State Government

Sex And The Constitution

The GUARDIAN tends to shy away from legislative issues because it is impossible to keep up on issues and lawmakers love to introduce bills that should be left alone.

That said, we are going to honor a request from LENA JOHNSON to “post something” so the upcoming constitutional amendment regarding MARRIAGE can be debated.
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The 2006 legislature passed a resolution to put the following question on the November ballot:
“Shall Article III, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended by the addition of a new Section 28, to provide that a marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state?”

The GUARDIAN thinks it is bad law because it goes beyond the issue of “gay marriage.” As written it does not allow any of those “domestic partnerships” or other contracts we hear about between ANY gender. Failure to recognize that homosexuality exists and that “couples” are lent money to buy houses for example, precludes any orderly manner to dispose of an estate if one dies.
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For the record: The GUARDIAN is “straight” and objects to the concept of gay rights OR gay discrimination. We espouse EQUAL rights and NO discrimination for any reason.
We don’t want to know your sexual preference period.

We will open the forum for debate, but a few rules:
–Keep it short and make your point.
–No name calling or stupid scenarios about screwing goats etc.
–GUARDIAN will veto inappropriate comments, but not control any thoughts or ideas.
–Avoid links because we want to keep readers on our site.
–If you are gay, try not to convert the churchites.
–If you are a churchite, don’t try to “cure” the gays.

OK folks, it’s all yours!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. What is the big deal? Given the abysmal record that heterosexuals have with regard to marriage (approaching 60% divorce rate) How much worse could gays be?
    I would much rather see people in loving relationships without regard to their sex. With that should come equality. You are right on (again) Guardian. No special treatment for ,or against, anyone.

  2. I just discussed this topic with one of my adult children – my position is that marriage is a legal relationship which gives rights to people regarding health issues, inheritance rights, rights to speak for one’s partner who may be unable to speak for him or herself, etc.

    What gets complicated is when people think of marriage as something bestowed on them by their church. In my mind that is a different thing altogether – which is where the “sanctity” thing comes in. I am married to a person of the opposite gender but we were married in a civil ceremony, not a religious one. While I think of our relationship as very special, I also think of it as a legal arrangement between us that gives us special rights to take care of each other without interference of other family members.

    I wish the religious folk would recognize the difference between a religious marriage and a civil one.

  3. BoiseCitizen
    Jul 28, 2006, 7:15 am

    The thing that gets me is that it is being pushed as a “wedge issue” to preserve GOP political power locally as well as nationwide. When the chips are down, pick on those that are weakest. It works everytime and the Republicans under Karl Rove are masters of it. How sad for America, so much for “All men are created equal”…

  4. I see two different issues with this topic. One is the traditional religous values. That will be up to the churches to decide.

    The second is the legal recognition that these individuals are seeking. Some of these rights already exist such as inhearitence/wills. If the gay and lesbian community would stop asking for a “marriage” and just ask for legal recognition through a Civil Union, I think most of the opposition would disappear.

    One last options for creating some recognition would be to form an Limited Liability Company (LLC). This could be a good option for us straight folk too. Our offspring could be our “product”. Instead of divorce, you just buy your partner out.

  5. Cman–
    I had to LOL. My experience is that in divorce you DO buy your partner out. Anyway, I am not so sure the gay community is terming what they’re after as “marriage” as much as the fundamentalist Christian right is terming it marriage. The same sex neighbors down the street have a more “traditional” union than I do…and that is going some. I think those who rail against gay “union” have insecurities that I don’t begin to comprehend. I can think of many things that might undermine my traditional marriage. Substance abuse, infidelity, etc. My neighbors getting “married” isn’t even on the list.

  6. We denounce other countries for there religious based governments and at the same time try to integrate religion into our own laws .
    “But it’s different” , they say . Why ? Because it’s our religion ?
    The Separation Of Church And State is under attack both federally and locally , we will let it continue at our own peril .
    Reddog

  7. There are few benefits, and many drawbacks to state advocacy of same-sex unions.

    Marriage is what it is. One man and one woman. We know marriage works, and we know healthy marriage benefits families and the community.

