General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Is anyone else disappointed in their fellow Californians?

Asked by tinyfaery (42811points) November 5th, 2008 from iPhone

As a feminist and Women’s Studies graduated, the idea of marriage has always been one of an out-dated, patriarchal institution? But since I “married” I have come to understand the desire to have one’s relationship and commitment recognized by society at large. My “in-laws” are so anxious to have us marry, and now I can’t. I never let myself believe that prop 8 would pass, but still, I thought CA of all places would reject enshrining discrimination in the constitution. I am disappointed. Are you?

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67 Answers

lapilofu's avatar

I am profoundly disappointed in California. I think that if ever there was a wake up call that organized religion is a Bad Idea, this is it.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I’m gay and I’m not disappointed. I have never felt that I needed the straight version of marriage. It just doesn’t feel right. My parents were married. My brothers and sisters are married. I don’t want that. What I want is to have gay people who make a commitment to each other be afforded the same rights as those couples who decide to marry. It’s semantics to me, but if the word marriage bugs people so be it. I don’t need any more fuss. Let’s not have marriage for gay people but allow us the right to commit and have the same rights and privileges as marrieds. That’s my opinion and the same opinion of my Obama voting partner Jenn!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

tiny, for those of us who are not from cal. but curious, can you give us a quick spiel on what prop. 8 is? i’m guessing it has to do with not recognizing same-sex marriages or defining marriage as specifically opposite gender.

andrew's avatar

How did Prop 2 manage to pass while Prop 8 wasn’t defeated? That’s what I want to know.

cwilbur's avatar

@lapilofu: Please don’t slam the people who belong to organized religion who voted against Proposition 8—Episcopalians, Unitarians, Metropolitan Community Church members. In fact, there was a Catholic priest who just got booted out of his position for preaching a sermon strongly opposed to Proposition 8. The problem here is bigotry, and some people are merely using religion as a justification.

@Sueanne_Tremendous: there’s long-standing precedent in this country that says that separate but equal is inherently unequal. I don’t think anything but identical legal status for all legally recognized couples regardless of gender combination is acceptable. If you want to reserve marriage for the religious ceremony, and have the legal paperwork called a “civil union” regardless of the genders of the participants, I support that. If you’re willing to settle for second-class status, though, count me out.

TaoSan's avatar

@Sueanne

So with you, I’m a straight man, so I can’t really think myself into the position. One thing I always did though was wonder, why so much fuss about the term “marriage”. As you say, it’s semantics. When I follow discussions and debates, I always wondered if it wouldn’t be much more efficient to concentrate on giving gay couples the same type of protection and rights married couples have, without wasting a fuss on the ceremonial / terminology aspect.

Why pick a fight with the zealots that will hinder overall progress?

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

@wilbur: At what point did I mention that I thought I was second class? Far from it, buddy. I never quite understand people who feel put down because someone doesn’t want to let them come to the party. We aren’t talking separate bathrooms and drinking fountains or denied education. We are talking about semantics. Marriage, by definition is between one man and one woman. Well, my union will not ever be that so I don’t want that and I don’t want to be part of any pity party because I can’t have that. Geez…everybody wants what everybody else has. Well, that’s not real life, nor should it be.

I can live with an all encompassing “civil union”.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Lurve for you Tao!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Nevermind, Tiny, I was just reading the newspaper, and I gather you’re talking about this.

I’m not Californian, but I’m certainly disappointed. I’m from the South, and I’ve been to the hotel where Martin Luther King was shot, I’ve sat on the same seats at the lunch counters that non-violent protesters did, I’ve attended schools that were once segregated, and I’ve always believed that separate is inherently unequal.

lapilofu's avatar

@cwilbur: All I’m saying is that without organized religion, there would have been very little justification for Proposition 8. I know that many congregations and sects and religious individuals opposed Proposition 8, but overall the system has a negative effect in exchange for what I consider very little positive.

@Sueanne_Tremendous: I agree with you about marriage. I personally would prefer to see marriage completely struck from any government legislation and have it exist solely in the minds of the faithful. But as long as marriage exists in legislation, I am disappointed for it to exist on uneven grounds. And I think chica makes a good point about separate being inherently unequal.

jessturtle23's avatar

@Andrew :Prop 2 was against gay marriage. It passed. I am disappointed because it not only banned gay marriage but made it to where gay couples have no rights what-so -ever when it comes to their partners. I know couples who have been together forever and now it is up to someone else beside their partner to say what should be done in case of an emergency. I am surprised because Florida has many gay families, even in my small community. They are business owners, politicians, teachers, doctors lawyers, social workers, and everything else you can imagine and have paid taxes yet they don’t have the basic rights as everyone else. It’s absurd.

lapilofu's avatar

Sorry, cwilbur made that point before chica. I should read more carefully. Credit where it’s due.

