Sunday, November 13, 2011

Proposal Made: Will Washington Say "I Do?"

A campaign will be launched this week for the state of Washington to become the 7th state to enshrine the idea that all are created equal, when it comes to marriage.

Voters in Washington have previously supported a "all but marriage"  measure of civil unions meant to mimic an actual marriage contract. State Sen. Ed Murray said he and colleagues are "going to push it" and that they think 2012 will be the year that marriage equality happens.

Opposing this deregulation of marriage are Republicans who insist that state controls are necessary to "preserve marriage in its traditional form." Apparently they are ignorant of history otherwise they would not speak of a "traditional form" of marriage at all. It was once deemed that marriage meant women should not vote because their husbands represented them. Before marriage their fathers did that job. Women could not own their own property at times, all property had to be owned by the husband. Even the income of women from employment was deemed to belong to their husband. This was "traditional" marriage. While Sen. Dan Swecker, a big government Republican, wants to preserve "traditional" marriage he only wants to preserve some aspects of traditional marriage.

Marriage to Republicans is like the Bible to fundamentalist—they insist on the right to pick and choose which parts to like and ignore the rest.

Currently the Democrats have a majority in the state Senate and House, but conservative Democrats have previously voted with Republicans to keep government restrictions on marriage contracts in place. Some Republicans will have to jump ship and support deregulation and smaller government in order for the marriage measure to become law. Swecker says there is a 50/50 chance of the deregulation becoming law.

Conservatives pledge to have the rights of the gay minority put up to a public vote where the majority gets to decide whether a minority has the same rights as themselves. Jefferson said that the "most sacred" duty of government is "to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens." He wrote that the best principles of the country was to "secure to all its citizens a perfect equality of rights." He said no man "has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another." The concept of equality of rights, in Republican views means, everyone has the same right to vote the rights of minorities and deny them equality of rights because they are not the majority. It is the very sort of democracy that the Founders warned us to avoid in favor of a Republic.


  1. Since their government there has passed nearly all the other needed bills to support gays, this will undoubtedly be passed too, like the rest. What I don't understand is ... why isn't there more talk among the gay community about gays constructing their own marriage contracts? Why are they insistent on forcing the government to make their contracts for them when they can develop their own and leave government out? To me it just seems like we keep involving our governments in things we can resolve ourselves. The question is ... when these bills are passed ... what percentage of gay couples actually step forth to take advantage of them? Does anyone know? If this is something that gay couples really believed in I think you;d see more of them contracting their own marriages. If they did , governments around the country could concentrate on more important issues. What I;d like to see is ... government and private institutions giving all of their employees the options to add whomever they desire to their health insurances ..where they are not just limited to to adding legal spouses and their children. Its discriminates against their parents, grandparents, live in partner (opposite or same-sex) their children and against others many would like to include. If the employee is paying why cant they have it. The Government should get involved in engineering that and let gays legalize their own relationships.

  2. In a nutshell: your own private contracts can not give you the same legal rights. A private contract won't change the higher tax rates that gay couples face. It won't allow a gay citizen to sponsor their foreign-born partner for citizenship. It won't stop them from being compelled to testify against their spouse. It won't change gays who include their partners in their employer-sponsored health benefits have to pay taxes on that benefit where straight couples don't.

    In other words a private marriage contract can not grant the legal rights of marriage, whether we like it or not. In addition, for this second class status the cost runs between $5000 and $10,000.

    Marriage is a legal contract and as such it means the legal system is involved, regardless of what utopian visions one may hold as an alternative. As long as that is reality then same-sex couples should be afforded the same legal rights.

    For instance, if you government banned blacks from government schools, and only blacks, the right policy is equal admission even if you prefer private schools. If the state said everyone but Jews could use the post office, even if you support private mail service, you still need to support equality of access for Jews.

  3. Hi and thank you so much for replying to my reply so quickly. In response to your reply I'd like to say; obviously things would be a lot easier for the gay community if the majority of people in this country were for "marriage equality" and it was passed as law in all states. It doesn't take rocket science at all to come to that conclusion. That's like saying the world would be a better place if we all loved one another ... so we should shoot for that. That "ain't" happening no time soon.

