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Charlotte_native

Gay Rights in America

126 posts in this topic

There! I'll start it :whistling:

After much discussion in the thread about the recent 2008 Presidential election regarding the CA vote to ban Gay Marriage, it seems there is plenty to discuss. Many think that the word 'marriage' itself isn't as important as the bundle of rights that come with a marriage, civil unions or some other form would be OK. Others believe that this is secondary rights and is not full equality.

I personally am fine with some form of rights, regardless of name, at least for now. Womens rights, minority rights, and other changes during our country's evolution have come slowly, so I expect no other for my full rights. That doesn't make me happy with the pace, or believe that this is how it should be, but I believe this is how it IS. From the days of Stonewall things have changed dramatically and looking back it seems much faster than it probably seemed as these changes occurred. I do believe in time, and honestly less than a decade, we'll have full rights -- but it won't be tomorrow or next year.

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I'll take one crack at it before I get run out of town wih pitchforks. Continuing my idea of "larriage" that I pitched in the election, is it solves a lot of issues, in my opinion. I guess I'm confused by why a separate word describing a separate dynamic is offensive.

Black people didn't request to be called Caucasian or anything that diminshes their identity, and they celebrate diversity. Jews don't get baptized, they hold a Bar/Bat Mitzah to indicate a significant step on their spiritual maturation. In Charlotte, we have Gay Bingo. Shouldn't it really just be "Community Center Bingo"? No, of course not.

The meaning of the word Red, doesn't include Green. Red isn't better than Green, Green isn't better than red. They are separate word that both decribe colors, but ultimately distinguish that there are differences.

The word marriage only carries the significance that it does because there isn't existing alternative that commands similar respect or uniform legal status. I agree the word "Civil Union" is because it sounds like a technical definition than a term of commitment. I know that just picking a word isn't cut and dry, and is a bit canned, which is why fighting for the rights, and letting the term/concept naturally evolve makes much more sense than demanding the right to use a term that traditionally has meant something else to 90% of the population.

I don't think its bigoted when gay rights groups march and say we're different but we want the same protection, for voters to say great, pick a word that's different and get the same protection.

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I just don't see the point on why a gay couple should be denied things like hospital visitations, inheritance, and other legal benefits a traditional marriage entitles. From my point of view legal rights of a marriage is what gays are asking for. If that is so, then how are these simple requests infringing upon the sanctity of marriage as seen by (edit) western societies (/edit)?

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From the other discussion...

The just use another word approach while well meant in some instances is condescending and non-productive.

I suppose the condescension is a matter of perception -- people who support gay civil unions don't seem to intend it as such -- but I don't see how it would be non-productive. In fact, it would seem very productive to endow gay relationships with the same legal rights and benefits as straight relationships. Semantics aside, it's a pretty important step toward legal equality.

IMO, symbolism needs to take a backseat to pragmatism. We are squarely in the middle of the most important period of gay-rights reform in our nation's history. What has happened in the past 10-20 years, and what is coming in the next 10-20, will create the legal context for all of these issues going forward into future generations. Pushing symbolic issues, which tend to be very divisive and confrontational regardless of whether they are worthy causes, is only going to create enough backlash to retard the long-term progress of civil rights. Court battles over semantics could lead to decisions which close the door to true progress; you have to pick your battles, and IMO the word "marriage" is not the right place to draw the line.

With a friendly government coming into power, the LGBT movement would be much better off solidifying equal rights for civil unions, adoptions, and so forth... so that the next generation has a sound legal framework for making the symbolic changes in due time.

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I will point out they tried Separate but Equal in regards to Blacks in this country for a long time and it didn't work. The basis for the need of Gays and Lesbians to have the existing marriage laws to cover their unions is to avoid exactly the same situation that Blacks faced for a long time. That is the law recognizes a demographic to be somehow different from the rest of society and thus has different rights than everyone else. (else the specific laws would not be needed) It's fine to celebrate diversity. We are a nation of diverse people. But it isn't fine to assign different civil laws to these various groups.