Emilyy's avatar

@TaoSan: Gay couples can get a “civil union” which offers many of the same rights as marriage. I agree with you that the term “marriage” brings in the religious element, but that’s the problem. Marriage is not inherently religious. You can get married at city hall by a judge. You can also get married in a place of worship. So the fact that our state just wrote into the state constitution that we offer “marriage” to man and woman and do NOT offer marriage to man and man or woman and woman, is nothing more than “separate but equal” all over again. It’s unjust.

And yes, I am extremely disappointed in California.

@Jess: I think you’re talking about prop 8, right? Or was there another initiative like this in Florida? If you’re talking about Prop 8 in California, are you sure that it makes it so that gay couples have no rights when it comes to their partners? As far as I know they can still become domestic partners and that will offer them rights as a couple, they just can’t have the term “marriage” and be married like straight couples can.

jessturtle23's avatar

I’m talking about prop 2 in FL.

PupnTaco's avatar

I am. Also disappointed with the out-of-state Mormons who bankrolled this whole thing.

What other Biblical “laws” are we going to legislate now?

TaoSan's avatar

@Emily

Me personally, I think marriage is entirely overrated, which is probably why I can’t entirely understand how passionate some people get about it. I have never felt the need for a state or church giving their blessing to my relationship choice. All the while having been happily together with the same woman for 16 years now.

So yes, I can understand the grievance from a logical aspect, and I even see merit in it.

On the other hand, why the need to be so equal?

breedmitch's avatar

@TaoSan: “so equal”??
There aren’t degrees of equality. There’s equal and there’s not.
You can’t dig half a hole.

tonedef's avatar

I feel dejected, and unfortunately, my suspicions about my fellow Floridians have been confirmed. This amendment was not necessary. A ban was passed only four years ago. This amendment is so sweeping in its wording, that it can even be argued that it is illegal to extend employment benefits to domestic partners in the state now. So, as an engaged gay man, I really have no choice but to move. I was applying to schools in California, but again, that’s just not going to be an option.

People went to the polls with their hearts full of hatred, and voted on what they thought was a definition, but had no inkling that they were seriously changing peoples’ lives.

EDIT: And these amendments will be just another page in the history book, after Jim Crow laws, illustrating why it is not possible for a society to put a civil rights issue to a popular vote.

TaoSan's avatar

@breedmitch

rather totalitarian approach, in my humble opinion….

And mere semantics of course

susanc's avatar

@TaoSan – It took me 14 years to marry my husband (we lived together and raised kids
the whole 14). We finally got married for emotional reasons, but it also gave us legal rights we hadn’t had before. And I wonder if you and your partner have considered this.
When one partner in an unmarried couple must be hospitalized, the partner
is not allowed to make decisions for him/her; those decisions must legally be made by
next of kin. Inheritance, even if written into a will, can be questioned;
stuff like that. “Marriage” and even “civil union” make things a lot easier. Are all kinds of couples covered? That is what we should be thinking about.

TaoSan's avatar

@susanc

I forgot to mention, we married 2 years ago, for immigration purposes. And of course, I am aware of the legal ramifications.

My thinking was why so insistent on the term “marriage”?. Civil unions and power of attorney for that point go a long way.

Religion is omnipresent in the US, so my original response was to the effect that I’d personally like to think that it would be more productive to concentrate energy on creating equality in fact rather than in semantics / terminology.

Does that make sense?

judochop's avatar

what percentage of the gay community went and voted? I think it probably would have passed had enough gays and liberals voted.
It’s long over due.

breedmitch's avatar

@TaoSan: You do see the irony, right?
You were able to ensure citizenship rights through marriage, which is something a gay couple would not be able to achieve through a civil union. So my (hypothetical) Brazilian partner would not be eligible for citizenship under your rules, yet your loved one is safe because you had the fortune of being born opposite sexes.

tinyfaery's avatar

@suanne I’m so glad the first gay rights activists didn’t share your opinion. We’d still be getting fired and being denied housing just because we are attracted to the same sex.

TaoSan's avatar

@breedmitch

There is no irony at all. Please read my posts correctly. What I am saying is, maybe the laws would be more favorable for your loved one faster, if the attempted legislative change wouldn’t aim at a “terminology” that will rub half of the country in the wrong place.