    The majority of this country is not for marriage equality and its not law for most gays in the country. And for a whole lot of people in this country, its gonna be a long time coming. Look how long its taken just to get the few states that are on board. I believe at some time IN THE FUTURE it will happen across the board in our country the mean time ...while we're doing all this continual fighting about "marriage" I see very little being done or said in the gay community that's beneficial for many gay relationships that exist TODAY. (To be Continued in my next post)

  4. (A continuation of my last post)Having privatized contractual marriage in the gay community is certainly not a "cure all" to the problem but it COULD help to resolve some the issues gays face now ... and it wouldn't cost $5-10,000.00 for everybody as you said. A very standard marriage agreement could be drawn up and copy written by a lawyer and it could sell for $5.00 like all the other legal documents sold at the local office supply.You wouldn't have to hire a lawyer to draw it up. As far as I know, there's no one in the gay community even moving things in that direction. I don't even know if they are even interested. Yet it would help 1000's of couples with a lot of things, and it'd cost very little for them.

    As far as gay couples having to pay higher taxes ... marriage equality would solve that too ... but in the meantime even for that there are remedies. Two partner LLC's (in most states) are already treated by the government the same way as marriages are. If gay couple's formed LLC's and filed taxes as LLC's instead of individuals their taxes would automatically be reduced and discounted just like married couples. If getting taxes reduced for gay couples is so important NOW, why don't you hear more in the gay community talking to each other about getting this going. No laws need to be changed to do that. Gay couples could have their tax brackets changed over the next 2 weeks without having a law changed. It would cost $20/$30 depending on where you live.

    (To be continued in my next post)

  5. ( A continuation of my last post) Having privatized contractual marriage in the gay community is certainly not a "cure all" to the problem but it COULD help to resolve some the issues gays face now ... and it wouldn't cost $5-10,000.00 for everybody as you said. A very standard marriage agreement could be drawn up and copy written by a lawyer and it could sell for $5.00 like all the other legal documents sold at the local office supply.
    You wouldn't have to hire a lawyer to draw it up. As far as I know, there's no one in the gay community even moving things in that direction. I don't even know if they are even interested. Yet it would help 1000's of couples with a lot of things, and it'd cost very little for them

    As far as gay couples having to pay higher taxes ... marriage equality would solve that too ... but in the meantime even for that there are remedies. Two partner LLC's (in most states) are already treated by the government the same way as marriages are. If gay couple's formed LLC's and filed taxes as LLC's instead of individuals their taxes would automatically be reduced and discounted just like married couples. If getting taxes reduced for gay couples is so important NOW, why don't you hear more in the gay community talking to each other about getting this going. No laws need to be changed to do that. Gay couples could have their tax brackets changed over the next 2 weeks without having a law changed. It would cost $20/$30 depending on where you live.

    (To be continued in my next post)

  6. ( Part 3 of my last post)I already spoke in my initial post where the focus could be for health insurance, particularly in the states where marriage equality is outlawed. That could be resolved by each state by passing laws that would allow people the right to purchase health insurance across state lines. Then gays who live in states that have rejected gay marriage could purchase health insurance on their jobs from the states that grant health insurance to gay couples. They wouldn't need to have a marriage sanctioned by their state to do it. Passing bills like that have nothing to do with gay marriage. It has to do with being able to spend your money on insurance, where ever you'd like. That conversation is hardly going on any where.

    There are remedies for being able to sponsor foreign partners you're not married to as well. It would certainly be easier to get all of these things done if there were marriage equality for gays, but it is not the ONLY answer to the problem. In the mean time while gays are walking around with signs demanding marriage,one of their activist buddies has lived with his partner for 10/15 years who just died and now the living partner is being treated like a piece of trash by everybody because some of the other things that could have been focused on, weren't.

    I'm definitely not against gay marriage and I'm in board with every effort to make it happen, I'm just saying, there are some other things gays need to be very seriously talking about around the country while all the "back n forth" and fussing and complaining is going on. And might I add, a lot of them can be done much easier and quicker then it would be then constantly fighting with government and overturning constitional amendments

  7. If you wish to cover one issue at a time, we can. But when your comments are far longer than the original article we have a problem. I don't have time to handle 3 part, long messages.

    You solutions would do little to change the situation. And what you are saying is that you want to put extra hoops in the way for gay couples to jump through to only get a little of the same rights as other couples.

