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Republican Gay Bashing

Every once and a while I say the GOP needs to lay off the gay bashing. Usually someone demands to know what the GOP is doing against gays. This!

I’m not expecting the GOP to come out for gay marriage or anything, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask to start moving in the direction of acceptance. There are ways this can be arranged without embracing gay marriage, and there’s not much to be objected to in the language of the Rhode Island bill. The GOP is going to lose a generation of voters if they continue this track.

43 Responses to “Republican Gay Bashing”

  1. Pete says:

    “State officials were unmoved by the couple’s wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and a marriage certificate from Connecticut.”

    Oh come on! Four freaking legal documents.

    So much for small government staying out of peoples lives.

  2. JD says:

    Gay marriage has been punched in the face by the voters in 31 of 31 states.
    Sorry Seb, I’m gonna disagree with you on this one.

  3. Sebastian says:

    That’s why I said I don’t expect them to favor it. But there’s a big generation gap on the issue. They need to dance carefully around the issue, even if it’s understandable why they don’t want to support gay marriage itself.

  4. JD says:

    Yea, I see your point as well.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I often complain gun owners are our own worst enemies, but we don’t have anything on the hard-core gay rights movement. They’ve done unspeakable damage to their movement pushing gay rights out way farther than the population was wiling to go with it.

    31 out of 31 states, and they keep trying over and over, and losing every time. Every time creating more that will need to be undone, with much work and sacrifice, later on.

  6. Andy says:

    There’s the old saying, if you’re young and Republican, you’re heartless, if you’re old and Democrat, you’re stupid.

    I wonder when young Democrats now come to their senses, would they go Republican, Independent or Libertarian?

  7. Tom Stone says:

    I do not believe in “Gay Rights”,I do believe in HUMAN rights and equal protection of the Law.

  8. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    I’m coming around to the idea of gay marriage. I mean, after all, who is it really hurting, and what is it really harming?

    Hell, I have friends who are gay. I should help them stick up for their rights as human beings.

  9. Nathaniel says:

    Hear, hear, OrangeNeck. That’s what I ask: Who is it actually hurting?

    In the same way that it doesn’t hurt my neighbor if I have an arsenal in the closet, it doesn’t hurt me and my (wonderful and strong) marriage if that neighbor has a gay wedding.

    Hell, my boss is a gay engineer (who watches football, renovates his house, wants a gun…). I am a married heterosexual man; amazingly, my marriage hasn’t fallen to shambles! I somehow suspect that if he were able to marry his boyfriend, nothing would change between my wife and I.

    Live and let live. You don’t like how other people live their lives? Fine. Keep it to yourself.

  10. elmo iscariot says:

    And people still want to pretend that no inequality exists, waving around utterly frivolous “but a gay man has an equal right to marry a woman–nobody’s fault if he doesn’t wanna” arguments.

    I get that (just as gun-banners believe peaceful private firearms ownership leads indirectly to more violence) lots of folks out there believe equal protection for loving, committed gay marriages will undermine the kind of marriage that’s been “traditional” for the last hundred years, and thus harm society. But have _that_ discussion. Is the inequality you’re defending balanced by a real, overwhelming social need?

    Denying that inequality exists is flatly wrong; it’s even less defensible than elective abortion activists who handwave away potential moral objections by simply insisting that the killed fetus “isn’t a person”.

  11. RAH says:

    There is something wrong in this. If a single person died and a friend wanted to take care of the funeral and was willing to pay, the state prohibits the funeral and burial? This is not a gay issue this is an issue of allowing either the executor of the estate or POA to take care of this,. a POA of attorney is generally only effective while the other person is alive. Why did not the partner make his lover his executor and arrange that person to take care of his estate?

    Also the governor said he veto the bill because of the yera was insufficient. If they had a longer period it may have been signed. Sounds lie a problem with a poor bill.

    I disagree, this is not an anti gay veto. Why should the Governor support a legal arrangement that the state does not allow. If the pair was married in Conneticut why did not they live there so their marriage was still legal?

