly, the assertion is that homosexuals can be just as good of parents as heterosexuals, but can they be just as bad, too? And can they pull it off the same?

    Heterosexuals: remember what it was like to be young in America. Remember the days of crossing a state line so it wasn't statutory rape? Think carefully the institution you're trying to respect with fences.
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    The Problem, As Such
    Virginians, afraid of "liberal" judges, move to secure their bigotry

    Voters in Virginia will have a chance to amend the commonwealth's constitution to ban same-sex marriages. The vote, which won't happen before 2006, promises a furious prelude as gay-rights activists prepare for an uphill battle. Virginia has already installed a law known as the Affirmation of Marriage Act, and homophobes fear that the courts will not allow the law to stand without constitutional backing.

    "There's a pretty strong movement at the grass-roots level. People are saying other states have amended their constitutions and Virginia should, too," said Sen. William C. Wampler Jr. (R-Bristol).

    But why?

    Chesapeake Republican John Cosgrove summed it up: "Any liberal judge right now can usurp our current policy."

    And this seems to be the conservative fear, though it's all for naught. Is Sandra Day O'Connor, who declared of a potential Al Gore presidency that it could not be allowed to happen--and then sat on the bench and helped make sure it didn't--a liberal judge? Yet she concurred with four other judges (on equal protection grounds) in the Lawrence decision banning antisodomy laws.

    O'Connor: Appointed by Reagan
    Breyer: Appointed by Clinton
    Souter:: Appointed by GHW Bush
    Ginsburg: Appointed by Clinton
    Stevens: Appointed by Ford ​

    One need not be a liberal judge to hold, as O'Connor did, with equal protection under the law.

    Perceptions are problematic; Virginia looks to the momentum set by eleven states passing traditionalist-marriage laws and thinks it should do the same. When these laws come up against the U.S. Constitution, will liberals be blamed because unconstitutional laws can't stand? Introducing intentionally-discriminatory legislation to challenge equal protection is a losing cause.

    There seems something sinister, then, about the idea of undertaking a lost cause just for the sake of hurting people. If conservatives ever wonder why they're depicted as evil, they need look no farther.

    Alexandria Democratic Sen. Patricia Ticer pointed out the flip-side, that it's not evil itself but mere cowardice: "I think there are a lot of people on the [Republican] side who know it's not a good thing, but they're afraid not to vote for it ... It's another form of discrimination against a category of people because of who they are."

    Then again, usurping one's right to hurt another merely for who they are is one of those "liberal elitist" things that gets the Democrats creamed at the ballot box. Which must be why Virginia Dems are planning to point out the excess of a constitutional amendment instead of appealing to the Constitution that supersedes all others in this country: the Supreme Law of the Land, the United States Constitution.

    Pray for atheism, Virginia. Pray for atheism. Obviously, you are unwilling to render unto Caesar. And obviously, you would hurt the least of His brethren. So let's be clear: this isn't about morals, but about cruelty. Oh, heaven help the political conservatives: they're afraid the courts won't let them be cruel. Yet all they'll accomplish is a displacement of the argument to federal court, which accelerates the demise of their institutional bigotry.

    And yet the bigots would cast themselves and their cruelty as victims. And, as usual, they blame liberals.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Jenkins, Chris L. and Rosalind S. Helderman. "Stage Set for Battle Over Gay Marriage". Washington Post, January 14, 2005; page B01. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7836-2005Jan13.html
     
  15. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,306
    I don't feel it's really worth it other than to smack some sense into scared, close-minded, and ignorant people, remove the descrimination against them, and show that there's nothing wrong with being homosexual.

    Personally, I'd rather have marriage abolished with altogether. Allowing same-sex marriage won't solve the problem, it'll just allow the next type of person to be ridiculed and denied the chance of marriage. So just get rid of marriage and everyone can continue to live the lives they live. Straight people can continue to live and mate with the opposite sex and the same for gays. Polygamous people can have many mates without it all of a sudden being against the law too. So forget marriage. What ever happened to wills anyways?

    Idiotic assholes just need to get the whole "live and let live" mentality drilled into their brains. Until then, people are gonna have lots of problems with most any subject. People just need to quit telling others how to live.

