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Let’s fire it up a little
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, December 21, 2006

In New Jersey:
New Jersey's governor signed legislation Thursday giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage allowed under state law _ but not the title.

When the law goes into effect Feb. 19, New Jersey will become the third state offering civil unions to gay couples and the fifth allowing gay couples some version of marriage.
Works for me.
Gay couples welcomed the new law, but argue not calling it "marriage" creates a different, inferior institution. Even some same-sex couples who attended the bill signing remained lukewarm about the law.
My first reaction to this paragraph was to reject the claim that a civil union was inferior since, per the legislation, gay couples had "all the rights and responsibilities allowed under state law." But "state law" is the key.

Reading on:
They won't, however, be entitled to the same benefits as married couples in the eyes of the federal government because of 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Gay partners won't be able to collect deceased partners' Social Security benefits, for example, said family lawyer Felice T. Londa, who represents many same-sex couples.
Look, I'm a traditionalist when it comes to the term "marriage". So I'm conflicted about all of this. I believe the term marriage should be applied to union of a man and a woman. I've considered it. I've thought about it. Sorry ... that's my position.

However I have no problem with civil unions for gays. And for the most part I think the vast majority of gays would find the term acceptable as well if they were given equal legal rights and benefits as the partners in a traditional marriage.

I don't care who someone loves. I have no problem if they want to spend their lives together as a couple. I have no problem with legalizing their union through civil means and granting them the same legal rights and benefits among partners as those enjoyed in traditional marriage. Not a single, solitary right of mine is jeopardized or violated by their union or granting them the same legal rights.

So change the federal law. Or eliminate it and let the states hash it out. That would be the proper thing to do in my estimation.

However, if the fed won't change it, they could still define marriage as the union between a man and a woman, but add that civil unions, sanctioned by the various states, and between members of the same sex will carry equal legal benefits and rights. In terms of equal rights under the law, it seems a fitting and proper compromise.
 
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But I want to marry two women, not just one, and have the state give the same benefits afforded to one wife to both women. My love goes beyond just one person. Why stop at defining marriage or civil unions between two people? Why not more?
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
I agree with you 100%.

Nuclear - for me, the union must be between 2 consenting human adults. Other than that, I don’t care.
 
Written By: Monica
URL: http://
There was really nothing civil about my union, but I was married to a man.

The symantics are really unimportant. The pyschological benefits of being married are overstated in this debate. What is really important are the legal issues that gay couples face that straight ones don’t.

Here are the issues that need to be straigtend (no pun intended) out.

I think that (unioned?) gay couples should be able to pick up the others children from school, and that those children should not become wards of the state or unfamilier extended family members should their partner die.

I think they should be allowed to make the life and death decisions in catastropic health care situations like husbands and wives.

I think that health and life insurance befits should be the same for gay couples and hetero couples.

I think that gay couples should be able to inherit each others property in the same automatic ways that husbands and wives do.

I think all this should be easy and not require a lawyer to set up.

If you are in a civil union, you should file jointly and receive soc sec benefits should your partner die.



 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
I tend to agree with you here — I think the better solution would have been to get out of the marriage business altogether and call everything a civil union with respect to the state, and leave churches to marry people. But I understand that politics is the art of the possible.

The interesting question to me, though, is whether this actually weakens marriage more than gay marriage does. By conferring benefits and legitimizing unmarried homosexual couples, does the state unwittingly legitimize and sanction unmarried heterosexual couples? Where do you draw the line there? Can’t I also say that if I’ve been shacked up with someone for six years (just shy of common law marriage) and had kids with them that I should be entitled to survivorship benefits, etc?
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
But I want to marry two women, not just one, and have the state give the same benefits afforded to one wife to both women. My love goes beyond just one person. Why stop at defining marriage or civil unions between two people? Why not more?
Heh ... I guess it depends on how you define "civil union" doesn’t it? My guess is Monica’s definition would do quite nicely. But note that I did define "marriage" so I have no problem with a similar definition for "civil unions" which excludes multiple partners.

I’m not trying to be flip here, but having thought about this for quite some time I cannot, in good conscience, claim that only certain partners should be entitled to legal benefits while others should be excluded because some of us don’t agree with who they have chosen to live with.

Yeah, I know it leads to some very interesting and controversial places, doesn’t it? And no, it doesn’t mean I support Bubba marrying his sister or underaged children who can’t consent to sex being able to consent to marriage.

But still, it seems rather arbitrary to me in a land which proclaims equal protection under the law to then not provide equal protection under the law mostly because we don’t agree with who is living with whom. Isn’t the whole point (and power) of rights (even civil rights) their universal nature?

People should be free to live with whom they choose and legally leave their possessions and "benefits" to them whether you approve of their choice of partner or not. Recognition of civil unions would provide for that.

Again, I’m talking legal rights and benefits here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
People should be free to live with whom they choose and legally leave their possessions and "benefits" to them whether you approve of their choice of partner or not.
With the exception of SS benefits, gay couples are already free to do that.