    I am against gay marriage. Partnership and other legal methods do work. Maybe they had the wrong legal documents

    If so why should the state become involved if they did not set up their affairs accoording to the state laws?.

  12. Carl in Chicago says:

    I would be happy for the Supreme Court to revive the 14th Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities clause.

    Republicans and Democrats alike work against individual freedoms to their own loss.

  13. Boyd says:

    “Hear, hear, OrangeNeck. That’s what I ask: Who is it actually hurting?”

    And that is the heart of what it means to support Liberty.

    If you believe that -you- (or anyone) should have say over the details of an others life, details that don’t harm you or others, then you are to one degree or another supporting repression.

    As the LPWS says: Don’t ask what your government can force others to do for you…

  14. SVI says:

    the obvious solution is to take government out of marriage. Civil Unions according to the state, Marriage according to whatever religious tradition that will have you. But no, that would involve solving a wedge issue and we can’t have that.

  15. Sebastian says:

    Easier said than done. Plus, there’s not going to be any political support for that. Notice that this bill was prompted by a couple trying to do this via contract, which no one would recognize?

  16. elmo iscariot says:

    RAH:

    “Also the governor said he veto the bill because of the yera was insufficient. If they had a longer period it may have been signed. Sounds lie a problem with a poor bill.”

    How many years do straight spouses need to live together before they can make burial arrangements for each other?

    “I am against gay marriage. Partnership and other legal methods do work. Maybe they had the wrong legal documents

    “If so why should the state become involved if they did not set up their affairs accoording to the state laws?.”

    Rhode Island doesn’t offer domestic partnerships, or civil unions, or any other protections for gay couples. As far as they’re concerned, a gay man or woman’s partner is his or her roommate. There’s no issue of having “the wrong legal documents”–their state recognized _no_ legal documents that would give the man the right to bury his partner, which is just a matter of basic human decency.

    “If the pair was married in Conneticut why did not they live there so their marriage was still legal?”

    I live in New Jersey, where concealed carry permits are never issued to ordinary citizens. I’m applying for a Maine CCW for an upcoming vacation. My Maine permit won’t be valid in New jersey. Let’s say I wait until McDonald incorporates the 2nd Amendment, then open-carry in Trenton. Naturally, I’ll be arrested. If in the course of my appeal I bring up my Maine permit (and by extension the training and background checks I went through to get it) as proof that I’m a fit to carry a gun, will it be valid for Ceasefire NJ to say “If the accused was licensed to carry in Maine why did not he live there so his carrying was still legal”?

    (Yes, I know there’s no Constitutional right to marry. The point is that many people get out-of-state certification for many things for many reasons, and the fact that they qualify should inform your understanding of the situation, not be dismissed as evidence that they shouldn’t live where they live.)

  17. elmo iscariot says:

    Incidentally, one comment over at Volokh is made of win:

    “Gay funerals will erode the sanctity of traditional funerals.” :D

  18. Ian Argent says:

    Joe Huffman has his “Just One Question” on gun rights. I have mine on gay marriage.

    “Why can a marriage consist of a man and woman, both atheist, previously divorced, and sterile marry, when it can’t consist of 2 men or 2 women?”

  19. Jake says:

    RAH: “I am against gay marriage. Partnership and other legal methods do work. Maybe they had the wrong legal documents”

    Right and wrong. In this case, partnership and other legal methods did not work, but they also did not have the right legal document.

    From the post at Volokh’s: “State officials were unmoved by the couple’s wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and a marriage certificate from Connecticut.”

    They were married in another state, and had wills and other legal documents declaring their wishes. The problem here is that apparently (from the comments at Volokh’s) Rhode Island has some really onerous restrictions on who can arrange to bury someone. For a non-relative to bury you, you have to fill out a specific form, unique to RI, in advance, and the person you designate can only be a “funeral planning agent” for one and only one non-relative.