    If we allow the state to re-define what marriage is, it won’t stop with the same same-sex thing. Tom Green in Utah is now using Lawrence vs. Texas to advocate polygamy. And indeed, if marriage can be redefined by whim of the state, why not? If marriage is changed to mean everything, it will cease to mean anything.

    It will further weaken our already fragile health care system. Companies by law would be required to provide coverage for the dependants of same-sex unions. The result will be that either they will drop coverage, or your rates will go up. Same issue with Social Security. Look for your FICA tax to go up to cover all the new dependants.

    It will hurt adoption and foster care. Statistics show the best environment for a child is where they have a mom and a dad. But now the state would be legally prohibited from recognizing those benefits.

    It would resuly in schools promoting gay rights. If the state recognizes it, so will the schools. And this will damage the rights of parents to teach their children what is right and wrong.

  8. I appreciate the Guardian’s position on the subject. There are so many more serious issues facing our nation. But Lena, lets kick this one around, because our political leaders don’t get paid to resolve the others.

  9. Gas Prices
    Crazy Ass stuff going on in the middle east
    The National Debt
    The meth problem
    Children in foster care
    Our great roads in Idaho
    A quarter million uninsured in Idaho
    And on and on and on…

    This crappy initiative is important?!?

    If folks fall for this garbage, then I WILL start selling land on mars and I will make a fortune.

  10. Why, as a society would we condemn committed monogamous relationships regardless of the gender orientation? Does the religious right want to encourage promiscuity in the gay community? We know that sexual contact regardless of gender has the propensity to spread disease so why would we discourage monogamy in the gay community? We actively advocate monogamy to our children. Does our lesson come with the caveat, “unless your gay”.

    I very much appreciate the comments regarding the separation of church and state. If you think the institution of marriage is threatened by same sex marriage, bring it up to your pastor, priest, deacon, rabbi or mullah. But don’t try and enforce your views through a law that clearly discriminates against loving caring individuals that constitute a significant minority of every society on the planet. Moreover I have always maintained that it is a unifying Idaho value to keep government out of our lives and I see no reason why the State needs to stick its ugly head into other people’s bedrooms.

    Pizzaman, I need some citation for these following blatantly untrue statements: “The result will be that either they will drop coverage, or your rates will go up”; “Statistics show the best environment for a child is where they have a mom and a dad. But now the state would be legally prohibited from recognizing those benefits.” Exactly why should a monogamous gay couple be deprived of the rights of insurance or parenthood? It lends much credence to the arguments by the gay community that this is nothing more than Jim Crow legislation and we are seeking legislate second class citizens into our society. I thought we rose above that.

  11. Maybe there is hope for this country after all. I’m glad to read there are people who recognize that there is a difference between religious marriage and civil marriage. Or maybe, this is just a reflection of the reader quality on this blog.

    Let us take Pizzaman’s points one-by-one …

    “We know marriage works, and we know healthy marriage benefits families and the community.”

    True! This is why I’m pro-gay marriage. I’m worried about the thousands of children who are living in gay families who don’t receive the same protections that they’d get should a hetrosexual couple split.

    Plus there is the Catch-22 that many gays face … your lifestyle is condemned because you are in a relationship that is not solemnized by marriage yet the law prevents you from getting married. Let homosexuals get married and we will probably see the same statistics for their marriages as we do for hetrosexual couples.

    “If we allow the state to re-define what marriage is…”

    In truth, we already ‘let’ the state define marriage as soon as marriage certificates and divorce decrees were issued.

    “…it won’t stop with the same same-sex thing.”

    Polygymy has been challenged in the courts long before the issue of gay-marriage became a hot-topic. I don’t see that stopping. The reasons against polygymy will remain the same, even if gays can legally marry.

    “It will further weaken our already fragile health care system. Companies by law would be required to provide coverage for the dependants of same-sex unions.”

