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Old 04-23-2008, 06:32 PM   #346
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Originally posted by martha


So easy to say when it isn't you.
Regardless of whether it applies to me or not, the question remains the same. I understand the passion behind the issue, but I don't think passion should dictate the laws of the land.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:37 PM   #347
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yes, you've tried to use the will and tax benefits argument before but you were shown it's wrong and doesn't cover everything.
What does? What we're talking about is equitability. The same matters that are contestable in civil unions are contested in married unions (as we've seen).
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:47 PM   #348
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The fundamental issue seems to be about benefits, but the benefits seem already to be there, which kind of moots the "rights" argument. (Which seems kind of thin on the ground.)
No, they're not there. For one, it is virtually impossible for an American to have his or her same-sex partner legally immigrate to the U.S., if they happen to be a foreign citizen.

Secondly, even with things like wills and other legal documents, many hospitals in "Defense of Marriage" states are known to flat-out deny same-sex partners access to their hospitalized partner.

Third, with same-sex partners partners separating in child custody cases, if one has genetic ties, the other is often completely ostracized and the courts treat them like a complete stranger, providing them with no legal visitation rights, even if the original intent was to treat them as an "adoptive" co-parent.

Those are the just the easy examples off the top of my head. So for you to just cavalierly argue that same-sex couples "already have their rights" is really just blatant willful ignorance.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:58 PM   #349
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Originally posted by nathan1977


I'm not sure what rights we're talking about. The fundamental issue seems to be about benefits, but the benefits seem already to be there, which kind of moots the "rights" argument. (Which seems kind of thin on the ground.)
They're not there. melon already correctly pointed out the immigration issue, but there are also things like domestic violence (not viable in some states) and other issues.

In Canada, married gay couples are actually worse off since the Income Tax Act was amended, interestingly enough.

The way that gay marriage was legalized in Canada was over a 20 year period. Essentially ALL the rights, privileges and benefits were granted one by one until there was no real reason left to prohibit marriage. After marriage was legalized, divorce followed suit and all the provincial statutes dealing with married or CL partners were amended. In the US, you are not there yet with respect to benefits granted so that the change in name is not a mere formality.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:37 PM   #350
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there are also things like domestic violence (not viable in some states)
This is an excellent point that I had not thought of. Do civil unions/RDPs not address this?

It's my understanding, addressing Melon's previous post, that inaccessibility to hospitalized partners is a legal offense and could/should be prosecuted.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:38 PM   #351
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Originally posted by melon

for you to just cavalierly argue that same-sex couples "already have their rights" is really just blatant willful ignorance.
I'd appreciate scaling it back a bit, Melon. I think I've been respectful in my posts and in the way I conduct myself in FYM. You don't need to call me ignorant. If I wanted to be willfully ignorant, I sure wouldn't be in here.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:50 PM   #352
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I'd appreciate scaling it back a bit, Melon. I think I've been respectful in my posts and in the way I conduct myself in FYM. You don't need to call me ignorant. If I wanted to be willfully ignorant, I sure wouldn't be in here.
I did call it "willful ignorance," but I did avoid calling "you" "willfully ignorant."

When I wrote it, I wrote it with the attempt to make it not about "you," in a personal sense.

Perhaps I failed, but I thought I'd explain myself here before you misunderstood my intentions.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:55 PM   #353
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Originally posted by nathan1977
This is an excellent point that I had not thought of. Do civil unions/RDPs not address this?
Not everyone has the luxury of living in a state that provides these protections. There are no protections at the federal level, so you are left at the whims of your state's prejudices.

Quote:
It's my understanding, addressing Melon's previous post, that inaccessibility to hospitalized partners is a legal offense and could/should be prosecuted.
Again, there are no federal protections and you're left to the whims of the state. A small minority of states have tried to address this, while still having a DOMA, but, again, if your state anti-gay enough to have a DOMA, why would this same state have any interest in being gay friendly at all?

There is such a thing, obviously, as the "tyranny of the majority," and we see this in action in several states around the world. It's too bad that, when the U.S. tells other nations to be nicer to their minorities, we don't always know how to set an example ourselves.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:58 PM   #354
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Originally posted by nathan1977


This is an excellent point that I had not thought of. Do civil unions/RDPs not address this?
You do not have a unified federal criminal code (as is the case in Canada, for example). Therefore, it depends on the definition of domestic couples in each of the 50 individual statutes.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:47 PM   #355
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Originally posted by nathan1977


What does? What we're talking about is equitability.
Why equitable and not equal?
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:49 AM   #356
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Originally posted by melon
Not everyone has the luxury of living in a state that provides these protections. There are no protections at the federal level, so you are left at the whims of your state's prejudices.
There are only what, 9 states which currently grant civil unions? and still 18 whose constitutions ban them altogether? My understanding is that even if we had federal civil unions, that wouldn't help gay couples in states without state civil unions. That was certainly how the miscegenation laws worked: the federal government only recognized a marriage if the state did, not the other way around. I assume civil unions would work the same way?

With reference to anitram's point, I understand and appreciate the case for gay rights organizations pursuing a benefits-first,-title-later strategy, but 50 states is a long road to walk step-by-step. Good thing for interracial couples that 'civil unions' weren't around in the 1960s, since 16 states still didn't recognize interracial marriage...
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:25 AM   #357
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With reference to anitram's point, I understand and appreciate the case for gay rights organizations pursuing a benefits-first,-title-later strategy, but 50 states is a long road to walk step-by-step. Good thing for interracial couples that 'civil unions' weren't around in the 1960s, since 16 states still didn't recognize interracial marriage...
Absolutely. And again, the comparisons to Canada are not necessarily fair, because of a number of factors. First, we are far less religious than our neighbours. Second, we have a very secular Quebec that drives a lot of policy moves (thanks to the Quiet Revolution). Third, we do have a constitutional issue of federalism that you avoid through states' rights. So in a way, we were predisposed to having gay marriage legalized here early, not just thanks to attitudes of people but the system of governance and laws in the country.

I have very little faith that the US will be a beacon of progressive thought and freedom in this area anytime soon.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:01 AM   #358
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Originally posted by yolland
Good thing for interracial couples that 'civil unions' weren't around in the 1960s, since 16 states still didn't recognize interracial marriage...
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:02 AM   #359
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Originally posted by anitram

I have very little faith that the US will be a beacon of progressive thought and freedom in this area anytime soon.

Neither do I.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:17 AM   #360
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Not everyone has the luxury of living in a state that provides these protections. There are no protections at the federal level, so you are left at the whims of your state's prejudices.



To me it's so clear that this is absolutely a civil rights issue. It reminds me of the reason the 14th Amendment was added to the constitution--specifically to protect African Americans from being left to the whims of each state's prejudice. (Granted it took another 100 years after the passage of the 14th Amendment to come to full fruition, but still . . .)

And Nathan, I'd like to commend you on your respectful even-handed tone. However, it's important to remember that the end of the day the outcome of these issues won't effect our lives one way or the other. On the other hand, Melon has to live with the consequences of these issues everyday, so I think he's entitled to get a little hot under the collar.
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