    Since Rhode Island doesn’t offer domestic partnerships, or civil unions, or any other protections for gay couples, that form would have been the only way for them to arrange it. Do you check to see who can legally arrange your burial when you move to a new state? Especially if you’ve already made sure your will specifies that, and completed other legal documents to support it?

    For an opposite-sex couple, the problem is taken care of automatically by marriage. A same-sex couple has to make special arrangements to do the same thing, and then has to verify that those same arrangements are still valid if they move to another state.

    But separate is equal, right?

  20. Jake says:

    Crap, didn’t close a bold tag. Sebastian, if you can (and would like to) fix it, it should enclose “specific form”.

  21. Carl from Chicago says:

    I’ve long wondered why those who disagree with gun ownership simply decide that gun ownership isn’t for them, and quit trying to force their views on me.

    I’ve also long wondered why those who disagree with gay marriage simply decide that gay marriage isn’t for them, and quit trying to force their views on me.

  22. From reading the comments over at Volokh Conspiracy, it sounds like the major issue here is Rhode Island’s bureaucrat happy, and regulates stuff far more restrictively than there is any need to do so.

    By the way, Carl in Chicago: refusing to have the government recognize gay marriage isn’t “forcing” anything on anyone at all. The courts ordering a state to recognize gay marriage against the wishes of the legislature–now that is forcing something.

    And I’m very skeptical that the 20 year olds who think homosexuality is cool are going to hold those same beliefs when they are 40. When I was 20, I couldn’t imagine why anyone objected to homosexuality.

  23. elmo iscariot says:

    With all respect, a court finding that a state constitution’s guarantee of equal protection requires that state to offer gay citizens the same protections it offers to straight citizens is no more immoral than the Supreme Court finding that the US Constitution’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms trumps New Jersey’s desire to suppress citizens’ posession of guns.

    If you don’t like gay people, that’s your right. If you don’t think gay people _should_ get married, that’s your right too. If you use the force of law to deprive another person of a government protection that you enjoy, then you’ve most definitely moved to the level of “forcing your views on others”. This isn’t inherently bad (I’m fine with forcing on other people my view that felons should be locked in cages, for example), but again, that’s the conversation we need to have. Simply denying that a particular morality is being imposed through force of law doesn’t advance the discussion.

  24. Ian Argent says:

    @Clayton: I’m most of the way from 20 to 40; and I still don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality or homosexuals. I’ve been reading your blog for a number of years now (and respect the work you’ve done for the 2A). But not one of your posts on the subject of gay marriage have addressed my question.

  25. RAH says:

    Change the burial regulations in RI would solve this problem for all that have a non relative in charge of burial arrangements. If you read the article the domestic partner was able to cremate and bury his partner. The state required a week or two advertising for a legal relative. When none showed then the partner had custody of the body.

    This is not a gay marriage issue but a weird regulation for non relatives having the proper form. Evidently the pair failed to arrange burial and funeral arrangements with a funeral parlor before the death. That is just lack of planning.

  26. Jake says:

    RAH: “This is not a gay marriage issue but a weird regulation for non relatives having the proper form.”

    Actually, it is a gay marriage issue. They were married in Connecticut – Rhode Island refused to recognize it.

    Any straight couple married in Connecticut would have had that recognition automatically – no questions asked, and no extra paperwork to fill out. They would not have to fill out that form for the surviving spouse to be able to make funeral arrangements. They would not have to wait for the state to advertise for a “legal relative” because the surviving spouse would have been automatically recognized as such. It’s only gays who have to jump through the extra hoops even after they’re married.

  27. RAH says:

    So what that they were married in Connecticut? It was not a valid marriage in RI where they lived.

    If they wanted the marriage to be valid in the eyes if the law they should have stayed in Connecticut.

    Marriage between same sexes is not recognized in the majority of the states and this is not a case where the minority over rules the majority.

    So as non related people they should have planned ahead with the proper legal documents. RI is weird with funeral legalities for sure. But any funeral parlor would have advised that if they had preplanned a funeral. That is what funeral parlors do.