    By ‘dependants’ I’m sure you mean the gay spouse. What about the children of the gay spouse? Isn’t it better to have those children covered by the employers health plan than covered by Medicaid? As far as the expense, when my husband’s employer decided the health care benefit for dependants was too expensive, they didn’t drop the coverage, they just made us pay the premium. As most everyone in Idaho knows, employers don’t have to offer health insurance at all so ‘by law’ the only people who are covered are working for those employers who recognize that offering health insurance is a worthwhile benefit to attract quality employees.

    “Same issue with Social Security.”

    Children are covered by their biological parent for survivor benefits so we can move on to think about the impact of a surviving gay-spouse on SS.

    When the higher-wage earner dies in a marriage, the SS eligible spouse can claim that person’s SS benefit. In a gay marriage, that would mean one spouse could quit work and not worry about receiving benefits when they become elderly because they could always claim their spouses’ benefits. The assumption in the argument against gay marriage is the low-wage earner spouse would quit working for no reason at all, safe with the knowledge at their retirement is assured.

    Is that what happens with hetrosexual couples? Does one spouse really sponge off the system that way? If so, isn’t THAT the danger to the SS system?

    In reality, gay couples are no different from straight couples. In the marriage, one spouse will become the primary caregiver for the children (or an elderly relative – as many of us in the sandwich generation have learned). That spouse is unable to earn as much money in their lifetime as the other spouse because of circumstances that interrupt their careers. Our government has decided to recognize that ‘unpaid work’ so we extend benefits to the non-working spouse. That doesn’t have to change for gay couples.

    Input from elderly hetrosexual couples who can’t get married should be heard. There are thousands of elderly couples ‘living in sin’ because neither person wants to lose the higher SS benefit. THAT is a burden on the SS system.

    “It will hurt adoption and foster care.”

    Statistics show the best environment for a child is a stable, loving home – no matter what the sexual orientation of the adults.

    Thousands of at-risk children could be taken out of the foster care system and placed in solid, stable gay-married homes. All I see are benefits to the foster care and adoption systems.

    “It would result in schools promoting gay rights. … And this will damage the rights of parents to teach their children what is right and wrong.”

    The complaints I hear is that schools are already ‘promoting’ gay rights. Besides, this isn’t an issue of rights as much as an issue of equality.

    Anywhere from 5 to 15% of the population are homosexual.

    If you are hetrosexual, when did you decide to become hetrosexual? Was that a lifestyle choice or did you always KNOW you were attracted to the opposite gender? Did your parents influence your decision to become hetrosexual? If your parents were an influence, why do the majority of homosexuals come from hetrosexual homes; including homes where the homosexuals’ siblings are all hetro? Why are homosexual couples raising children who are hetrosexual?

    Changing the laws to recognize that homosexual unions ALREADY EXIST and that there are children being raised in homosexual families, is nothing more than recognizing that basic human rights – to a loving and stable home – are equal in all of us.

    In my reading of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independance, our basic human rights aren’t granted to us by the government. It is the government that reflects in our laws the human rights which already exist for us. It is time for our laws to reflect the normal role that homosexuals play in our society.

    That is why I’ll vote ‘no’ to the proposed bill.

  12. Great statements from most of the commenters above me. I too am opposed to the amendment.

    Will it pass? Quite likely. But I also hold out a small hope the the libertarian ethos of Idaho will prevail and voters will recognize that marriage is just one more thing that government shouldn’t be regulating.

  13. I have to second Sisyphus’ call for “cite your sources,” sorry pizzaman, but I could just as easily say; statistics show homosexual couples do a better job at raising kids!

    And as Ferris B. implied, monkeying with the constitution over such an issue is ridiculous when there are so many other apes in the forest. Who saw the Simpson’s episode in which some crazy amendment was proposed?

    If we can change the constitution with regard to a sexual orientation issue, then what’s next? How about changing voting privileges to landowners only, or better yet, only to those of 140 IQ and above? Oh, I know, I’m just entertaining one of the logical fallacies—-the slippery slope argument.

