The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Gay Marriage: Inciting a backlash, or dragging along too slowly?  (Read 641019 times)

Offline red_sun

  • Getting Acquainted
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2006, 12:09:55 AM »
The conservative leader said that if he is elected he will call another vote to decide the fate of gay marriage. If it fails to pass he said he will keep it legal. if not he will ban it (no one knows how though... lol) but will still keep civil unions with full rights.

thanks for the info red-sun.  In Canada, what exactly is the difference between "gay marriage" and "civil unions with full rights"?  If Canada did make gay marriage illegal, what rights would be lost?

I figure it's just for namesake.

Offline Rae

  • Getting Acquainted
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2006, 11:31:16 AM »
I seem to have been the only one to walk out of that theater a bit more than disappointed. Not disappointed in the movie actually for everyone says that its very much the reality so I find myself disappointed in the reality. The scenes of caring are subtle at first and its this that caused me to be quite shocked at the first sex scene - more akin to a rape scene. Where I felt like it was a gross anti-climax to the developing love. It wasn't the love that seemed repressed, it was the sexual desire. I hoped the movie could have overcome this but it didnt. I still can't get over the fact that in the whole movie they DID NOT FISH... If I was with someone I truely loved, the experience of fishing is so calm and beautiful to do it together, the movie implied they just went up there to have sex. They didn't stop disappointing me there. Jack twist(Mr Gyllenhall) didn't pay ANY mind to Ennis's(mr Ledger) kids. He didn't even want really to meet the woman his lover decided to marry for he stayed outside by the car everytime he came after the first. It was real but not true to me.

Jack was the open one who proclaimed love and wanting a good life together with ennis so I looked to him for what the movie was saying. Jack Twist occurs to me as a hedonist, who want to have sexual pleasures all the time. He said it himself at one point that he wasn't 'getting it enough' (paraphrasing) from ennis and it most definitely wasn't love or time together, it was sex because he said that's why he went down to mexico for it. Worse, if the male prostitutes in Mexico were teenagers, he would be pedophile, a sexual predator, as Gene Shalit has mentioned on NBC Today Show. Gene, by the way is supportive of Peter, his gay physician son, and on the same side of gay movement, according to an open letter published on Advocate, written by Peter in defence of his father. I just totally sat back at that point confirmed in my disppointment in humanity. Instead of treasuring meeting ennis once a year, he went down to mexico for sex.'Jack Twist? Naw Jack natsy! ' This guy, some part of him loved Ennis(it was not total love cuz at he end we see where he changed his dream of building the ranch, including another guy instead of ennis in it), but the entire movie took the standpoint of - we can't fix our sexual desires so screw love we will make a compramise to get what we want.

I wanted to see a love story, so if you say instead I saw reality I will say humanity I am disappointed in you. I made my decision from that movie. If thats what 'being gay' entails, I felt like I wanted no part of it. Jack shuns his responsibilities and commitments to his wife, son and lover. Despite his double infidelity to both Ennis and Lureen, I can still empathize, but not sympathize, with Jack, probably because of the superb filmmaking. I'm also very disappointed with most internet messages posted by gay people who identify themselves with Jack and swoon over him. Once this character chooses to get carnal fulfillment with male prostitutes (despite having a wife and a lover), whatever good feeling I have toward him during the first 45 minutes of the film is gone.

Ennis is also problematic with unresolved inner conflict: he's basically a homophobic man who falls in love with a man. But at least he has a sense of commitment to his daughters, not only working to pay for the alimony, but also trying to fulfil his duty as a father. This commitment and care does pay off, and you can see it in his relationship with Alma, Jr, who reciprocates... I don't think she would have shown the respect (asking for permission to get married) and care for Ennis, if he had not put in the effort to connect with her. Despite reservations about the main characters, I'll still give the film 10/10.

I'd like to add that I've no problem with gay relationship (or heterosexual for that matter) if it is a committed one. Although I've met some gay people who are committed to long-term relationships/unions, I think they are in the minority after watching this film and reading the responses on this website. I wanted to see a love story, so if you say instead I saw reality I will say humanity I am disappointed in you. I made my decision from this movie that I will want society to set higher bar for gay relationship/marriage than heterosexual relationship/marriage before society can approve of it, if ever. Show me the commitment to overcome obstacles.

Offline Parenthetical Greg

  • Dave's little helper
  • Administrator
  • Experienced
  • ******
  • Posts: 244
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2006, 12:21:09 PM »
I figure it's just for namesake.
I guess I'd read the situation in Canada a little differently. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to who is going to form next government. I'm still leaning toward the Liberals (another minority gov probably), but it's hard for me to say.

