Almost there...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No on Prop 8

With abortion, there's a counter argument to "If you don't want an abortion, don't have one." It's that life begins at conception, so abortion is murder.

With gay marriage, I say, "If you don't want a same-sex marriage don't have one. Nobody dies." It's really just that simple. I have too many loved ones who are now happily married in the eyes of the law. They've been married in the eyes of their friends, families, and yes, even in the eyes of their god or their religion for years, but now they have specific legal rights (and responsibilities!) granted by the state of California via the package deal that is a marriage certificate. And there is absolutely no reason to change our Constitution to alter that. Their relationship is no more a threat to the fabric of society than it was 6 months ago.

On a lighter note, I liked this video. Our Constitution is the cute girl.


  • ... now they have specific legal rights (and responsibilities!) granted by the state of California via the package deal that is a marriage certificate.

    Ammy dear, as you know I am against Proposition 8, but this statement seems somewhat misleading to me. As the state legislature said in the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic partners "have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and [are] subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law ... as are granted to and imposed upon spouses." The state supreme court in In Re Marriage Cases, 43 Cal.4th 757, recognized nine and only nine differences between the rights and obligations of registered domestic partners and the rights and obligations of a married couple, none of which I think are substantive (see fn 24 of the case):

    1. Domestic partners must have a common residence when the partnership is established; spouses need not have a common residence at the time of the marriage.
    2. Domestic partners must be at least 18 years of age, but minors can marry with the consent of their parents or guardians or with a court order.
    3. Domestic partnership and marriage are recorded on different government forms.
    4. Unmarried persons who have been living together as spouses have a process whereby they may enter into a "confidential marriage," where the date of marriage and the marriage certificate are not made public records; there is no such thing as "confidential domestic partnership."
    5. Dissolution of a domestic partnership requires the act of only one partner and may become effective without court action; dissolution of a marriage requires the act of both spouses and requires a court order to become effective.
    6. Proceedings to dissolve a domestic partnership may be filed in a California superior court even if neither partner resides or maintains a domicile in California at the time of filing; spouses cannot file for dissolution of a marriage in a California court unless at least one of them has resided in California for at least six months and resided in the county in which the petition is filed for at least three months.
    7. Domestic partners are not considered "spouses" under the California Public Employees' Retirement System because otherwise CalPERS would lose its federal tax-qualified status. For that same reason, homosexual spouses are not considered "spouses" under CalPERS even today; the tax consequences of doing so are simply too great.
    8. Unmarried spouses of a deceased veteran may claim a $1000 property tax exemption under the California constitution; this provision is unavailable to domestic partners where one is a deceased veteran. However, this $1000 property tax exemption may not be claimed along with the more generous homeowner's exemption exemption on the same property provided for in the California revenue & tax code, and that exemption is available to spouses and domestic partners equally.
    9. One appellate decision (Velez v. Smith, 142 Cal.App.4th 1154) has held that there is no putative domestic partnership doctrine parallel to the putative spouse doctrine. However, this case is not binding precedent for the entire state.

    None of those nine differences are material in my mind, and all of them are either driven by differences between California and federal law (which California has no control over in any case) or by apparent bureaucratic oversight, given the legislature's specific intent in the DPA to make domestic partnerships equal under California law to marriages.

    That's not to say that the name doesn't matter. I get that it does. But with the exception of the eight rights listed above (Proposition 8 will have no effect on #7), Proposition 8 is a question of names, not of rights.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 10:42 AM  

  • True, to a degree, but the first step to getting item 7 fixed is making them completely equal, rather than mostly equal. Survivor's rights and pension and SSI death benefits are one of the big gotchas out there, and the one reason for continuing to have domestic partnerships as a separate class even after same-sex marriage moves forward. The after-62 class of Domestic Partnership is still important and valuable.

    By Blogger Ammy, at 11:04 AM  

  • I've been debating this issue internally.

    On the one hand, we have to recognize why governments have legally sanctioned marriage. It's to encourage formation of a stable family unit to procreate and raise the little ones to become good citizens. It's pretty obvious that the "procreation" of that part ain't gonna happen with gay marriage, at least no without exotic medical intervention.

    So the issue to me is, do I really want to change the purpose of marriage? Should it remain for it's historical purpose, or should it now just be a legal union of any two people?

    I'm still undecided on the issue. My head tells me no real harm will be created by gay marriage, so why not let the gay folk marry each other. But my gut tells me something else. It's telling me this is the first step in a slippery slope towards something undesirable, even though I can't readily define what that is.

    Kevin M.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 2:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home