I am surprised that nobody has come up with a cheap standardized contract which does the above.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"Bubba marrying his sister"

Not to be contrarian, but what is the justification for saying "no" here? Especially after sister has gone through menopause or is otherwise proved infertile. Yes, I know, "ick," but this strikes me as somewhat important stuff, and no more ludicrous than gay marriage probably seemed 40 years ago.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
It’s illegal for a straight person to marry more than one partner and it’s illegal for a gay person to marry more than one partner.

It’s illegal for a straight person to marry a sibling and it’s illegal for a gay person to marry a sibling.

It’s illegal for a straight person to marry an animal and it’s illegal for a gay person to marry an animal.

But while it’s legal for a heterosexual to marry the consenting adult that he or she loves and wants to create a home with, it’s illegal for a gay person to do that.

There’s no slippery slope here. It’s basic fairness.
 
Written By: Mike from Hoboken
URL: http://
But while it’s legal for a heterosexual to marry the consenting adult...
Based on the logical reasoning in what you wrote, you should also state the following:

"It’s illegal for a straight person to marry someone of the same gender, and it’s illegal for a gay person to marry someone of the same gender."

The current law is applied equally to everyone. You need to re-work your statements if you want them to be meaningful to your point.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
This is the program that probably would have been incrementally achieved if Gavin Newsome hadn’t pulled that crap in SF and jerked the ’right’ into foaming at the mouth stage. If they had settled for what they presumably wanted, equal protection under the law, instead of establishing an inflammatory position by insisting on calling it marriage this would have been easier on everyone.
But I want to marry two women, not just one, and have the state give the same benefits afforded to one wife to both women. My love goes beyond just one person. Why stop at defining marriage or civil unions between two people? Why not more?
I don’t see how civil unions extending legal rights to a chosen partner equate to changing the principles of how many people constitute a legal ’couple’, unless you want to dispute the use and meaning of the word ’couple’.
What is so wrong about letting these people legally establish who can inherit their property, or who can make decisions for them if they are incapacitated and cannot do so for themselves?

In any event, ’marriage’ is A man and A woman by current definition, which is not what NJ has altered here.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Look, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the term "marriage".
So am I.
Although I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the term "paddy wagon",

There was once a time when "paddy wagon" was only meant to refer to horse drawn wagons hauling away unruly drunken Irishmen. Now, it has been adopted by "progressives" to mean any sort of vehicle for the purposes of containing multiple offenders of any ethnicity for any variety of criminal behavior.

Sad, really. What is this country coming to?

I am in no way against vehicles being used for this purpose. There really is no reason to not have vehicles for this purpose.
I just object to them being called "paddy wagons". Call them anything else but.

Call them "Civil disobedience hoopties". Call them "smasher sedans".
Anything but "paddy wagon".

Forget the fact that they are for all practical purposes the same damn thing. Forget the fact that it would be uniform and inclusive to call these sorts of vehicles "paddy wagons".
It’s just not the same thing. So stop doing it.

Oh, and by the by,
"You attract more flies with honey..."

Total and complete bullsh*t.
Honey does not attract flies. Try it if you don’t believe me.

So stop that as well.

You kids and your damn new fangled "terminology".

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com
Personally, I am for civil unions for all, and the state getting out of the marriage business. If not this, then allow gay marriage. I also cannot see any reason why polygamy should be illegal - not only is it consenting adults, but there is the religious component as well in Islam and various Mormon sects.

The best argument against gay marriage would be argue that the state and society felt there is some advantage to only have men and women marry, much like we offer mortgage interest deduction because we feel home ownership is to be value more than renting.

I think 90% of the issue with gay marriage is both sides have an activist component that want to use the state’s authority to pummel their opponent one way or the other.

Also, a quick question about social security...right now is it set up so that any survivor gets the benefits (after so many years of marriage) or just women?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
So am I.
Although I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the term "paddy wagon",
Pogue, BUI or a v*codin high?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Honey does not attract flies.
Are you calling Ben Franklin a liar?

But seriously, it depends on the type of "fly". Fruit flies prefer vinegar, but houseflies will prefer the honey.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
so I have no problem with a similar definition for "civil unions" which excludes multiple partners.
McQ - you are not using your same logic for multiple partners. Where does one man marrying three willing adult women (or other men for that matter) contradict this thought from your original post?
a single, solitary right of mine is jeopardized or violated by their union or granting them the same legal rights.
C’mon - let’s have some consistency. If we let gays marry or unionize, then all consenting adults should be able to marry or unionize, no matter the number, gender, or relationship. And yes, it is a slippery slope.
 
Written By: BPL
URL: http://
McQ - you are not using your same logic for multiple partners. Where does one man marrying three willing adult women (or other men for that matter) contradict this thought from your original post?
I’m using precisely the same logic from when I said that marriage is defined exclusively to be a man and a woman.
C’mon - let’s have some consistency. If we let gays marry or unionize, then all consenting adults should be able to marry or unionize, no matter the number, gender, or relationship. And yes, it is a slippery slope.
Again, I see nothing inconsistent with my point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So, McQ, what is the policy reason why unions cannot be more than two consenting adults? All unions (of the labor kind) comprise multiple people. They come together for a common purpose to derive a common benefit.

