Saturday, February 02, 2008

Oregon Domestic Partnership - A Go

US District Judge Michael Mosman stunned Oregon's gay community when he put the State's Domestic Partnership law on hold prior to its effective date. He has now tossed the plaintiffs' arguments and allowed it to go forward, effective Friday afternoon. The quickness of the ruling came as a surprise to many. While Mosman stated that there were issues in the suit that the SoS should find troubling and address, he noted that there is no Constitutional right to have a signature verified.

This won't lay the issue to rest. Sadly. Proponents of the ban on gay marriage stated repeatedly the they were only against marriage, not civil unions. That may have been true of some spokespersons, but evidently not exactly everybody. How about a reality check of the nonsense.

Marriage in State terms, is a civil contract. It is not in the least religious. The State magnanimously allows religious people to conduct services and finalize the agreement, but the State holds absolutely no interest in the Godly sanctimony of marriage. Their only interest is in the civil contract that subjects the parties to certain responsibilities and grants certain privileges in binding form - civil form. This is entirely an issue between the State and the involved parties, God doesn't get any play whatever, is totally ignored, is flatly pointless and irrelevant. All of the Godly part is entirely the responsibility of the parties involved in joining in contract.

There is, of course, the unfortunate similarity in the names of the institution in both civil and religious ceremonies. Marriage. Churches and religious adherents mean one thing and the State means something quite different by the same term. I've had friends suggest that all State marriages should be called civil unions to get the State out of the God business and end confusion. I object, there are plenty of words in the English language with two meanings and the State has never been in the God end of this. We don't need new words, we need a citizenry that knows its head from a hole in the ground, how about it? I am so tired of treating symptoms instead of the ailment.

Now this blog has continuously taken the same stand in this regard, as a commentary and as a political campaign site :
The same privileges and responsibilities are due to all law abiding Oregonians, and in fact all US citizens of the same description. Any failure of the government to do so, or to in fact deny such is unconscionable. It is institutionalized discrimination of the worst sort. I do not propose to interfere with anyone's religious freedom, or their ability to speak rudely or think stupidly, but I cannot support taking any of that into the arena of civil contracts. It is, flatly, none of your damn business.

I select my friendships and relationships on the basis of character, I have good friends who are gay and I have good friends who are homophobic and most who don't give a damn. I happen to be among the latter, I don't give a damn. My good friends who are gay, happen to be gay in my mind, they are not defined by that. That may disappoint them, because it is fairly central to their being, but I just don't care. I am entirely heterosexual, I don't have questions or doubts about it, so it just isn't an issue with me. It is, in fact, so basic as to be of no meaning whatever. It does not define me, I simply am that. My eyes are hazel, if yours are not, I simply don't care, mine are still hazel and I'm also not impressed that yours are also.

I do what I can to oppose stupidity and meanness, it seems to be a never ending battle. I'm glad for gays that they've gotten their civil unions, but it is thin gruel in the battle. Make no mistake, the battle isn't about gays, it is about our government acting in a proper manner. If you want to be ignorant and mean, that is your business, but I can't abide it in government.


Zak J. said...

A couple years back when Multnomah Co. unilaterally allowed for domestic partnerships my part of town suddenly had a huge spate of weddings and other celebrations as long-term partners of many years and their children finally found themselves getting the legal and social recognition they deserve. It was a short-lived happiness.

But now that legal protections have been given statewide, let's hope they are longer lasting, that is, permanent. Listen for the church bells; it's going to be a happy Valentines this year.

Chuck Butcher said...

I remember the disappointment people had, the whole thing is just flat out sad and a sad commentary on how people will act in regard to "the other."