Ohio’s Marriage Discrimination Amendment

Salon Magazine has an article on Ohio’s anti-marriage equality amendment, which will be on Nov. 3rds. The measure goes beyond simply disallowing same-sex marriage arrangements, and potentially invalidates all legal agreements between a same-sex couple, including child custody agreements, wills, and power of attorney. Ten other states — Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah — are also voting on amendments like this.

What’s most frightening is that churches are, illegally, actively involved in promoting this anti-gay amendment. Read especially the section of the article on gay professionals who are planning on moving out of the state if the amendment is passed. My family tends to react as though I’m crazy when I talk about moving to Canada, but I’m clearly not the only one.

While the first sentence simply decrees that marriage is between a man and a woman, the second says, “This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.”

Like many gay couples, Reeves and Mamlin have a whole raft of documents designed to “approximate” marriage, and they have no way of knowing which ones the courts will decide that Ohio can’t “recognize.” Will agreements that allow them to visit each other in the hospital still be valid? Will their wills?

Many of the amendments being voted on in November raise similar questions. Georgia’s, for example, strips courts of the ability to hear cases arising from same-sex partnerships. Lawyers say that could render even private contracts between couples — things like power of attorney and property-sharing agreements — unenforceable.

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Salon Article: Republicans Adjust Strategy to Target Gay Marriage

Because of the erosion of support from independents and from moderate Republicans, Salon reports that Karl Rove’s new strategy is to energize evangelical Christians for the election. His choice of tool: The anti-gay marriage amendment. so they’re coming after me, y’all.

The White House’s strategy for winning the votes of evangelicals has several components. It includes the faith-based initiative to spread public money to religious charities. And it includes controversial moves such as the recess judicial appointment of a fundamentalist Roman Catholic, William Pryor, to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals after Democrats had blocked his nomination. Pryor is the former Alabama attorney general and strongly antiabortion. (This conflict generated the bizarre spectacle of conservative Protestant Republicans attacking liberal Catholic Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for somehow discriminating against Pryor because he’s Catholic.) But the centerpiece of the Republican strategy is the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The amendment is the kind of wedge social issue that Republicans have exploited profitably in the past, and Rove appears to have made careful political calculations. Although the amendment has infuriated many — if not most — of the estimated 1 million gay Republicans who voted for Bush in 2000, the insult is not expected to significantly damage Bush at the polls. Gay Republicans are too scattered geographically to be a factor in the 19 battleground states, and they mostly live in East Coast and West Coast states that are likely to end up in Kerry’s column anyway. Moderate Republicans aren’t happy with the emphasis on this divisive social issue, but if they abandon Bush, it’s more likely to be over the conduct of the Iraq war and record budget deficits.

Whether the amendment will have its intended effect of spurring large numbers of evangelicals to the polls in key swing states is uncertain. The strategy “is smartly developed,” political scientist Green says. “But how well it’s going remains to be seen. It’s just not clear that it’s going to come together.”

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Massachusetts Performs First Legal Gay Marriages

Ahhh, love. Isn’t it grand? Have I mentioned recently that I expect my whole family to vote Democrat this year??

Via Reuters:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) – Two women were among the first gay couples to be legally married on Monday and hundreds more waited for their turn to make history as Massachusetts became the only U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage.

Marcia Kadish, 56, and Tanya McCloskey, 52, who have been partners for 18 years, were married by Cambridge City Clerk Margaret Drury shortly after 9 a.m. EDT.

“Now by the power vested in me by the state of Massachusetts as a justice of the peace, and most of all by the power of your own love, I now pronounce you married under the laws of Massachusetts,” Drury said. “You may seal this marriage with a kiss.” The couple embraced.

The election-year milestone, which is likely to fuel legal and political battles nationwide, made Kadish, a human resources employee, swoon. “I feel all tingly and wonderful. So much love, can’t you see it is just bursting out of me?”

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“We” The People

No Homos
No Homos

Bush calls for amendment to bar gay marriage
WASHINGTON – President Bush called yesterday for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, pushing an explosive cultural issue to the forefront of the 2004 presidential campaign.

In a brief announcement, Bush urged Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution “defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.”

The move followed actions in Massachusetts and San Francisco, where the mayor recently began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Massachusetts’ highest court ruled in November that same-sex couples have the same right as heterosexuals to marry and ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to them in May.

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Massachusetts Court: Gays have access to equal marriage rights

Wow, I spoke too soon; Democrats won’t be able to dodge this as a campaign issue no matter what. The Massachusetts Supreme Court just decided that civil unions were not enough and only full marriage rights for gay people would be acceptable under Massachusetts law, meaning that gay people may be able to get married there as early as May.

Which means that the religious right will begin pushing the U.S. Constitutional amendment to ban equal marriage rights for gay people into high gear starting today.

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Massachusetts strikes down ban on equal marriage rights for gay people

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the ban on equal marriage rights for gay people was unconstituational, but didn’t go so far as to grant marriage licenses to the gay couples who filed the suit. Instead, it sent the issue back to the Massachusetts legislature, who will have 180 days to remedy the inequality of the law. What will probably happen is what happened in Vermont; a civil union law will be created that guarantees the protections of a marriage, without having the same status as marriage. So basically, we get out own water fountains and bathrooms.

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Same-Sex Marriage

The biggest fallacy in this debate is the belief that gay men and lesbians aren’t able to get married right now. Not only are there thousands of married gay and lesbian couples, they’ve been getting married for decades.

There are several aspects to marriage; among them a legal aspect, a religious aspect, a social aspect, and a family aspect. But at the heart of all of these layers, there is the vow; the commitment that two people make to live in love, respect, and fidelity.

Gay men and lesbians have been making and keeping that vow faithfully for a long time. It is only recently that they have started to incorporate other aspects of marriage into that vow by including their communities and families in their commitment ceremonies. And there are at ten ministers here in Indianapolis that perform religious commitment ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples, and hundreds of local couples that have participated in those ceremonies.

In pursuing the right to have our marriages legally recognized, gay men and lesbians aren’t asking for a special right or consideration.

What we do want is to legally protect our unions in the same way heterosexual couples do; to have the benefit of wills and trusts, to be able to see our spouse in the hospital in an emergency. We want to protect our families from harm, as loving, caring people do.

No matter what happens in Hawaii, or how many laws banning same-sex unions get passed in different states, gay and lesbian marriage will not be prevented because it already exists, and will continue to. This issue will never disappear, and eventually common sense will prevail. The loving unions that we share will be recognized for what they are.

I have to object to an uneducated and extremely offensive quote from your article: “But others point out that marriage could encourage homosexual couples to build stable, mutually supportive lives.” This implies that we can’t or don’t do that now, and perpetuates the false stereotype that gay men and lesbians are more promiscuous than their heterosexual counterparts.

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