The USA are still the headquarters of Christian zealotry. I strongly doubt that a bill amending current civil union legislation to provide equality in immigration proceedings would face as much resistance as offering their “Holy Matrimony”, their holiest of holiests to a part of the population they deem shouldn’t have it.

So you are kind of confirming what I try to express, leave the term “marriage” out of it, and concentrate your efforts on ensuring that civil unions are really equal to marriage.

This way you won’t have to deal with Mormon funded campaigns and general bigotry.

I am not trying to make their case, really. But this country is what it is. Simply not ready.

tonedef's avatar

@TaoSan, it’s not just that people think “marriage is between one man and one woman,” and that calling it something else is a solution. Here is the (revolting and sweeping) text of Florida’s new amendment to the state constitution:

“Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

I would be all for civil unions that were equal to marriage. I could give a shit about what they call it. But it looks like peaceably pursuing this option will be met with extreme adversity, as evidenced by this amendment.

TaoSan's avatar

@tonedef

Absolutely agree on Florida, it’s an outrage, and a step 20 years back. My answers relate to the original question / Cali.

tonedef's avatar

@Everyone, also, Prop 8 is apparently far from final! I’m gonna cling onto any glimmer of hope like saran wrap.

and @Tao, I understand what you’re saying. I don’t understand all the ragging. I think it’s more misunderstanding than true disagreement.

tinyfaery's avatar

All unions given license by the state should be civil unions. Marriage should be provided by the church. ‘Nuff said.

TaoSan's avatar

@tiny

Why didn’t I think of it :) Lurve to you!

lapilofu's avatar

@tinyfaery: My thoughts precisely. And civil unions should be permitted to any group that considers themself a household bonded as strongly as any family—including groups with more than two people—and with no presumptions about their romantic or sexual relationship.

There should be no reason we can’t choose the family that we love. If I have friends who I love as strongly as I might love a spouse, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be permitted the same rights as a spouse.

lapilofu's avatar

But I suppose my opinions are all part of that slippery slope anti-gay marriagers are always going on about. :\

TaoSan's avatar

@lapi

Of course. If you had it your way we’d soon all be wildly copulating with goat and geese, and all the American men would leave their families to indulge in Roman orgies with men, women, animals and all sorts of objects! HA THERE U HAVE IT!

What would this country come to if we would let go of old-honored traditions like bathroom stalls in Wyoming and Minnesota! Good gay men become politicians or catholic priests!.............;)

cwilbur's avatar

There are two fundamental issues here.

One is that gay men and lesbians need a way of saying “this person is my family” in a way that cannot be questioned. Straight people have this; it’s called “marriage,” and it allows a man and a woman to say that they are each other’s chosen family in a way that supersedes biological ties. Gay people do not have this. This is inherently unequal.

Two is that, according to the United States Supreme Court, separate but equal is inherently unequal. This means that “civil unions” are unacceptable as anything but an interim solution, unless all family partnerships of two people are civil unions. If one group of people gets to have “marriage” while other groups of people have “civil unions,” there will be inequality in the system.

So, it seems to me that the two solutions to the problem are to take the word “marriage” away completely—requiring everyone to get civilly united at the courthouse or town hall and married at the church—or to extend the word “marriage” so that it covers both cases. I really don’t care which one is achieved, but it seems to me that the latter is likely to be far easier to accomplish.

basp's avatar

I am extremely disappinted about prop 8.
What I want to know is, if a gay couple married before prop 8, are they still legally married?
My sister in law and her partner of ten years married last month and I hope for them it is still legal.

tinyfaery's avatar

@basp. Yet to be determined.

PupnTaco's avatar

Prop 8 is final and I’m offering a modest proposal….

tinyfaery's avatar

lurve to you PnT

TaoSan's avatar

@cwilbur

Issue 1: Absolutely and undoubtedly!

Issue 2: From a sideline observer’s perspective without passion or prejudice, I think one should be careful to apply supreme court rulings that concerned physical segregation to this particular issue. Plessy and the almost 60 years of “separate but equal” were always directed at physical, tangible institutions and race. To try to draw the parallel from lifestyle to race will only offer so much more cannon fodder to the zealots.

Me thinks that this particular approach will only foster more of the endless but fruitless debates that’ll in the end hinder progress instead of being conducive to it. And fact is, gay couples need something to happen, like, yesterday.

I don’t even want to think about how many functioning households are at peril every day if something happened to one of the two parties.