    You are also wrong as to the polls. They show a majority, slim but still a majority, favoring full marriage equality. If second best civil unions are included the support goes to two-thirds. The hold outs tend to be old conservatives and the old part means they won't be around for long.

  8. In my intial post I only spoke of contracts and health insurance. You introduced the tax subject and the foreign partner subject to the conversation. I was simply addressing the things you introduced which I could have ignored.

    I have clearly said I AM FOR GAY MARRIAGE. Maybe I need to say to you - that I;d Like to see it happen so things CAN change. My suggestions are not too stop gay marriage they are just for other things that CAN be done while we're working on getting it nationally. Why would I want to put hoops in the way for gays? I AM GAY myself. We don't have it in our state and in our states last vote on the issue, they said they did'nt want it.Votes state the reality I don't care what "polls" say.There are 50 states, and not even a third of them have said they want gay marriage.How is that a majority?

  9. I am saying that the solutions you offer are the extra hoops that gay couples have to jump through. Instead of getting a marriage license that does all these things at once, a dozen other steps have to be taken at great cost.

    I suspect that marriage equality will be here and there is a good chance it will be national and within the next five to ten years. I honestly think this is a very winnable issue and that time is better spent here than on "alternatives" which are second best.

  10. I came to this blog spot a few days back as someone from another site said it was a "libertarian" marrriage equlaity blog , but I've looked over all the post and there is not one post on it that upholds any of the libertarian veiws I've read on marriage equality anywhere. The person referring could not have read any of the posts closely. From I can see there's only one blog that even mentions the word libertarian other than this one, so obvioualy the person referring people here is wrong. Ive been told that my political thought patterns 'seems" to flow in the line with libertarian veiws, however I'm not a libertarian nor am I real familiar with them or those who uphold their veiws (Im a newbie). I came here thinking I'd see how libertarians approach marriage eguality in an effort to strengthend my own veiws but apparently no one really post here other than the developer of the Moorfield Storey institute ..and from the little that I know about "libertarians" , Moorfield doesnt show support for a libertarian vewpoint at all - gay or straight. Its definelty your typical gay democratic veiw which is alright, its just not a libertarians veiw. I'm not looking at all to debate what veiw is right or the best , I'm simply looking t for those with a gay libertarian veiw so I can see whether or not my thought patterns on marriage equality are truly in line with the libertarian veiw as I have been told. The thoughts that I have shared in this blog, I've been told is how libertarians approach the subject but either Moorfield does'nt hold a true libertarian view or what I've learned and have been told on how libertarians approach marriage equlaity ... is not libertarian at all.

  11. Let's see, you are "not a libertarian" nor are you "real familiary with them" but as someone who is not a libertarian and not familiar with those views you can pronounce that this blog and those of us associated with it are not libertarians. What an amazing feat for which you must be applauded. Very few people are able to pass judgment as to the "libertarian" qualities of another based on knowing nothing about the philosophy.

    Every person here has been associated with libertarian ideas throughout adulthood. I for 30 years including writing for every major libertarian publication that has existed during that time and working with 7 libertarian organizations in four countries.

    As for mentioning the "word," which seems to be a major point with you. This is a news blog which, for the most part, reports what is happening on this topic. It is not a board for libertarian theology (I say theology because you seem to hold beliefs by faith, not by reason, as you yourself admit you don't know the ideas, but you judge others like a good religious person).

    On the other hand, at the Storey blog itself, were we do discuss philosophy and politics, there are 46 articles mentioning libertarian and 21 mentioning classical liberal, which means the same thing. That means that the majority of articles use one of those two terms in it.

    Since you are now an arbitrator of what it really means to be a libertarian I would be curious to hear your definition. Libertarianism is a broad philosophy that would encompass people as diverse as Hayek, Mises, Rand, Friedman and even the anarchists±—though most libertarians throughout history have not been anarchists. It includes a range of views. So what defines a libertarian? Is it a belief in the right of individuals to enter into their own agreements provided they don't violate the rights of others? And is that NOT what marriage is, a private contract? Now unless one confuses anarchism with libertarianism and rules out all the great libertarians but a tiny band, then the role of the state is to protect rights, including the right to contract, and that includes the marriage contract.

