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The mandatory childbirth initiative--a dumb ploy or a smart move?

Old 02-06-07, 01:14 PM
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The mandatory childbirth initiative--a dumb ploy or a smart move?

Gay marriage supporters in Washington have stolen the "Defense of Marriage" language from conservatives and are trying to run with it.

Last July, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled against equality for gays in marriage, claiming the state had a “legitimate interest” in limiting marriage to couples who can conceive and raise children together.

Yeah, that’s right. They played the procreation card as their legal basis—as if ability (or desire) to conceive has ever played a role in whether *straight* folks are allowed to marry.

Well, now the gay-marriage-folks in Washington are fighting back using the “procreation card” too… with a ballot initiative that would make child-rearing *mandatory* after marriage. Seriously.

I can’t decide if it’s a good idea or not. I think I’m against it. I mean, I can’t see going through all the expense and effort of a ballot initiative that is not intended in good faith, that is not intended to pass, only to foster conversation and highlight injustice.

In fact, I think a series of insincere, prank-style ballot initiatives do more harm than good. Seems to me this tactic can’t help but turn off at least as many people as it can enlighten.

Washington "Defense of Marriage" (Gay rights *supporters*):
http://www.wa-doma.org/

Overview of last summer's case:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...mesex26ww.html

The gays in Washington appear driven to put this on the ballot. It’s been written & submitted, and is gathering signatures now--and it’s naturally all over the gay political blogosphere.

Am I just an old fuddy-duddy thinking this is the wrong tactic? Is this anything more than prankster-ism?

(Here's one gay blog where I posted my reservations, but everyone else seems to love the notion.)
http://www.towleroad.com/2007/02/washington_gay_.html

Last edited by adamblast; 02-06-07 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-06-07, 01:20 PM
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I think it's brilliant. It won't pass, but let the gay marriage opponents sputter, stammer, and stutter trying to argue against it. It'll be entertaining.
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Old 02-06-07, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
I think it's brilliant. It won't pass, but let the gay marriage opponents sputter, stammer, and stutter trying to argue against it. It'll be entertaining.
I wish I could see that happening. I think they'll just call it a stupid joke and move on. In fact, I think most of America will see it as a stupid joke and we'll end up with egg on our faces. Maybe it's just my fear talking.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
I wish I could see that happening. I think they'll just call it a stupid joke and move on. In fact, I think most of America will see it as a stupid joke and we'll end up with egg on our faces. Maybe it's just my fear talking.
It it actually gets on the ballot, then there will have to be some substantive discussion of it. To do otherwise would be to open it to the possibility of actually passing.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:14 PM
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I think it's stupid. I think it's born of the worst kind of vindictive, childish impulse and should never have seen the light of day. Just because they make a good point doesn't mean they should waste the government's time dealing with their tantrums.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:19 PM
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If it gets people in Washington talking substantively and seriously about issues of marriage and equality, then it's a good thing. If everyone writes it off as a joke and ignores it, then it's a bad thing. Right now, I'm cautiously optimistic that it will lead to real discussion.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:25 PM
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You might find considerable support from those who oppose abortion and birth-control.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:26 PM
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It's actually rather clever. Too clever unfortunately - few will take it seriously.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
I think it's stupid. I think it's born of the worst kind of vindictive, childish impulse and should never have seen the light of day. Just because they make a good point doesn't mean they should waste the government's time dealing with their tantrums.
Yeah, wanting equal treatment under the law sure is a tantrum. Give me a break.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Yeah, wanting equal rights sure is a tantrum. Give me a break.
I don't believe the definition of marriage should be changed. Marriage has always meant one man and one woman.

Do I believe gay/lesbian couples should be able to contract a civil union with all the legal and practical benefits of marriage? YES. And I think that the gay community needs to be pushing for this instead of threatening the intransigent right by refusing to accept an identical institution, but called by a different name. Many people who won't agree that gay MARRIAGE should happen, would be okay with gay CIVIL UNIONS.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:31 PM
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I will go with dumb ploy. One I might have taken, but I think it is pointless.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
I don't believe the definition of marriage should be changed. Marriage has always meant one man and one woman.

Do I believe gay/lesbian couples should be able to contract a civil union with all the legal and practical benefits of marriage? YES. And I think that the gay community needs to be pushing for this instead of threatening the intransigent right by refusing to accept an identical institution, but called by a different name. Many people who won't agree that gay MARRIAGE should happen, would be okay with gay CIVIL UNIONS.
Oh Jesus Christ.

We've had this argument ad naseaum here, and I have no desire to engage in it again. I'll just say this: you're wrong.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Oh Jesus Christ.

We've had this argument ad naseaum here, and I have no desire to engage in it again. I'll just say this: you're wrong.
Great. I could say the same of you, but whatever.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
I don't believe the definition of marriage should be changed. Marriage has always meant one man and one woman.
I expected better from you. Marriage has meant a host of different things over the millenia--many of which we've outgrown--but it has only meant "one man and one woman" for a handful of years, and only because *we* wanted to be included.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
I expected better from you. Marriage has meant a host of different things over the millenia, many of which we've outgrown, but it has only meant "one man and one woman" for about 3 years.
This is only true if you are trying to say that politicians are the only people who have ever defined marriage. Frankly, I expect better from those of you who are defending this extremely silly, wasteful and damaging act on the part of gay activists in Washington.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:46 PM
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Until this century, marriage was an ownership contract.