In other words, don’t feed the troll.

breedmitch's avatar

@TaoSan:
”...this country is what it is. Simply not ready.”

That’s what good folks said when Obama announced his campaign. If we wait until we think we’re ready, change will never come.

It looks like even marriage can’t help my (still hypothetical) Brazilian boyfriend, thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act. Link

“Unfortunately, the marriages which are taking place in Massachusetts will not give any immigration rights in the short term. In the United States, immigration law is governed entirely by federal law, and in 1996 the federal government passed a law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. Thus marriages between same sex partners, whether they take place in Massachusetts, Canada, or other countries which allow for such marriages will not provide any immigration benefits in the U.S.”

sad :(

TaoSan's avatar

@breedmitch

I perfectly agree, something needs to be done. I am not defending the status quo, it is unacceptable, no doubt. Merely trying to play devils advocate thinking of ways to gain equality without creating the huge resistance so prevalent now.

By the way, in terms of Obama winning, you may be a woman these days and run, you may even have a different color and win, the one thing that you may not is not be a Christian. Therein lies the crux.

PupnTaco's avatar

@ tao: I have to call out your use of the term “lifestyle.”

Playing tennis on the weekends is a lifestyle. Dirt-biking in Glamis is a lifestyle. Watching game shows & eating Lean Cuisine every night is a lifestyle.

Our gay & lesbian friends didn’t pick a “lifestyle” that suited them – it’s in their blood, just as sure as the color of their eyes.

TaoSan's avatar

@Dave

Thanks, I am sincerely not aware what politically correct terminology is these days. I’m just picking up on terminology the Antis use.

I would just as much label the decision to live “monogamous, heterosexual marriage” a lifestyle

augustlan's avatar

I really wish I had seen this Q (and I looked, I swear) before I asked this one.

breedmitch's avatar

So we agree something needs to be done. How about we take this voter mandate we received from the country last night, and pull in the help of good, thinking conservative senators like Olympia Snow, and repeal DOMA and enact laws to really create equal marriage rights for all and fuck ‘em if they aint ready. Tough shit! Evolve already!

TaoSan's avatar

@breedmitch

That’s the spirit!!!

Real equality, not fussing over applied terminology!

breedmitch's avatar

Wow, we’ve only been in power (elect) one day and already I’m corrupt. ~

augustlan's avatar

I am in complete agreement that something needs to be done about this shit, and soon. I truly think, at this point, that “marriage” should not have anything to do with the government. We should ALL – gay or straight – have civil unions (or some other agreeable term). In time, the word marriage will come to mean a religious ceremony only, like a baptism or a bar mitzvah…with no legal rights conferred upon it. All legally sanctioned life partnerships should be called something else entirely, and everyone would have to get one in order to attain the rights/privileges/responsibilities currently associated with marriage.

augustlan's avatar

Copy/pasted answer from that other Q (read Breeds post before my last for context), and I promise, no more effort on my part to get this movement started:

Ok…you guys certainly know better than I what is appropriate here, and I defer to you. I’m just almost sickened to be associated with something (marriage) you can’t have!

If I was alive during the Holocaust, I would totally have worn a Star of David/yellow armband!

susanc's avatar

With regard to the symbolic solidarity of wearing the yellow armband (see August above),
apparently that never happened (Gail said so).

But :
What if those of us who are “married” began saying we are “civilly united”? Even if also church-married, we might honorably use the legal terminology to
push the point.
I used to do Universal Life Minister marriage ceremonies. Those marriages are legal. Why is that? They were “religious” if I did them as a representative of a church. There’s something fishy about this. Someone smarter than me must figure this out right away.

breedmitch's avatar

@susan: I like it. It’s like the thousands that took “Hussein” as their middle name on Facebook recently. In fact thats a great place to try your plan. I think I’ll start a Facebook group!

Edit: you can’t enter “civil union” in your relationship status. Nevermind.

TaoSan's avatar

@augustlan

No offense, I am from Germany and I’m 35. Thus, my grandparents often told me “real” stories about the time and what they went through. They were young during the war so it wasn’t demented old people stories but a reality check.

Believe me, you would not have worn a star voluntarily. For that, no one did, it’s a myth.

augustlan's avatar

I probably wouldn’t have volunteered to get myself killed, you’re right. I just meant it as a solidarity statement. It is not something to be taken lightly, and I meant no disrespect.

TaoSan's avatar

No offense taken at all augustlan. The notion is noble and admirable of course. All I meant was that that notion of solidarity would have lasted until you walked out your front door for the first time.