    From the Mar 17, 1996 simpson’s episode “The Day the Violence Died” Picture a cowboy caricature of an “amendment” singing the following

    I’m an amendment to be
    Yes, an amendment to be
    And I’m hoping that they’ll ratify me
    There’s a lot of flag burners
    Who have got too much freedom
    I wanna make it legal
    For policemen
    To beat ’em
    ‘Cause there’s limits to our liberties
    ‘Least I hope and pray that there are
    ‘Cause those liberal freaks go too far.

  14. Sisyphus (and others), I’ll try to address your questions without posting offsite links – as the Guardian requested.

    In regard to company benefits – look at it logically. Company A provides benefits to spouses and children. Company B provides benefits to spouses, children, domestic partners, and dependents of domestic partners. Company A will have fewer claims filed per employee than company B. The more claims there are, the higher insurance rates will be (or the less coverage there will be). This is an economic fact, not a values statement.

    “Statistics show the best environment for a child is where they have a mom and a dad.” This is obvious. Indeed the New York Court of Appeals agreed in their recent decision on same sex marriage:

    “Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like. It is obvious that there are exceptions to this general rule — some children who never know their fathers, or their mothers, do far better than some who grow up with parents of both sexes — but the Legislature could find that the general rule will usually hold.”

    As for the Jim Crow argument – it is apples and oranges and a disservice to African Americans to equate the issues. The NY Court addressed this as well:

    “The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.”

  15. If married, gay partners would be legal “next of kin” and “spouses”. Such classes enjoy certain benefits and rights that others don’t. The bottom line is that it will be costly corporations and insurance companies. That’s the source of the objection. The insurance companies tell their churchgoing clients to talk it up with the congregation on Sunday, and it takes the appearance of a “moral” issue.

    There ARE no moral issues in America. Like all other issues, it’s all about the money.

  16. I am a little split on this. I think, my compromize would be a legal union marriage, and allow churches to sanctify it, if they wish.

    If two people are committed to each other, they deserve the legal protections that marriage affords.

    My PROBLEM with the above, is that I DO see it as a moral breakdown. But, I think, ultimately, you should side for the PEOPLE involved, not the ambiguous ideas. I think I WOULD stop short of calling it a family, though.

  17. Oh Pizzaman, it seems you are new to the insurance game. Actuaries in the company evaluate the risk posed by an applicant and premiums are assessed by underwriters based upon that risk. Why do you assume there will be more claims made by gay people? The more participants in an insurance plan the more premiums collected and the larger the pool of money to draw on for those in the pool who need the money to pay for their catastrophic needs. Whether the participants are straight or gay makes no difference. Many of the largest employers in the NW, like Microsoft extend such benefits to its gay employees and their dependents and I’ve never heard the complaints you describe. More participants, more premiums more money. In addition, by your logic the fewer the participants the better. So they are better off not collecting any premiums? Show me an insurance company that agrees with that. And then Pizzaman, as Naomi alludes, would you rather these dependents were on the public welfare system rather than participating in an insurance benefit plan?

    With regard to whether “Statistics show the best environment for a child is where they have a mom and a dad.” is obvious, its not to me. I’m sure the Guardian would allow you to enlighten us. I think Naomi is dead on in all her comments but responded well to this point when she said: “Statistics show the best environment for a child is a stable, loving home – no matter what the sexual orientation of the adults.” I think we could agree Pizzaman that children do not thrive when a couple splits up. Again, why do we as a society want to discourage a committed relationship among homosexual parents? My guess is that there is probably the same amount of discord in homosexual relationships as in heterosexual relationships. There is no sense in handicapping homosexual parents by relegating them to second class citizen status giving them more issues to fight over in the home.

    I would love to read the case you are citing as authority.

