Trying To Circumvent Oregon's Voters On Same-Sex Marriage

Liberals are great about talking about respecting everyone and treating them all equally, except when people don't agree with them; then, the libs decide don't have to respect them at all. Today's editorial in the Fish Wrapper on equality for gays and lesbians shows how liberals and gay activists have no respect for the voters of Oregon.

In 2004, Oregon, along with numerous other states, by a large majority (57% to 43%) passed Measure 36, which defined marriage in the state constitution as being between one man and one woman. Ever since then, the libs have been doing everything they can to make an end run around the clearly stated wish of the voters and find some sort of gay marriage alternative.

Today's editorial is once again claiming to promote equality for gays and lesbians.

Forty years ago, white Americans argued incessantly over the dinner table about whether America should, or even could, outlaw racial discrimination.

Or, as people put it back then, "legislate" morality.

Some farsighted business leaders, however, had already zoomed past this debate, leaving everyone else in the dust. By 1953, Thomas J. Watson Jr. had legislated morality, at least for his own company, IBM. In a historic letter treasured to this day by the company, he promised IBM would not discriminate on the basis of color or creed.

It was the right thing to do, but it was also savvy. As Fortune magazine reported last year, IBM was then planning new plants in Kentucky and North Carolina and wanted to hire the best people it could find. There was no room in Watson's business plan for racial prejudice, and no room even for ambivalence or a strategic silence.

Today, we're in broad agreement as a nation about the need for strong laws to protect racial and religious minorities against discrimination. Yet some states, astonishingly even Oregon, are still waffling about whether it might be OK, kind of, sort of, to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. Well, of course, it's not OK.

And yet all over our state, it's still legal to close doors to gays and lesbians, reject them from housing, fire them or not hire them, or refuse service to them in restaurants, simply because they are gay or lesbian. Circa 2007, this is incredible.

As usual, the editors make the tired old comparison to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. The problem is, it is not a good comparison. Many blacks (granted, not all), take umbrage with this comparison, and for good reason. For one, they didn't have a choice to be black (and until you find me proof that homosexuality is genetic - can you say "twin studies"? - you can't say it is). Second, blacks were some of the poorest people in the country,, and were not allowed to have anything but menial jobs, while gays are some of the most highly educated and wealthy people around. I could keep going, but I won't.

Here's where the disdain for the voters comes in.

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 2, which would outlaw such discrimination. Bring on this debate, but understand, Oregon has debated this issue for going on 30 years.

At long last, in this session, legislators may finally stop debating it and approve protections for gays and lesbians, along with a companion bill that would create Vermont-style civil unions.

You like the way they just slide that line in about the Vermont-style civil unions? That's probably because they realize that these civil unions aren't just about basic rights; it's about making sure that heterosexual married people don't have anything more than the gays, nothing more. For example, here is a brief description from the Stowe, VT web page:

A civil union is a legal relationship that provides same-sex couples in Vermont all the benefits, protections and responsibilities under law as are granted to spouses in a marriage.

Look at the rights and priviliges of a civil union in Vermont:

Parties to a civil union will have all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under Vermont law as are granted to spouses in a marriage, and will be responsible for the support of one another to the same degree and in the same manner as prescribed under law for married persons.

The following is a non-exclusive list of some of the legal benefits, protections and responsibilities of spouses which will apply in like manner to parties to a civil union:

  1. laws relating to title, tenure, descent and distribution, intestate succession, waiver of will, survivorship, or other incidents of the acquisition, ownership, or transfer, inter vivos or at death, of real or personal property, including eligibility to hold real and personal property as tenants by the entirety;
  2. causes of action related to or dependent upon spousal status, including an action for wrongful death, emotional distress, loss of consortium, dramshop, or other torts or actions under contracts reciting, related to, or dependent upon spousal status;
  3. probate law and procedure, including nonprobate transfer;
  4. adoption law and procedure;
  5. group insurance for state employees and continuing care contracts under;
  6. spouse abuse programs;
  7. prohibitions against discrimination based upon marital status;
  8. victim's compensation rights;
  9. workers' compensation benefits;
  10. laws relating to emergency and nonemergency medical care and treatment, hospital visitation and notification, including the Patient's Bill of Rights and the Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights;
  11. terminal care documents, and durable power of attorney for health care execution and revocation;
  12. family leave benefits;
  13. public assistance benefits under state law;
  14. laws relating to taxes imposed by the state or a municipality;
  15. laws relating to immunity from compelled testimony and the marital communication privilege;
  16. the homestead rights of a surviving spouse and homestead property tax allowance;
  17. laws relating to loans to veterans;
  18. the definition of family farmer;
  19. laws relating to the making, revoking and objecting to anatomical gifts by others;
  20. state pay for military service;
  21. application for absentee ballot;
  22. family landowner rights to fish and hunt;
  23. legal requirements for assignment of wages; and
  24. affirmance of relationship.

I suppose married heterosexuals can get some sort of pleasure that they have to pay the same taxes:

For the purpose of state income taxes, parties to a civil union will be taxed in the same manner as married persons.

So these are the Vermont-style civil unions the Fish Wrapper proposes; same-sex marriage under a different name, even though marriage was defined by a large majority of Oregon voters as being between one man and one woman.

But Senate Bill 2 also has some other serious flaws:

  1. It contains inadequate religious protections - Religious organizations such as churches or private schools could be legally forced to hire people based on their sexual orientation
  2. It allows judges to define the primary purpose of a church - If a church is sued for not hiring someone based on their secual orientation, te determine fault, the judge must decide whether the position in question is part of the primary purpose of the church or religious organization.
  3. SB2 offers a broad definition of sexual orientation and gender identity - It includes not only gays and lesbians, but bi-sexuals, cross dressers, transsecuals, and other forms of gender identity.
  4. It includes places of public accomodation - Public facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms or other gender specific facilities would be forced to allow access to transgendered individuals or face legal action.
  5. More "diversity" education - SB2 requires a "program of public education calulated to eliminate attitudes upon which practices of discrimination because of sexual orientation are based" (SB2, section 2, paragraph 1)
  6. Puts businesses at risk of erroneous lawsuits - Suits involving alleged discrimination would force businesses to defend themselves. Even if a business prevails, SB2 does not guarantee they will be compensated for the thousands of dollars spent on legal fees.

So not only does this bill grant special minority status to gays, lesbians, et all, but it also threatens the very religious freedoms that this country was founded on, along with mandating changes in education, affecting public facilities like rstrooms and locker rooms, and raises serious business concerns.

But for the Fish Wrapper and the liberal nut jobs in the Oregon legislature, the will of the voters only matters when it agrees with their point of view.  They can dress up the issue as equal rights all they want, but what it comes down to is that they want to shove their activist agenda down society's throat at the cost of everything that our society has been based on for hundreds of years.

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