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let the i dos have it
gay marriage: both lovely and lawful
by heather m. millen
2.25.04
news


Generally, I'm not a big Valentine's Day fan. Even when I'm dating someone, I don't really feel the need to express my feelings on a prepackaged holiday complete with cutesy-wootsy teddy bears or nausea-inducing Hallmark moments. The day, in and of itself, is a sham. Anything that a significant other can do on Valentine's Day means just a little bit more on about any other day of the year. But for same-sex couples in San Francisco this year, the day offered something more worthwhile than "Bee Mine" spelled out in little candy hearts.

As I'm sure you all know by now, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom last week decided to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses igniting a weeklong parade of same sex marriages. Some 3,000 same sex couples have since taken their "I dos" in front of the SF Courthouse and the onlooking world. I bet it was something to see: "I now pronounce you husband and husband." "You may kiss the bride. The other bride."

Gay activists are elated. Conservatives are outraged. State Governator Arnold Schwarznegger has insisted on a halt to the marriages. And there's just a general whole lot of to-do about the whole affair. I haven't seen this kind of commotion since, well, Janet's boob.

So, I only have one question: WHY?! Why does it matter? Two people are walking up the steps of the San Francisco courthouse and pronouncing their love for one another. They're making a lifetime commitment, a sacred vow. Where in the book of love does it say that one unit must be two parts breasts and one part penis? Does it matter? Some of these couples have already been together for decades. Not to mention that many spent hours in the rain just to make it legal. Heck, they've proven their commitment to me. And that's something that most heterosexual couples fail to do. If going through the symbolic right of marriage makes them happy, then by all means, why should we stop them?

Opponents are crying that it's a mockery of the institution. An institution that lets people like me and Britney Spears get hitched in Vegas because it sounded like a nifty thing to do? An institution that allowed the disgusting alliance of Liza Minelli to that wax figure of a groom? Not to mention her 15 other husbands. We're talking about an institution that has a mere 50% success rate. I think Dick and Sue have already done their part in mocking it enough, let's give Harry and Joe a shot. What is there to lose?

Conservatives seem pretty damn hell-bent on making sure that gay marriages do not occur. You'd think heterosexual couples had the golden ticket for chrissakes. Marriage ain't no pot of gold. What are you protecting? And don't give me that Adam and Eve mumbo jumbo. Hell, even they fucked it up. The fact of the matter is that the contract of marriage comes with many responsibilities. Those who solemnly choose to accept that should receive the benefits as well.

"Forasmuch as these two persons have come hither to be made one in this holy estate, if there be any present who finds any just cause why they may not be joined in the sanctity of marriage, please just shut the hell up and mind your own business..."

Marriage is many different things to many different people. There are some people who enter into contract marriage primarily for financial gain. If that's not making a mockery of marriage, I don't know what is. Marriage is a legal contract, a religious union and a social indicator. The legality of it is really just a small part of the overall package. So, make it legal and let each couple make their own decisions. Let each church make its own judgment. Hey, what happened to the separation of church and state anyway?

In two separate cases, conservatives have filed lawsuits in a bid to stop the same-sex wedding spree in San Francisco. But in both instances, the judges found that there was no just evidence that the same-sex weddings would cause irreparable harm. And so, the parade continues.

Will this be stopped? Yes. And it should be... at least the way that it's being run now. As admirable as it is, I highly question the legality of Mayor Newsom's decision to allow the issuance of these marriage licenses. But if nothing else, two United States court judges have essentially said that they see no harm in gay marriages. And the event has also given the gay community an opportunity to display their intense desire to have this right.

No matter what your personal views on marriage are, I truly don't understand the notion to stop anyone from having that opportunity. Marriage isn't for everyone. Half the people that enter into it are going to falter. But that's a personal decision that each individual should get to make. I know that when I find someone that I truly love, I can't wait to have my day to pronounce in front of him and the world that I choose to be with this one man. I'd like to think that if I were choosing a woman, I'd have the same opportunity.

So I must admit, for a holiday that I find pretty damn hard not to be cheesy about, I'm rather happy for the couples that got to celebrate it by finally making their commitment nationally recognized. Even if the validity of that little piece of paper expires tomorrow, those people have made an indelible mark in their life, as well as history. And I truly believe that it will only be a matter of time before this isn't just some freak affair that took place in that crazy little city by the bay, but a precursor for things to come.


ABOUT HEATHER M. MILLEN

Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.

more about heather m. millen

IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...

call me mary sunshine
lookin' for a little good news
by heather m. millen
topic: news
published: 3.28.03





COMMENTS

matt morin
2.25.04 @ 2:10a

"There is no more important issue for our nation than the preservation of the institution of marriage," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Texas-based Free Market Foundation, a family advocacy group.

Um...how about unemployment, the environment, the escalating number of children living in poverty, AIDS, and a war we entered into under false premises?

