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Old 11-14-2008, 03:31 PM   #61
piercehawkeye45
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Besides the oppressive part, the big problem I have is that the Christian church (I'm using this as a general term) is trying to monopolize marriage in the United States. You cannot break the sanctity of marriage because their is no definition for marriage in general. You can break the sanctity of a Christian marriage, you can break the sanctity of an Islamic marriage, you can break the sanctity of a Hindu marriage, etc, because each religion or sect of religion defines marriage in their own way.

The state should recognize any marriage that involves two citizens that are at legal age (which can be debated) and leave the banning to individual religions. If the Catholic Church wants to ban gay marriages, ban it within the church. No one is going to force the church to marry gay couples if they feel it goes against their religion.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:38 PM   #62
Radar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
That's where it gets complicated. People can have their opinions fine and dandy, but when you take intentional action to screw with the system to meet your own ends then you are really in the wrong.
Advertise all you want, but do not screw with the system.

That said, I'm not a fan of the Mormon church, esp. after taking my American religious history seminar, but the members are entitled to their opinions and can donate to support campaigning out of their own pockets if they so choose. They may be trying to persuade people one way or the other, but again it is the VOTER who casts the vote and participates in the actual decision. We have the power of choice and a majority of the people made their choice.

The Mormon church instructed their people to donate to the violation of civil rights and to volunteer. It also excommunicated those Mormons who campaigned on the side of equal rights. That's right, the Mormon church, which has historically been a bastion of polygamy, actually has the temerity to use the phrase "sanctity of marriage".

It's this simple. If a church gets involved in politics, they are no longer entitled to tax exempt status. This should especially apply to the Mormon church which owns many for profit companies. The Mormon church is a business, and it looks like they are selling discrimination and hatred... oh and some cult like salvation on the planet Kolob.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:46 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
So we only have the same rights as a worm or a coyote or a bird or parasite??? Huh?
No, we have human rights because we're human beings. All human beings have the same right to do anything they want as long as their actions don't physically harm, endanger, or violate the person, property, or rights of non-consenting others.



Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
There you go interpreting again. That gets into the realm of opinion vs fact and assumption.
Nope. I don't interpret the Constitution. The founders knew full well that our rights came from our "creator" whether we deem that creator to be nature, our parents, Vishnu, Zeuss, or the Judeo-Christian god. They said as much in the Declaration of independence. The U.S. Constitution was created to establish a more perfect union between the states, and to protect the rights of citizens from tyranny.



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Originally Posted by classicman View Post
Oh I gotcha why didn't you just say it was an eye for an eye - blah blah blah. That makes real good sense - in the sandbox or at recess.

Governments are created to provide harmony and peace throughout the population. What peace or harmony can be had when one group violates the rights of another? I'm saying if someone thinks it's ok to violate the civil rights of others because of their own bigotry or hatred, it's a two way street. Either we're all equal, or we're not. If it's ok for them to violate the rights of gay people, why isn't it ok for me to violate their rights? Why is their right to life more important than a gay person's right to marry?

It isn't.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:49 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
Bullitt pretty much covered it for me. Have an opinion - whatever opinion, just don't fuck with or try to cheat.

The rights of a single person are more important the opinions, desires, and votes of millions.

In other words, YOUR VOTE DOESN'T MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO THE RIGHTS OF OTHER PEOPLE.

You have a right to express your opinion. You do not have a right to violate the rights of others or to vote for government to do it for you.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:51 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
Not to mention he thinks he is always right and if you disagree with his position you should be deported. As HLJ stated, oh the irony..

It's not that I'm always right. You're just always wrong when it comes to the Constitution, the role of the military, the founders, etc. and I just happen to be the guy to set you straight.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:53 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae Girl View Post
Doesn't affect me in the slightest. We have civil partnerships in the UK, as I think much of Europe in fact. I know quite a few people who have married under this agreement, both famous (ie I've read about it) and personal friends.

