Three-Fifths

Kristin Flickinger

This week, Rep. Dennis Richardson introduced his latest version of a "Reciprocal Benefits" bill.

Unlike the 2005 version, the 2007 version would grant two people who can't legally marry roughly 300 rights. That sure seems better than the dozen or so rights he proposed as a compromise last time. Sure seems better...

I mean, Rep. Richardson has been an outspoken opponent of GLBT rights, but he seems so generous this time around. There are about 500 rights granted through marriage in Oregon. So that's only 200 rights that non-married people wouldn't be entitled to. That's still 300 out of 500 rights. Three rights for every five.

Three-fifths of the rights that heterosexual, married couples are entitled to, in fact.

Three-fifths.

Interesting. I remember hearing that number somewhere else. I can't remember how that all turned out. Can someone remind me? It all worked out in the end - didn't it? Didn't it?! I'm suddenly not feeling so good about all of this.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Weird. That's the second time that one of Kristin's posts hasn't fully published. Not sure why that is. Anyway, comments work now.

  • Bill (unverified)
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    Hi Kristin -

    The "three-fifths compromise" was worked out between Northern and Southern states arguing over how to count slaves in the U.S. Constitution during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. It was apparently agreed that a slave would be worth 3/5's of a human being in order to distribute taxes and apportion members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Northerners only wanted to count "free citizens," but Southerners wanted slaves to boost their population totals, to gain more tax money and political clout. Of course, as 3/5's of a person, slaves couldn't, for example, vote. But their owners could...

    There was also an earlier amendment to the Articles of Confederation (pre-Constitution), in which the North tried to count slaves as full persons and the South worked hard to make them invisible. Why? Because the purpose of THAT count was to figure out each state's wealth (population) - and how much money in taxes they'd have to pay...

    It took the Civil War (and the 13th and 14th Amendments) to change it and decide that: 1. Slavery is bad and 2. Devaluing human beings is never a good move...

    It's a shame that Representative Richardson (not to mention about 3/5's of all full person Oregonians) still can't handle #2.

  • Bill (unverified)
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    Weird. That's the second time that one of Kristin's posts hasn't fully published.

    Apparently you're only about 3/5's of person around here, too!

  • (Show?)

    Devaluing human beings is never a good move...

    Thank you Bill. I suppose I could have just said that. Sometimes my sarcasm gets in the way of brevity.

  • Jesse B. (unverified)
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    It's a great article about a ridiculous concept.

    Perhaps we need better emphasis on History in schools.

  • Faolan (unverified)
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    Uhm Yah, History? That's the last thing people like Bush and his ilk want us to know about. Heck I'll even be an equal opportunity troublemaker. There are some Democrats who probably don't want the general public to know much about history either. I'll even go so far as to say that there are probably more of those Dems then I'd like to think there are.

    But yes, I think we need more history in our schools. We also DESPERATELY need more civics classes in school. It is a tragedy that many of our children don't know how our form of government works.

  • (Show?)

    What I would really love to see is a line-by-line Q&A through those 500 rights, and make the opponents articulate their opposition to each of the rights they would not accord to same sex couples -- just lay the pure ugliness, injustice, and barbarism of it all out there in plain English for everyone to see. And maybe show a few of the erstwhile opponents how irrational that opposition is.

    A girl can dream, anyway.

  • Kade (unverified)
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    Hear hear, Stephanie V. I'd like to get someone to address all the rights denied by good old Measure 36 one by one as well, while we're at it. That would take a while....

    Nice post, Kristin.

  • Mike (unverified)
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    Holy cow. Maybe the only way to get these people to understand that gays/lesbians also have to pay taxes,are law obeying folk and have feelings...and that is to hit em' where it hurts them...their pay checks. So gays/lesbians shouldn't have to pay taxes until they get the same rights as everyone. Or set up a bill where we, the voters can check off what we would like to pay with taxes. To have roads paved, fish saved, etc...

  • bill (unverified)
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    How did that 40 acres thing work out ?

  • (Show?)

    make the opponents articulate their opposition ... just lay the pure ugliness, injustice, and barbarism of it all out there in plain English for everyone to see.

    Those attending the Salem hearings got a taste. Thankfully a few public officials called some out on the worst bigotries.

    I find it significant - given prevailing social assumptions - that more Christian pastors spoke out in favor of fairness and equality for GLBT people, as embodied in these acts, than against. Too many assume all Christians are bigoted against GLBT people, and that's simply wrong. There are many, many open and affirming Christian communities in Oregon and across the world.

    hit em' where it hurts them...their pay checks ... gays/lesbians shouldn't have to pay taxes until they get the same rights as everyone.

    I'd likely be satisfied with even an across-the-board 2/5's discount on my (9+ year) partner and I's taxes, relative to what the married couples up in first class pay (grin).

  • Bill (unverified)
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    This is from Bill, not "bill" above (!)

    I understand that Representative Richardson is a devout Mormon who once proclaimed, while debating health care costs, that he couldn't understand why a pregnant woman might have to see a doctor more than once...

    He needs to study more than civics and history!

    Thanks Kristin for your post

  • (Show?)

    It is a tragedy that many of our children don't know how our form of government works.

    It's a worse one that so many of their parents don't know either.

    Excellent post, Kristin. Great way to frame this.

  • (Show?)

    This is from Bill, not "bill" above (!)

    Administrative note for both "Bill" and "bill". Can you both please provide more than that as your name? Doesn't matter if it's "Bill X" or "Bill from Tigard" or "Bill the Plumber" or whatever... just more than Bill. (Of course, a full and real name is recommended to create credibility.)

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Faolan:

    There are some Democrats who probably don't want the general public to know much about history either. I'll even go so far as to say that there are probably more of those Dems then I'd like to think there are.

    Bob T:

    How brave of you to say that. Take my word for it -- there are more Democrats like that out there than you'd like to think are there. It's a problem with authoritarian mindsets, not party affiliation.

    Faolan:

    But yes, I think we need more history in our schools.

    Bob T:

    I'd like to see more accurate history of the progressive (so-called) era, particularly the real reason that much regulatory legislation was passed and who benefitted (too many people still think that the railroads fought regulation and that Bell Telephone never had to fight to keep its near monopoly even after their patents expired). And then there's the meat-packing regulations....

    faolan:

    We also DESPERATELY need more civics classes in school. It is a tragedy that many of our children don't know how our form of government works.

    Bob T:

    Or how incrementalism in bad Supreme Court decisions created precedents out of thin air that were then used to justify more statism under the guise of "helping the people" (one ultimate result being the Kelo decision, no thanks to property rights haters who looked the other way, and even cheered, for decades until it was too late).

    Bob Tiernan

  • Luvlife (unverified)
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    Kristin- Clearly you listened in civics class. Good point.

    If the 300 rights in the reciprocal beneficiaries bill is all that anybody needs I would like to ask Dennis Richardson to give up 200 of his rights that he enjoys because of his marital status.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    bill:

    How did that 40 acres thing work out ?

    Bob T:

    Lefties like to talk about this one, but as soon as a black person starts to build a home on that 40 acres the leftie "land control" police will bulldoze the frame, and then kill the guy if he persists. It's a very phony issue for the left.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    bill:

    How did that 40 acres thing work out ?

    Bob T:

    Also, if anyone still seeking that 40 acres thinks the left/progressives are on their side, they need to realize that the left/progs will force them into 800 Sq Ft apartments in high density areas instead of letting them have the opportunity to acquire 40 acres.

    The ultimate "Smart Growth" world can be found in the film, "Soylent Green".

    Bob Tiernan

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