  12. It's so nice that you can say that this blog isn't really libertarian without actually providing a concrete set of examples, simply asserting it as fact. Why not step up and actually explain yourself and why you think this blog conflicts with libertarianism, JKarl? All I see is the usual "no government, private contract" purism that tries to ignore an actual process toward progress so you can gripe about ideals that aren't actually going to happen. Seriously, define specifics as to why this blog isn't libertarian, because AS a practicing libertarian, there's nothing said here that conflicts with the very broad political and philosophical implications of libertarianism.

  13. Wow!! Okay ... I think its pretty clear that I'm unfamilar with Libertarian concepts. I'm communinicating with two guys that are loyal libertarians and everything that Im saying "seems" to be contradictory. I'd say, based on what you guys are sayiing, its pretty obvious I'm unfamiliar (just like I said). Its also obvious that you guys are looking for opposition (somebody to debate with) as I never said this sight was not libertarian ... My exact quote was " EITHER Moorfield does'nt hold a true libertarian view or WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD how Libertarians approach marriage equlaity ... is not libertarian at all". What "I" have been told is not Libertarian,and cleary what "I" have been told is wrong. What I;ve heard Libertarians beleive is "the less government the better and more personal responsibility". My suggestion of contracts involves "no governments and definetly personal responsibility " I suggested it because I THOUGHT it was in line with the Libertarian veiw.So I think its obvious that I understand very little about the Libertarians approach to the subject (or atleast the way you guys think the subject should be approached).All I did was run the word Libertarian through the search engine here to see if I was in the right spot because everything I've said has been shot down.. so I wondered was I in the right spot and in my searching the word Libertarian showed up I think only one or 2 times. You guys are in the typical catty attack mode and I did'nt come here for that. Someone told me my thoughts tend to lean towards Libertarian concepts .. so I posted them on this site to see ... only to find out from you guys that they are not. So obviously I've been misinformed. I need to go back and read some more on Libertarian veiws. I'm very new to looking at Libertarian concepts (only about 2 weeks) and the FIRST time I try to relate to 2 loyal libertarians I get my head bit off. Thanks for the warm welcome. You surely let me know I definetly don't know wahty I;m talking about and don't belong here (at least not this early in the game). I need to learn some more about the concepts. Enjoy your blog.

  14. Interesting conversation. It seems that the core issue has been neglected, however. My reading of it tells me that JKarl is seeking an "end run" around the unfortunate inequality of marriage laws through a contractual avenue. No one disputes the need to achieve equality through the legislative process, but in the meantime, the question remains. What can be done to acquire as many benefits as possible through legal contracts? These are not "hoops" put in place by people like JKarl. They are "hoops" put in the way by governmental discrimination. Multiple individual contracts are merely a pragmatic solution to a current unsolvable problem.

  15. JKarl: Any head biting was in response to some you did in your previous comment. Until you played the "purity card" the discussion was fine. Instead of saying why we aren't real libertarians you made the accusation, with a weasel clause to escape responsibility if need be. But what you didn't do, besides making the claim, was explain why this is the case. So, in the end, we still don't know what you've been told, other than we "ain't" it.

    And after making the claim, when we respond to it, without calling names, you reply as if you are some innocent person treated badly by those nasty "catty" guys who gave such a cold welcome. (Numerous comments before that discussing things in a civil manner apparently are not part of the welcome, all that counts was the reply to a rather uncivil use of the purity card.)

    And, where I said, I'd be curious to know precisely what you've been told, you have so far kept that hidden. In other words, instead of giving any reasons for your claim you made what amounted to an accusation (with your short escape clause least offense be taken) and left it at that. That, I think, was certainly not very warm either.

    More below (space limitations)

  16. JKarl: (2) The closest thing you have given to respond is that libertarians believe the less government the better. Fine, but less than what? And, more than what? Anarchists say "no government" at all. We are not anarchists, but then very few the great libertarians in history were such. And certainly the most widely known libertarians: Hayek, Mises, Rand and Friedman, were not.

    Second, you claim your solution involves "no government" and only personal responsibility. But if there is only personal responsibility then a contract is unnecessary. A contract exists to deal with issues where personal responsibility alone has not worked. It is for disputes and disagreements, not for when everything is working fine. And, all contracts, are a matter of law and that means policing and arbitration to settle disputes. The private marriage contracts you suggested are all enforceable by government. It does no good ignoring that and pretending they involve no government. They do, otherwise they have no value whatsoever other than to allow the aggrieved party to bitch about it.