Doesn't seem to have caused any particular trouble.
In America, a civil union does not grant the same rights as a marriage. Also, who is anyone to tell someone else what word they will use to describe their union? That's the main gist of it.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:56 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Sundae Girl View Post
Ah. Arguing over semantics.
Well, there you go, it's not that Americans are more conservative than Europeans, it's that European gays aren't as pedantic.
It's not an argument over semantics. It's matter of civil rights. Even if a civil union carried all of the same rights as a marriage in America (and it doesn't), it would amount to having white drinking fountains and black drinking fountains or having gay people sit in the back of the bus.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:57 PM   #68
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Civil Unions vs Civil Marriage.
taken from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
(who argued the Massachusetts case)


Talking Points
What's the difference?

Framing the conversation: What's really at stake?

First, let's be clear. This discussion is about substance - not symbols. The human stakes are enormous. This document explains why civil marriage, and not civil unions, is the only way to make sure gay and lesbian couples have all of the same legal protections as other married couples.

Second, the discussion is about ending governmental discrimination against gay and lesbian families with respect to civil marriage and its legal protections and responsibilities-not about any religious rite of marriage. Every faith is and will remain free to set its own rules about who can marry and on what terms.

Third, marriage is many things to many people. But it is also a legal institution in which governmental discrimination has no place.

Let's compare civil marriage as a legal institution to civil unions as a legal institution.

What is marriage?

Marriage is a unique legal status conferred by and recognized by governments the world over. It brings with it a host of reciprocal obligations, rights, and protections. Yet it is more than the sum of its legal parts. It is also a cultural institution. The word itself is a fundamental protection, conveying clearly that you and your life partner love each other, are united and belong by each other's side. It represents the ultimate expression of love and commitment between two people and everyone understands that. No other word has that power, and no other word can provide that protection.

What is a civil union?

A civil union is a legal status created by the state of Vermont in 2000 and in California in 2003. It provides legal protection to couples at the state law level, but omits federal protections as well as the dignity, clarity, security and power of the word "marriage."

What are some of the limitations of civil unions?

Civil unions are different from marriage, and that difference has wide-ranging implications that make the two institutions unequal. Here is a quick look at some of the most significant differences:

-Portability:

Marriages are respected state to state for all purposes, but questions remain about how civil unions will be treated in other states. GLAD believes there are strong arguments that civil unions deserve respect across the country just like marriages. But the two appellate courts that have addressed the issue (in Connecticut and Georgia) have disrespected them based on the fact that their states do not grant civil
unions themselves.

-Ending a Civil Union:

If you are married, you can get divorced in any state in which you are a resident. But if states continue to disrespect civil unions, there is no way to end the relationship other than by establishing residency in Vermont and filing for divorce there. This has already created problems for some couples who now have no way to terminate their legal commitment.

-Federal Benefits:

According to a 1997 GAO report, civil marriage brings with it at least 1,049 legal protections and responsibilities from the federal government, including the right to take leave from work to care for a family member, the right to sponsor a spouse for immigration purposes, and Social Security survivor benefits that can make a difference between old age in poverty and old age in security. Civil unions bring none of these critical legal protections.

-Taxes & Public Benefits for the Family:

Because the federal government does not respect civil unions, a couple with a civil union will be in a kind of limbo with regard to governmental functions performed by both state and federal governments, such as taxation, pension protections, provision of insurance for families, and means-tested programs like Medicaid. Even when states try to provide legal protections, they may be foreclosed from doing so in joint federal/state programs.

-Filling out forms:

Every day, we fill out forms that ask us whether we are married or single. People joined in a civil union don't fit into either category. People with civil unions should be able to identify themselves as a single family unit, but misrepresenting oneself on official documents can be considered fraud and carries potential serious criminal
penalties.

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Old 11-14-2008, 04:57 PM   #69
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-Separate & Unequal -- Second-Class Status:

Even if there were no substantive differences in the way the law treated marriages and civil unions, the fact that a civil union remains a separate status just for gay people represents real and powerful inequality. We've been down this road before in this country and should not kid ourselves that a separate institution just for gay people is a just solution here either. Our constitution requires legal equality for all. Including gay and lesbian couples within existing marriage laws is the fairest and simplest thing to do.

How real are these differences between marriage and civil unions, given that a federal law and some state laws discriminate against all marriages of same-sex couples?

