Wednesday, February 25, 2009

not equal

Its not a big secret I'm a proponent of rights for homosexuals. (Note my choice of word. When was the last time you heard that used in a positive sentence?)

Anyway, I'm pretty annoyed by the new NYT editorial. Does this strike anyone else as separate-but-equal? (and we all know how that turned out). Feministe has a nice write up on this here.

All I want is to pay the same taxes as everyone else and get the same benefits. I pay the same taxes. In fact, I pay more taxes. And I'd pay EVEN more if we were on the same insurance plan - when Princess Charming was covered under my plan, we payed $1177/yr in imputed Federal income tax (tax on the PC's portion of the plan my employer paid for as if it was my income) and some more to the state. This, after I submitted 3 documents proving our partnership to my employer (and let's not forget it is somewhat more difficult to get a mortgage than a marriage license, which is all I'd have needed if this wasn't an anti-gay-marriage state).

But I digress. I think the best and most democratic solution is civil unions for all (decent editorial) linked. All marriages should be considered civil unions under state and federal law. The separation of church and state (the theoretical one anyway) supports this civil union stance nicely. This would allow for all couples, gay and straight, to get the same benefits under the law. Those who wish for religious recognition of their union can get married in a church/temple/whathave you as well. (I'm sure it can be worked out for both to happen at once).

If we remember the big civil rights movement, we'll recall that Brown v the Board of Ed did not magically change the majority opinion. It was nearly 2 decades after that, in fact, that interracial marriage became legal - as mandated by the Supreme Court - nationwide. Clearly, it was some while before the "majority" vote agreed on full equal rights across the nation for non-white persons, and I would be hard pressed to believe anyone would disagree with this perspective today.

Also, I really don't understand why gay marriage is such a hot button issue in light of all the other issues in the world/country today. I don't grasp why the battle of the religious right isn't against divorce and the rising single mother/teen pregnancy rate, which have a much bigger impact on the supposed "traditional" family values (which, incidentally, devalue women and girls and enforce a very patriarchal structure) than 2-10% of the population being interested in marrying someone of the same gender.

and off my soapbox for today.


  1. I think it was after the 2004 election I remember hearing a news story about the gay marriage issue. I don't recall the whole gist of it (mostly because I'm awful at paying attention to the news, and hell, after the 2004 election I don't think I watched anything that wasn't the Daily Show), but I want to say the newscaster was discussing how this issue would be less and less a major one in the coming years. Views were changing, people were becoming more accepting. The "hot-button issue" that it was played out to be was the fault of your old-school WASP politicians and uber-reliable senior voters.

    I'm inclined to agree with you about the separate-but-equal feeling from this article. I never really understood what the big deal was but I won't get into that right now. However perhaps it is a step in the right direction and showing that this particular newscaster was correct. Things are shifting (however slowly) in the right direction.

    After all, our senior voters aren't going to be around for ever. And if Obama is any indication (not to mention the fact that race majorities will shift during our lifetime), those old-school politician dudes are going to have a hard time keeping power.

    I don't know. I'm not good at analyzing these things. I'm good at complaining though. :)

  2. You have a good point about the older voters Mike. The "acceptance" rates with younger voters is much higher. The racial shift though...depends. If you look at what happened in CA, the high-immigrant communities (primarily religious Latinos) voted overwhelming for Prop 8. Same for some of the highly black communities (though the dynamics of homosexuality in the black community is a whole arena in itself; the Down Low, the high prevalence of "normal" typography and all).