Nimis's avatar

Kind of interesting.
You can see how each county voted.

Check out the filters option for Prop 8.
Not entirely surprising, I suppose. But still.

cwilbur's avatar

@TaoSan: In what way is providing separate legal statuses for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples not “separate but equal”? Call it inconsistent with Brown v Board of Education, call it inconsistent with the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment—either way, it involves creating a separate, inherently unequal legal status.

And the anti-gay lobby likes to use the word “lifestyle” because it brings to mind the old stereotypical gay lifestyle—bathhouses, casual sex, promiscuity, anonymous sex, nightclubs—and because it implies that sexual orientation is chosen. If you really want to convince people that you have no passion or prejudice, you can’t innocently use the terminology that one side chooses mainly for its negative connotative value.

TaoSan's avatar

@cwilbur

but isn’t it a lifestyle just like monogamous hetero, polygamous hetero, or celibacy would be considered a lifestyle?

I mean, should we stop calling something by it’s name because an ongoing flaming conflict has sensitized some to certain vernacular, or because some have abused applicable terminology?

As for separate but equal, the point I was making was that all the pertaining court rulings referred to “tangible” / “physical” institutions / facilities whereas matrimony isn’t a physical thing. (I always wondered why it is called an “institution” anyways).

But here we are exactly proving the point I’m trying to make. Semantics are taking over distracting from the real problem. I perceive (mind you English is my second language) that we are discussing bon bon and candy.

Semantically, I understand that you are saying your “candy” is separate but equal to my “bon bon”, despite us both talking about the same chocolate bar.

The way I understand you is, that if we had a protected status equal to hetero marriage, you still wouldn’t be satisfied if it is not called the very very same word they call it, yes?

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, in my humble opinion the “separate but equal” definition is not fulfilled by merely calling one a different name than the other. There would at least have to be some sort of actual “separation”, mere used vernacular doesn’t qualify as “separate”.

cwilbur's avatar

“Lifestyle” is a lot more than orientation.

Lifestyle involves what you do on the weekends, what you do on your days off, what you do to relax, what you do with your spare income, where you go on vacation.

“Celibate” is not a lifestyle. “Gay” is not a lifestyle.

“Hermit who lives alone with 37 cats and does not go out except to go to work and do the grocery shopping” is a lifestyle. “Monogamously partnered professional who has memberships at museums and a subscription to the opera” is a lifestyle. “Barfly who has casual sex with anyone who’s interested” is a lifestyle. “Jet setter whose relationships never last more than three years and whose kids are raised by nannies and governesses” is a lifestyle. You may note, at this point, that none of these lifestyles have anything to do with orientation.

So intentionally using the word “lifestyle” when what you mean is “orientation” is both technically incorrect—because the gay hermit who lives alone with 37 cats has a lot more in common with the straight hermit who lives alone with 37 cats than with the monogamously partnered gay couple—and misleading—because the stereotypical “gay lifestyle” is closer to either the barfly or the jet setter, and using the word “lifestyle” rather than “orientation” conjures up a lot of really negative connotations.

And no, if there was a legal status that was claimed to be equal to heterosexual marriage, I wouldn’t be satisfied, because unless it is the same status there is no way it is equal status. There are already companies in Massachusetts attempting to distinguish between people who are married to people of the opposite sex and people who are married to people of the same sex, so that they can deny insurance coverage (among other things) to the latter; I see no reason to create a separate status to make this even easier.

And “separate but equal” definition is entirely fulfilled by calling them different names, because they are different things. For instance, the argument can be made that California is required by the federal Constitution to recognize gay marriages performed in Massachusetts, because Massachusetts calls them marriages and they are the same legal status—just as Virginia was required, by Loving v Virginia, to recognize interracial marriages performed by the District of Columbia in part because they are the same legal status. You cannot make the same argument for civil unions, because they are different legal statuses.

It’s not merely vernacular. It’s a legal term of art. That is why it’s so important.

To use your analogy: you’re claiming that because the “candy” and the “bon bon” are the same thing, so the word used is irrelevant. I’m pointing out that there’s a big sign on that movie theater saying CANDY MUST BE EATEN IN THE LOBBY, and so long as I can only have candy while you get to have bon bons, we’re not very equal, are we?

TaoSan's avatar

life·style
Pronunciation:
\ˈlīf-ˈstī(-ə)l, -ˌstī(-ə)l\
Function: noun
Date: 1939
the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture
Wouldn’t orientation be included in way of life?