Would any of this change immediately with marriage of same-sex couples? Probably not, because married same-sex couples will face other layers of discrimination against their marriages. Right now, a federal law denies recognition of same-sex unions conferred by any state for purposes of all federal programs and requirements and over 30 state laws do the same. Ending discrimination in marriage does not mean the end of all discrimination, but using the term "marriage" rather than "civil union" is an essential first step to opening the door and addressing whether continued governmental discrimination against civil marriages of gay and lesbian people makes sense.

Marriage and civil unions remain different, both in practice and in
principle
.

First, more than a dozen states have not taken a discriminatory position against civil marriages of gay and lesbian couples. In those states, civilly married gay and lesbian couples should be able to live and travel freely and without fear that their relationship will be disrespected.

Second, even as to those states with discriminatory laws, legally married gay and lesbian couples from those states may well face some discrimination in some quarters, but their marriages will also be treated with legal respect in other arenas. Marriages are far more likely to be respected by others than newly minted "civil unions."

Using the term marriage also prompts a discussion about fairness. Allowing same sex couples to marry (rather than enter a separate status) will allow gay and lesbian people to talk with their neighbors, their local elected officials, and the Congress about whether discrimination against their marriages is fair. Where gay and lesbian people and their children are part of the social fabric, is it right to continue discriminating against them in civil marriage? The federal government and states that have taken discriminatory positions against marriages of gay and lesbian couples could rethink those policies and go back to respecting state laws about marriage, as they have done for hundreds of years. In the end, we will not be able to have this discussion until gay and lesbian folks have what everyone else has: civil marriage.


Civil Marriage & Freedom of Religion

A myth: A major myth about ending discrimination in civil marriage is that it will somehow compel religious faiths to change their doctrine or practices about who they marry. This is flatly incorrect. We have freedom of religion in this country. When a court or legislature ends discrimination in civil (governmental) marriage, there is no compulsory impact on any faith. Each faith is-and will remain-free to define its own requirements for its marriage rite: who, what, when, where and why.

Some people say marriage is a sacrament. And it is for some religious faiths. But the government is not in the sacrament business. The only "marriage" to which the couples in the Massachusetts case are seeking access is civil/governmental marriage. Governmental marriage already exists side by side with each faith's different rules for their religious rite of marriage. Nothing can change that.

Two Types of Marriages

Though people may think about marriage in different ways, there are only two types of marriage - either civil or religious. In some ceremonies, both are celebrated at once. Couples may have one or both types of marriage. However, to receive the legal protections of marriage, a couple must have a civil marriage. It is only civil marriage that can be addressed by courts or legislatures.

Civil Marriage

Any couple can have a civil marriage if they meet the government's requirements. Right now, the requirements in Massachusetts are that the partners be adults, pass a blood test, and not be already married or closely related. Most of us also think about marriage as a public commitment of love and support by adult couples. The government does, too, and uses the commitment of marriage as a gateway to hundreds of legal protections, responsibilities and benefits established by the state, and over 1000 by the federal government. Ever since the founding of this country, states have regulated who may enter into a marriage and under what conditions.

Religious Rite of Marriage

Only couples who meet the requirements of a particular faith tradition can have a religious marriage. Religions have complete autonomy in deciding which marriages they will consecrate; they do whatever suits their faith tradition. Some religions will not marry people who were divorced, or people of different faiths, even though these same people could have a civil marriage. Every religious community always has the
right to perform or not perform any marriage rite it deems appropriate, regardless of the partners' sex. Religious marriages do not convey legal rights or responsibilities.

Freedom of Religion

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects every citizen's right to freedom of religion: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The founders of American government made it clear from the beginning that in this new nation religion and government would exist side by side, and the law would not define religious practice.

In addition to allowing free rein to religious practice, our Constitution protects freedom of religion by preventing any one religion from dictating the content of law. For all religious views to be protected and respected, it is critical that laws not be made with a particular religious viewpoint in mind, including laws about civil
marriage.