Even if Harper forms the new government, I just don't see any serious liklihood of rolling back to Recip. Bene's (or some variation on that theme). Obviously gay-marriage (and perhaps by extension the notwithstanding clause) are great campaign topics. And, I grant that anything is possible, but I think even Harper would be stuck with the status quo.

What if a conservative Parliament did pass a law undoing Martin's C-38 (or whatever that bill number was). That wouldn't accomplish much. The government has already conceded the unconstitutionality of the heterosexual definition of marriage. The courts aren't going to ignore that.

Obviously, that leaves Harper with only the notwithstanding clause (for those who don't know, Parliament can essentially override certain rights otherwise afforded in the Charter, but it's never been done and would have to be reauthorized every five(?) years). Successfully invoking that clause in this circumstance is almost too far fetched.

Perhaps I'm misreading Canada's mood. I just don't think there is a popular groundswell undo what is already done. I also doubt that enough MPs (separate from the electorate) have the stomach to invoke the notwtihstanding clause (which is a different matter from blathering about it during a campaign).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 01:01:09 PM by Parenthetical Greg »

Offline Dave Cullen

  • Author/Journalist
  • Administrator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 7042
  • Founder, Editor
    • Columbine
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2006, 03:46:01 PM »
I expanded the thread title from "Gay Marriage" to "Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?"

All the existing debate is relevant, but I'm wondering if the presence of Brokeback Mountain or legalization in England, Canada, Spain, etc. or any other force is changing the winds.

Are things likely to get better or worse on this front? Will we keep losing state ballot initiatives? Slow them down? Will more states legalize?

What forces are driving the change, in either direction?

Offline nakymaton

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
Colorado might consider civil unions?
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2006, 11:04:51 AM »
Quote
Two leading Democrats say they want to ask voters whether Colorado should legalize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Senator Tom Plant and Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald say it's a legal issue -- not a debate over traditional marriage values.
The referred measure would need a two-thirds vote in each house to get on the November ballot. It would not require the signature of G-O-P Governor Owens.
The measure would give same-sex couples the right to visitation and to be involved in the care of hospital patients and nursing home residents, inheritance and pension benefits, access to a partner's health care benefits and family leave benefits, and the right to take possession of a deceased partner's remains.

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/ksut/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=866519

It would be really astounding if the state that's the home of Focus on the Family and that passed an anti-gay ballot initiative (Amendment 2) during the 90's would have a civil unions-type measure go through the legislature. And if it could pass... that would be wonderful.
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe...

Offline michaelflanagansf

  • Forum Librarian and buckle bunny
  • Team Cullen
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25020
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2006, 09:40:44 PM »

Quote
I guess I'd read the situation in Canada a little differently. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to who is going to form next government. I'm still leaning toward the Liberals (another minority gov probably), but it's hard for me to say.

Even if Harper forms the new government, I just don't see any serious liklihood of rolling back to Recip. Bene's (or some variation on that theme). Obviously gay-marriage (and perhaps by extension the notwithstanding clause) are great campaign topics. And, I grant that anything is possible, but I think even Harper would be stuck with the status quo.

What if a conservative Parliament did pass a law undoing Martin's C-38 (or whatever that bill number was). That wouldn't accomplish much. The government has already conceded the unconstitutionality of the heterosexual definition of marriage. The courts aren't going to ignore that.

Obviously, that leaves Harper with only the notwithstanding clause (for those who don't know, Parliament can essentially override certain rights otherwise afforded in the Charter, but it's never been done and would have to be reauthorized every five(?) years). Successfully invoking that clause in this circumstance is almost too far fetched.

Quote

I was very glad to find this analysis here - I've been wondering about this, particularly as Harper has said earlier that he was going to put it up to a vote.  Here's an article from 365Gay.com about what he said recently about overturning Gay Marriage:

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/01/011906canada.htm

What seems strange about his saying he'd go to parliament is that he most certainly can't count on BQ or NDP support.  He's talking here like he expects a majority government.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Lola

  • Membership_deactivated
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 10471
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2006, 02:47:57 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Canada

And no as far as I know there is not a popular groundswell to undo what is already done.   :)
 
FUNGURL

helen_uk

  • Guest
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2006, 04:22:16 PM »
In the UK I think that Civil Partnerships were brought in mainly to provide same sex couples with the opportunity to marry, and that this is the reason why the partnerships weren't extended to siblings as some MPs were pressing for.  Cruiser - couldn't agree more about:

So under English law a civil partnership is almost identical to marriage - why is it not called a marriage? A political decision probably as most non-lawyers wouldn't know how close the two things are and therefore it was easier to get through Parliament without a lot of fuss.