People need to get a grip.

I also love how our President constantly talks about how he trusts the people of America...except when it goes counter to his far right wing beliefs and political viability. Then he wants to fuck with the constitution instead.

juli mccarthy
2.25.04 @ 2:16a

I am just amazed that most of America doesn't seem to realize that this proposed amendment is specifically designed to ensure that some of our citizens will be denied rights that everyone else takes for granted. Gosh, I sure hope Bush's next target isn't black people, or Jews...

sarah ficke
2.25.04 @ 7:53a

I think the judges in Massachusetts put the situation very eloquently: "separate is seldom, if ever, equal".

And thank you for bringing up the separation of church and state, Heather. I'm amazed how few people seem to realize that the minute you advocate protecting marriage as a religious institution, it breaks constitutional law.

trey askew
2.25.04 @ 9:50a

Constitutional law for how long though? Not long if Bush has his way. I think something like this, which really is not an earth shattering change to the Republic should matter that much.

Of course I'm pretty devoid of any religious convictions (discounting college basketball and football).

jael mchenry
2.25.04 @ 10:08a

Jon Stewart pointed out last night that this would be only the second amendment to limit, rather than extend, people's rights. Naturally, the other one was Prohibition.

tracey kelley
2.25.04 @ 10:25a

What strikes me as funny is that common law marriage is recognized and accepted in many states. In some situations, 7 years is all it takes to get recognized as the legal, common law partner, with access to most benefits and courtesies. Yet no one gets all pissy about the "definition" of marriage in those situations.

adam kraemer
2.25.04 @ 11:27a

Does anyone know the odds of the amendment passing? Anyone paying attention to the numbers? I'm curious.

erik myers
2.25.04 @ 12:00p

It really depends on who you talk to. It's a lot of work to amend the constitution, so part of me thinks that a lot of this is grandstanding that wouldn't really be going on were it not an election year.

I think the chances of getting a solid chunk of people to agree on this in the same direction is pretty much nil.

matt morin
2.25.04 @ 12:41p

What all the lawmakers seem to be forgetting is that marriage (usually) has two sides: The religious side and the legal side.

The religious side can define marriage however they want. The church has never been one not to discriminate or make ridiculously out of touch mandates.

But the legal side should be different. Legally, the US has a duty to not discriminate. As people here in SF have pointed out many times, telling someone you can't enjoy the same legal and civil rights as married people is almost exactly the same as telling black people they can't enjoy the same legal and civil rights as white people.

Really, how is it different?

Of the many, many problems I have with all this, the biggest one is that Bush is fighting for the constitutional ammendment based on the religious side of marriage and not the legal part. And yes, that violates the separation between church and state. (Not that that's stopped Bush before.)

Whatever happened to Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

erik myers
2.25.04 @ 1:05p

Jesus, Matt. What America have you been living in?

When has our government every been seperated from Christianity?

Have you noticed that it says, "In God We Trust" on all of our money? Have you noticed that Presidents are sworn in with the oath, "I will do all this, so help me God?" Have you noticed how many times a government official has said, "God bless America?"

Oy. Come on. We're a Christian nation, no matter how much we don't want to admit it.

Anyway, the difference between this issue and the civil rights issues of the 50's and 60's is that this is a faith-based religious issue rather than a racial one. (And it's not like race relations have been *smooth* since the 50's, either, so don't start there.) The discrimination is not easy to pin down beacuse people with conservative moral beliefs feel that they're being impinged upon just as much as some gays feel they are by having marriage refused to them.

The problem is that you can't argue with faith. Faith is not based on proof, so even if you prove to people that, logically, there's nothing wrong with gays getting married, they will believe otherwise because that is what their faith tells them.

And the problem on top of that is that, as you said, it's not being recognized as a purely civil issue, which it is, no matter how you cut it. As long as we have people in office with strong religious beliefs they will be using those beliefs to make decisions -- there's no way around it.

All I can say is don't vote for Nader, this time.

juli mccarthy
2.25.04 @ 1:17p

I get the religious angle. I understand why religious people have a problem with homosexuality. I don't AGREE with them, but hey, they're entitled to believe what they want. What I don't understand at all is why they feel a need to take this particular belief and insist that it be applied to all people.

Even given the Judeo-Christian principles of this country, this doesn't make any sense. Yes, our country was founded on those principles, right or wrong, but even WITHIN those principles are phrases like "all men are created equal" and "shall not discriminate on the basis of religion". Hi, what's the problem here? You got a faith-based objection to this, but you believe that a deity will sort it all out in the end anyway, so why even BOTHER making this an issue?