I understand and support the platform to not have a separate set of laws or designations to cover same sex unions. But as I mentioned in the other thread it also means that it will take a lot longer for it to become accepted and the law in the USA.

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IMO, symbolism needs to take a backseat to pragmatism. Court battles over semantics could lead to decisions which close the door to true progress; you have to pick your battles, and IMO the word "marriage" is not the right place to draw the line.

This sums up very well how I feel about this.

The rights that I seek are very important to me and is far more than just a theory or concept. I never met my partners father, they were estranged for years, but we received a call two years ago that he was dying and was in the hospital. He was not concious and was incoherent when my partner, his brother and his brothers new wife went to see him and spend about 2 hours with him. I spent those two hours in the parking lot because I wasn't family and I wasn't on his pre-written guest list. Neither was my partners brother's new wife, but she was his wife and was automatically let in. Joey and I have been together for almost 7 years and were 'married' in New York in 2004. I never met his dad before he died because my marriage doesn't mean as much as his brothers in the eyes of the current laws.

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I will comment more later on this subject, but my best friend from Winston-Salem was holding the rainbow flag on the wall outside the Mormon Temple. He's the one in the middle pic you can see on the link to the L.A. Times..

Gay Rights Protest

I'm so proud of what he's doing, I wish I could be out there with them..

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Why don't we fight to take away straight people's marriage and their rights. See how that feels for once.

The prevailing line of "call it something else and oh yeah to throw you a bone....we don't mind you being allowed to visit your "companion" in the hospital if he or she is sick"reeks of of second class citizenship. How magnanimous. Words matter. That's why the argument has been thrown out by state Supreme Courts. The tyranny, bigotry, and ignorance of the masses in CA violated the equal protection clause. So now there will be a long legal battle. Using the political process to impose a conservative christian theocracy on others goes against what this country is all about.

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I will point out they tried Separate but Equal in regards to Blacks in this country for a long time and it didn't work. The basis for the need of Gays and Lesbians to have the existing marriage laws to cover their unions is to avoid exactly the same situation that Blacks faced for a long time. That is the law recognizes a demographic to be somehow different from the rest of society and thus has different rights than everyone else. (else the specific laws would not be needed) It's fine to celebrate diversity. We are a nation of diverse people. But it isn't fine to assign different civil laws to these various groups.

I understand and support the platform to not have a separate set of laws or designations to cover same sex unions. But as I mentioned in the other thread it also means that it will take a lot longer for it to become accepted and the law in the USA.

I am personally embarrassed that members of my community, in our moment of triumph when we finally shattered that final racial barrier, decided to turn right around and deny other people their rights. I just don't understand it to be honest. One thing that is not often discussed is that while blacks tend to vote liberal, the church is the main focus within our community and as such results in a social conservative streak that runs very deep. There is also a lot of homophobia in the black community. Hispanics to a lesser extent also supported the ban. I always believed that minorities viewed themselves as having a common purpose and could identify with the cause of civil rights in the gay community. Perhaps I was naive in that assumption.

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If you could easily say gays can be civilly unionized and be sure that there would be absolutely no difference in laws and no difference in recognition, then fine. Go with it.

But you can't.

The fact is that just because one state says civil unions and marriage are the same, does not mean that any other states, or the federal government, will recognize that fact. Nothing will cause hospitals, insurance companies, employers, etc. to recognize that fact. Marriage is too intertwined a term to be easily given an alternative name.

So unless at a federal, constitutional level, there can be terms that very clearly state that whenever the term "marriage" is used, Civil Union is also to be used, you have no choice in that if you are going to make an "equal" term, that you are going to have to extract the term "Marriage". Ultimately, by denying "marriage" to gays, they are ultimately undermining the idea of marriage itself.

I stand by my assertion that while the amendment that a "marriage" is only between a man and a woman is pretty solid, I don't think the idea that the state or country can then use a concept that limits itself to straight couples is defendable. Thus, that is where the battle is ultimately going to end up.

