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Old 10-16-2007, 12:07 PM   #241
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Originally posted by Irvine511
... it's always going to be better than what two lesbians with MSWs ...
What's MSW?
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:16 PM   #242
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What's MSW?


master's in social work.

it's a very lesbian degree.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:22 PM   #243
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Universal civil union laws isn't a new idea for me even if the term might be. Having had no intent to marry, that made sense to me from my twenties on. I'm not surprised that the idea comes up now. I think when you begin to question the sacred cow of man-woman marriages, you open up the possibility that people may bring up the sacred cow of marriage itself. But this is an inappropriate thread to bring this up and I should not have done so. Suffice it to say, I'm not lobbying for the abolition of marriage or anything.
Are there in fact any countries which have 'universal civil unions'? i.e. where one uniform legal category applies to everyone from caretakers, to friends who prefer each other to their blood relatives as the one to make decisions if they become incapacitated, to longterm housemates with no romantic/sexual relationship who simply want to put legal teeth in their claims to property they've acquired jointly? I don't know that there are.

According to the most recent report (.pdf) of the General Accounting Office to Congress, there are currently 1138 federal provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining applicability of the relevant rights, responsibilities, and benefits. Obviously not all of those are relevant to any given married couple at whatever particular point in time, and a few will by definition never be relevant to most married couples (e.g., ones which assume you and your spouse are Native Americans). And many do overlap with rights, responsibilities, and benefits granted to other legal categories (e.g. parents). So you could say that already there's a lot of flexibility/diversity of 'lifestyle' assumed by the legal category 'married.' I'm just not sure that it's obviously the most efficient or practical route to create one 'universal civil union' category that aims to encompass each and every possible personal relationship type under one broad umbrella. Maybe it is. I'm not opposed to it in principle. But I'd have to hear some much more exhaustive, facts-and stats based arguments in favor of it first.

A marriage and family law expert could speak to this a lot better than I could.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:42 PM   #244
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No, it wouldn't. Our government already extends the status "married" to nonreligious straight couples through civil ceremonies that religious institutions have no say in whatsoever, and it's this (civil) status that those who support gay marriage seek to expand. It isn't unprecedented or revolutionary to say that churches shouldn't have veto power over who the government can and can't recognize as marrried--they already lost that power back when civil marriage ceremonies were created.
sounds reasonable and fair to me

unfortunately we have appointed judges that allow their bias to control their decisions, and they are winning the day



Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
In the Deep South, on the one hand, many of the all-white private schools ('segregation academies') which sprang up after public school desegregation billed themselves as 'Christian schools.' On the other hand, in *most* areas of the Deep South, the Catholic schools--and there were hardly any non-Catholic religious schools in the region before desegregation--actually desegregated well before the public schools. It depends on which denomination you're talking about.
I was aware of the Catholic situation, it seems that they along with Jewish groups did better with Civil Rights, I assume because they were often victims, themselves
especially "In the Deep South"

when I say religious people are intolerant, I am generalizing, I am referring to the ones that are responsible for this continued discrimination




Quote:
Originally posted by yolland



Tolerant of what? Are you suggesting that you see abolishing the legal category 'marriage' altogether as a necessary concession to religious people categorically--that only they should be allowed to define it? Again, how do you reconcile that with the fact that civil marriages for heterosexuals have been around since the 19th century?
good questions
I am just trying to see a way to a better situation than we have now

it seems we are stuck in an "all" or nothing situation
and the nothing is winning

I suppose all judicial marriages are really "civil" marriages

unfortunately the supreme court is letting stand
all the state wide voted in 'marriage' initiatives

I just believe there is a better chance to for a type of equality by 'giving' in to the ones that will support 'civil unions'


One way to look at it

Is the "dont tell, dont ask" military policy beneficial or not

my opinion is it is very good
because it has proven that gays can serve just as well as anyone else

the problem is in the mind of the "others"

they have no problem taking showers with gays

as long as they don't have to admit they know who is gay



perhaps the best solution

would be a "dont ask, dont tell" gay marriage law
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:51 PM   #245
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Originally posted by deep


perhaps the best solution

would be a "dont ask, dont tell" gay marriage law


but if you're in the military, and someone finds out you're gay, you get discharged. even if you speak fluent Arabic and Farsi (which is why it's so laughable that the Republicans think they're tough on terror).

were someone to tell on a gay marriage, would it be annulled?
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:17 PM   #246
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
master's in social work.

it's a very lesbian degree.
Heh ... last month I attended a commitment ceremony for a college friend and her partner. My friend has an MSW.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:24 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




but if you're in the military, and someone finds out you're gay, you get discharged.
is this a benefit
or a penalty?

and I might opt for a gay marriage
with an easy exit plan



seriously,

it was ridiculous that Jackie Robinson had to take being spit at and called filthy names so black people would be allowed to play in major league sports


and I consider the "dont ask, dont tell" to be a similar situation
I do expect that within a few years "dont tell' will fall by the way side and we will have full integration in the military

I think full equality in marriage laws will come quicker in stages
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:59 PM   #248
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This may or may not be relevant, but I couldn't help but think of this thread today. I was hanging out with a colleague of mine and going with her to a mutual friend's house to feed cats and fish since they're out of town. She has been in a committed relationship with her partner for over 18 years. We were chatting about her parents' recent visit and how interesting it is that out of all of her siblings, she and her partner have the most "stable" and long-lasting relationship. The rest of them have been through multiple marriages, messy divorces, abusive relationships, and all kinds of craziness and the most "normal" of all of them have been my friend and her partner. And they're the only ones who can't legalize what is obviously a permanent bond. Incidentally, the people whose cats we were feeding...another long-term gay couple (guys) who've been together for 15+ years. I look at my friends and I wish for them the same rights that I'm entitled to. Of course, not that long ago I wouldn't have been entitled to those rights either, considering the mixed racial makeup of my relationship. Just because things "have always been that way" doesn't make it right.
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:31 PM   #249
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This may or may not be relevant
1. it is relavent to me

but, I am not the decider


2. ftw
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:04 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
it seems we are stuck in an "all" or nothing situation
and the nothing is winning

