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« Happy birthday BOTR | Main | "It does go too far" »

Apr 26, 2012

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Patrick Eakes

As I understand it from at least one GOP insider, the elimination of these benefits and their associated costs is the real goal of this amendment.

Spag

It's only fair to mention that despite the Michigan amendment and a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, no same-sex or unmarried couples actually lost any benefits. Public institutions simply reworded their policies.

From your own link: "Government domestic partner benefits are a different matter, and the ability of local governments to continue offering them may depend on how the beneficiaries are defined.

Amendment supporters say cities and counties would be able to get around a new restriction by changing their policies to allow “third party” beneficiaries. Under this idea, relationships would be based on something other than a domestic partnership."

That's what they did in Michigan.

So just like the domestic violence nonsense, the horrors have ultimately failed to materialize.

Another swing, another miss.

cheripickr


from a close gay friend of mine:

"In Ohio it took 2 years for the domestic violence decision to move up through lower courts to their state Supreme Court and in the mean time 27 domestic violence protection decisions were overturned and other cases went unheard.

It has already been determined that municipalities that currently offer benefits to domestic partners will no longer be able to. Private companies? Probably okay, but we'll have to wait and see. Most companies with partner benefits ask for some proof of the extent of the relationship as a domestic union. They don't offer benefits to a house mate. Note the Amendment says marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal domestic union recognized IN this state, not BY the state. Custody? In some counties non-biological parents already have to fight to keep their children and lose custody or visitation if the biological parent dies. It depends on the opinion (and tolerance) of lower court judges. Gay couples spend large sums to have parental rights agreements drawn up, If you say you don't think grandparents who disagree with their child's relationship would use the Amendment as further ammunition in custody battles, you are fooling yourself. The same for medical decision rights.

It might all work out fine once these matters reach the higher appeals courts or the state supreme court, but in the mean time people will be hurt. And for what? Bigoted old men in NC government want one last hurrah before retirement and see their last chance to write discrimination into the State Constitution. Let's see what happens when a majority votes on the rights of a minority. "

Ed Cone

From the article, after years of litigation in Michigan, "But the attempt to work around the ban had limited effect. Michigan last year made it illegal for local governments to offer those benefits, though they are still available to Michigan state and public university employees."

Idaho, too.

So, maybe, after years of court cases, some families would find out they lost their benefits. Or maybe not. Why pass an amendment that promises such pain and uncertainty?

And, again, on a larger scale, why rule out civil unions in the first place.

It's a bad amendment, even if you oppose same-sex marriage.

sean coon

but expert spaghetti (I'm leaving that autocorrect in play) says otherwise... so there!

designation

@Patrick

There absolutely is a movement to take away benefits from same-sex couples.

As the article notes, it's active in Michigan and other states.

Here's the federal court case in Arizona:

http://jurist.org/paperchase/2011/09/federal-appeals-court-allows-arizona-same-sex-couples-insurance-benefits-temporarily.php

The NC amendment and its pernicous wording is indeed part of that ugly movement.

Spag

"Michigan last year made it illegal for local governments to offer those benefits...."

That was a SEPARATE law enacted AFTER the Amendment, not a result OF the Amendment.

It is also important to note that there is no Constitutional right or entitlement to benefits for ANYONE. That is actually a completely separate issue.

The FACTS are that NONE of the parade of horrors have come to fruition in ANY of the states that have passed amendments similar to Amendment One. All of the challenges ultimately failed so there is ample precedent for future courts to do the same.

At present, I am actually leaning towards voting against Amendment One for a number of complex reasons, none of which are based on the abject lies being spread and not because I believe there is a right to same-sex marriage or civil unions (I don't). But I have to confess that the lies and propaganda being spread are making me hesitate, because my opinion is based on a number of considerations related to the legal and socio-political ramifications of the outcome and I don't like what I'm seeing because it doesn't bode well for what I would like to see happen and how that is influencing my opinion.

If this is how opponents are going to act now, imagine how they would act if it fails. Their actions undermine my considerations substantially.

John Howard Furguson

Reflect, Sam. You are going to decide what's right or wrong on a matter of law based on your perceptions of the actions of some people with a certain position? That'll show 'em, eh?

Amending the constitution with the language proposed is either right or not. Sticking it to the lying hippie liberals should not be a consideration.

Spag

Nope. I told you my reasoning is complex and part of it is tied into future likelihoods, some of which depend on the political actions of the various sides involved. It has nothing to do with "right" or "wrong" because that isn't the model I'm working with.

James

How true:

It has nothing to do with "right" or "wrong" because that isn't the model I'm working with.
Patrick Eakes

Sam, do I understand correctly that you are calling the interpretations (that are different than your own) of several law professors abject lies? Or are you saying their opinions are being twisted into abject lies?

Spag

Patrick, I am saying that the definitive statements that are being made are lies. The legal opinions may not be lies, but I do believe they are far-fetched and that pretending otherwise is dishonest.

Steve, if the debate is reduced to what is right and what is wrong then the only way to resolve that is through the democratic process because there is no way to determine whose moral judgments are more valuable than others. It becomes a numbers game and right now the opponents of Amendment One lost that game.

Those who oppose same-sex marriage on moral grounds are no less entitled to their beliefs as those who favor it and claim that it is immoral or wrong not to allow same-sex marriage.

In fact it is the opponents of this Amendment who are the first to complain about the imposition of morality on others even as they argue that permitting same-sex marriage is the "right" thing to do. That is no less a moral pronouncement. Some concepts of what is "right" and "wrong" are rooted in religion; others are rooted in moral concepts of equality. All are subjective.

It is precisely because more people are likely to oppose same-sex marriage based on their belief about what is right and wrong than those who would favor it based on their belief about what is right and wrong that we are being treated to all of these rabbit chases.

The opponents of Amendment One lose the "right" vs. "wrong" debate in this state, so they try to frame the issue in other ways by deploying far-fetched legal theories and other tales of woe to change the subject.

I have avoided the "right" vs. "wrong" debate because of its subjective nature and quite frankly because I don't view the debate in those terms. I don't invoke biblical principles in favor of Amendment One, nor do I concede that there is a Constitutional right or notion of equality that demands opposition to Amendment One.

My opinion on the subject is rooted in more practical policy and legal considerations that at this time I don't believe have been fully addressed. Until such time as they are, I don't favor a radical change of the status quo. However, I do believe that the U.S. Supreme Court will tackle these issues in the near future and that will provide many of the answers as it will surely raise many of the questions that concern me.

If the Court holds that there is a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage, that changes everything. If they hold that there is no such right, then we are going to have to tackle the real nuts and bolts policy considerations of the issue and all of the logical consequences. We haven't really done that yet because so much of the argument is tied up in the concept of "rights".

I have also not made a decision on how I will vote on Amendment One at this time because of the interplay of all of these factors.

Spag

Did I say Steve? I meant James...

justcorbly

Is it too cynical of me to think that one motivation to take away insurance coverage is so private corporations can sell the stuff to the folks who have it yanked away from them? Has that happened in other states? Who's funding all this?

Steve Harrison

"Did I say Steve? I meant James..."

Just don't call either of us late for dinner.

Seriously, I'm very hungry right now, and I just spent twenty five minutes looking at various foods and rating them by the time it would take to fix each one, and they all failed. I could have cooked any one of them during that time, but instead I ordered a pizza, which will take another twenty five minutes to arrive.

This is what happens when a marriage fails.

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