[edited]

justin bieber
2.25.04 @ 1:26p

Does George Bush believe that people are getting same-sex marriages to corrupt our perfect society and morals? Well, wake-up call to a delusional man who fabricated a war to spend billions of our hard earned tax dollars. Its biological and people do it to be happy, which is the whole point we are here isn't it? There are Some great postings on here.

jeffrey walker
2.25.04 @ 1:30p

Note; constitutional amendment take 3/4 of the states to agree with it for ratification. That's 38 states. And when I look at the large number of conservative states to the South and middle part of the nation, I'm not sure it couldn't go.

I was just listening to Rush discuss this issue as an "assault on our society by the left." Which is stupid inasmuch as the left is as much a part of society as the right is; the conservatives do not have a monopoly of the society.

And Erik, not voting for Nader won't help resolve this issue at all. Edwards and/or Kerry aren't going to do shit to help gays. At least Bush is forward about wanting to stop them. Kerry and Edwards will just ignore the issue, leaving gay couples in the cold. Neither have the balls to say that gay marriage should be allowed. Neither will do anything to help. They'll stand by with their thumbs in their asses. They would have done nothing following 9/11, either. At least Bush got 1 out of 2 right.

I don't know Nader's policy on gay marriage, but the regular old democrats won't do anything to help this issue. So not voting for Bush and thinking you're doing anything to help gay rights is a lie your telling yourself. Maybe one day we'll get a candidate who really cares about gay rights(but I doubt it).

adam kraemer
2.25.04 @ 2:23p

Still and all, I'd rather vote for a moderate Democrat who won't touch the issue than a conservative Republican who's petitioning Congress to make it the law of the land.

Oh, and Matt, the pursuit of happiness just means that people have the right to attempt to be happy. It doesn't say anything about the government having to allow them to be. If it made me happy to eat babies, I'm fairly sure you'd still support a law that doesn't allow me to do so.

I'm not arguing against gay unions; I think that they should be allowed. I'm just saying that the goverment doesn't owe anyone happiness. Just the ability to pursue it.

matt morin
2.25.04 @ 2:26p

I agree the odds of Edwards or Kerry helping gay rights is somewhat low. But at least they won't hurt them either - like Bush is sure to do.

Plus, baby steps are still steps. Both Edwards and Kerry are for civil unions (or at least they're for letting individual states decide). That's something that's on the right track, if not completely there.

Justin, here's Bush's quote: "Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society."

So yes, he does think this will corrupt our perfect morals. He also had a quote about marriage being a sacred "human institution." Which makes me think he views homosexuals as less than human.

adam kraemer
2.25.04 @ 2:28p

No, they're human. As long as they stay in the closet and marry members of the opposite sex.

erik myers
2.25.04 @ 2:36p

I was being flippant about Nader.

I actually think that Bush pushing for a constitutional amendment is a good thing -- not that the amendment is a good thing, mind you.

But, it brings the issue to the forefront and makes a lot of people deal with the issue that would be just as likely to ignore that there's an issue at all. By that same token, I think that, as they discovered in MA when they thought they'd seal up a constitutional amendment overnight, that it will become a much more heated topic than they originally thought.

I just hope Cheney's daughter comes out as an activist against her father. That'd be awesome.

jael mchenry
2.25.04 @ 2:37p

We're a Christian nation, fine; but I'm a Christian, and I'm fine with the gay marriage thing, so what difference does that make?


"In God We Trust" on the money doesn't matter. It's a shell, a sop. The institutions and acts practiced by members of the society are what matters. And in that way I think separation of church and state is being violated here in a way it hasn't lately. Hey, if we can keep the 10 Commandments out of an Alabama courthouse, why can't we keep them out of the Constitution?

adam kraemer
2.25.04 @ 2:39p

I think I'm going to call for a Constitutional amendment banning the coveting of one's neighbor's wife.

robert melos
2.25.04 @ 4:57p

Okay weighing in as a gay man, I'm not totally concerned about marriage rights. Yes, I would like to have the option should I ever meet a man I would be willing to live with for the rest of my life, but it isn't that pressing of an issue for me. However, what I fear is the short step from denial of the right to marry to denial of the right to own property, or work, or pretty much exist.

John Ashcroft had suggested "Detainment" camps for homosexuals back in 1999. Of course his suggestion was seen as ludicrous. He suggested homosexuals were "unAmerican" or a potential threat to national security, as he saw it back then. This man and others like him are running the country.

I know it sounds like something that is impossible to imagine happening, but considering the events of the past few years, are "detainment" camps for those considered to be "unAmerican" really that far fetched? After the events of 9/11 conservatives were claiming anyone who questioned the actions of the President or criticized him were "unAmerican".

I doubt it will come to this drastic of a step, but I don't trust that it won't either. When a President wants to stop "Activist Judges" from sticking to the letter of the law as they interpret it, because their interpretation doesn't fall in line with his way of thinking, we are teetering on the brink of ugly.

Kerry and Edwards aren't ideal from a gay perspective, but they are better than the alternative.