    And, in previous comments, I tried to explain how such private contracts are deficient and why they are deficient. My point was that they don't actually solve the problems of marriage inequality and can't do so.

    Da'udum: I tried to address the idea of an "end run" the position I took on this issue until recently. I have spent the last six months or so reading countless histories of marriage, legal cases, law papers, journal articles, etc., trying to get a foundation on which to hang that opinion. I discovered a lot of new information that indicated to me that a lot of libertarians are talking ideology first, and are very weak on the actual history and facts. It became clear to me that private contracts can't do some of the most important things needed BECAUSE they are superseded by legislation. You can't make a contract in violation of the law, it has no legitimacy. Thus private contracts have very limited benefits and they can be ignored if legislation conflicts with them.

    In reality, BTW, marriage has been steadily been deregulated for about 150 years now. There are less controls over who may marry, far fewer controls on how to get out of the contract if it is a bad one, and more rights to couples to set the terms of the contract. But the main issues of child custody, taxation, immigration, and the like are under legislative control and NO private contract is available to change that. IN addition since the costs for private contracts in these cases have to be set on a state by state basis, with all legislation taken into account the costs are significant. Many gay couples can't afford it, while straight couples merely have to pay a license fee and it's done.

  17. MI-Its hard for me to respond. For instance when I first talked about about contracts, you brought up taxes (which I said nothing about). When I gave my response to you about the taxes comments - you the said it was too lenghty and that you would only entertain one subject at a time. Thats the way the conversation started. Its all there. When I said I was unfamiliar with Libertarian concepts, its seems like you discounted it as if I had some hidden agenda. I have'nt explained in detail what I've learned because the last time I gave detail YOU said it was too lenghty. The only time the conversation came to a "lull" is when I reiterated that I was FOR marriage equality
    and wanted to see it happen.across the state (because it seem like you did'nt get that). Before the it was "the suggestion is not good" , "you are wrong about the polls" (which I never said anything about polls), "you are hung up on the word" "you sound like a religious person". I came here to contribute to what I thought was the view. Even though I know that Ron Paul is now republican, my understanding is that he has well represented the libertarian party and every comment that I have heard him say or read regarding marriage equality, I recall him encouraging the use of privitized contracts, (thats where I got the idea). Like I said ... I guess I just don't understand. So I will have no more comments about Libertarian views, because I don't know enough about them to engage in debate. So I'll let you guys who have done this for a while engage in that. It almost sounds like its a debate between people who are on opposing sides of gay marriage. We are not. As Da'udum said
    "in the meantime" I'm just suggesting things that can be done while we're working on it" . I never ever suggested that it was the "cure all" or the only answer.

  18. Please reread the comments. You brought up contracts as some sort of solution. So I mentioned several ways in which these contracts will NOT and can not solve the problems that same-sex couples are put into by not being allowed to marry.

    It is no surprise you didn't mention taxes because you were only looking at what you think contracts can do, not what you know they can't do. My point was precisely that they can't solve the inequitable situation that gay couples are in.

    As for the request to limit it to one topic at a time, it was because the replies get too long to deal with in fair and easy manner. The response you sent in was three full comments. I was trying to limit it specifics at a time so we could have a discussion.

    No you never said anything polls, what you said "the majority of this country is not for marriage equality." That is what you wrote. If you are not invoking polls as support of that statement, then where are you getting your evidence to make the claim? I assumed polls as that is how most people determine what public opinion actually is.

    Ron Paul is not the voice of libertarianism, no one person is. He is a social conservative, fundamentalist Christian, who is personally very anti-gay. He wants to ban abortion, not a libertarian view, for instance. He voted for sodomy laws when in Congress, also not very libertarian.

    As for Ron's support for contracts over getting married—why is he married then, and not trying to do the same thing with civil contracts? He only discovered this opposition to marriage when gays wanted to get married. It never applied to anyone else and he's never followed his own advice nor have his own kids. All of them made sure they got legal marriages. And I don't mean church weddings, I mean marriage licenses. In fact, almost every heterosexual who makes this statement, in my experience, is them self legally married. As one of them told me when I asked why he got legally married if this is his view his response was, "Well, I'm not stupid." He said the disadvantages to being unmarried were so many that he wouldn't choose private contracts over marriage but he thought it was fine to make gays settle for second best because there shouldn't be marriage—in other words he felt gay people should pay the price for his principles when he was unwilling to do so.