    - N
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    While I wouldn't object to the end of state recognition of the marital contract, discriminating against gay marriage is discriminating against gender, which is illegal. Discriminating against polygamists? That's just discriminating against numbers, and there's nothing illegal about that. I mean, why not sue the golf course to have six people recognized as a foursome?

    Er ....
     
  17. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,406
    Tiassa,
    Could you please link to where you make the point that descrimination of gay marriage is gender descrimination (if you have made that point elsewhere), or, if it isn't too much trouble, sum it up here?
    I don't recall seeing that, and I'm curious how you make the connection.
    Thanks
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    One Raven

    Start with this post (#645196), from earlier in this topic, which is the first time I recall making the assertion with any examples. In fact, if memory serves it is the post in which I first came to the conclusion that yes, there was a legitimate gender complaint.

    Beyond that ... well, we can always go through it again. At some point I'm going to start beating gay activists. Although it won't be a hate crime; my motivation will be, "Do I really have to spend two years reconstructing my undergrad work and another two years finishing, beg my way into law school, get a degree, get on the bar, and file the damn case myself?"

    Besides, if I just spank them .... "Oooh, Jesus. Jesus Christ!"

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    New York: No Gay-Marriage Ban
    Court: prohibition violates state constitution

    What will be the conservative push here? Do they have the votes to amend the state constitution?

    Or perhaps they'll just turn up the heat on President Bush to make gender discrimination a part of our U.S. Constitution.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Maull, Samuel. "N.Y. Court Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage". WashingtonPost.com. February 4, 2005. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63852-2005Feb4.html
     
  20. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,049
    tiassa how does a referendum work in the US?

    here for state constitutions the state parliment desides and for fedral (like the republic debate) there needs to be a majority vote in a majority of states, which is a compleate pain. Except for making this country a republic the constitution really doesnt matter here because all our rights are LAWS not writen into the constitution. Well mostly they arnt, some laws are still demed unconstitiutonal but mostly they are ruled in conflict with some other law or laws
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    We have no national referendum system. Referenda, initiatives, and measures are put forth through various similar processes established by the states.

    In the meantime, USConstitution.net explains the process for amending the U.S. Constitution.

    State constitutions can be amended by voters. Voters do not touch the U.S. Constitution directly. Another discussion of process at the same website notes, "the Supreme Court has ruled that a popular referendum is not a substitute for either the legislature nor a convention, nor can a referendum approve of or disapprove of the legislature's or a convention's decision on an amendment".

    At the state level, the people can give direct orders to the legislature. In Oregon, most measures were phrased to either amend the state constitution directly according to the text of the measure, or else instruct the legislature to pass this or that law. In some cases--e.g. campaign finance reform--the legislators simply refused to follow the people's instructions. A Republican from the coast said of one measure in Oregon, "I don't think the people knew what it was they were voting for." The campaign-contribution limits instructed by the people were never enacted, nor even drafted as far as I can recall.

    (Strange, then, that public officials in Oregon following the law should be called by social conservatives a usurpation of law, process, and democracy. I guess it comes down to what's important to diverse people. And yes, there's some irony in that, all things considered.)

    Additionally, the states have means by which the legislature can screw up the state constitution at will.

    (An irrelevant side note: this is, in fact, part of why Americans seem ignorant of what goes on in their country. Understanding even the basics of law and society involves understanding fifty-one or -two separate legal codes (e.g. the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the federal scheme. That still doesn't excuse the malaise affecting studies of history and geography, though.)
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    Once More 'Round The Block
    For third time in a row, Washington legislature considers gay rights

    Talk about a fight for the ages:

    The debate is so common in the Washington legislature that some of it equals merely going through the motions. Only three legislators spoke before the vote, Rep. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) and Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle) in support, while Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside) voiced the opposition. The final vote was 61-37.

    Rep. Newhouse suggested the bill would solve no problems. Furthermore, he suggested that inclusion equaled alienation: "By setting apart one group from the rest, don't we actually draw more attention to our differences and less to out similarities? To me that runs contrary to the idea of treating all people equally."