  18. Sisyphus — you’re not reading the insurance equation correctly. Currently, if a gay couple wants health insurance, they have to buy two individual policies. Married couples enjoy a significant saving on a single policy that covers both. Also, it’s generally known that unmarried individuals are not as healthy as married ones.

    Insurance companies want to treat gay couples as single unmarried individuals simply because they can get away with charging more money.

  19. Dr Spielvogel
    Jul 28, 2006, 7:12 pm

    Would the proposed change to the Idaho constitution also make civil unions unconstitutional? Banning gay marriage in RIght/Wrong Idaho is a forgone conclusion — it has been done in 20+ other states but banning civil unions is another form of severe injustice.

  20. I have long thought that the issue of gay marriage was largely a problem of semantics, as the word “marriage” connotes some kind of religious ceremony, when in my opinion there are at least three kinds of marriage. A spiritual marriage, where two people love each other and have committed their lives to each other. Whether or not this commitment is recognized by secular or religious authorities is another question.

    Then we have the more traditional sense of marriage, that is a union of two souls before God, Yahweh, Allah, Kali, Diana or the patron of your choice. Whether or not this sanctity comes with actual love or the approval of the State is also another question. Finally, there is the civil marriage preformed for the benefit of the State, which is mostly a financial arrangement and may or may not be a loving relationship and may or may not be recognized by a religious authority. If you think for a moment, you probably know of relationships that include every combination of these “marriages.” (FYI, my wife and I have #1 and #3.)

    The way I see it, homosexual couples have the first, consider the second a lost cause and are merely seeking the rights associated with the third. Being married in the eyes of the State confers all kinds of useful benefits, none of which have anything at all to do with love or religious marriage. In my mind, these sort of rights could be (indeed, should be) extended to all people who are living together as a single financial unit, regardless of gender or relationship. Because these rights are afforded to some citizens and not all, any attempt to deny anyone these rights runs afoul of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

    “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    You can outlaw gay marriage, but only if you strip heterosexual marriage of it’s attendant rights and privileges and provide a way all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, to secure those rights and privileges for themselves.

  21. For any folks that want to get involved in defeating this amendment which will be called HJR2 on our ballot, contact the Idaho Votes No campaign. It is a coalition of individual Idahoans and non-profit organizations dedicated to defeating the HJR2 amendment which would ban civil unions or domestic partnerships of any kind, including those between heterosexual couples. Idaho Votes No is working in conjunction with ACLU of Idaho, The Idaho Women’s Network (IWN), Parents and Families of Gay and Lesbians (PFLAG), and The Interfaith Alliance (TIA). Email IdahoVotesNo@FairIdaho.org for more information, to volunteer or to make a donation. Volunteers are needed to help with things like phone calls, to host house parties, and speak to our churches and civic groups. Vote NO in November on HJR2!

  22. Common Sense
    Jul 29, 2006, 2:45 pm

    The gay marriage debate is opening the door for an issue of much greater importance . . . plural marriage. The prime argument proffered by gay marriage advocates is that it is unconstitutional and just plain wrong to deny consenting adults to enter into marriage with anyone they wish. I couldn’t agree more. That logic equally applies to plural marriage. It is equally wrong and unconstitutional to deny consenting adults from entering into a plural marriage with other equally consenting adults.

    Marriage or no marriage, we couldn’t stop consenting adults from having sex with each other and building their lives together as if they were married. Not that we would want to anyway. By the same token, we can’t stop consenting adults from having sex with multiple people and building long term relationships that are the same as marriage in all but name.

    I bet there won’t be any worse of a divorce problem with plural marriage than with the current limited marriage state. To the contrary, I suspect we will see fewer high conflict divorces because there will be others in the marriage help keep matters from getting out of hand.

    I read the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage. One would hardly have to change a word to make it fully apply to plural marriage.

    The time has come to free people from the straightjacket of our religious past and open the right of marriage to all people.

  23. curious george
    Jul 30, 2006, 12:55 am

    As a left-leaning, progressive, liberal Christian (yes, there are a few of us around), the only ‘moral decline’ I see is coming from the vocal opponents of gay marriage. Come to think of it, living up to the Christian challenge of ‘love thy neighbor’ almost requires that you be a progressive liberal and I can think of no higher moral calling.