    Many people refuse to plan ahead for death and the it is a mess when death does happen.

    This couple planned for life POA, living wills etc and thought a will was sufficient. But RI laws are screwy.

  28. JD says:

    Clayton E. Cramer Said,
    November 12th, 2009 at 4:31 pm
    And I’m very skeptical that the 20 year olds who think homosexuality is cool are going to hold those same beliefs when they are 40. When I was 20, I couldn’t imagine why anyone objected to homosexuality.

    I agree with you 100%. I thought the same thing when I was 20, now that I’m 38, not so much.

  29. elmo iscariot says:

    “Many people refuse to plan ahead for death and the it is a mess when death does happen.”

    They had wills, living wills, and powers of attorney set up for each other. These people don’t meet your convenient stereotype of the couple that skips along, mindlessly refusing to make arrangements. Have _you_ ever once thought to scrutinize your state’s _burial_ laws, of all things, for anomalous, unprecedented restrictions? These kinds of problems can crop up in any aspect of life for a couple that’s denied the protection of marriage; it’s impossible for even the most prudent of people to anticipate every possible legal pitfall in our hyperregulatory time.*

    This is exactly the kind of thing that can (and obvioulsy _does_) happen even to careful and prudent couples who do their homework and use the non-marriage legal and contract system, which anti-equality folks insist is all that’s necessary. This is one more example of a lesson that we were supposed to have learned already: “separate but equal” is inherently unequal.

    [* – _Yes_, the ideal solution is to do away with all the unnecessary laws, including legal involvement in marriage, period. But if we as a culture aren’t prepared to do that, at the very least the law must represent citizens equally.]

  30. Jake says:

    “So what that they were married in Connecticut? It was not a valid marriage in RI where they lived.

    If they wanted the marriage to be valid in the eyes if the law they should have stayed in Connecticut.”

    You’re making my point for me RAH – it is a gay marriage issue, and is a very good illustration of the way gays are treated unequally. Gays are the only group who have to worry about whether their marriage that is legally recognized in one state is valid in another state. For everyone else, it’s automatic and unquestioned.

    You’re refusing to acknowledge the elephant in the room. As elmo iscariot said back in #10, if you believe that gays shouldn’t have equal protection under the law in all things, then that’s your right – but let’s have that discussion. Don’t just defend the unequal treatment by claiming that it’s not really unequal.

  31. RAH says:

    The issue in this case is of who is allowed to handle funeral dutues in RI. If it is a non relative then they have to havea form done before hand. Any funeral parlor would have advised od that.Was the will one in RI by a RI attorney familair eith RI laws.

    WE ARE A REPUBLIC OF STATES. NOT ALL STATES ARE THE SAME.

    Marriage ages vary by state. Requirements for licenses vary. Some states have same sex anf most do not.

    I don’t know if this couple married in Connecticut just for a ceremony but then decide to live in RI or went to Conneticut just to get married to avoid RI laws.

    I have no objection if RI change the law about non relatives to allowing the executor of the estate to handle funerals.

    But this can happen to any person who dies without relatives.

    I do not know the original rational for the law.

    I am very against this attempt to force other states to recognize a new a radical form of marriage against their will just because another state does it. If the states wants to change the marriage laws in the state house that is their perogative.

    It is not my business to tell RI it has to recognized Conneticut marriages. Especially since many agreed to allow same sex marriage as long as full faith and credit did not apply to other states.

    The governor vetoed the bill because he did not think that a one year relationship should trump a blood relationship. I have to agree that any lover of a year should not trump the rights of the fathers,mothers, sisters and brothers to handle funeral duties.

    This would apply to hetero relationships also.. I know many couples that are together for a year or two and then split. Why should a short term romantic relationship trump a blood tie?

    My 19 year son had a romantic relationship with a girl for 2 years. They did not live together or supported each other. But their was a non marriage relationship.

