Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

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swp
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Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby swp » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:21 pm

OK, I am not from California but understand that some of you are. So I want your take on this whole proposition 8 issue over the word "marriage." At least, to me, way over here removed from it, that is what is seems to be about.

My understanding is that in California a civil union is what the state grants when 2 people wed. With it comes certain rights, including filing joint state tax returns, adoption, employers have to allow for them as family under health insurance plans, etc. I could be wrong on this, but I don't think I am. Please correct me if that is not true, as I know most other states don't do it in this manner. In Pennsylvania, for example, I got a marriage license from the state which was signed by myself and a couple of witnesses (aka my best man/brother and wife's maid-of-honor/sister) and a small fee paid. Then we got married a few minutes later. Completely separate transactions, according to the priest, with different rights coming under each. And as a sacrament in Catholocism, it had to be separate since the state can't touch that and other laws did recognize spousal privileges because that's just the way they were written.

According to my sources on the internet, the phrase used on Proposition 8 was "Only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized in California." Simple, to the point (which it combs its hair around), nothing defined, no caveats. Which probably drove the lawyers batshit, not telling them what all those nouns really means. You know, confusing terms like "marriage," "man," and "woman." "Recognized" is another vague term, legally. Again, correct me if it was worded differently.

So nothing changed by this other than the word "married" being applied to certain civil unions and not others. Or are there actual substantive rights that changed with this?

I am asking about the rights involved as I don't understand the ruling about this being unconstitutional if no actual rights were lost. Also, the federal government under Barack Obama hasn't actually said one way or the other about the issue. Just like all of his predecessors. So barring a new federal law, which seems unlikely, this is still an issue that the 10th amendment relegates to the states. And maybe that isn't where this belongs.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the issue.
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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:48 pm

“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby swp » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:57 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:Here's the judge's ruling.

http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/acrobat ... -FINAL.pdf

I read the version on scribd.com.
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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby Moderator » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:40 pm

SWP wrote:So nothing changed by this other than the word "married" being applied to certain civil unions and not others. Or are there actual substantive rights that changed with this?


Not exactly. We had dinner tonight with some friends who are a lesbian couple. Obviously Prop 8 came up.

It isn't just the use of the word marriage that is in question. (And you need to bear in mind that "marriage" is a ceremony sanctioned by the state, which grants the right to conduct the ceremony to religious and non-religious institutions alike.) Legally marriage connotes a particular form of relationship which carries with it privileges such as Social Security survivor's benefits. Non-married partners cannot collect continued SS if their significant other passes away. Married couples can ( http://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivorplan/index.htm ). There are other legal ramifications.

Our friends, who have been happily "together" for thirty two years, really deserve the opportunity to make their relationship as real and as bonding as ours. In our circle of friends we count two additional lesbian couples (8 and 3 years respectively) and two gay couples (6 and 10 years). One other person we know lost his partner (my uncle) two and a half years ago. Despite the fact they had been together for more than a decade my uncle's pension and social security checks vanished upon his death. His partner was able to reclaim some of the pension as my uncle's heir, but not as his spouse -- which had tax implications.

So no, it's not the same. And if the argument is made to create "civil unions" instead of true marriage, the arguer clearly doesn't understand the concept of "second class". And since marriages are legally sanctioned by the state (and not churches), perhaps it is the churches that need to find themselves another way to describe their "unions".

Sorry, this ugliness hits very close to home for me. It breaks my heart to be with friends who feel the need to express how much they appreciate that we support them.

Prop 8 nearly ended our friendship with NeoCon Jim and his wife -- who had bought into the whole "But what about the kids" bullshit. To them, gay marriage is apparently a threat to their whole way of life, which makes me wonder just how secure they are in their own marriage...
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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:17 am

SWP

You've got it right for the most part, but there are a few things that a civil union will not allow.

You've gotta be married to me or a blood relation to inherit my property, adopt my kids once I pass or to come and see me if I end up in an ICU. But, for most of the people I know it goes way beyond that.

Before prop 8 all the amendments to both the state and Federal constitution were passed to expand the rights of humanity. This is the first time that I'm aware of, well besides prohibition that decreases human rights. I agree with Barber, I know gays and lesbians who have been partnered for decades, why shouldn't they have the right to call themselves married?

Anyways, I could go on with this one for ever, but I'm not gonna bore you!

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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:18 pm

Conservatives love little asides to disprove obvious rights: "Traditional beliefs that say that marriage is between a man and a woman." Tradition is a word you should run from like a cowled fiend with a bloody axe.

Everybody wants equal rights--granted it is unfair to single people. But that's another story.

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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby Moderator » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:26 pm

I think there is an issue between what is written into actual law, and what people view as "just a given".

On Facebook I was told that a major reason one individual had for supporting Prop 8 is that he was protesting against changing a law nearly as old as the country. Naturally, if that were the case, he would be protesting Prop 8 and the various attempts to write "one man and one woman" into the Constitution. I noted that in my follow up.

Haven't heard back from him yet, but his response ought to be a doozy.
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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:31 pm

I'm ignorant about Facebook. How do you find people to argue with? lol

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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:00 pm

Just start nosing around Frank you'll find them soon enough!

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Re: Proposition 8 and the current laws in California

Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:00 pm

FrankChurch wrote:I'm ignorant about Facebook. How do you find people to argue with? lol


Go get'em Frank!
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter


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