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"Marriage" is not just symbolic. Separate is never equal. Using that line of reasoning means there was nothing wrong with racial segregation in the past. Unfortunately many people still can't wrap their minds around this equivalency.

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"Marriage" is not just symbolic. Separate is never equal. Using that line of reasoning means there was nothing wrong with racial segregation in the past. Unfortunately many people still can't wrap their minds around this equivalency.

For myself I do understand all of this. I personally believe that often fights are more easily won incrementally, bit by bit, until the ultimate goal is achieved. Right now there is an all out assault to try and 'save' marriage. Something that is far from being perfect, interestingly enough, but gays wanting these rights, and specifically this word, have given the theocratic conservatives a rallying point to herd their sheep. I personally would prefer gain the rights, then begin to edge more and more towards complete equality of that is what it takes. None of this means I don't agree with you, I do wholeheartedly, for me I think it is just a case of HOW rather than SHOULD.

In watching the news last night they showed protests all over CA and I think other parts of the country. Numerous celebrities are coming out daily to say they are disgusted by this recent vote on our rights. I hope this momentum continues -- if so maybe the vote in CA will be a blessing in disguise and the fight will get broader. It seems that many, gay and straight alike, finally see this is a real light - state laws and constitutions are being changed to take away or prevent a segment of the population from having full rights as a citizen. Nothing more, nothing less -- if it is your Biblical belief, fine, but that doesn't mean you can impose it on everyone else.

Final P.S. > if protecting marriage is so important, why allow divorce and remarrying? Why not protest the neon chapels in Vegas where your santimonious marriage can be presided over by an Elvis or a Cowboy preacher?

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As far as being willing to compromise on civil unions are whatever terminology one uses.. i I don't think it's going to go very far. The Republican Party is in turmoil on numerous fronts. Unfortunately, the phobic wing which runs the operation is not. They scored victories in CA, AZ, FL, and AR and will use this momentum to keep their issues central to the Republican message. I should also note that the FL amendment that passed bans gay marriage and civil unions. Gay adoption is already banned. No rights at all. You don't try to reason with these kinds of people. You have to beat them strategically.

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As much as I'm for civil protest, some of the vitrol and I'm hearing that some of the protesters, particularly those of that are white, are doing towards random bystanders and passerbyers that are black is just plain inappropriate. I've been reading the numerous blogs, particularly Pam Spaulding's "Pam's House Blend" blog, that are GLBT-oriented and how black people who are just seen on the street are being called the "n-word" and told "You people..." by protesters for no reason at all and even some the black protesters themselves are being called this. This type "us versus them" behavior will lead nowhere but making potential allies that are black into enemies because of this type of behavior.

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^ I agree. I am big fan of Pam's House Blend. I post there under "DilworthDem". Homophobia is an issue in the black church which is very conservative on social issues. Racism toward blacks by white gays is also a problem. Black gays are marginalized by many of their peers and are rendered invisible by white=gay image in the media, illustrated by the white leadership of the national gay groups. Attacking each other only makes the opposing side stronger. We all have a lot of work to do.

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I'm still floored that equal protection under the law, and basic civil rights of gay people are being put up to a public vote. This is pure insanity folks! Our country is supposedly a free country for all citizens, not just heterosexuals.

The very idea that my relationships can be "approved" or disapproved of, by a majority of voters, is utterly nuts.

If a woman is "offended" by gay marriage, it's pretty simple: all she has to do is not marry a woman. Same with a man:if he's offended, then he shouldn't marry another man. Is that so hard to figure out?

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I find it ironic that one specific group in California keeps insisting that "marriage" is between one man and one woman, yet it constantly finds itself embroiled in troubles where (their) marriages are discovered to be between one man and SEVERAL women.

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The ones who officially sanction polygamy are an offshoot group and not the main group from SLC. In order for Utah to become a state, the Mormons had to swear that off officially.

Probably off record, they just do whatever they want anyway.

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The ones who officially sanction polygamy are an offshoot group and not the main group from SLC. In order for Utah to become a state, the Mormons had to swear that off officially.