    Although I’m pretty much a dyed-in-the-wool, blue collar Democrat (you know, that old ‘tax & spend party’, as opposed to the new Republican ‘tax-cut & spend’ party), I’m standing with my Libertarian friends on this amendment issue. I’m voting against this unwarranted government intrusion into our private lives, for the sole reason being that it appears to be driven by simple hate. I would hope that we could rise above such pettiness, especially in the wording of our most important civil document.

    Unfortunately, Idaho law already defines marriage as being between one man an one woman. Further, this law has stood a significant number of legal challanges – each time, its constitutionality becomes further entrenched. The liklihood of the law being overturned or declared unconstitutional by a liberal judge hell-bent on legislating from the bench is ludicrous – especially in an Idaho court. There is simply no reason to amend the State’s constitution.

    I’ve read quite a few of the various studies regarding the ‘homosexual problem’ – each taking its own stance on the relative societal impacts of legally recognizing the marriage of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgender people. But, my mind was made up for me by a very personal experience. My childrens’ two Sunday School teachers and youth group leaders were a committed and loving lesbian couple – who were also raising four children of their own. Their lessons of love and tolerance left a lasting impression on my children, and for that I am deeply grateful.

  24. As a straight woman in a committed domestic partnership for 4 years with a straight male, the passage of amendment HJR2 would deny my partner and I from being recognized as domestic partners in any form. Thus, we could not enter into a domestic partnership agreement in order to agree contractually to issues involving property ownership, emergency medical decisions, family health insurance and similar issues common to marriage. If my partner and I remain unmarried, amendment HJR 2 would strip away the most basic relationship protections that can be provided by a domestic partnership or civil union that other states allow.

    Currently in Idaho, I am not able to participate in my partner’s health insurance program that is offered by his company. As a result, for one emergency room visit two years ago, I was left with a $3000.00 bill because I am self-employed and did not have health insurance. I now have my own health insurance policy but I can only afford the one with a $5000.00 per year deductible. This policy costs me over $200.00 per month but at least if something catastrophic happens, I would not have to declare bankruptcy because I could not pay my hospital bill. If Idaho did recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships, I would be able to participate in my partner’s health insurance program at the same cost I am paying now but I would have a $500.00 per year deductible as well as full dental coverage which would be very advantageous right now as I am facing dental work that will cost me $2000.00 out of my own pocket. So, Idaho’s present policy of not recognizing domestic partnerships has hurt me financially and the passage of amendment HJR2 would just continue that.

    Just last month, when my partner and I refinanced our house, we were turned down for mortgage life insurance because it is not available in Idaho to unmarried couples. This insurance would pay off the mortgage on our house if either one of us died. If amendment HJR2 is passed, there will never be any chance of being able to qualify for this insurance in Idaho for any couple that is not married. If I lived in one of the states that recognizes domestic partnerships, we would be able to procure this insurance. If my partner should die, I would be saddled with a large mortgage payment and property taxes of $5000.00 per year that I would probably not be able to be pay as my salary is much less than his. It is very possible that I would have to sell our home and move elsewhere. Not only that, but I fear that my partner’s ex-wife would make a claim against our house as he has three children by her. I fear that she will contest his will that leaves his part of the house and household furnishings to me. Even if she does not succeed, I could face a lengthy court battle that would cost me thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. Why should I be punished and made to suffer financially in so many ways just because my partner and I live in Idaho and have not married?

