Search This Blog

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Marriage and a brief encounter with a friends ignorant sister

I have been in some kind of D vs. R, G vs. S, L vs. R with a friend and now his family is getting involved. His baby sister wrote a response directed at me and of course, I got fired up. Turns out me and my friend can look past these things in fact we can even see the other's point of view at times. But I don't want to drag the rest of his family into it. So, I am responding to her here in the name of decency and maturity. Although these issues do resonate within me deeply, I have always desired to be decent in conversations with adversaries and mature in times of great agony and anger.

Dear Liz,
The definition of Marriage is the unity of a man and a woman. Period. You cannot change definitions. Just because you want to completely switch a definition's meaning (eg. Amylase is the enzyme that breaks down starch. To: Catalase and amylase are the enzymes that break down starch.) will NOT make your new definition right. There is nobody stopping gay people from loving their partners. It is obvious and great that a woman can truly love another woman (and man a man), HOWEVER, they cannot share in the SACRAMENT (ever heard of that word?) of marriage. It is utilized and only celebrated by a man and woman and shall not be diluted by those of the same sex. Furthermore, marriage is solely based on religion, which is separate from government. Hereby you have no case.
Clint, Nice post. Love you much. Miss you tons! Still working on coming to visit - I got a job (bartending and catering at a high-end tavern on the river, it's a beautiful place) and am starting to save up! It might just be me now that the democrats are going to tax dad up the ass and he wont be able to send the whole fam. Hope you figure that heating system out!!
November 22, 2008 8:20 PM

First, Clint has told me awesome things about you. I (still)look forward to meeting you.
You say: "Furthermore, marriage is solely based on religion, which is separate from government. Hereby you have no case."
I ask: Read below, what do any of these benefits have to do with religion? These are all benefits bestowed upon a married couple by their government.

I cut and paste: The following material was provided by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. It is used by permission. The list below was compiled for a couple living in the United States. However, similar provisions exist in many other countries.
On the order of 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. Typically these are composed of about 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits. Among them are the rights to:
  • joint parenting;
  • joint adoption;
  • joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
  • status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
  • joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
  • dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
  • immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
  • inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
  • joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
  • inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
  • benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
  • spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
  • veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans;
  • joint filing of tax returns;
  • joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
  • wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
  • bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
  • decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
  • crime victims' recovery benefits;
  • loss of consortium tort benefits;
  • domestic violence protection orders;
  • judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;
  • and more....

Most of these legal and economic benefits cannot be privately arranged or contracted for. For example, absent a legal (or civil) marriage, there is no guaranteed joint responsibility to the partner and to third parties (including children) in such areas as child support, debts to creditors, taxes, etc. In addition, private employers and institutions often give other economic privileges and other benefits (special rates or memberships) only to married couples. And, of course, when people cannot marry, they are denied all the emotional and social benefits and responsibilities of marriage as well.

Me again: Also, why is this issue continually brought to the polls through ballot initiatives and legislative rulings? The issue is being decided through only governmental-avenues. This issue has everything to do with our legislative government. If the issue is "solely based on religion" I would think it be bothersome that Jews, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, etc. were allowed to vote on the topic.

And yes, I've heard of Sacrament. If that were the only benefit/celebration of marriage, I wouldn't even want it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

conservatism vs. liberalism and prop-8

I can admit, as the ripe age of 26, that finally I am feeling something. I am feeling something political. Something that has yet only grazed me, nicked me, or missed me entirely. Why have I waited so long? Well, I'm privledged. I have secluded myself to the wilderness for the last 4 years and have not been surrounded by people with serious opinions on the subject, until now.
Now, I'm stationed in Italy. Surrounded by a very interesting population of people. People that are studying this topic, following the economy, politics, etc. A good friend of mine (as close as you can get when your pool of friends is severely limited) is a staunch conservative. I like talking to him because I get fired up. So here we go.

He is a firm believer in old conservative values. He doesn't beleive that gays should be allowed to marry, or really even exist. This dumbfounds me most days, especially today. He wrote a blog about his opinions on the Obama election victory and the prop-8 victory. Most of the blog was about the "horrible loss" his "team" had suffered. He tried to explain that was because it was full of old white men. He liked Sarah Palin and all her new-ness, she was the new face of the republican party. It seems that he is not the only person who beleives this. Palin has been gracing the cover of magazines, talk shows, and news programs since November 5th. I agree the republican party could use a face-lift. However, I don't think the only thing the Democratic canidate had going for himself was a fresh-face. It had a ton of money. The same thing the supporters of prop-8 had. Both movements also had a very well designed dialogue and serious powers of persuasion. It's all psycology.

Enough about the young flamboyant republican. What about the fact that prop-8 did actually pass? Has human decency come to an all time-low? How is this any different than african-american marriages being unlawful, inter-racial couples? I am certain that this will not be the final attempt to allow homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals. In fact, I feel hopeful that I will see such rights granted in my life-time. But, right now we have an underground current of hatred (in both directions) that is shameful. I firmly believe that there will be no ill-effects on the heterosexual marriage if opportunity is granted for gays. What possibly could change? What is at the heart of marriage anyway? All this time I thought it was love. Now I realize it must not be. It must be something elite, something that is bought and contrived. If heterosexuals keep it for themselves, if its only for a certain few, than marraige is not what it purports to be. This is the way that many african americans felt when only whites could marry. This is the way inter-racial couples felt when they could not marry. I am not sure what they are afraid of. More people bonded by love? Or, are heterosexuals afraid of what happens when less people feel marginalized. It's always better for you if you know you are at the top and people can't have what you have. It ensures your power. That is psycology.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's New

I'm in Italy. Bologna, Italy. Here they call bologna Mortadella. It is more delicious here than the oscar meyer brand. I hope to keep you more updated here are some photos for now. Ciao!