I just believe there is a better chance to for a type of equality by 'giving' in to the ones that will support 'civil unions'
Well, I can agree that some rights are preferable to no rights. And perhaps the Canadian model, as anitram described it, would be a strategically savvier template to adopt here. If you're talking necessary concessions as the determining dynamic, though, I'd imagine that would entail continuing to classify heterosexual marriages as just that, marriages, while meanwhile gay couples would just get 'civil unions.' I know there are a couple social-conservative-leaning FYMers who've indicated they'd be OK with eradicating 'marriage' as a legal category altogether, but my impression is they're not at all very representative of gay marriage opponents in that regard.

It's a difficult pill to swallow though, because when it comes down to it, what really drives my own sense of urgency on this issue is the moral imperative of equal respect for love and commitment within gay relationships. Which is really what mainstream-married-heterosexual America, myself included, sees our marriages as based on--we sought marriage to begin with first and foremost as an expression of love and commitment before our communities, not to secure some particular set of legal benefits, and certainly not because our parents had arranged a match for us and 'Hey, at least it's man + woman, so it's all good, right?'

Nonetheless, those rights and benefits are important, and I understand the logic behind questioning whether it's wise in the big picture to peg the opportunity for accessing them on first securing equal sanction for the romantic relationship type itself. But, I'm not gay, so it's really not up to me to resolve what gay couples 'should' accept as a status worthy of making that trip to the county clerk's office.
Quote:
I was aware of the Catholic situation, it seems that they along with Jewish groups did better with Civil Rights, I assume because they were often victims, themselves
especially "In the Deep South"

when I say religious people are intolerant, I am generalizing, I am referring to the ones that are responsible for this continued discrimination
Yeah, I do think the "victim" status, for lack of a better phrase, is ultimately the main reason for it. Louisiana is the major exception to that 'rule', and I don't think that's coincidental--it was the only Southern state where Catholics were often (sometimes by far) the largest denomination in whichever municipality. So despite the fact that significant public dialogue over desegregating LA's Catholic schools preceded that over desegregating its public schools (due to pressure from the Vatican, which to its credit openly deplored the situation), in their case most of the Catholic schools were a couple years behind their public counterparts in desegregating. The Catholic population of the area simply overlapped extensively enough with the (racial) Powers That Be for considerable foot-dragging to result, castigations from the Vatican notwithstanding.

A somewhat similar backdrop characterized the involvement in and support of the Civil Rights Movement by Southern Jews. While Southern Jews were collectively 'ahead' of the Southern WASP rank-and-file in accepting the end of segregation as a moral imperative, the first wave of Jewish Civil Rights Movement activists were almost entirely Northerners, whether college students volunteering for a year with the SNCC, or "carpetbaggers" like my parents who moved to the South to teach at black colleges. And initially the general reaction of most Southern Jewish communties to these activists was, "Shhhhh! For God's sake, keep your voice down!" because that was the time-honored Southern Jewish 'code'--mind your own business and don't be making trouble with the white folks, because our whole community is likely to get in trouble if you do. In the end, increasing harassment of Jews by the Klan wound up heightening solidarity with the Movement, but no one considered that likely in the beginning.

I think these kinds of intersections of religious affiliation with social and political power cut both ways, though. I don't think there's a particularly compelling case to be made that 'something about Catholicism' or 'something about Judaism' in an innate sense explains the (mostly) greater early responsiveness of those groups to the Civil Rights Movement. But I also don't think you can look at the more protracted footdragging of the WASP Old Guard and go, 'Well, what did you expect from a bunch of Baptists.' It's true that societies like the South's, where smallish local churches remain essential nexuses of community life and organization, tend to display a kind of echo chamber effect (ha ha) that makes the process of recognizing and coming to terms with broader social changes that much slower. And there can actually be some positive consequences to that--though the farther down the traditional totem pole you are, the lower those returns, usually. But it's that totem pole that's the thing, and there's usually a lot more than innately religious vested interests holding it together.



I'm not sure how pertinent all the above is to gay marriage. Personally, I've known plenty of wholly nonreligious people who were quite homophobic (including opposition to gay marriage), but I'm afraid none of them are/were thoughtful or articulate enough types to enable me to identify whether there might be some notably 'secular' element to their thinking--it's always the "It's just not right, is all/It's just not natural/They won't make good parents" kind of thing...all just baldfaced, emotive assertions with no real reasoning behind them. At least religious people can point to a nominal "source" for such assertions (not unlike the way some Southern whites appealed to the Bible to justify segregation, while others appealed to the Bible in opposing it). And the sort of paranoia about homosexuality that American adolescents are steeped in...how many guys would you say you knew in junior high who weren't homophobic to some degree? two? three?...is that fundamentally religious in nature? only religious kids experience it?

My impression has always been that what people who feel motivated to strongly oppose gay marriage are afraid of, loath to lose, however you want to put it, is something a bit more complicated--if that's the word--than just "We're deviating from God's holy plan as spelled out in the Bible" (which I guess is supposed to be more 'respectable'-sounding than "It's just not natural, is all"). I just don't understand what that 'something more' is.
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