[edited]

erik myers
2.25.04 @ 5:03p

But Jael, you're a reasonable Christian who respects the views and beliefs of others. Many others are not.

Myself, I think if the gay marriage amendment makes it we should just as easily outlaw divorce, since that ruins the sanctity of marriage.


adam kraemer
2.25.04 @ 5:08p

I think for me it's just that I don't think that banning gay marriage is going to encourage more hetero unions. Nor is it going to dissuade homosexuals from having relationships. All this does is tell them that no matter how much two men (or women) may love each other, they have no legal standing as a couple.
It's not like there are a million gay men out there who are going to say, "Well, Steve, we can't get married now. I guess I'd better find a woman to marry and have pleasureless sex with in order to perpetuate the species."

jael mchenry
2.25.04 @ 5:10p

Erik -- so the issue is not religion. It's not a religious issue. It's an intolerence issue. People who are hiding behind religion saying "My faith says I disapprove" aren't being faithful, they're being intolerant.

Just my two cents.

Saying that gay marriage threatens marriage is laughable. As I've said before, if gay husbands and wives don't respect marriage MORE than straight ones, at least they couldn't possibly respect it less.

erik myers
2.25.04 @ 6:35p

I couldn't agree with you more. It is, completely, an intolerance issue.

The fact is, though, religion is the thing they're hiding behind.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not condemning religion. I'm condemning its use as an indicator of what to do in this situation. It just simply doesn't belong.

I mean, let's face it. Regardless of whether or not gays can get married in the eyes of the law, they won't be able to get married in, say, a Catholic church.

So, my general question is.. what's the big deal?

--

Today on the radio, I heard a caller say that the reason that he thought gays shouldn't be able to marry is because he was looking forward to walking his daughter down the aisle someday and he didn't want that tradition ruined.

I just don't understand this correlation. Can somebody please explain it to me?

heather millen
2.25.04 @ 7:27p

Either do I. Letting gays have the same right to enjoy the traditional wedding ceremony is NOT going to ruin it for his daughter. What if his daughter grows up and chooses another woman? Wouldn't he still want to be able to give her away to the individual she loves?

A wedding, as well as a marriage, is a joyous occasion that each individual should get to have and to share with their families and loved ones.

robert melos
2.25.04 @ 11:16p

Another part of the problem is that many people, whether or not they hide behind religious reasons, also do not believe being gay is a result of DNA. Many people still feel it is a choice of "lifestyle."

They also believe homosexuality is something to be cured, and can be cured through drug or in extreme cases electro-schock therapy. We can't change people's minds or educate them in one lifetime.

juli mccarthy
2.26.04 @ 1:03a

Doesn't matter what the "cause" is, Bobby. If it is proven to be genetic, don't you think some right-winger will then suggest that the simplest solution to the "homosexual problem" would be to start fucking with the DNA?

I think we oughta get some scientists to see if they can find the stupid bastard gene. Stupid bastards are a much bigger threat than homosexuals.

tim lockwood
2.26.04 @ 3:00a

If I were a lawyer arguing before the Supreme Court, one of the challenges I would be sure to issue the justices is for them to define exactly what are the compelling interests the state would have in denying gay marriages, or in allowing them.

I mean, let's think about it. What would be the downside to allowing gay marriages? What would be the benefits?

Financially, it could be perceived as beneficial. People who are married typically buy houses and the attendant trappings (furniture, minivans/SUVs, etc.) that go along with it. More tax money in the coffers for the state.

Then there's the social issue of raising families. There are plenty of children who are either orphaned or given up for adoption. Since the biology of gay marriage prevents a natural occurrence of childbirth in wedlock, there will be more opportunities for these children to be adopted.

Ummm, what else? I'm really trying to think of a downside strictly from the state's perspective, but I just can't.

don millen
2.26.04 @ 7:56a

Adam and Eve not Adam and Ed. As a man of a 33 year marriage with a woman of the opposite sex I am dead against marriage of the same sex.What is this world coming to? But I guess to each their own.

[edited]

erik myers
2.26.04 @ 9:18a

Well, that's exactly it, really, isn't it?

To each their own. That's all anybody's asking.

What's so wrong with allowing everybody to share in the same tax breaks and civil liberties?

juli mccarthy
2.26.04 @ 9:51a

Oh, I'm glad you popped up here, Don, because it seems we've really had no "opposing viewpoint" here. I'm having some difficulty understanding the correlation between your hetero marriage and your opposition to same sex marriage. How do you figure the connection? I don't see how anyone else's relationship either validates or invalidates your marriage.

roger striffler
2.26.04 @ 10:09a

If Bush wants to protect the institution of marriage, he ought to think about legislation addressing divorce. That's a much larger threat to marriage then anything two guys in love could ever do.

I can actually understand why someone would disagree with same sex marriages from a religious perspective. I don't agree, but I can understand. The problem is that we entwined the religious institution with the legal social rights.