  19. MI- As I've said probably for the 10th time now I KNOW CONTRACTS ARE NOT A CURE ALL. You keep talking to me as if I have disagreed with something that you have said. I don't get it. We're on the same page as far as marriage licences. Its almost as if you're just looking for something to disagree with me on. Wow! I AM FOR GAY MARRIAGE! CONTRACTS ARE 2ND BEST. What all do I need to say to you to let you know. I AGREE. The problem is We don;t have it in our state though. So what do we do in the MEAN TIME? Until we get it here in our state, our community will have to consider the alternatives to solidfy our relationships which you keep reminding me our our 2nd best. Do we want that?... NO but those are the only choices we have for NOW. If you want to continue saying to us over here that contracts are not a good solution .. then give us a solution for what we can do NOW .. other than just saying contracts are not a good solution.

    And as far as Ron Paul, I never said he was the voice of Libertarians but unfortunately when people are trying to learn a view point online, his name almost always comes up as someone who a lot of people in the LP respect ... so quite naturally Im going to think he is who Libertarians are supporting, .When I put in "libertarian" in google to learn more about that view, "Moorfield Story Institute" did'n't come up so I hadn't learned your view. Now I do and believe it or not you are the first libertarian I've heard speak against him. I hear democrats speak bad about him, I hear republicans speak bad about him and forgive me, if you can, for being naive but I just thought he was the person most Libertarians supported. So obviously ...again I'm wrong. This is all new for me. You don;t have to argue your points with me ... I don't have an opposing view.

    RE;Taxes- Why would I offer a solution and then say what it can't do. Its obvious what contracts can't do, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that CONTRACTS DON'T SOLVE the tax issue, so what I gave was another solution. NOT THE BEST SOLUTION just another one.

    RE: Polls- I TOLD you why I said the majority of this country doesn't want "marriage equality" and I very specifically said I didn't get that from polls. It was from votes. When those proposed amendments against same-sex marriage went across the country a few years back, the country spoke with their VOTES, we don't want it. Whatever polls say, the votes are the actual voices. At least thats what I interpreted those votes to mean.

    You have points you are trying to defend. I want to defend them WITH you. On the other end, here in our state we now have a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. THEY SHUT IT DOWN and since that time you very rarely even hear the subject even mentioned. We can't have 2nd best domestic partnerships hear or anything. Its really sad. We worked so hard to fight that amendment here. We marched, we screamed, we hollered for years down to the last day but it passed and its like it knocked all the wind out our community. But we're still here though and relationships need protection so we're shooting over for whatever we can.

  20. Google searches are not an accurate of way of determining whether something is libertarian or not. All it does is find that word on sites and then ranks them according to popularity. Many libertarians have been highly critical of Ron Paul since the 1980s, especially after he voted to make restore sodomy as crime in DC. As for candidates I think Gary Johnson is much preferable on the issues. But is a personal view, the Institute takes no view as to whether people should support any candidate, let alone which one.

    The votes from years ago don't reflect the shifts in opinion polls. Public opinion has shifted faster on gay marriage than on any other issue. I do not believe Prop 8 would pass again in California if put up to a vote. It was a marginal win based on a campaign of lies. It is harder and harder to maintain those lies. And Prop 8 may well be a blessing in disguise.

    The anger over it was so widespread that it forced millions of people to consider the issue. When people do that the pro-equality side tends to win. You can no more say the majority of people oppose marriage equality than you can say the majority are thrilled about Obama based on the results of the last election. Election results only tell you public thinking up to that point in time, and are not a lot of good for projecting forward. Obama's substantial win in the last election doesn't mean he is popular now. Ditto for anti-marriage initiatives.

    I will note that the biggest shifts in recent years, in the polls, have been among groups that were previously more opposed to equality. There were significant increases in support amongst men in general, among older voters and among Catholics. I think there is a great deal of reason to be optimistic over the long term, no matter what ups and downs happen in the meantime.