Probably off record, they just do whatever they want anyway.

So...they can do whatever they want regarding marriage and the generally accepted standards that surround it, but the rest of us can't. Hypocrisy is always so nice to watch.

Someone wrote in today's Charlotte Observer editorial section something that was very interesting. She obviously supports supressing the right for anyone to marry, but her observations on this sanctimonious marriage that everyone wants to save are interesting:

'We have only ourselves to blame for this assault against the traditional family. Divorce, adultery, premarital sex, abortion, contraception, pornography and the anti-life reproductive technologies have distorted the meaning of sex, marriage, and family'.

While I obviously don't agree with where she went with this, it is refreshing to see someone point out that marriage as it stands in 2008 ain't really something that is left on any pedestal.

What these folks just fail to grasp is that our country is not bound to their religious belief or any particular groups Bible or interpretation of it. They have no more right to tell anyone how to couple than I do. I also love how they frame the argument as an 'assualt' on something. My choosing to marry a man is somehow attacking their life -- in reality I guess they just need to get one (a life) and not worry about everyone elses.

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What these folks just fail to grasp is that our country is not bound to their religious belief or any particular groups Bible or interpretation of it. They have no more right to tell anyone how to couple than I do. I also love how they frame the argument as an 'assualt' on something. My choosing to marry a man is somehow attacking their life -- in reality I guess they just need to get one (a life) and not worry about everyone elses.

But many religious groups DO want this country and all the people of the world to be bound to their beliefs and their interpretations of their faith. The assault on something is simply someone standing up against their attempt to rule over their masses and their attempts to conquer more masses.

Then again, I see all organized religion as personal imprisonment - an enemy of freedom and free thought - and have strong personal bias against it.

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I'll take one crack at it before I get run out of town wih pitchforks. Continuing my idea of "larriage" that I pitched in the election, is it solves a lot of issues, in my opinion. I guess I'm confused by why a separate word describing a separate dynamic is offensive."

I assume that when you lived in Boston gay marriage did not have a negative effect on your own "straight" marriage? Somehow MA is managing to function quite well without having to name it something else. MA and Boston in particular was a stronghold of abolitionist sentiment. I would like to think the same common sense progressive thought regarding homosexuality will eventually spread nationwide. Of course it can never happen fast enough.

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But many religious groups DO want this country and all the people of the world to be bound to their beliefs and their interpretations of their faith.

Exactly. But they refuse to see their attempt to force their version on everyone as the same as another religion, lets say Islam in Tehran, forcing those that don't share their beliefs into submission. Forcing beliefs on anyone is contrary to the fundamentals of this country. Yet these will be the same people that will wave a flag and scream out loud about how patriotic they are at a political rally.

Bottom line -- take Bible out of the argument altogether and there is no reason not to allow any person to marry any other person that they choose provided they are both doing so of age, willfully, and with sound mind. Religion gives the term, history, and ceremony -- gov'ment sanctions and provides the 'contract'. As a citizen my government should provide me every right that they will provide any other citizen.

Interesting side note, we have a handful of Baptist churches here in Charlotte that not only saction and support Gay Marriage, they are vocal about it, public about it, and join in many public forums to show their support.

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Bottom line -- take Bible out of the argument altogether and there is no reason not to allow any person to marry any other person that they choose provided they are both doing so of age, willfully, and with sound mind. Religion gives the term, history, and ceremony -- gov'ment sanctions and provides the 'contract'. As a citizen my government should provide me every right that they will provide any other citizen.

I salute your post Charlotte native. This is so beautifully put. Anyone that has any questions about being "offended" by gay marriage should read this.

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As a Gay Jew I was happy to read this today @ Latimes.com

"While many religious organizations supported Proposition 8, there was one major exception in Los Angeles, according to exit polling by the Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. The center's data found that 78% of Jewish voters in L.A. opposed the ban on gay marriage and just 8% supported Prop. 8."

Of all people Jews should know that all minority rights need to be protected.

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I think Keith Oilbermann did a smashing job telling why Prop 8 stinks.

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