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Switch to Forum Live View Gay marriage or Civil Union?
7 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 11:44PM #1
BobGreen
Posts: 630
As a Gay man, If the majority of people in US want marriage to be only defined as a social institution between a man and a woman, I would respect that. I know future would change this, as it has in many other social definitions. History is progressing toward justice for ALL.
However, there is absolutely no reasonable, no legal nor ethical justification against a civil union for any couple who would like to pursue such a legal agreement, whether this couple have sex with each other or not.
Can someone enlighten me of what this obsession against civil union is all about?
I don’t care (though many gay people would disagree) if is not called “marriage”. As long as the couple believe in it and are committed to each other, is all that matters.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 11:56PM #2
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782
[QUOTE=BobGreen;207744]As a Gay man, If the majority of people in US want marriage to be only defined as a social institution between a man and a woman, I would respect that. I know future would change this, as it has in many other social definitions. History is progressing toward justice for ALL.
However, there is absolutely no reasonable, no legal nor ethical justification against a civil union for any couple who would like to pursue such a legal agreement, whether this couple have sex with each other or not.
Can someone enlighten me of what this obsession against civil union is all about?
I don’t care (though many gay people would disagree) if is not called “marriage”. As long as the couple believe in it and are committed to each other, is all that matters.[/QUOTE]

It's quibbling over words, as far as I'm concerned. Personally, I don't care.. if you're in one, call it whatever you feel comfortable calling it.

Marriage can have either a spiritual/religious signifigance, a strictly legal/contractural one... or both. I think some people are unable to divorce (no pun intended) those two meanings.

It's been suggested that the government just butt out of marriage altogether... I'm wondering if that might be a good idea. Could it ever happen? Or is that just too impractical?
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 8:11AM #3
PaulaEdwina
Posts: 1,720
Well if the govt butted out of marriage wouldn't that leave it a religious issue? Then what of non-religious who wish to marry?

Paula
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 9:33AM #4
DesertKat
Posts: 436
Fact of the matter is, this has already gone through the courts.  Back in the fifties (or was it the forties?) there were a series of cases that questioned whether it was legal for people of two races to intermarry.  At that time, it was determined that the state cannot dictate who a person is or is not able to marry.  At some point someone will wise up enough to challenge the current laws through this precident and they will, in fact, win. 

So, I predict that soon this coversation will be moot and all people will have access to the legal rights and previlges of marriage.  Which I, personally, am looking forward to seeing.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Winston Churchill
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 11:16AM #5
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
I just don't know why we all can't differentiate between civil marriage and religious marriage.

We've been 'letting' the Catholics get all pissy about divorce with no problem for years.
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 11:22AM #6
Suze_M
Posts: 450
[QUOTE=BobGreen;207744]As a Gay man, If the majority of people in US want marriage to be only defined as a social institution between a man and a woman, I would respect that. I know future would change this, as it has in many other social definitions. History is progressing toward justice for ALL.
However, there is absolutely no reasonable, no legal nor ethical justification against a civil union for any couple who would like to pursue such a legal agreement, whether this couple have sex with each other or not.
Can someone enlighten me of what this obsession against civil union is all about?
I don’t care (though many gay people would disagree) if is not called “marriage”. As long as the couple believe in it and are committed to each other, is all that matters.[/QUOTE]


I think Gay people have suffered enough through the history and is now time for a change.
As an out -sider, is easy for me to say this will eventually change, but for a gay person the question is; would it change soon enough?
I also believe this is a human right issue and not just a gay issue. There are gay people who die as a result of not having access to their partner’s insurance, therefore being against gay union is equal to endorsing a death penalty for someone who you don’t even know.
The risk of suicide is higher among teenage gays, so our prejudices are killing gay people in one form and the other and this need to legally stop.
BTW, It is generous of you, BOB,  to be respectful of people’s prejudices and ideas that are none of their business.I wish only If these people would only show that much respect toward you and other gay people in return..
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 2:44PM #7
Do_unto_others
Posts: 8,650
[QUOTE=BobGreen;207744]As a Gay man, If the majority of people in US want marriage to be only defined as a social institution between a man and a woman, I would respect that. I know future would change this, as it has in many other social definitions. History is progressing toward justice for ALL.
However, there is absolutely no reasonable, no legal nor ethical justification against a civil union for any couple who would like to pursue such a legal agreement, whether this couple have sex with each other or not.
Can someone enlighten me of what this obsession against civil union is all about?
I don’t care (though many gay people would disagree) if is not called “marriage”. As long as the couple believe in it and are committed to each other, is all that matters.[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't "respect" the wishes of the majority because in a democracy, who protects minorities from the tyrannies of 'the majority"? What if "the majority" still wanted to lock us up??? (Lest you think I'm kidding, don't forget that Presidential candidate Huckabee wanted to quarantine people with AIDS.)