    I encourage everyone to become personally involved in the defeat of amendment HJR2. Write letters to the editor, send your story or a donation to Idaho Votes No, volunteer to make phone calls or host a house party or just hand out flyers at events. Gay or straight, we are all alike at heart. We all want to live a good life, to have fun, to love whom we choose. Love has no gender and should not be subject to the whim of others who do not approve of a particular lifestyle for whatever reason…

  25. Does Idaho law define “man” and “woman”? Can one member of a SS couple simply claim to be the opposite sex? Can the state legally challenge a person’s claim to be one gender or another. Is a person “legally” a man or woman after a sex change operation? If one member of a two-sex marriage has a sex change, is their marriage automatically annulled, or do they have to get divorced, or can they stay married as a same sex couple?

    Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree. With so many gay people, it seems that their primary purpose in life is to let the world know they are (“hey everybody, look at ME”) gaaaaaaaaay!

    BTW, a new meaning for the word “gay” is emerging in American slang, which has no relationship to sexuality. If it catches on, homosexuals will need to confuse literature even further by taking another word to describe their sex life, like they did with “queer” (which took on a bad connotation — ooh!) and later “gay” (which is taking on another bad connotation).

    It’s funny how words become politically incorrect based on “connotations”. Another word is chosen, and suprise, surprise, -that- word assumes the same connotations!

    It’s like trying to solve the flag burning problem (wonder why it’s been so hazy lately?) by redesigning the flag.

  26. Razzbar brings up an interesting scenario. If the amendment passes there will have to be “gender insepectors” at the marriage license bureau. This could open up a whole new market in the medical community for a below-the-belt look…or we could turn it over to Homeland Security to use one of their new scanners.

    Either way it will be a boost to the economy!

  27. While it’s admirable that a citizen (Lena) is fired up over a political issue, it appears that her diatribe is all about a personal irrational fear: that she will end up destitute in the unlikely event that the man she shacks up with suddenly kicks over and – even more unlikely – that the ex-wife will end-run the laws regarding probate. Perhaps Lena is more concerned about her lack of a secure relationship with this dude than with benefitting large groups of the population.

    Did I miss something? In her micro-soap opera, is Lena anticipating her good-time Charlie will croak soon, and if so, WHY? An even greater WHY is how Lena thinks her boyfriend’s employer must cough up more in order to extend benefits to her. Health insurance ain’t free, and as a self-employed person, Lena should respect employers not wishing to have their pockets picked by temporary affiliates of their employees who have a sense of entitlement. Lena is providing her own insurance, so? Stick to the ISSUES, not the dirty laundry.

  28. Hey, Razzbar, where do I sign up for a health insurance policy with reduced rates for married couples? When I quit working several years ago my husband and I each got our own high deductible policy. I haven’t seen any rate sheets from the major insurance companies that have married couple rates – please advise.

    I was amused by the suggestion that a couple could declare whatever gender they wanted at the marriage license bureau. I wouldn’t want to be the clerk in that office. You would know they were lying, but what could you do about it?

    Lena – you don’t want to buy mortgage insurance….it is a nearly useless and expensive way to purchase life insurance. You can certainly have insurance on each other without attaching it to home ownership. As an old escrow officer I can tell you that having closed thousands of real estate transactions, the only time a client purchased mortgage insurance was because one of the couple already had a terminal illness. (We barely got the deal closed in time.)

    You can jump through all kinds of legal hoops to get something resembling a civil union but it would be much easier just to get married. That would take care of most of your issues about inheritance, etc. That is one of the main reasons that gay people want to get married, after all. (Besides the “recognition” factor.)

  29. I have seen time and again, serial monogamist male employees marry, sign up a herd of new wife’s children for health insurance and orthodontic coverage, they all get braces, checkups and so forth and they divorce. A few weeks later, here comes male employee with new wife and guess what, she also has kids with crooked teeth. How is that any less a problem for the insurance company and employer? For that matter, how is it any different to pay for insurance for a lesbian couple, than a woman and a man. Since we have no control over who marries or when, are we counting (in the actuarial sense) on a certain percentage of gay people in the workforce? That’s the only way some of this even begins to make sense, and even then, it doesn’t make much.