For full disclosure, I am against redefining marriage. I would just like to know what rationale is used for justifying gay marriage (or a civil union of a same gender couple) that cannot also be used to justify a more-than-two people union?
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Look its real simple, Lets not change the definition of marriage which is after all a tradition of several millennium which is loved and respected by millions.
But you must give all the same RIGHTS to gay couples, just don’t officially call it marriage, because that would constitute the tyranny of a minority over the majority.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
For full disclosure, I am against redefining marriage. I would just like to know what rationale is used for justifying gay marriage (or a civil union of a same gender couple) that cannot also be used to justify a more-than-two people union?
The same reasoning that can be used to define marriage as a man and a woman (two) is used to define a civil union as a union between two consenting adults. Look, this isn’t rocket science ... if we can define one, we can define the other.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ , what is that reasoning? Why just two? Why not more? I don’t know how I can ask any more simple than that.

You stated: "People should be free to live with whom they choose and legally leave their possessions and "benefits" to them whether you approve of their choice of partner or not."

Why not 3 consenting adults? Why not 8 consenting adults, four of which are within 3 degrees of consanguinity?
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
McQ , what is that reasoning? Why just two? Why not more? I don’t know how I can ask any more simple than that.
And I’ve answered it just as simply. Because, as we’ve defined marriage as the union between TWO - a man and a woman - we can also define civil union as a union between TWO - consenting adults.

What part of that don’t you understand?

Now if you want to make an argument for extending that, do so. But don’t pretend that it is illogical to limit the definition of a particular institution when you agree that marriage should be defined as I have it defined above.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Again, why should marriage/civil unions be between two people? It’s not enough for gay marriage advocates to say "just b/c that’s what is has been for many years."

I just said "I am against redefining marriage." Where does:
"But don’t pretend that it is illogical to limit the definition of a particular institution when you agree that marriage should be defined as I have it defined above."
come from?

Actually, never mind that. Let’s stay focused. Forget about me. Image a person comes to you from Neptune and says, "Why do you limit marriage to two people?" Your answer is...
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Again, why should marriage/civil unions be between two people?
Good grief. Because that is how marriage is defined and gays are asking for the same LEGAL benefits in a similar union (as a couple) as those who are married get.
Why do you limit marriage to two people?" Your answer is...
See the post for heaven sake.
Look, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the term "marriage". So I’m conflicted about all of this. I believe the term marriage should be applied to union of a man and a woman. I’ve considered it. I’ve thought about it. Sorry ... that’s my position.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
WHY THE FREAK SHOULD THE TERM MARRIAGE BE APPLIED TO A UNION OF A MAN AND A WOMAN! WHY IS THAT YOUR "POSITION"?

YOU SAID YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT. There must be some reason. Perhaps it is because you think allowing multiple people to marry would cause society to collapse? Perhaps you think that having multiple partners somehow affects your marriage? There must be some reason.

Again, WHY THE FREAK SHOULD THE TERM MARRIAGE BE APPLIED TO A UNION OF A MAN AND A WOMAN!

McQ, I love your posts and all, but this is getting a little tiring.

Anyway, no hard feelings. Merry Christmas!
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
WHY THE FREAK SHOULD THE TERM MARRIAGE BE APPLIED TO A UNION OF A MAN AND A WOMAN! WHY IS THAT YOUR "POSITION"?

YOU SAID YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT. There must be some reason.
Yes, there is. And I stated it in the post: t-r-a-d-i-t-i-o-n.

Tell me when, in that tradition, it has ever been anything other than an man and a woman.
McQ, I love your posts and all, but this is getting a little tiring.

Anyway, no hard feelings. Merry Christmas!
Seems we’re in a loop. Same here ... Merry Christmas.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Thank you. Okay, so it’s "tradition." I was looking for something other than tradition. Tradition is not a good reason for most people, especially for secular progressives (SPs). Yes, most traditions are good, but some traditions throughout history are not. SPs will point out slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, etc. as examples of traditions that were not good. Limiting marriages to a couple is a great tradition but tradition as a rationale just doesn’t cut it very well in modern day politics and the society at large, especially since tradition is taking a beating everywhere.

I suppose I am also looking for other rationales so I could explain myself clearly if someone asked me why I believe marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. If I can’t, then all kinds of unions seem to be justifiable. I haven’t yet heard a good rationale for allowing gay marriage but still restricting marriage to two people.
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Tell me when, in that tradition, it has ever been anything other than an man and a woman
Much of ancient history included families (up to 5-15%) that were polygamist. Of course, a man had to be wealthy to pay the dowries and it is mathematically impossible for every man to have multiple wives, unless the male population was ravaged in a war or male-only plague:) The Old Testament is filled with many prophets and kings that had multiple wives, Abraham, Isaac?, Jacob, David, Solomon, etc. Polygamy is accepted in some cultures today, just not western culture. I’m ignorant to the fact whether Islamic societies currently practice it, but I understand that it is not taboo. The prophet Mohammed had multiple wives.

So, marriage being defined between a man and a woman is traditional with respect to Western Christian culture after the New Testament period. Traditions change unless there is a really good reason to keep them.
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://

 
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