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Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage’

Via Volokh,  one learns that a bill that would have allowed domestic partners the right to provide for the burial of their loved ones, has been vetoed by RI governor Donald Carcieri.

The legislature passed the bill after hearing testimony from a man whose partner of 17 years went unburied for months while state officials rejected his requests to cremate the body as the dead man wished.  State officials were unmoved by the couple’s wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and a marriage certificate from Connecticut.

The pure libertarian position on marriage is that the government should not be in the marriage business, gay or straight; instead any two people should be allowed to draw up whatever contract they wish in order to solidify their relationship. But we are far from such an ideal, and given present reality, it is hard to take seriously those who oppose gay marriage today either from the pure libertarian rationale or from an idea — false, as the above incident shows — that gays in a domestic partnership can have all the same rights if they fill up the right forms. As for those who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds, I don’t take them seriously anyways.

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Andrew Sullivan — otherwise one of Obama’s strongest supporters — calls him out for not opposing Proposition 8 strongly enough:

The final analysis is pretty clear. There was a big overlap between new, largely black Obama voters and the forces for discrimination against gay married couples and our families.

The massive black turnout was the critical factor. And Obama’s refusal to take a firm stand in the last few weeks of the campaign was instrumental to its passage.

[…] Obama has always opposed marriage equality, even splitting with his own church on the issue. In California, he got his way.

Yes he did.

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The CNN exit polls explain the passage of Proposition 8, that eliminates the right of gays to marry in California:

African-Americans voted for Proposition 8 by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin. However, 55 percent of white voters and 52 percent of Hispanics voted against the proposition.

This does seem to affirm the common observation that African-Americans tend to be highly homophobic. It is unfortunate that a group that has been a traditional victim of discrimination voted yesterday to deny legal rights to another community.

(Hat Tip: The art of the Possible)

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I agree with Dale Carpenter about what now appears to be an uphill battle against Proposition 8:

What’s interesting to me is that both sides have avoided the merits of allowing gay couples to marry. Gay-marriage supporters have done so, with focus-group tested messages in hand, because they suspect a large group of people even in a progressive statement are still deeply uncomfortable with homosexuality and certainly don’t like gay marriage. Gay-marriage opponents have done so, I presume, because they know that Americans don’t like to be seen as discriminating or opposing civil rights. So they paint gay marriage, instead, as itself a threat to the rights of religious people and parents. The theory seems to be that the side that’s most seen as defending rights is the side that wins.

I doubt that any months-long campaign of television ads, no matter their content, could really change the basic impulses most people have on this issue. Those impulses, whether they lead you to support or oppose gay marriage, are developed over a lifetime of experience. Very few people come to this issue without some fairly strongly held views. Such views are hard to dislodge.

Still, there’s something to Rostow’s hope that one day gay-marriage supporters might actually argue that gay marriage is a good thing. If we’re going to lose these ballot fights anyway, why not fight the good fight rather than the agnostic one?

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