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Oh. My. God.

Like we don't have enough to worry about in this country - no real issues to discuss. Now our Fearless Leader says something like this:

"After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," the president said. "Their action has created confusion on an issue that requires clarity."

"Unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty," he said.
(from MSNBC)

Americans are standing up for what the believe is right, and our president thinks we are "confused". We don't agree with him, so we are suffering from confusion. We can't have that, of course. No confusion. My way or the highway. Praise to (the Christian) God. Heil Bush.

I'm amazed and befuddled at all this. It seems to me to be a CLEAR case of fishing for votes from the more Conservative members of his party, but this is ludicrous. A consitutional amendment because we are confused? Because loving couples, who happen to be the same gender, wish to get married and have the same tax incentive as multi-gender couples do?

Let's face it - the religious and/or spiritiual part of marriage is not part of this fiasco. If same-sex couples wish to enter into a spiritual union - that's between them and their faith. The only thing the government controls are tax and property ownership issues, inheritence, things like that. (I'm sure I've left out some details here, so spare me. The point is - "love" is not legislated) The "corporate" side of marriage. But here's our country's leader, invoking God in all his glory, and saying this is confusing, inferring that it is WRONG.

I've had it with legislated morality - forcing the morality of the politically influencial onto the rest of us.

Write your congressman, your senator, and the White House itself and let them know that you disagree with this and the other religious oriented legislation that's currently being peddled. (I refer you to the journal of khaosworks for several very well informed discussions of the bills at hand) Be sure and quote Thomas Jefferson when you write them, that should shake them up a bit. :)

Quoting Thomas Jefferson from khaosworks:

Well, you don't really have to look towards the Congressional Record. A simple Google search will turn up Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, where he writes near the end:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. (my emphasis)

The Supreme Court first quoted this letter in the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947), and used it to show that the intent of the Establishment Clause (as that portion of the 1st Amendment is known) is to build that "wall of separation between Church and State."


Feb. 25th, 2004 03:43 am (UTC)
Zell Miller was invoking original intent in suggesting we look to the Congressional Record. The Danbury letter is still good evidence of intent of the framers, and was accepted as such in Everson. I could have brought up the cogent portions of the Virginia Constitution, which influenced the writing of the federal constitution greatly, as well, but I didn't.

If it were up to me, really, I'd say that the First Amendment is not at all ambiguous and there is no need to look behind the wording. As I said, what part of "Congress shall establish no law" is so hard to understand?

Not to try to change your mind, you understand, but re: there is no difference in the eyes of the law bit. Naming still has power. Calling it a civil union still places it on a second-class level. It's like saying it's okay to call a guy "nigger" because the law treats him the same.

I'm not saying I would prefer an all or nothing solution. My response was directed primarily at politicians like John Kerry, who oppose gay marriage but favor civil unions. I'm saying that that position is just as bigoted as those who oppose any kind of same sex unions.
Feb. 25th, 2004 03:06 pm (UTC)
1) Comparing the phrase "civil union" to the insult "nigger" is ridiculous. No one is using the phrase "civil union" as an epithet and, in the vernacular, few people use it at all. If a gay couple has the right to civil union then goes and registers and has a ceremony as appropriate for them, they and their friends will call it "getting married". In the eyes of the government they will have the same rights and responsibilities as a religiously married couple. Why are we spending 90% of our energy on something that is less than 1% of the issue?

2) Describing a compromise position as being just as bad as the nothing solution does demand an all-or-nothing solution. It is an insult to people who are trying to find a solution to an emotional issue to label anything less than perfect as being "just as bigoted" as the total opponents. This does nothing but split those in favor of same-sex unions and pretty much guarantees that the opponents - who are not split - will win. Thus the ideologically pure guarantee the ascendence of their opponents.
Feb. 25th, 2004 03:26 pm (UTC)
1) Because legally, they're still not allowed to call it a marriage, and that removes some of the dignity from the union - the same argument the anti same-sex union advocates are using. I grant you it may not make much of a practical difference, but in terms of political power it does and for future benefits it might very well do. The split will allow authorities to treat both categories differently, and start marginalizing one. Plessy started out being separate but equal, but it developed into Jim Crow. If a civil union and a marriage is for all practical purposes the same it makes no sense to split it except as a sop to prejudice. Not that rationality has anything to do with it, of course.

2) Describing a compromise position being just as bad is acknowledging that the compromise solution isn't good enough - but it does not demand an all-or-nothing solution now. It acknowledges that even if the compromise position is reached it is still not an ideal situation, and we should not pretend to be satisfied with it.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
Feb. 25th, 2004 07:00 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth (hey, it's my blog :) ) -

I believe that a compromise solution ("civil union" if you will) is better than no solution.

I believe that a compromise solution is not the ideal solution.

I believe that a compromise solution will lead towards the ideal solution, in time, with more civil disobedience leading the way in the future.

Or perhaps I'm just confused again.

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