Social Question

ETpro's avatar

What happens when marriages can't cross the street?

Asked by ETpro (34594points) October 21st, 2013

Right now, the US has a patchwork of conflicting laws surrounding marriage, who can and can’t marry, what the difference between marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships are, etc.

Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in the town that, on the Washington State side of the border is called Liberty Lake and on the Idaho side is known as Post Falls. Stateline Road runs smack along the border between the two states. Living on the Washington side in aptly named Liberty Lake, there are same sex couples who have married with full marriage rights. But if they walk across Stateline Road to a diner on the Post Falls, ID side, their rights disappear. There are almost no protections for LGBT people in Idaho, whereas they enjoy the same protections as the rest of the citizens in neighboring Washington State. How is this right?

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29 Answers

Seek's avatar

It isn’t.

Coloma's avatar

Abolish marriage, period. It is an archaic institution whose useful purpose is outdated.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You stay on the side that acknowledges your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Kardamom's avatar

@KNOWITALL What if there is something you need from the other side? What if your friends and family live on the other side? What if your doctor or hospital is on the other side? What if you just want to go to the other side, because everyone else is allowed to go there? Should gay couples just stay put, because, because, because, well why? This is a travesty that needs to be fixed once and for all, with liberty and justice for all, not just for some.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Kardamom I guess it depends on if you want to live peacefully or go to battle over the issue, or risk your life in some cases.

I’m a proponent of SSM personally because I was raised to believe that love is the key to any issue, but as a Christian and a Republican, I can tell you there are people in the world that believe firmly that legalizing SSM is a direct contradiciton to the biblical teachings and you will never change the minds of half of those probably. They think it’s a sin and the only way to get through the issue is to ‘convert’ homosexuals to a hetero lifeystyle or hurt them, etc…

Kardamom's avatar

@KNOWITALL It makes no difference that some Christians and Republicans believe that same sex marriage goes against the bible. Our country is based on laws, that have to pass muster with the Constitution. The bible has no place regarding the laws of the United States. It doesn’t matter if we change the minds of those people, the laws need to be changed, and as you can see, they are being changed.

Also, I would not describe “staying on your own side” if you happen to have cancer, and the cancer doctor is on the other side, or your family is on the other side, as living peacefully. It would be agony at least, and possibly death at worst.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Kardamom I think it does matter. We have a law for Obamacare and it almost just caused a lot of damage.

It matters what we’re teaching children about hate and maybe those kids won’t humiliate a kid with two dads to the point they kill themselves.

It matters what is being taught in churches around the country, because sometimes gay people are killed because of being ‘out’ in areas like mine, where some rural rednecks don’t take to ‘prissy boys.’

I don’t see the LGBT community as having a disease like cancer, so I’m not getting that analogy, but to me it’s more like being a Christian wandering in a Muslim country preaching Christianity, dangerous but some people make that choice to move forward anyway.

The gay people I know just want to live their lives, and even in my small community with one stop light, they do just that, but they don’t seem to be the ones wanting to change the world, just their little part of it, and I respect their choice.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@KNOWITALL “You stay on the side that acknowledges your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


I am an American. The whole street is my side of the street. The US Constitution works on both sides of the street. It does not work under different sets of rules on different sides of the street.

The US Constitution demands that my rights in one state be transferred with equal protection under the law to all other states.

Blondesjon's avatar

@KNOWITALL . . . Kinda sounds like the same argument folks made for Jim Crow laws.

Kardamom's avatar

And @KNOWITALL The gays (that you know of) in your small town probably do want to just live their lives, but you probably don’t know that they are most likely suffering in silence. They may be too afraid of being killed/ridiculed/ostracized to be the one to stand up and “change the world” even though they probably long for the world to be changed. I don’t think, for a second, that those gays in your town (and there’s probably a lot more of them than you’d think) are totally cool with the current situation, in which they are not equal, even if they’re not standing up on a soap box screaming for equality. Most people would not get up on that soap box if they thought that they might be killed. But those people still deserve equal rights, even if people who follow the bible, think they don’t deserve it. Because once again, the United States laws are not based upon the bible or the koran or the torah or any other religious document, our laws are based upon the Constitution.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Geesh….Listen people, I’m for SSM. We clear?