What I would like to see in the future is marriage open to same-sex couples and CPs open to opposite-sex couples. And both of these to be civil ceremonies with an additional religious ceremony if you are that way inclined. 

Offline pylon101

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2006, 03:06:10 AM »
I guess it would not be bad to get a word from an American lawyer. I think we all believe that sooner or later the issue will be solved in the United States.

So my question(s) is related to legal paths how the situation may develop in coming years in legal terms.

Okay. There are 18 states with amendments in constitutions. What's next?

In Europe everything is legally simple: national government or a number of parliament members bring up a draft of the change of a basic statute (Civil Code in Spain). If approved by simple  majority - it becomes the law. To reverse the law 2/3 of PMs required - that's almost impossible in any EU country.

Approved.  Done. Period. Going to next vital issues.

In the American legal system it works different and based more on judicial branch of power. So what are legal options?

Is it the Supreme Court that will eventually take a case and make its decision regarding conformity of states' constitutional amendments and the Federal Constitution?

My understanding is that the Federal government has nothing to do with marriage/ civil union regulations, those are matters of states - is it correct?

I just would like to get a better vision of legal prospects.

I am a Russian. As many year experience shows changes in Russia follow European AND American patterns. But always both, European and American. Otherwise some politicians refer to Europe and others - to the States.

I would be grateful if anybody enlighten me in these legal matters.

Thanks.

Nick
Moscow, Russia /
Alexandria, VA

Offline aceygirl

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 361
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2006, 12:45:59 PM »
Wow, some of these legal questions being asked are so advanced, I couldn't even have asked them!

Here in NY/NJ there appeared to be a happy ending for a struggle in a New Jersey town, where a police lieutenant (or sargeant, or something along those lines) who is terminally ill wanted to leave her pension to her wife. But the town refused like crazy. Not until an emotional videotape of the literally dying woman pleading her case was played, and major strings pulled, did the stubborn town council give in. Sheesh. So being registered as domestic partners doesn't always cut it. How insanely homophobic can you be to want to refuse a dying public servant the right to give her money to her partner?

Offline Parenthetical Greg

  • Dave's little helper
  • Administrator
  • Experienced
  • ******
  • Posts: 244
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2006, 06:13:53 PM »
In the American legal system it works different and based more on judicial branch of power. So what are legal options?

Is it the Supreme Court that will eventually take a case and make its decision regarding conformity of states' constitutional amendments and the Federal Constitution?

The situation in the U.S. is horribly complicated in the details, but you certainly understand the mechanics quite well (better than most Americans, I’d suspect).

At the federal level, the Supreme Court has long held that the individuals posses a fundamental right to marry, and the government can only intrude on that right with a constitutionally satisfactory reason (and that government motivation needs to be addressed in rather narrow fashion). If you want to go out on a limb, you find the germ of this idea going back to rulings in the early 20th century. At that time, most of the personal liberty/rights analysis was in its infancy, but by mid century, you could certainly say that it existed.

And, as a general matter, the federal government hasn’t usually interfered with the states’ primary power to legislate who can and cannot get married. The federal government does incorporate marital status in a variety of policy areas (immigration, taxation, public benefits, etc.), but they usually don’t get involved in the administration of marriage.

There are some notable exceptions: the admission of Utah (with the specter of multiple marriages) spurred federal action. And, as I mentioned the federal Supreme Court has ruled many state-level marriage restrictions unconstitutional (anti-miscegenation, inmate marriage prohibitions, licensing fees, and obstacles to adults who fail in court mandated child-support payments, etc.).

The monstrous exception in this context is the inaptly named federal “Defense of Marriage Act.” Enacted about a decade ago, this law purports to refuse federal recognition of same-sex marriage (even where it’s allowed; Massachusetts is the only exception in the U.S. thus far). The law also purports to give states the power to ignore same-sex marriages from other states.

The legality of DOMA is suspect (there are a few Constitutional problems, mostly having to do with the degree to which Congress has authority to pass this sort of law). But no one will really know how problematic DOMA may be until the courts deal with it.

The situation in the states where things get really complicated. I’ll post a few thoughts on that separately.

Offline Parenthetical Greg

  • Dave's little helper
  • Administrator
  • Experienced
  • ******
  • Posts: 244
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2006, 06:36:26 PM »
Thus far most of the action in the states has indeed been in the courts. That’s not surprising given the political atmosphere in the U.S. today. I’m not suggesting that the courts are apolitical. Rather, the political dynamic is very different from the legislature.

Early on, the Hawaii Supreme Court effectively ruled that preventing same-sex couples from marrying violated their constitutionally protected rights. The Hawaii high court, sent the matter back for further proceedings in the lower court. Before the case came back up to the state Supreme Court, Hawaii amended its state constitution to explicitly forbid same-sex marriage. Case closed.