    So if he had died in a car wrecked should she decide his funeral or me as his mother who birthed him , paid for his education and supported him financially

  32. RAH says:

    This is not gay bashing. The case come in context of a gay relationship but could have easily been a hetero non marriage couple or a person who delegated a friend who has no blood relatives.

  33. Ian Argent says:

    Bad arguement, RAH. The hetero couple has the option to marry – the gay one does not.

    And the federalism argument doesn’t fly with me either since states do recognize marriages and divorces performed in other states that would not necessarily be legal in the resident states.

    RAH, will you address “Why can a marriage consist of a man and woman, both atheist, previously divorced, and sterile marry, when it can’t consist of 2 men or 2 women?”

    (And, if your handle comes from Heinlein, you are aware of his views, frequently expressed in his writing, on the subject, no?)

  34. Jake says:

    “The case come in context of a gay relationship but could have easily been a hetero non marriage couple or a person who delegated a friend who has no blood relatives.”

    RAH: You keep ignoring the fact that they were married! That is my point! Only gays have to worry about whether their marriage is valid in another state. You’re comparing apples (a married gay couple) to oranges (a non-married hetero couple). A “person who delegated a friend who has no blood relatives” doesn’t even enter into this equation.

    This is not a case of “who is allowed to handle funeral dut[i]es in RI.” This is a case of whether there is equal treatment under the law, and recognition of a legal marriage in another state.

    As Ian Argent says, states do recognize marriages and divorces performed in other states that would not necessarily be legal in the resident states. Please, give us a rational explanation for why gay marriage should be any different?

  35. Jake says:

    RAH: “The governor vetoed the bill because he did not think that a one year relationship should trump a blood relationship. I have to agree that any lover of a year should not trump the rights of the fathers,mothers, sisters and brothers to handle funeral duties.”

    Also, it was not a “one year” relationship. If you read the post at Volokh’s, it clearly states that they had been together for 17 years. Big difference, even if you discount the fact that they were married.

  36. elmo iscariot says:

    “As Ian Argent says, states do recognize marriages and divorces performed in other states that would not necessarily be legal in the resident states. Please, give us a rational explanation for why gay marriage should be any different?”

    Concrete, real-world example, so’s it’s clear we aren’t inventing an issue:

    Connecticut allows both same sex marriages and first-cousin marriages. If a pair of cousin spouses and a pair of gay spouses both move from Connecticut to, say, Pennsylvania, the cousin couple will have its relationship legally recognized while the gay couple won’t. Pennsylvania bars cousins from marrying just like it bars gay people from marrying, but it recognises out-of-state cousin marriages and not out-of-state gay marriages.

    If a pair of sterile, previously divorced, atheist cousins can have their out-of-state marriage honored, why will extending that protection equally to gay people damage society?

  37. Jake says:

    Correction to my above comment (#36): The governor’s comment was referring to the statutory requirement for a domestic partnership, not the couple that were mentioned.

    Still, if a straight couple elopes in Connecticut the day they meet, and drives straight from the courthouse to RI, and hubby gets run over as soon as he gets out of the car, the wife gets to make his funeral arrangements with no questions asked – she is automatically recognized as a relative because they were married, even if it was in another state. They don’t have to wait a year, or fill out a special form, or anything else.

    Do you think that wife’s one day relationship should “not trump the rights of the fathers,mothers, sisters and brothers to handle funeral duties?” If not, why? What makes it any different?

  38. RAH says:

    Sorry, gay marriage is a modern invention and does not have a thousand years of tradition behind it. The reason that a lot of states are against gay marriage is because their citizens are against it. It lost in Maine and California recently. That is why so many are upset that courts are trumping the state houses.

    Why did not the couple stay in Conneticut? Plus an unmarrried hetero couple may not want to be married. Gay marriage does not enjoy full faith and credit.