;)

So basically you’re saying, that said sleazy companies would if the term “marriage” was used neglect to research that the spouses names would be Tom and Todd or Anne and Suzanne?

Or that the theaters wouldn’t most likely use a sign that says “No chocolate bars of any kind”?

There is no doubt in my mind that discrimination is a big issue in this country. However, do you really really believe that these substantial issues would be addressed by wasting energy on achieving the same terminology usage?

TaoSan's avatar

by the way, do you have any sort of legal background? It would really be interesting to know if “terminology” alone would suffice to establish separate but equal status in a court.

cwilbur's avatar

And that’s the point: there is no typical way of life that is accurately associated with being gay, and thus, by the definition you posted, there is no such thing as a “gay lifestyle.” There are a couple stereotypically gay lifestyles, mostly negative, that you invoke by using the word “lifestyle” when you mean “orientation.” Is that really what you want to be doing? Do you really want to invest this much effort in defending a choice of words that is inaccurate by the definition you yourself have chosen to post?

Sleazy companies would try the same thing, but because Tom and Todd, Anne and Suzanne, and Mike and Beth are married, they then run afoul of laws prohibiting discrimination on sexual orientation. Which is why it’s not working in Massachusetts, but it can work just fine in Vermont, because civil unions are a separate but equal status.

Theaters that ban all chocolate bars (in the extremely strained analogy) are okay, because they apply equally to all people. They aren’t naming the chocolate bars that one group of people must get “candy” and the other chocolate bars that the other group of people get “bon bons” and then setting up rules that apply to one or the other.

And what you see as a difference in mere terminology, I see as the heart of the issue. The legal status of couples of the same sex must be the same as the legal status of couples of the opposite sex. If you want to call the legal part of the relationship a “civil union,” and require all couples, same sex and opposite sex, to file civil union paperwork in order for the state to recognize their contracted relationship, and leave marriages for the churches, synagogues, circles, and covens to wrangle over—that would be fine with me, because it applies equally to all people.

And I think it’s pretty @#$% clear that civil unions and marriages are not equal. Imagine the Smiths, a gay or lesbian couple, who are civilly united in Vermont and take a vacation in Florida, where one has an accident that lands him or her in the hospital, and the Joneses, a straight couple, who are married in Vermont and take a vacation in Florida, where one has an accident that lands him or her in the hospital. Florida law recognizes marriages performed in Vermont but not civil unions performed in Vermont. In Florida, only one of these couples are considered each others’ next of kin for the purpose of making life and death decisions. Is that equal?

TaoSan's avatar

Point taken on lifestyle. I stand corrected.

As for the “marriage” term then. Wouldn’t it, considering your elaborations, then be easier to try and push for legislation that would have wording to the effect that a “civil union” must in no way be less than marriage?

As refresher, my main line of thought is how to accomplish something ASAP without becoming of interest to the well-funded religious zealot and bigot interest groups that will always fall into hysteric fits if their “holiest of holiest” could be tainted by the 21st century.

cwilbur's avatar

No, because we get into the same Vermont-Florida problem. If Vermont passes a law that says that civil unions are in all ways legally identical to marriages, that works beautifully until the people involved leave the state. If you had a federal law that said that civil unions were in all ways legally identical to marriages, that would probably accomplish the goal, but that’s likely to be even more difficult to accomplish.

The well-funded religious zealots and bigots have hysterics at the mere suggestion of civil rights for gay people. They will not stop at the term “marriage”; look at the recent law in Florida that not only prohibits gay marriage but any legally recognized relationship (besides male-female marriage) between two people that is comparable to marriage. For the hard-liners, it’s not about the word itself, but about any kind of legal recognition of gay rights. So they’re going to have hysterics either way, and there’s no tactical advantage to be had by pandering to them.

Frankly, if you look at the way this issue polls, it breaks down neatly among age lines. In 30–50 years gay marriage will be a fait accompli, if only because the people who oppose it most strongly will have largely died off by then.

Remember that anyone over 40 was born in a world where homosexuality was a recognized mental illness, with diagnostic criteria and everything. Change takes time.

TaoSan's avatar

Very true, it seems so….hm…...medieval though :(

lapilofu's avatar

Frankly at the rate we’re going it’ll be fair accompli in less than a decade. Just compare the way California voted last week to the way they voted just eight years ago. In those eight years the gap has narrowed enormously. I wouldn’t be surprised in four years time to find that the tables have turned. And that makes me feel optimistic, even when I’m angry now.

Although, I guess I’m just talking about California. You may be talking about the rest of the world.

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