    In other words, to make sure people are treated equally runs contrary to his idea of treating people equally.

    Information regarding HB 1515 can be found at the Washington State Legislature homepage.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Cook, Rebecca. "Gay rights bill passes House, faces test in Senate". SeattlePI.com. February 11, 2005. See http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA XGR Gay Rights

    Washington State Legislature. "House Bill 1515". See http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2005-06/Htm/Bills/House Bills/1515.htm
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,131
    Washington State Braces For Gay Fray Showdown
    Anti-discrimination bill, pro-discrimination bills, and the state Supreme Court

    On the anti-discrimination front, the Washington state House of Representatives approved on Friday a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. As the Seattle Times notes, "While some form of the measure has failed in each of the past 28 years, supporters hope that with Democrats controlling the Legislature this session, this year will be different."

    On the pro-discrimination front, conservative legislators hope to ask voters to institute state-sponsored discrimination, banning gay marriages and barring labor benefits to gay partners. Sen. Val Stevens (R-Arlington), a sponsor of one of the two resolutions, said that she wanted to be prepared with a potential constitutional amendment in case the state Supreme Court says discrimination against gays is unconstitutional. Her resolution, SJR 8210, would not only ban gay marriage, but prohibit civil unions or other recognition of human partnerships.

    Sen. Dan Swecker (R-Rochester) seeks in SJR 8209 to uphold existing discrimination, and to prevent voters from considering the issue in the future. The bill would also eliminate the use of public money for healthcare and other benefits extended to unmarried partners.

    The decision feared by Sen. Stevens is due in early March. The state Supreme Court is scheduled to consider an appeal of King and Thurston county rulings striking down gender-discriminatory marriage restrictions. Despite preparing SJR 8210 just in case, Stevens said, "We have every confidence that the court will rule in defense of existing state law".

    Despite Swecker's hope to remove such issues from the voters, pro-discrimination activist Rev. Joseph Fuiten, of Washington Evangelicals for Responsible Government, said that marriage should be defined by voters, although he was arguing against the idea of a court decision, and not Swecker's hope to ask voters to give over a portion of their authority to politicians.

    • • •​

    Bearing in mind that Washington state falls in the Ninth District, conservatives hope to see the issue end in the state and not reach federal court. Florida may celebrate the rape culture, but such things are less likely to fly with the Ninth. And it may not fly with our state Supreme Court. After all, unlike Virginia, we do not presume homosexuals to be breaking the law.

    • • •​

    It's a mass of contradictions. A preacher who thinks the people should decide supports the idea that voters should choose to not be allowed to decide. A Senator who has every confidence that her position will be upheld by the court prepares a constitutional amendment, just in case she's wrong.

    • • •​

    Still absent from the debate is any evidence that homosexuality is unnatural, either in its performance or mere presence. Rather, scientific evidence suggests that sexual orientation is determined, at least in part, before birth.

    We must also remember that in 1967, the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws in rejecting a Virginia statute; unless it can be shown that no homosexual is the result of nature--e.g. shown that homosexuality is an arbitrary choice--it is easy to see why conservatives fear the courts. The equal protection clause extended the ruling against the Virginia statute to other states. One fall down, all fall down.

    No wonder the preacher wants it out of the courts. No wonder the Senator wants it out of the voters' hands. No wonder the Constitution is unpalatable for President Bush to preserve and protect until it's amended to his satisfaction.

    Perhaps most disgusting about all of this is that conservatives can't possibly be unaware that they're arguing their opinions against fact. At some point, these bigots need to be held accountable for their wrongs.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Turnbull, Lornet. "Legislators target gay marriage". SeattleTimes.com. February 13, 2005. See http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002178952_gayban13m.html

    U.S. Supreme Court. Loving v. Virginia. FindLaw.com. June 12, 1967. See http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=388&invol=1

    See Also -

    Associated Press. "Federal anti-gay marriage law upheld". MSNBC.com. January 19, 2005. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6845356/

    Bradley, Paul. "Gay man takes custody fight across state line". TimesDispatch.com. February 13, 2005. See http://www.timesdispatch.com/servle...&cid=1031780794323&path=!news&s=1045855934842
     

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