If you're a christian and other christians don't want you to marry someone of the same sex, take it up with the church.

If you're a couple, supporting each other, contributing to society and the community, maybe even raising children, you should get all the rights that go along with that. Period.

I think Civil unions would solve the issue, but that would require changing the definition of marriage, which people apparently have a very deep-rooted knee-jerk reaction to.


roger striffler
2.26.04 @ 10:22a

And sincerely, Don, I'd like to hear more about your point of view. I get the impression that most people have an uncomfortable feeling that something is being violated, or lost, or at the very least, threatened by same-sex unions. But, I haven't really been able to get anyone to discuss precisely what. Are your reservations religion-based? Would you oppose civil-unions that provided the same social and legal rights?

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 11:12a

I don't think this is about rights, I think it is about bragging rights. Both sides want a symbolic victory.

The weakness on the right is myth. To wit, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammed should stay home. Although the separation of church and state does not prevent you from lobbying based on any belief system you want, you have to have a better reason then the old testaments to make something a law. I have not heard a good logical argument against same-sex unions, and I don't think there is one. (I couldn't think of one, but I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box either.)

The left's weakness is also myth. Separation of churh and state is misunderstood: It's not to pull any reference to religion out of law, it's to prevent clergy from serving in public office. (We're not gonna legalize murder because Thou Shall Not Kill is a commandment, obviously). Tax breaks are also a myth, if you have an equitable income to your spouse, you get screwed. So noboby is really being denied tax breaks. You can get your spouse health care, but you pay higher premiums for family coverage and I think that is available under civil unions.

And the last myth, which all humans are prey to, is the notion that if we mimic human tradition and rituals, we're somehow more a part of human existence, we somehow make more sense as people.

That one doesn't discriminate, we've all bought into it at one time or another.

The bottom line IMHO is that the Federal government should stay out of it and let the states decide. SF should quit breaking the law (however bad it is) and legislatively address any actual discrimination issues.

If people want equality, there should be an amendment that ends the bigotry that pervades the left and the right and make it illegal to officially categorize people into social classes. What are hetero and homosexuals anyway? We're all just 'sexual' in the end.


[edited]

tracey kelley
2.26.04 @ 12:32p

This is what really bugs me about this whole affair. Bush's administration is trying to push the marriage act in order to "save the children". Marriage, on it's own, is not a perfect institution, but one that some people use to demonstrate a commitment, be it love, financial, security, or all of the above.

So, on one hand, Bush's administration is forcing the marriage issue in order to keep children from suffering from the poverty and stigma of broken homes. I came from a near-poverty, single family home. We did better when my mother wasn't mismatched with an abusive mate than otherwise.

And I've turned out okay.

But the view that marriage automatically makes a happy home is myopic.

On the opposite hand, the same administration says it's wrong for same-sex couples to legally commit and raise families. Why is marriage a positive for heterosexuals and not homosexuals?

No one wants to go to the very beginning: teaching life classes, birth control and the end of discrimination. Those three things will do more to help future generations than a forced or denied marriage.

michelle von euw
2.26.04 @ 12:34p

I'm trying really hard to understand this issue, but I just can't. Jennifer Lopez and Reality TV strike me as bigger threats to marriage than extending legal/civil rights in this country.

There's plenty of things wrong with the state of marriage/family, and not a single one of them will be solved by this constitutional amendment.

matt morin
2.26.04 @ 12:37p

Well, Gavin Newsom's stance is that he's not breaking the law. He's referring to a CA equal rights law that basically says if something's legal for one group of people, it has to be legal for everyone (unless you lose that right by breaking the law).

In the big picture, this isn't about tax breaks or legal rights. It's about being treated equally. Like the Mass courts said, separate doesn't mean equal. We had white-only drinking fountains right next to black-only drinking fountains, but that didn't mean black people weren't being discriminated against. And it's the same here. The government is illegally discriminating against a fairly large percentage of the population by denying them the ability to do the same thing everyone else can.

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 12:39p

No one wants to go to the very beginning: teaching life classes, birth control and the end of discrimination. Those three things will do more to help future generations than a forced or denied marriage.

Rock! They are related IMO as well, and no one, right or left, does want to commit and attack a real problem, they keep going after windmills.


[edited]

matt morin
2.26.04 @ 12:46p

Ah, but this is a "wedge issue" as they keep calling it. Bush knows the majority of America is opposed to gay marriage, so he's going to keep harping on that in order to avoid talking about real issues like the war, the economy, etc.

Just you watch him paint Kerry as pro gay marriage because he won't back the ammendment. Or because he's from Mass (despite the fact that Kerry has nothing to do with the legislature or the courts in that state).

Salon.com has a really interesting article running right now about how Bush, in the past, has used pretty low-down tactics to beat his opponents. He had a campaign manager start a rumor that Gov. Richards in Texas was gay. Then passed out fliers hinting that at churches all over the state. He did the same thing to McCain when running for the Republican nomination.

