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New York State: The Tipping Point for Marriage Equality

Posted by Ungodly , in Proposition H8, Bible Values 27 June 2011 · 700 views

If You DonFor quite some time I've been expecting the struggle for equal rights by GLBTQ people to reach a tipping point. I believe that has happened now with the passage of equal rights for all couples this weekend in New York State. The bill survived and made it into law only because of the added support of a handful of Republican NY State Senators. They should be congratulated for going against their party line in order to vote their conscience. And it is this fact, the realization of how unfair it is to discriminate against gay couples, that has now soaked in to the public awareness and pervades discussions on the issue.

If the ultimate success of the struggle for equality was not assured before this past weekend, it is a steamroller rushing downhill now. People are aware that there is no logical basis to deny equal rights under the law. And apart from the Holy Roman Cash Corporation and the most right wing fundamentalist Christians even the religious community is increasingly lining up on the side of justice, tolerance and liberty.

One by one the public is becoming convinced that the old arguments against gay marriage do not hold up under even the most cursory examinations.

Let's review:
Homosexuality is unnatural - since homosexuality occurs widely in nature it ipso facto is natural
Children need a father and a mother - many children already do not have a mother and a father, and children raised by same sex couples do quite well
Sky Monster does not approve of homosexuality - even if Sky Monster did exist your religious beliefs would still have no bearing on other people's rights under the law
Gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage - In Massachusetts, the first US state to allow gay marriage, the divorce rate is now the lowest in the nation, there are no facts to back up this claim

Since gay marriage is a victimless non-crime, since it can not be shown to harm any person in any way, since social progress is an inevitable and irresistible force in the modern world, and since Jeebus-based bigotry is rapidly declining, the availability of equal marriage rights to all citizens in the United States is beyond any shadow of a doubt an absolute certainty. Now we are all free to choose between justice and bigotry, between equality and dogma, between the bright future and the dark past.

Thank you for supporting my civil rights.



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Flat Lander
Jul 25 2011 02:12 PM
I think you're right on this one. I get that feeling also, but I certainly don't want to let up on it. I sent the following letter to my US Senator (a Republican against repeal of DOMA) this letter over the weekend. We'll see what, if any response I get.

Dear Senator Johanns:

In an e-mail to a friend of mine you said you oppose any effort to repeal DOMA, and you said you "will defend the traditional definition of marriage." By this you no doubt mean exclusively "one man, one woman" marriage but this tradition is one of discrimination. We have had many different marriage traditions in western culture, and have kept some, while modifying or abandoning others. For example the Medieval Germanic tradition of marriage being a business transaction between a bride's father and a groom in which the groom agrees to "purchase" a wife by offering the "down payment" of a ring to the bride has been abandoned, while the tradition of giving a ring has been retained and modified into something significant, beautiful and more meaningful. I see from media pictures of you and your wife that you have participated in the tradition of sharing wedding rings, and I have no doubt this was done without any hint that you "purchased" her.

Some traditions in marriage are or were unacceptable and others wholly repugnant. Well into the Victorian era the laws favored the husband exclusively, and any property a woman brought into the marriage or any income she earned from work became the sole and exclusive property of her husband. Wives who objected to this arrangement could expect to benefit from another marriage tradition that was completely legal---corporal punishment---such as a spanking or a fist to the mouth. Laws were enacted to give married women the right to own property and benefit from their own labors. The corporal punishment tradition has lingered into the present and despite laws against "spousal abuse," old fashioned traditional "wife beating" has yet to be completely eradicated.

Also in "traditional marriage" in most states of this country (including Nebraska) many or most interracial marriages were illegal. The laws of Nebraska stated that it was illegal for a white person to marry anyone "possessed of one-eighth or more negro, Japanese or Chinese blood." (1913 Nebraska Laws, ch. 72, sec. 5302). These discriminatory laws were overwhelmingly popular and passed by wide margins in legislatures all across the country, often citing arguments nearly identical to those used in modern times to prohibit same sex marriage. But, we as a society ended this discriminatory marriage ban, and I'm sure you agree it was the right thing to do.

Your e-mail to my friend also states:

"Families are the foundation of our society, bringing stability to our communities, teaching values to our children, and creating a sense of belonging. I oppose any effort to use the government to undermine this most fundamental element of American society."

I don't understand how these statements apply to DOMA. How will allowing legally-married gay couples to file joint federal income taxes "undermine this most fundamental element of American society"? Can you explain to me what positive values are taught to our children by denying spouses of legally-married gay Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans access to VA spouse benefits? And, what sense of belonging do we create by requiring legally-married gay couples to pay taxes on employer-sponsored health coverage for a spouse?

DOMA does real and actual harm to legally-married gay couples in our country by denying them many of the rights, benefits and opportunities that you and I take for granted in our heterosexual marriages. Added financial burdens on gay couples create hardships for the children of these couples, despite a stated goal of most proponents of DOMA to foster stable family units. DOMA actually, today in well-documented cases decreases financial stability in some families. Decreased financial stability in a family is often harmful for the children.

Repeal of DOMA will not harm the financial stability of families headed by heterosexual couples, but it will help the financial stability of families headed by gay couples.

You were governor over a state whose motto is "Equality before the law." I realize DOMA is a federal law, but I can't understand how you, as a Nebraskan, can support a law whose primary effect is to create inequality.

I know you are very busy, and this is a somewhat lengthy letter and I am grateful you have taken the time to read it. But, because I cannot understand your position I ask that you answer my three questions just above and explain what negative consequences you foresee if DOMA is repealed.

Thank you.

Andrew D. Callahan
Hastings, NE 68901-3969



P.S. -- Someone once told me to always include the following information in every letter I sent to elected officials---I am a registered voter (Republican) and to the best of my knowledge I have voted in every general election and primary election I have had the opportunity to vote in for more than 30 years (except missing one primary election due to illness several years ago).

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