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    2011 - 07.09

    The past six months, the “Defense of Marriage” act has taken a beating.  Soon, hearings will be held regarding a proposal to replace the Defense of Marriage act with the “Respect for Marriage” act.

    Can you imagine what the passing of this legislation would do to the gay marriage drama?

    Those of us who want to marry our partner could go to a state that doesn’t hate gay people and buy our license and immediately begin enjoying equal protection under the law. Those of us who have married our partner years ago would instantly be granted the rights our society has given couples in long term relationships.

    Pretty exciting stuff.

     

    from LBGTQNation:

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday announced that, in the coming weeks, the Committee will hold the first congressional hearing on proposals to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    Earlier this year, Leahy joined with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and others to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal DOMA and restore the rights of all lawfully married couples, including same-sex couples, to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law.

    The hearing will mark the first ever hearing on the issue of repealing DOMA since its enactment nearly 15 years ago.

    The hearing will be entitled “S.598, The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families,” and is expected to be held in the coming weeks. The hearing will be webcast live online.

    The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing legally married same-sex couples.

    DOMA, enacted in 1996, prevents any of the over 1,100 federal rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage from being afforded to legally married same-sex couples.

    Those benefits include Social Security survivor benefits, federal employee health benefits for spouses, protections against spouses losing their homes in cases of severe medical emergencies, the right to sponsor a foreign born partner for immigration, the guarantee of family and medical leave and the ability to file joint tax returns, among many others.

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    7 Responses to “This is what it’s all about”

    1. Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Great Post. Good things are happenin’.

    2. Avatar of S. L. S. L. says:

      Marriage began as a religious ceremony designed to control the sexual behavior of a population, and for an attempt to sucure that two people would be responsible for any resulting children. Somewhere along the line marriage became both civil and religious, but for many it still remains more religious. For the life of me, I can not understand why those with same sex relationships do not go for Domestic Partnerships and set their own rules of the road. The rules for marriage are both good and bad, and you are signing on to both. I trust none will be going for a Catholic Church marriage !!!!

    3. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

      SL, it’s been my experience that we’re actually talking about two very separate topics.

      1. The religious rite that gets the religious right worked into a complete frenzy at the thought of a gay couple forcing them to perform a wedding ceremony.

      2. The 1,100 laws that kick into effect when you buy a contract from your state government.

      Every gay couple i know that has wanted a religious ceremony has had one. Some of us have every legal protection in place we possibly can. However, it is not possible to hire an attorney to craft documents that supersede state and federal law. That’s why this legislation is so critical to couples.

      I’m always puzzled at the arrogance of those who think angry homos are going to force them to begrudgingly perform a wedding ceremony. Who on earth would want the most intimate commitment of love for one another to take place in the company of a group of hostile fundamentalists? Get a grip, and get over yourselves fundies. We don’t like you as much as you don’t like us. Trust me.

    4. Avatar of Barb says:

      Then churches need to be out of the legalities of marriage, not just same-sex couples staying out of the church aspect of marriage!

    5. JL says:

      This is what turned me away from marriage legalization activism before, and it’s beginning to do the same today. I hold no ill feelings towards gay couples wanting to get married. This should be legal, as it is in many other progressive countries in the world. What angers me is the lack of vision and priorities within gay groups.

      Gay couples have TWO incomes. Not two great incomes, but nonetheless, two incomes. Single gay people with no kids have pretty much nowhere to turn should their job end, housing payments can’t e paid, loans default, if they need government assistance or food stamps; all programs for low income people with kids. Gay men and women without much money who live alone don’t have anyone – especially not the gay community, who wants to continue this illusion that we are all rich, doctorate-educated and socially above everyone else. Those of us who are gay and have never met anyone – and believe me there are many of us – have nobody on our side. Having no money and living alone isn’t sexy or liberating enough to even start a dialogue within the gay community – marriage, looking younger, appearing to have money, getting all these ridiculous college degrees to lead to jobs that earn more money than your little circle of friends…these are our priorities?

      My point is that this has turned into selfish, single-issue activism – once you leave the major cities on either coast, gay life is very much alone, without much money or support. Mental health problems, addictions and suicide attempts among gay people are not limited to youth…often times they develop 15-20 years after coming out, when one realizes there are no dates, the available gay men out there are either heavy drug users or have tremendous mental health problems, and the few who are available have a terrible attitude or are incredibly narcissistic. If we could stop isolating from other gay people and figure out what gay people need as a GROUP – we could actually appear as a community that cares about each other. Those without the money or resources to get on with their lives need our attention. These are gay people who aren’t finding jobs, have no insurance, have no social support, and you can bet that there are no gay activists from New York or San Francisco coming to rural America to help them out.

      I’ll start working on gay marriage again when I see some activism thrown in the direction of gay people who feel left out, once again, this time by self-important gay people.

    6. Les says:

      JL, you make some very good poiints.

    7. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

      JL, you’ve actually made a couple of very distinct points:

      You could take the word ‘gay’ out of your first two paragraphs and substitute ‘straight’ and very accurately describe straight life as well. Gay people have the same problems as straight people when it comes to pretty much everything.

      The other is, that while it seems a good idea for us all to form a unified front in regard to certain topics; we never will. We’re just as diverse as straight people, and one size does not fit all for gay society either.

      You did hit the nail on the head in regard to the social isolation that is a HUGE risk in middle America, especially in more conservative towns. How can we expect 30-40 years of denying who you are, to outright self-loathing to result in anything BUT mental illness or substance abuse?

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