Until your father's time, it was restricted by race.

Marriage "has always been" whatever any particular culture said it was.

There is no truth at all to the notion that it's always been "one man and one woman." 35 states in this country have had to make it so, just recently, to combat gay equality.

Last edited by adamblast; 02-06-07 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
Until this century, marriage was an ownership contract.
I say we go back to the good old days.
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Old 02-06-07, 03:03 PM
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Regardless of how it turns out, I'm amused by how a ridiculous "law" was taken and used against the people enacting said "law". If it causes at least a few people to reconsider the concept of 'equal rights for all' then whatever cost may have been worth it. Taken to the extreme, if the constitution ever adds in the definition of marriage, will the constitution then require all married couples to produce children?
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Old 02-06-07, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I say we go back to the good old days.
Evidentally, I'm still there.

"This century?" I kinda forgot it's 2007. I meant "last century."
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Old 02-06-07, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Yeah, wanting equal treatment under the law sure is a tantrum. Give me a break.
"If I can't have marriage, neither can anyone else without kids!" That doesn't sound like a political tantrum?

I just can't see how this wins any hearts and minds as a petition drive in front of the grocery store.
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Old 02-06-07, 03:14 PM
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Okay, here's how I see this issue.

I had a unity ceremony with my female partner in 1993. My dad even performed it (he's a minister). It wasn't done under the auspices of any church, and it wasn't legally recognized, obviously. The relationship didn't last (we split in '97), and since then I have known a number of other couples who have had ceremonies -- either through accepting churches or just on their own.

I have no problem, obviously, with the issue of same-sex unions. But to my way of thinking, trying to co-opt an institution that, RIGHT OR WRONG, many people consider to be strictly heterosexual, when the option exists for an alternative institution which would grant all the legal and practical benefits of marriage, is just stupid. Do you want to fight about semantics, or do you want to be on your partner's health insurance and not have to worry about people overturning your wishes if you're incapacitated or dead?

Sheesh.
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Old 02-06-07, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
Okay, here's how I see this issue.

I had a unity ceremony with my female partner in 1993. My dad even performed it (he's a minister). It wasn't done under the auspices of any church, and it wasn't legally recognized, obviously. The relationship didn't last (we split in '97), and since then I have known a number of other couples who have had ceremonies -- either through accepting churches or just on their own.

I have no problem, obviously, with the issue of same-sex unions. But to my way of thinking, trying to co-opt an institution that, RIGHT OR WRONG, many people consider to be strictly heterosexual, when the option exists for an alternative institution which would grant all the legal and practical benefits of marriage, is just stupid. Do you want to fight about semantics, or do you want to be on your partner's health insurance and not have to worry about people overturning your wishes if you're incapacitated or dead?

Sheesh.
There's an alternative institution that grants gay couples all the legal and practical benefits of marriage? Could have fooled me.
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Old 02-06-07, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
There's an alternative institution that grants gay couples all the legal and practical benefits of marriage? Could have fooled me.
If it's possible to redefine marriage, isn't it possible to replicate its benefits in another institution? Lawyers can do anything, right?
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Old 02-06-07, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
There's an alternative institution that grants gay couples all the legal and practical benefits of marriage? Could have fooled me.
Wouldn't Civil Unions do that? (just for argument's sake)

Personally, I don't care. Let gays marry. It won't change my marriage one wit.
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Old 02-06-07, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
Okay, here's how I see this issue.

I had a unity ceremony with my female partner in 1993. My dad even performed it (he's a minister). It wasn't done under the auspices of any church, and it wasn't legally recognized, obviously. The relationship didn't last (we split in '97), and since then I have known a number of other couples who have had ceremonies -- either through accepting churches or just on their own.

I have no problem, obviously, with the issue of same-sex unions. But to my way of thinking, trying to co-opt an institution that, RIGHT OR WRONG, many people consider to be strictly heterosexual, when the option exists for an alternative institution which would grant all the legal and practical benefits of marriage, is just stupid. Do you want to fight about semantics, or do you want to be on your partner's health insurance and not have to worry about people overturning your wishes if you're incapacitated or dead?

Sheesh.
Here's the problem, Vib. Like it or not, the government has created a legal contract known as a marriage. This contract is separate from religious marriage. The government has handed these contracts out to heterosexuals for a very long time, and has attached certain rights and privileges to the contract.

The government could either abolish the legal category marriage altogether and replace it with the term "civil union". Try telling 100 million people that they're no longer married.

So, we're left with a clear case of discrimination, one that will not be solved with the seperate but equal solution of "civil unions" for homosexuals and marriage for heterosexuals.

It's not about "semantics", and to categorize it as such belittles gay people that want to get married and be treated as equal citizens.

You seem to be big on not wasting government time. So, tell me. How is it not a waste of time developing a separate class of legal union for gay people when we already have a legal contract (with a sizable body of law and precedent already behind it) that would work with one minor change? Because it gives some straight people the heebie-jeebies?

Last edited by Tracer Bullet; 02-06-07 at 03:24 PM.
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