It doesn't matter that "History is progressing toward justice for ALL." since "justice for ALL" is supposed to be guaranteed to begin with.

You say that "there is absolutely no reasonable, no legal nor ethical justification against a civil union". How about the argument that the institution of 'civil unions' (UGH what a term - 'Are you civilly united yet?' sure comes across as strange, imo) was created so that gay people would have a separate institution (remember what "separate but 'equal'" meant to black Americans?), when the already existing institution of marriage works just fine. CUs were borne of prejudice, and ill-disguised prejudice at that.

A DO care "if is not called “marriage”., since I AM MARRIED. Legally. Why would I accept 2nd class status? Or did you forget that CUs don't give you any of those 1,138 benefits that come with marriage? In fact, the AFA is putting up a good fight to ensure that you never will get them. What was it, 17 States passed laws or 'amended' their Constitutions to guarantee that you'll never be able to marry there, some of them adding wording to ensure you would never be able to recieve any of the benefits accruing from marriage, and that any institution paralleling marriage would also be banned. I believe that these 'amendments' are un-Constitutional and will, eventually and after very long, very costly legal battles, will be struck down BECAUSE of their un-Constitutionality. I mean, either ALL men (and presumably women, too) are created equal or we are not.

Equal treatment before the law is all that is necessary in the way of a reason to strike down CUs everywhere. And I think they should be.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 3:14PM #8
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
I've never minded the idea of calling all civil marriages civil unions and reserving the term marriage for those who choose to incorporate a religious blessing.

In fact, insisting that everyone simply sign a public register at City Hall in order to 'unite', then a separate religious marriage ceremony for those who so choose.

No-one minds that two practising Buddhists would generally not be allowed to get married in a Catholic wedding mass.  They would get married in their own tradition, and marriage would return to the realm of the religious traditions to bless or not as they (often inanely) decide.
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 5:01PM #9
mindis1
Posts: 7,631
Just to expand upon what has already been said here, particularly by DUO:

There are several problems with same-sex couples acquiescing to a legal status called “civil unions” rather than having equal marriage rights.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in answering the question posed by the state Senate, in the wake of the Goodridge decision, as to whether a bill “which prohibits same-sex couples from entering into marriage but allows them to form civil unions with all 'benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities' of marriage, compl[ies] with the equal protection and due process requirements of the Constitution of the Commonwealth,” firmly answered “no.”  There are a number of reasons that creating “civil unions” specifically for same-sex couples do not afford equal protection and due process to same-sex couples.  As the SJC noted, in one of the more pithy encapsulations in jurisprudence, “The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal.”

The first question that naturally arises from the proposal that it is acceptable for same-sex couples to be excluded from marriage laws, and instead be relegated to a different legal status, is “Why?”  Obviously the only reason to exclude same-sex couples from equal recognition under and participation in civil marriage laws that different-sex couples enjoy is to ensure second-class citizenship for same-sex couples.  This is regardless of whether same-sex couples may be afforded some legal status of “civilly unionized” ("civilly united"?) or not.  Indeed, as the SJC answered to the Senate’s question, creating a separate legal status for same-sex couples does nothing to “preserve marriage,” it only preserves the constitutional defect of civil marriage laws.

Moreover, there is a corpus of judicial precedents concerning civil marriage that does not, and can never, exist for “civil unions.”  For one, civil marriage is a fundamental right; to be “civilly unionized” is not.  This could have broad implications in many ways.

But all of this is under the assumption that “civil unions” would entail the same rights, responsibilities and benefits that come with civil marriage.  No state-created “civil union” status is, nor can be, equal to civil marriage in the US.  This is because the federal government does more in recognizing the status of civil marriage than any state does.  The majority of and most important rights and benefits that come with civil marriage are provided by the federal government, and under the federal “DOMA” law signed by President Clinton, the federal government cannot recognize these rights and benefits for same-sex couples.  It doesn’t matter if the legal status is referred to as “civil unions” or some other nomenclature.

So even to elevate a state-created same-sex “civil union” status so as to provide the same rights and benefits that different-sex couples enjoy in civil marriage, the federal “DOMA” will have to be either repealed or struck down, and, in fact, undoubtedly by Supreme Court ruling, Full Faith and Credit (Article IV, Section 1, US Constitution) will have to be required for civil unions in all states for another state’s “civil union” law.  As long as one seeking this, one might as well seek equal marriage rights rather than a status that is separate-yet-still-unequal.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 5:06PM #10
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
Working from the opposite direction, then (because knowing sodding lawyers, the word in the precedents will matter at least once), how about we change "religious marriage" to "sacramentally united"?
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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