Something vaguely similar started (and ended) in Alaska too.

The Vermont court ruled similarly, but allowed the legislature to create “civil unions” instead of literal “marriage.” The legislature made that choice.

In Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Council ruled (eventually) that marriage was the only solution, and six months later that became a reality. Folks opposed to the collapse of Western Civilization are still trying to amend that state’s constitution to undo the “damage.” Frankly, the people of Massachusetts have simply moved on to more important things, so not much is likely to change there.

California is an interesting (if somewhat nutty) exception. Our legislature gradually enacted a domestic partnership scheme that is almost indistinguishable from marriage. And it did so without the threat of a court order.  That scheme is wildly popular among the electorate (so much so that attempts to undo it are doomed to fail). Sometime next year, presumably, California’s Supreme Court will take up the matter of same-sex marriage. At the same time, groups opposed to same-sex marriage have already tried (and thus far failed, but they’ll try again) to change California’s constitution to forbid same-sex marriage. I’d guess that they will continue to fail, but that’s not a sure bet.  Meanwhile, the California legislature actually passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. It was quite controversial, but it was the first state legislature in the U.S. to do so. The governor (Schwarzenegger) refused to sign the bill. (There is a peculiar Constitutional provision that casts significant doubt on whether the state legislature can enact such a law now without sending the matter to a referendum).

There are similar court challenges underway in several other states. Washington state’s high court is certainly going to be the next one to issue an opinion on the matter (rumor has it in early March, but it could be sooner).

Most states, of course, won’t enact (or in the case of state courts, rule favorably on) same-sex marriage. We’ve see the same sort of thing play out before in other contexts.

Once a significant fraction of the states have instituted same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually step in and require that all states do so. That’s a very long way off right now. I’m not convinced (but I am hopeful) that it will happen in my lifetime.

For the next couple of decades, however, the worst thing that could happen to same-sex marriage is to put the question before the U.S. Supreme Court. That would surely result in a colossal set back. Very similar to what happened with the sodomy cases (in the 1980s the Supreme Court upheld state laws banning sodomy; the opinion was an shocking embarrassment, a horribly conceived opinion; twenty years later, the court finally reversed itself).

Offline exlogcabin

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2006, 06:49:07 PM »
Gosh, Greg.

From your picture, you seem really young.  I hope that it happens in your lifetime.  But given how you have laid things out so well, I can see where it will take a long time.  For my partner and I, it's about getting some federal tax benefits.

Curtis

Offline Parenthetical Greg

  • Dave's little helper
  • Administrator
  • Experienced
  • ******
  • Posts: 244
Re: Gay Marriage
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2006, 06:51:18 PM »

As a UK lawyer, I thought that I could clarify what a civil partnership is under English law (and basically the rest of the UK with some slight technical differences).

{MEGA SNIP}

The other thing that is quite funny is that some opposite-sex couples who don't want to get married because of the cultural baggage that term carries, feel hard done by that they can't become civil partners. So perhaps there will be movement to most relationships into civil partnerships and get rid of marriage!
There's a similar strain of sentiments about marriage vs. civil unions (by any name) here in the U.S. too. Perhaps not as pronounced as in the U.K.

Unfortunately, the legal landscape is quite different. We don't have the same uniformity in family law as the Britain (if not the U.K. more generally?) or Canada (BTW, I'm still completely convinced that marriage equality is safe in Canada, even if my hunch on the election was wrong).

Several states already have some form of civil unions that are, for state purposes, almost identical to marriage (most of the same attributes you cited). Unfortunately, these things are not portable in the slightest (if you move just 20 miles from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and, poof!, you're two single people again). Likewise, these partnerships have no federal standing whatsoever: no Social Secuirty surivior benefits, pensions, estate-tax relief; the list of federal impacts is more than 1,000 items long in the details.

And, in many cases, benefits people expect from employers (pension, family leave, health care . . .stuff we Americans don't generally get from the government) are a crazy patchwork too.

Worse, couples geniunely married in Massachusetts are in the same boat. It's quite a nightmare (in most cases the couples couldn't even get divorced if they left Mass. . . how's that for limbo?)

Offline Uclapeterg

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1509
Re: Gay Marriage -- Is the time ripe for change?
« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2006, 06:53:39 PM »
Gosh, Greg.

From your picture, you seem really young.  I hope that it happens in your lifetime.  But given how you have laid things out so well, I can see where it will take a long time.  For my partner and I, it's about getting some federal tax benefits.

Curtis

Like? When it comes to taxes, married people get the shaft. Although buying a home and other various tax deductiuons and credits can yield a tax benefit that could be shared.