    The tragedy of the 17 year old couple was making bad law. If the RI wants to get rid of the idiot legal form for non relatives, then that is their business, not mine. I really do not care if gays get recognized with civil unions and get all the legal rights that married couples do. But marriage is more than a secular institution and gays have tried tried usurp it when they had civil unions in Mass. The court mandated marriage.

    However I think that was bad law period. Marriage is a legal status and non married should not get the same status. This couple should have stayed where their marriage was valid. There is reason different states have different laws.
    So yes if the issue should I be for gay marriage . No I am not i am against that. I will gladly recognize a civil union with all the legal obligations.

    I do not feel the veto was gay bashing since it went beyond the tragic example.

    Just like the child dieing in Mass from using a full auto and killed himself I do not think that tragedy should make bad law preventing parents from allowing children to shoot guns or even full autos. Bad cases make bad laws.

    Even still the survivor just had to wait for legal notification to any blood relative and then he got custody and was able to make arrangements.

    I not only read Volokh but the original article also.

    So while Jake, Elmo and Ian are pro gay marriage that slants their position. But this law affects all non relatives funeral arrangement, not just gays so I do not think because of the couple example that an bad law should have been enacted.

  39. Ian Argent says:

    I read the article over at Volohk as well – the original issue should be addressed for all.

    But you’re dodging the issue in Elmo’s hypothetical. The first-cousins who are married in Connecticut would be considered married in RI. The 14-year olds who are married in New Hampshire would be considered married in RI (I think). But not this married couple.

    A lot of these corner cases show up because we don’t have gay marriage recognized across state lines. Nitpicking one example isn’t goign to change things.

  40. elmo_iscariot says:

    “Sorry, gay marriage is a modern invention and does not have a thousand years of tradition behind it.”

    Not only is this irrelevant, it’s arguing from a false pretense: heterosexual marriage as practiced universally in the western world today is _also_ a modern invention without thousands of years of tradition behind it. If you think marriage was seen as a voluntary legal contract between two equal partners with equal rights before the modern era, you’re sadly mistaken.

    You’re jumping on one single aspect of “traditional” marriage (the sex organs of the people involved), and proclaiming that to be _the_ sacrosanct aspect that defines the institution. In fact, marriage has been “redefined” over and over in our western tradition, as we realized that the old ways were disenfranchising people.

    We’ve made marriage a romantic arrangement between individuals, where previously it was an economic one between families. We’ve done away with antimiscegenation laws. We’ve turned our backs on coverture (which was once thought of as _the_ defining aspect of marriage–the combining of two into one). There have been times in European history when marriage was essentially secular, and times when religious ceremonies were legally required. Times when a woman had little say in who she married, and times when her consent was required no matter what the political pressures involved. Just like with _every_ other aspect of our culture, westerners have shown a willingness to adjust the terms of marriage when it became clear that we were causing harm without good reason. But eliminate the completely arbitrary concern over what’s under the pants of the person a guy wants to marry? O HELL NO TRADITION!

    Tradition by itself is no reason to continue perpetrating injustice. But even if it were, you invoke a solidity of tradition that has never existed.

  41. Carl from Chicago says:

    My God, 40+ comments!

    Nothing like gays, abortion, and guns to flush folks from the wood-pile.

    Frankly, I enjoy talking guns a lot more than the other two. I might suppose that one could context discussions on all those issues around freedom … but I am afraid I would be mistaken.

  42. John says:

    “I agree with you 100%. I thought the same thing when I was 20, now that I’m 38, not so much.”

    And yet those in their 20s in 2009 are not the same as those like you and I in 1991. In 1991 there wasn’t a single state where civil unions or SSM were legal, most states and localities had no anti-discrimination laws, gays were seen as being part of wider culture then as they increasingly are today, etc. There were no shows with “out” gays like Ellen, Will & Grace, etc. It may take a few more years but eventually DADT will be repealed and ENDA will be enacted. How much of a change do you think these actions will have upon the culture at large even without SSM? When you were 20 you never had to face acceptance of gays like those who are 20 today. No, comparisons between 2009 and 1991 on this issue have no merit.

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