In my area, your house would still burn down before the fire dept got there, and if you think the good ole boy club doesn’t exist in America, you’re wrong.

Yes, they do deserve equal rights. I’m just saying that not everyone is up for that fight, especially the gay couples with children in the home. And they have people like me who love them and sometimes families that ‘get it’.

Kardamom's avatar

@KNOWITALL That is the whole point! Because people can still be killed for being gay, in this country, that is why the laws need to be changed, even if one poor gay person in your little town, is not the one person to be able to stand up and fix this situation. That’s why we all need to group together, as a big united front, to fix this ugly and abominable situation.

It’s not enough to just say, “You stay on the side that acknowledges your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Because that is inherently unfair and damaging.

Kardamom's avatar

@KNOWITALL I was having this evil thought, of having Fluther streamed into the computers of the gay-haters, just so they could see what we are all chatting about. I wonder if they saw how we all talk back and forth and have “conversations” rather than lynchings, if they would be able to see that gay people and black people and female people are really just people, after all.

Deet, dddeeet, deeeet, deeeet, we interrupt your previously planned programming of Duck Dynasty, to bring you a special bulletin, brought to you by Fluther…

What do you think would happen?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Kardamom I think running something like that during some ‘redneck’ shows would be very interesting, I think you’d be surprised at the vehement opposition. It’s not just rednecks though, it’s a lot of Christians, even here on fluther.

Kardamom's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s funny, because every now and then, not recently, a show that I like would be pre-empted with something like the 700 club, and instead of being upset, I’d just change the channel.

I quite liked it when Pat Roberston would occasionally guest on the Rachel Maddow show, especially when he ended up agreeing with Rachel and company on some issue that effects us all. It just went to show that even though we might not agree on everything, and we don’t need to, it’s great when we can come to some kind of a mutual understanding, especially when it effects the rights of people.

Sunny2's avatar

Do you have to prove what sex you are in order to cross the border? Does every same sex couple have to prove they are NOT married? It isn’t right to have such laws, in my mind, but it’s going to be many years before every state will come to agree on non bias when it comes to marriage. The Supreme Court will have to make a national law regarding the marriage issue eventually. I think it should be that any adult can be legally married, but individual religious congregations may deny marriage in their specific congregation if they choose.

Coloma's avatar

Bottom line, closed minded people are of a lesser intelligence and abide by their programming with zero thought to ever examining their belief systems on a deeper level.
They are captives of their programming and rarely do they reflect on such.
Those of lower intelligence simply do not question what they have been taught.
It has been proven that more intelligent humans are usually non-conformists, question everything and refuse to be blindly be led into the oblivion of bullshit so many others adhere to.

Leopards don;t change their spots, sooo, it is up to the minority of more evolved beings to fight for changes.

ETpro's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That was my impression as well.

@Coloma There would be a lot to litigate, like child custody, how to resolve child support, community property rights, naming… Maybe it’s best not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

@KNOWITALL Before jumping here, I answered your excellent question about whether contentions debates aren’t more fun than answers to humdrum questions. You must think they are, because you know you just bought yourself some contentious debate with that answer. :-)

@Kardamom I could see those arguments coming. In fairness to KNOWITALL, don’t shoot the messenger. She’s clearly against discrimination based on sexual preference, but just rightly reporting that it’s going to be the law in some states so long as right-wing, Christian-Fundamentalists Republicans rule the roost there.

@Hawaii_Jake Amen. There is not a red America and a Blue America. There is a United States of America. I heard the neo-McCarthy Ted Cruz today addressing a gathering of his staunchest Tea Party supporters. He was telling them how good it was to leave Washington and get back to America (presumably, only Texas, and radical right-wing, white male Texas as that. This politics of division and destruction is disgusting.

@Blondesjon I was thinking the same thing. In fact, you can quote the Bible to support slavery, and the proponents of it did just that. Even after abolition, they claimed their anti-miscegenation laws were essential, because, “What about the children?”. Well, what of the children? What do Halle Berry, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, and Barack Obama all have in common? They were all mixed race kids. They seem to have done OK.

@Sunny2 Five years ago, I would have agreed that change would be slow to move. Nut the 14th state moved today to allow marriage equality when Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey dropped his appeal with his state’s Supreme Court trying to stop it.