As a result of American freedom of religion, each faith can independently answer the question of whether they wish gay and lesbian couples to marry within their religious tradition, and this will remain true no matter what the government does with regard to civil marriage
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #70
lookout123
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Now that I think about it, anyone who is able to quote something that takes two posts MUST be right.



problem solved

/thread

.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:14 PM   #71
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Well, just for the record, most everyone I know says Marriage over here.
Same as when they brought in Council Tax, denying it was Poll Tax, and everyone called it Poll Tax anyway.

I suppose you're right, but it seems an awful shame to get bothered about words. Now the fact it's not legal in all states and does not confer the same benefits as marriage - yes, that I would be annoyed about.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:14 AM   #72
tw
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Sinner exposed in the NY Times of 15 Nov 2008:
Quote:
Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage
Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting here.

We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.

The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. ...

“We’ve spoken out on other issues, we’ve spoken out on abortion, we’ve spoken out on those other kinds of things,” said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. “But we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”
No representation without taxation?
Quote:
The California measure, Proposition 8, was to many Mormons a kind of firewall to be held at all costs. ...

First approached by the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco a few weeks after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in May, the Mormons were the last major religious group to join the campaign, and the final spice in an unusual stew that included Catholics, evangelical Christians, conservative black and Latino pastors, and myriad smaller ethnic groups with strong religious ties.

Shortly after receiving the invitation from the San Francisco Archdiocese, the Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City issued a four-paragraph decree to be read to congregations, saying “the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan,” and urging members to become involved with the cause.
Should we be prosecuting religious leaders who were so evil as to contradict Christ's teachings? Or should they be paying massive taxes to save our corporations from economic meltdown? Either way, the Catholic and Mormon churches have violated what any decent religion would never do.

When asked, "How do we tell good Catholics from bad?", he replied, "Kill them all. God will know his own." Religion again doing what it does best.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:57 AM   #73
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Here's my views on it, presented in a manner much more musical and entertaining than I could achieve...
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:06 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
.

I'll tell you what it is -- it's Ostrich syndrome. You know, hiding your head in the sand. These people don't want to believe that two same-sex people could possibly actually love each other; they think it's pure deviant lust, so they think they can simply legislate against its expression and it will go away. Stupid.
I think there's something to that, Juni.



On the question of rights: I don't believe 'rights' exist as some kind of inherent and definable thing in nature or humanity. We have the 'right' to life? Life is. We are. We need to bear in mind that rights are an artificial construct, a theoretic framework with which we understand certain aspects of our humanity. Within that context, 'rights' are a communally agreed set of standards, an understanding which has shifted and developed over time. In truth, we can only really define our rights in the negative: it is only the threat to them which requires them to be identified/constructed.

Far easier to define is where our rights break down. I think Radar has a good point about humans having the right to do anything that doesn't impinge on another's rights. A little like common law, whereby the assumption is that an activity is acceptable unless prohibited.

In terms of government's role in this question, I think the description Paine gives of the concept of 'natural rights' and the relationship between rights and society sits at the heart of the matter. Our individual natural rights are invested by us into the collective of society and in doing so our rights are shared and defended. Our individual rights are imperfect inasmuch as we cannot individually defend them. The question then becomes, what is the relationship between society and government. If government is separate from society then our rights cannot be invested in government. If government is an expression of society, then it is the logical holder and defender of those collective rights.

Last edited by DanaC; 11-15-2008 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar View Post
How do I know what our rights are? Simple. We are born with the right to do ANYTHINGwe want as long as our actions don't physically harm, endanger, or violate the person, property, or rights of non-consenting others. This means, since I own myself, I own my voice. I therefore have the right to freedom of expression. You also have freedom of expression, but you do not have the right to go through your life without ever being offended by the expression of others. You don't have the right to use force against others to prevent you from getting your feelings hurt.

One persons right to marry any consenting other they choose is no more or less important than another person's right to life. Rights are rights are rights. If you violate one of my rights, I may violate one of the rights you hold more dearly.
I still don't think you're talking about "rights" here. Actually, I don't think there is such a thing as "rights" - I think they are a manmade invention, a rationale for what we're really doing, which is asserting our power over someone else.

You don't have any "rights" - what you have is power. You have the "right" to do anything you can do without someone else stopping you from doing it. Calling it a "right" just gives a sort of fabricated dignity to the act of asserting your will.
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