I guarantee you he does it again here. It's the only way he can win.

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 12:59p

The government is illegally discriminating against a fairly large percentage of the population by denying them the ability to do the same thing everyone else can.

I'm sorry but I don't agree in case where a direct law is being adhered to, however one feels about that law.

The mayor is in the executive branch, interpreting the law is not his job, executing it is. If there are conflicting laws, it's the job of the judicial branch to clarify them and overturn them or refer them for modification.

No one said democracy was convenient or easy, and a rogue mayor taking shortcuts subverts the process by definition.


matt morin
2.26.04 @ 1:14p

The mayor is in the executive branch, interpreting the law is not his job, executing it is. If there are conflicting laws, it's the job of the judicial branch to clarify them and overturn them or refer them for modification.

That's exactly what Newsome is saying. He's saying there's one law that says same-sex marriages aren't allowed, and there's one law that says you can't discriminate. From the beginning he's said that it's not up to him, it'll be up to the courts.

I don't think it's a "shortcut" to subvert the process. I think it's just a way to bring the hypocracy to the forefront and force the issue.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 1:16p

Salon.com has a really interesting article running right now about how Bush, in the past, has used pretty low-down tactics to beat his opponents.

And McAuliffe and co. are clean campaigners? Right...

I guarantee you he does it again here. It's the only way he can win.

Kerry and Edwards have both officially renounced same-sex marriage so how can Bush accuse them of being pro-gay?
Because he's not all that smart in the first place, or he wouldn't push the amendment regardless of public opinion.

But if you want to get rid of Bush, McCauliffe and the DNC need to come up with a viable candidate who'll take a real stand on something, not some capitulating "at least I'm not Bush" meat-puppets.


matt morin
2.26.04 @ 1:18p

Here's an interesting poll from Gallup.

The Republicans want to make everyone think they're in a huge majority as far as gay marriage goes, but it's not really true.

matt morin
2.26.04 @ 1:25p

"Kerry and Edwards have both officially renounced same-sex marriage so how can Bush accuse them of being pro-gay?"

Oh come on! If you don't think the Republicans will spin "I'm not in favor of a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage" into "Look! See! He's for gay marriage!" then you're not familiar with how the Republican party operates.

I mean right now, they're trying to spin the fact that Kerry voted to recind $1.5 million from the DOD for a spy satellite that was never launched as "See? He voted to cut defense! He's soft on terrorism!"

The bottom line is, the Bush has nothing to say about the economy, nothing to say about the war, nothing to say about education, and zero to say about the DOD report that just came out saying global warming and the environment are a greater risk to this country than any other single thing including terrorism. So what Bush does talk about is a divisive issue where he can spin the facts and paint Democrats with the same "out of touch" brush.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 1:27p

The amendment and gay marriage are two different things. Kerry and Edwards reject both. Bush supports the former and opposes the latter.

As for me, because my last post seems a bit biased, I oppose the admendment and support anyone who is serious about marriage regardless of gender.

matt morin
2.26.04 @ 1:36p

You know they're different things. And I know they're different things.

But for the average person, who doesn't follow politics, when they hear "John Kerry - from the state that's allowing gay marriage - refuses to support the belief that marriage is only for a man and a woman!" those two different things get blurred into one. And that's exactly what Bush wants.

matt morin
2.26.04 @ 1:38p

In related news: Rosie O'Donnel is coming to San Francisco today to get married.

I guarantee you that's the top story on our local news tonight.

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 1:40p

Oh come on! If you don't think the Republicans will spin "I'm not in favor of a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage".

You're probably right Matt.

And yet that spin would be contraverted if gay activists would attack Kerry and Edwards which they won't. You can't blame Bush for that.

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 1:45p

Man, your brain works fast or I type slow, I seem to be a step behind.

And that's exactly what Bush wants.

I agree. I just happen to think both parties are roughly equivalent in pulling the proverbial wool over our eyes, and you seem to favor or at least be less distrustful of the Democrats.

[edited]

jael mchenry
2.26.04 @ 1:54p

He had a campaign manager start a rumor that Gov. Richards in Texas was gay... He did the same thing to McCain when running for the Republican nomination.

John McCain is GAY!?!?!?!

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 1:59p

Hehe. I hadn't heard that one either.

matt morin
2.26.04 @ 2:06p

"...you seem to favor or at least be less distrustful of the Democrats."

While yes, I definitely favor Democrats, I'm mostly just against Bush and his cronies. I'm less opposed to Republicans in general.

McCain is a great example. I don't believe in a lot of what he espouses, but I generally regard him as a straight shooter. The only straight thing Bush has ever done is a line of blow.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 2:19p

The only straight thing Bush has ever done is a line of blow.

And marry a woman :-)


[edited]

heather millen
2.26.04 @ 7:00p

Oops... doublepost.