@Coloma The zeitgeist changes profoundly, and sometimes rapidly. With modern communication, the pace of that change will only accelerate. The remaining Neanderthals are doomed. Leopards don’t change their spots, evolution changes their spots. Societies evolve just as surely as animals do.

Sunny2's avatar

@ ETpro
I hope you are right, but those self-righteous, bible thumping states are pretty hard core. They won’t budge until they are forced to. New Jersey is not South Carolina.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro I have no problem with LGBT’s or SSM, but a lot of people I know do think it’s completely against the Bible so they will not budge. Every time I talk to those people opposed, I thank my mother for raising me to love everyone and accept that we are all special and unique, God’s perfect creations, all deserving of love & happiness, just like my Jesus taught. Gotta love hippies in that aspect!

I’m not sure what it will take to convince hardcore Christians that conversion or ostracizing is not the answer, but I’m searching and not giving up. Part of the battle is forcing them to acknowledge that it’s not a ‘choice’, which is difficult in itself. Until then, I suggest we all participate in the fb discussions on Straights for Equality or other community sites/ activities to show our support for our brothers and sisters.

ETpro's avatar

@Sunny2 I have no doubt you are right that the Southern States will not give up discrimination easily. But nothing succeeds like an idea whose time has come.

@KNOWITALL When it comes to homosexual relations, they are right, the Bible does condemn it. The Bible also approves slavery, allows for genocide, claims there are witches that should be burned at the stake, and takes many other positions that may have seemed fine to bronze age tribal cultures, but we recognize today as evil incarnate.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro True, but I don’t know any Christians who approve or do any of those thing’s, but I do know a lot of Christians that are against SSM. It’s a conundrum.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s a conundrum that Christians claim to base their entire faith on a book that they mostly reject as ancient poppycock.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro Maybe so, but it is what we have, flawed or not. Trust me, I’d be thrilled if Jesus came back and showed ya’ll a miracle or two that was undeniable. :)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro Really? I’d love to be there for that…lol
But minus undeniable proof you won’t take the risk? leap of faith?

Kardamom's avatar

@KNOWITALL No! It’s not all that you and other Christians have. There is science, and other religions, and other philosophies and free thinking and investigation. If your book is extremely flawed and potentially “poppycock” as @ETpro has suggested, then look for something that is more likely to be true. How could you or anyone else just say something like, “Well, I was born in the Ozarks and that’s what we had, the Bible, so I guess that’s it, whether it’s flawed or not.” Really??? Really? How can you explain that other people, who were not born with the influence or knowledge of the Christian Bible, over millions of years have believed all sorts of other things, and that science is still trying to figure out how and why things are the way they are, that your one book (written by human beings who were also trying to explain and figure out how ans why things are the way they are) is the one and only answer???

If you had been born on a reservation in the United States of America, it’s likely that you would have been given a completely different set of ideas about how and why things are the way they are. If you had been born in rural China, you would have been give a completely diffferent set of ideas about how and why things are the way they are. It’s only when we (as individuals and as a group) start questioning the things we were told (because at the time these ideas were formed, no one knew any better) that we begin to learn and maybe figure out that things are not as they seem, they are not as simple as they could be and that things that seemed abominable to one generation, are seen as common sense, justice and common decency now. The old tome, “That’s just what we have.” Doesn’t make sense in the modern world. There are other ideas to consider.

There’s no conundrum, there’s just ignorance and hatred and the idea that doing things the old way, is easier than trying to figure out what is the right way, or the best way.

I used the word “hatred” on purpose, because you said earlier that some people in your ignorant small town would rather let a person’s house burn down, than to help someone who happened to be gay, and who’s house was on fire, burn down. That’s hatred, not a conundrum. You may be all for gay rights and gay marriage, but if you stay there, and keep your mouth shut about what is right and wrong, then you, my friend, are also part of the problem.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL @Kardamom pretty well answered for me. I go where the evidence takes me. There is no evidence that a deist god could not exist, but there is an overwhelming mountain of evidence that the God of the Torah, Bible and Koran doesn’t exist in any of the forms those three books claim. The claims are patently absurd.

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