October 30, 2010

Talking Points on Civil Unions and Gay Marriage

Posted in Comic Editorial, gay, government tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:22 am by justinadayswork

Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are not equal to “Gay Marriage” for two reasons: One, separate is not equal. Two, a state-level Civil Union or Domestic Partnership still denies gay couples thousands of federal rights granted to straight couples

 

There is no such thing as Gay Marriage. There is only Marriage, and it is open to every American citizen or it is not. No one ever got down on one knee and said “will you gay marry me”

 

The Defense Against Marriage Act, DOMA, passed during the Clinton administration is unconstitutional because it defies the Full Faith and Credit clause that ensures that laws in one state be honored by all states. Any legislation passed that defies the constitution cannot stand

 

All constitutional amendments passed by states to deny marriage to gay couples are erroneous. State constitutions must be in concert with the Federal Constitution to be valid in law

 

This is not a States Rights Issue. Framer James Madison made very clear that the language of the 10th amendment which introduced the concept of States Rights and Federalism say that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” and not “The powers not expressly delegated…” This has been interpreted through centuries of case law to mean that a power need not be expressly and necessarily granted to the federal government to still be within the providence of the federal government. The federal government can implement principles from the federal constitution, primarily through the courts,  and override state law. Brown v Board of Education in 1954 decided among other things (such as separate is not equal and the implementation of equal protection under the law) that a single state did not have the right to decide issues pertaining to rights in the Federal Constitution.

 

Marriage is a civil right. This precedent was set in 1967 in the landmark case Loving v Virginia which declared on a national level that to prevent interracial marriages was unconstitutional stated in its opinion that “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man”

 

 

 

And finally, a main reason Governor Lingle gave for why she vetoed Civil Union Bill HB444 in Hawai’i was that she did not want Civil Unions to be her legacy.

 

There are two other legacies that I would like to discuss, and in our adult-dominated world, often ignored.

 

They are that of the 82 year old couple who have for their whole lives been fighting prejudice and injustice, who now can’t hold each others hand as one dies in the hospital because his partner was denied visitation rights

 

The other is that of the 15 year old kid, that wants nothing more to be normal, seeing messages of a life of difference and abnormality because of  who he or she is that are reflected in the laws of our society, and is so filled with the inner turmoil and self-hate that comes with being an outcast in your own country — a legally codified outcast — that they reach for a rope instead of seeking equal opportunity.

 

 

Which legacy do you want on your hands?

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September 27, 2009

Don’t ask Don’t Die

Posted in Comic Editorial, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 2:11 am by justinadayswork

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to be in the army. Yes! I get to increase my chance of death! No…not really working for me. But for those who want to fight for their country, lose their big toe for their country, and get shiny stars for their country, I must say I respect your conviction and present the following “Oh God it’s what Rachel Thinks.”

The following article was posted on the Concerned Women for America’s Website, one of the largest and most prominent “pro family pro Christian” groups frolicking with Christ and his rainbows and ponies today. I would of course prefer to call them Christian Workers Forcing Acculturation, but it just doesn’t make for a very strong argument. Oh, what the hey.

http://www.cwfa.org/articles/17288/CFI/nation/index.htm

This article is interesting. It is interesting because I actually agree with the main point on which it is predicated. I of course vehemently disagree with the extrapolations and conclusions that are made in response to this predicate. But it’s interesting to note that, well, they have a point.

And their point is this: military service is not a right. And, in my mind, they are correct. Military service is a privilege, because it requires a certain set of physical and mental characteristics to be a successful and productive soldier. My narco ass wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near an armored tank mission, because my body does not possess the characteristics to keep my fellow soldiers and myself safe.

But here’s the rub. I have a disability — there’s something wrong. There’s something that concretely and undeniably would jeopardize my performance under fire. This article treats homosexuality in the same way — as a disability. To put it plainly, it is just not.

Homosexuals, bisexuals, and other Queer Identifying persons can possess the same physical and mental capabilities as heterosexuals. How straight do you need to be to pull a trigger? So any argument that they intrinsically cannot do the job is an ignorant misconception.

But more important is the analysis of the impact of homosexuals on the military as a whole; on morale, cohesion, and discipline. Few proponents of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are on the streets saying gay people aren’t physically up for the job. Their concern lies with the presence of homosexual people disrupting the unit of the military itself.

This article uses four arguments to dispel any opposition towards DADT.

First, it assumes that fewer people would enlist, with no evidence to that matter. It does not mention the skilled homosexual soldiers that would be able to enlist. It also cites a study from 1993 saying that a large percentage of enlisted men and women would not re-enlist with the presence of gays. This study is from 16 years ago. People thought New Kids on the Block were cool 16 years ago. Times have changed.

The article asserts that “[T]his would be tantamount to ordering military women to live in close quarters with men.” It would force persons to accept exposure to other persons who were sexually attracted to them.” This is one of the biggest misconceptions concerning gay people. Not all gay men are attracted to all men. Not all gay women are attracted to all women. And furthermore, even if attracted, they would have to actually be some kind of sexual threat to pose any kind of danger or problem for their fellow soldiers. So in other words, the heart of this issue is the fear that a gay service member may be attracted to a fellow soldier. And that, my friends, is called homophobia. And to deny a right, or privilege, to an individual based on homophobia is called discrimination. Discriminationin this sense is unconstitutional. It denies equal protection under the law.

But then the article makes yet another point that I agree with — civilian life and military life are not the same, and perhaps the military should be given some level of autonomy in deciding the way in which it operates. However, ultimately, the sovereignty of government institutions — organizations, states, even the military — stops when conflicts with the Constitution of the United States. When an argument is predicated on discrimination, it denies an individual their rights. Now I’m not talking about a right to be in the military. As I already mentioned, there is no such inalienable right. I’m talking about their right to be treated like everyone else, because Jefferson said it best: “All Men are Created Equal”

soldiers

Look! It’s my homeboys! Oh wait they are obviously not queer. My bad.