[edited]

heather millen
2.26.04 @ 7:03p

Has anyone else seen this?

Rosie O'Donnell joins the throngs of same sex couples who take the SF opportunity to wed their loved ones.

dan gonzalez
2.26.04 @ 7:09p

I caught it. I heard she had a special appointment and basically got to cut in line.


robert melos
2.26.04 @ 10:23p

The more I talk to straight people, the less I believe in the institution of marriage. It would be great to have the options, but everywhere I go I usually see couples either arguing, ignoring each other, or looking as if the further aprt the can get the better. These are straight couples.

I want to hear real reasons why anyone would want to get married aside from money?

As for divorce, I don't believe in it either. The exception being spousal abuse as reason to get divorced. Most of the people I know who are divorced (just about everyone of my straight friends who ever married) have used the following excuses:

We just grew apart.
I met someone I liked more.
She/He didn't understand me.
We had money problems.
She/He cheated.

If people can't get through those issues, then they shouldn't have gotten married in the first place.

watashi wa
2.27.04 @ 1:40a

Salon Article


moderator's note: link seems to be inactive

dan gonzalez
2.27.04 @ 10:46a

(I got a 404 on that link Liz.)

Not to self-aggrandize, but marriage is no cakewalk, but then again no long-time intimate relationship with another human being is. We're all needy, insufferable, neurotic pains in the duff. Gotta love us though.

My wife Michelle and I got married basically because we wanted to have kids together. I still think that is a good reason, even if it's not ubiquitous.

I don't believe in divorce either. I got married at age 30 after 9 years with Michelle. We knew what we were getting into. We have a pretty genuine friendship that we count on when things get rough. Hopefully that will pull us through.

When all is said and done, I give us about a 50/50 shot at making it. :-D


[edited]

tracey kelley
2.27.04 @ 11:12a

Too funny.

Well, Robert, I think it depends on your definition of marriage and what it means to you. resist shameless plug of marriage column...resist!

I can honestly say there have been moments, most recently in the past 2 years, when I've said under my breath, "I wouldn't have these problems/more money/more freedom/less hassle if I was single." But the past 2 years have been the most emotionally and financially trying years Matt* and I have had in our nearly 10-year marriage, 13 years together.

And I'll bet he's said the same under his breath, too.

But it passes. Sometimes not without a little hurt, confusion, and painful change, but it passes.

We look at ourselves as a team, a team that can face almost anything the world throws at us. We're aligned together to love, support, and guide one another, and even in the darkest moments, we have a bond that somehow -even if it's a spider's thread thick at times - holds us together.

To share that with another person is a remarkable element of life. And when someone is ready to make such a benediction, it's a beautiful thing. Which is why it's such a shame that this battle of gay marriage exists. How is it a crime for two people to want to commit to each other?

matt morin
2.27.04 @ 3:58p

Now New Paltz, NY is offering same-sex marriages. The Green Party mayor there called it "largest civil rights movement the country's had in a generation,"

juli mccarthy
2.27.04 @ 9:08p

Man-o-man, I hope more mayors join up and start civil disobedience like this all over the place! If I were single right now, I'd marry a woman just to be part of that.

robert melos
2.27.04 @ 10:27p

Tracey and Dan, I agree that marriage is a state of mind. Unfortunately I have yet to experience a shared state of mind with another person. I find that while I enjoyed the feeling of a mutually exclusive relationship, I was not cut out for such a relationship and ended up losing myself.

On a slightly different note. In the time both of you have had in your respective relationships, many of my friends have racked up between 2 to 4 marriages each. One friend did out do all the others by being married 5 times before she was 30. In all fairness to her, three of her husbands walked out on her. She didn't seek the divorce.

The point is, I see more straight people not making it work. If I were to venture into the realm of wedlock, I think it would have to be with the vows "until neither of us can stand the other anymore."

I actually applaud the fact that you've had lasting relations. I think some people are just better suited for marriage, and others of us are suited for a single life. Maybe that too is part of our DNA.



[edited]

watashi wa
2.28.04 @ 12:58a

Sorry guys about the salon.com's url. For those who like to read the article, you'll find "Bush's war over gay marriage" under news and politics. There's another good article too, its called "Bush's sex fantasy" about the pouring in of money into promoting abstinence-only program that don't work and serves only to enrich the religious right and Bush's need for more popularity. All these at the expanse of safe sex.

Back to the topic of this column, I was just thinking it'd be an explosive news if there's a gay marriage issue here in Singapore. I must say despite of all the objections coming from religious people, gays in U.S are much more fortunate than those in my country. Topics about homosexuality in magazines are often limited and movies involving the subject are rated "RA" of which only adults are allowed to view. In short, I'm saying Gays' rights are near to non-existent here. For a country which even now is still reviewing on lifting ban on oral sex between consenting adults, we still have a long way to go.