  30. The “marriage” word is the big bugaboo in all this. In the eyes of the “State”, marriage is a civil, legal contract. That’s why you have to buy a licence from the government if you want to do it legally. They don’t care if one spouse is Baptist and the other Taliban. I personally think the so called “gay” community brought this on themselves and has brought a lot of attention in their direction and for what good? Legal unions are a good thing for society. So is child support,love and respect. Look at what is happening today in the name of religion. “Marriage” is a word keeping company with the likes of “family farm”, “patriotisim”, and “sustainable cease fire”.

  31. I agree. With so many important issues at hand why spend so much time on this one? Good list FerrisB.

    I too am opposed to the amendment. Perhaps it could be shelved for a time when the world really has no other problems, when all children are safe, well fed, well insured, etc. etc. etc. When this happens perhaps then we will be able to debate this “moral issue”. Until that time no one is able to cast the first stone.

  32. Why all the discussion? The Guardian said it all, in one line:

    EQUAL rights and NO discrimination for any reason.

    As for the insurance rates going up: Yep, probably. But if the way to solve that is to ban certain people from enjoying the benefits of marriage/insurance, why make it only gays? How about left-handed people? Non-Christians? People of certain heights or weights or eye colors? And definitely (and the R’s probably would go for this one) anyone who reads The Guardian?
    Makes about as much sense.

  33. I concur with the differentiation between “religious” unions and “civil” unions. One of the best ideas I read was (paraphrasing): civil unions for all, optional church sanctification.

    One thing I do wish this debate would avoid is the emotional aspect. Stick to technicalities and shy away from degrees of love. Homosexual partnerships are human too and are no more guaranteed “til death do you part” than heterosexual partnerships. Kick the tired divorce rate argument.

  34. Rev. Thomas
    Oct 17, 2006, 1:25 am

    OK. I agree with the fact that seperation of church and state should be upheld. We each have our own religion inside of us. For any one religion to to affect all would unconstitutional and immoral as a people.

    Furthermore, in this instance, the GLBT as a community is not asking for anything at all. It is the state government asking for our permission to “get in the first punch” if you will. If they pass this ammendment, then they will not have to deal with anyone asking for any rights later that pertain to this subject. Because they already took the right away before they could ask.

    This, I believe, is not EQUALITY. This is not FAIR. This is not JUST.

    Are we really going to let our own government dictate how and when we enter into the 21st century of enlightenment. That decision should be up to each and every individual, family, and community. Not the business men who want to keep the cold war on sexuality alive so they can make more money on it.

    OH! By The Way, this ammendment will not only affect the GLBT people of Idaho, but also it will keep any other person that has been married previous from ever marrying again or being recognized by the state if they have already. They don’t mention that part of the wording of the ammendment.

    As a Reverend, I say let the judgement be made by whatever higher power each of you believe in do the judging, not us.

    As a human being that lives on this planet and in this state, I say let no law ever take anyones right to equality away. Nor, prevent anyone from requesting equality under the law.

    Rev. Thomas Cox

  35. I agree with the GUARDIAN about gay rights. I believe it’s bad terminology, implying that homosexuals should be eligible for special rights not afforded to heterosexuals. I do believe that gay people should be allowed the same rights as the rest of us…it’s a sexual preference, for God’s sake, it has nothing to do with political status and shouldn’t even be an issue for the government to decide.

    My only concern lies with churches. It is not inconceivable that a homosexual couple would wish to have a traditional “church” wedding, and it is equally possible that some churches might refuse to marry a gay couple. This could raise issues such as the church’s right to refuse to host a gay wedding, whether or not it is discrimination, or a hate crime, and so on and so forth…

    While homosexuals should be allowed equal rights, I do not believe that churches should be required to marry a gay couple if the reason for the refusal is based in their theology.

    I am concerned that with the legalization of gay marriage will come the persecution of fundamentalist Christian churches who disagree on a religious basis with homosexuality. This is an issue that is rarely talked about, but it needs to be addressed, because I disagree with the government’s interference with the church just as much as I disagree with the government’s intrusion into the personal lives and sexual preferences of individuals.

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