Anyway, I hope and pray Bush will not come to being president on the next election. We've all had enough of his crap..



[edited]

dan gonzalez
2.28.04 @ 8:57p

I must say despite of all the objections coming from religious people, gays in U.S are much more fortunate than those in my country.

Not to wax patriotic, but isn't everybody more fortunate to be in the US? I can't think of a nation that's more conducive to free thought.

And although you detest Bush, as many good folks around here do, do you really think he can undermine the country?

I struggle with that as a self-proclaimed independent. I just can't believe a mere president can really affect the fiber of the nation in any significant, long-term fashion.

Maybe I'll open it up as a thread on the boards now that I'm a full-fledged IMer. I'm new and don't know anyone here at all, so maybe it's passe, but I'm interested to see what articulate, educated folks have to say about Bush in particular, and the office of president in general.



[edited]

robert melos
2.28.04 @ 10:14p

Liz, I was just tonight thinking of how homosexuality is presented and accepted or oppressed in countries outside of the U.S. I'm glad you brought up the views in Singapore.

Dan, I do think the over all current administration is very harmful to the country, and expect it to show up down the road in long term problems yet to be noticed. I don't believe one individual is capable of bringing down the country, even though things are most often presented as being the responsibility of the President. He's just the visible figure, but the mess the country is in financially and war-wise is the result of the over all administration, in my opinion.

watashi wa
3.1.04 @ 2:06a

Robert, here's part of a pretty interesting letter wrote in by reader of salon.com, in regard to Bush's decision in backing a constitutional amendment to forbid same sex marriages.

Incredible! The Democratic Party really is a bunch of gutless, spineless cowards when it comes to taking a stand on any issue. How hard is it for just one Democrat of national prominence (a presidential candidate, preferably) to say: "I support every American's right to be treated equally and fairly under the law. I support every American's right to the pursuit of happiness that is one of the great traditions of this country. Therefore, I support gay marriage. But whether you agree with me on this specific issue or not, every American should be troubled that the current president of the United States is willing to tamper with the most sacred document of our Union, the Constitution, in an effort to discriminate against a minority of Americans. At the very least, let each state decide in its own way how to protect the right of its citizens to be happy in life and love, and let us not meddle with the Constitution for political ends."


Dan, a mere president of the most powerful country in the world? Just some personal views of mine.. I was thinking is it not devastating enough that a war was created simply by the decision of this mere president and his administration? And remember it was inflicted upon another country without the permission of the UN. Maybe one cannot do much to bring down the country by himself, but it is possible for an individual to influence his followers how the country should rule. Although not all but many gains to one's own country or political power are often made at the expanse of others' sacrifices.


[edited]

jael mchenry
3.1.04 @ 11:13a

While the President doesn't control the nation, his administration can set a tone and certainly affect whose voices get heard and whose don't. There are a lot of people in America who think homosexuality is wrong. Obviously others want to end discrimination based on sexuality. We will hopefully be hearing from everyone who cares enough to voice an opinion.

And certainly this President has decided to bring this issue to the forefront. In that way he's certainly controlling the terms of the debate, if not the content of the debate.

dan gonzalez
3.8.04 @ 12:56a

Liz- I didn't mean to slight your views, I appreciate them. Sorry for that.:-) I do respect that you have views you can follow.

I don't. I have one view. I believe both parties undermine us. The Democrats give good face time to the liberties we cherish, but have many, many internal elements which thwart them.

The Republicans generally represent smaller government, which is safer for libertarian issues.

As for the war, in my view it was bi-partisan approval, not the act of a sole administration. And many democrats urged Clinton not to wait on the UN and unilaterally act in Bosnia, so both parties are capable of that.

I see them both negatively, and I'm convinced Kerry will not be any better, he'll just be bad at other things which are equally important.

Jael - good points, I hope it backfires on Bush. Kerry should slaughter Bush in the debate over the half-assed amendment, but that does not exonerate Kerry of his own half-assed stance on the core issue.


dan gonzalez
3.8.04 @ 12:56a

Liz- I didn't mean to slight your views, I appreciate them. Sorry for that.:-) I do respect that you have views you can follow.

I don't. I have one view. I believe both parties undermine us. The Democrats give good face time to the liberties we cherish, but have many, many internal elements which thwart them.

The Republicans generally represent smaller government, which is safer for libertarian issues.

As for the war, in my view it was bi-partisan approval, not the act of a sole administration. And many democrats urged Clinton not to wait on the UN and unilaterally act in Bosnia, so both parties are capable of that.

I see them both negatively, and I'm convinced Kerry will not be any better, he'll just be bad at other things which are equally important.

Jael - good points, I hope it backfires on Bush. Kerry should slaughter Bush in the debate over the half-assed amendment, but that does not exonerate Kerry of his own half-assed stance on the core issue.




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