What modern day segregation looks like

Karol Collymore

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of standing up for my friend as she got married. I have never been surrounded by more love vibrating through a room my life. Nothing could take away from that day. The only little piece that turned one tear into a sad one was that the people who helped raise her, two fantastic men who are equal parts love and strength, are not allowed to do the same. That, my friends, is what we call seperate, but equal.

There is a lot of rancor and disappointment today about the decision made by the California Supreme Court. Count me as one of the confused about why Americans get to sign petitions to put the option to discriminate against other humans on a ballot. We cannot and should not continue to treat human beings as unequal in the eyes of the law. Here's the thing: we should not get mad about California. We should get mad about Oregon. This is where we live, this is where we pay taxes, this is the place we call home. This is the place where we should begin again fighting the battle for equality. We can start the process of erasing the seperate but equal policies of our state. We cannot stand by and allow gays to be seperate but equal in our own home state.

Every second that my GLBT friends do not have the rights that I do, my rights are unsafe. Every second that you shake your head in disgust about the issue but remain quiet, your rights are unsafe. If Oregonians can get a petition together to have rights taken away from people, they can take yours, too. Oregon friends, pay attention, speak up and get engaged.

Comments

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    I don't for the life of me see what the problem is. Equal rights for all.

  • Oregon Bill (unverified)
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    Thanks Karol -

    And yes, get engaged. The folks who can have real impact are those who tithe to Mormon temples, and donate to Catholic and Christian churches. Even "progressive" congregations in the Archdiocese of Portland funnel your money into successful political efforts to maintain "separate and unequal" status for your gay and lesbian friends.

    ***Please quit propping up immoral, un-American religious efforts to disenfranchise my family and many others from our basic civil rights.

    We shall overcome - but YOU can help speed us along towards equality for all...

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Society denies the right of marriage in numerous instances.

    A father cannot marry his daughter.

    A mother cannot marry her son.

    Two men cannot marry three women.

    Siblings cannot marry each other.

    One man cannot marry nine women.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @Joe

    Please tell me, specifically, how two guys or two chicks getting married hurts you.

  • David McDonald (unverified)
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    It's too bad your tears of sorrow don't extend to the disability community, where a black man with a developmental disability was Tased and beaten to DEATH on Saturday night by 4 Salem police officers.

  • LeLo (unverified)
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    And no, Joe White, a man cannot marry his dog. (which usually ends a list like this.) Thanks so much for putting my committed 14-year relationship in line with your analogies including siblings getting married. Keepin' it classy, Joe, keepin' it classy.

    Thanks Karol for the great post: the tough thing about all of the outrage I see and hear about California, makes me wonder if Oregonians don't remember what they themselves passed not too long ago? Our own version of Prop 8. As usual, we lead the trends. Not such a nice trend to lead.

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    It's incumbent upon those of us who are straight to stand up for our gay brothers and sisters. They are due EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW.

    Until and unless the government gets out of the marriage business..this is the hand we're dealt. We cannot stand idly by while people in our community (and others) aren't afforded the same rights and opportunities.

    It's time to start talking to our friends, family and neighbors about this. It's morally and ethically wrong to allow this to go on.

  • (Show?)

    David, sad situation but not what we're talking about here and you know it. If you actually are concerned about the situation, click the Guest Column link.

    Joe White, you listed a long list of relationships in which relatives are not allowed to marry each other. You miss the point of the argument which is equal protection under the law and equal rights in entering into contractual relationships. No, parents and children can't do that (Woody Allen apparently excepted for some inexplicable reason) regardless of the gender. Non-relatives can marry, but same sex couples are not allowed to enter into a marriage contract in most states. That's discriminatory. That is the basis of the argument. I'm not sure what the basis of the anti-gay marriage argument is; it generally seems to be based in using religious doctrine to determine what should be allowed under U.S. law. Unfortunately for the Right, Leviticus is not part of the U.S. Constitution.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @David

    Where were you in the apartment when this was happening?

  • andy (unverified)
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    Karol, the issue has been voted on and litigated here in Oregon. Unless a bunch of people shift their viewpoint then there isn't much point in putting it up for another vote.

    You can thank the Mean Girls for screwing this issue up in Oregon.

  • Nead (unverified)
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    Karol, do you ever write about anything but gay sex?

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    Andy:

    A shift in viewpoint on this issue has already started. It will continue as those of us who are straight have the conversation with our families, friends and neighbors about the fact that our fellow Americans aren't afforded the same rights and responsibilities.

    Even my very conservative, evangelical-religious parents believe that this is wrong, and I plan to continue the discussion with them. They originally voted for M36. I believe that their views are absolutely shifting.

    Nead: Go be a douche elsewhere.

  • andy (unverified)
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    Karol,

    Marriage is not an inalienable right, at least not in Oregon. Rather it is a privilege granted by the State. The State has the ability to set rules on who can be given a marriage license just like they have rules on driver's licenses and building permits.

    There are lots of restrictions on marriage licenses. Typically people under a certain age are not allowed to marry nor or people who are closely related to each other.

    So I'm not sure exactly what your point is. Do you really think marriage is an inalienable right and that there shouldn't be any restrictions at all placed on it? Or do you think that prohibiting 12 year olds from getting married is a good idea but we should drop the restriction around gender?

    If you really believe marriage is a fundamental right then how are you going to prevent a 50 year old man from marrying his 12 year old niece? Are you going to discriminate against 12 year old girls who want to get married? Throwing around the words like discrimination and equal rights without bothering to think about the issue is why people don't take you very seriously.

  • Nead (unverified)
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    Carla, Blow me.

    Karol needs to expand her horizons - see if she can write about something other than gay sex.

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    Unbelievable...

    Instead of thoughtful dialogue, the scourge of "man marries dog" re-emerges, and rather than spirited debate, we get "blow me".

    Nice touch righties - clearly you are sore winners who have little ability to comprehend the issue in a circumspective manner. It is easier for you to sling the stones out from behind your ridiculous cutain of fear and paranoia.

    You forgot to mention bathrooms... you are slipping.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Hey dudes,

    If you can't make an intelligent argument against equal rights there must not be an intelligent argument against equal rights.

    Keep doing what you are doing and 21% will seem like a pipe dream in 2012.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    ”I'm not sure what the basis of the anti-gay marriage argument is; it generally seems to be based in using religious doctrine to determine what should be allowed under U.S. law.”

    And that is exactly the position espoused by President Obama when asked to explain his opposition to gay marriage during the campaign.

    BHO gives cover to many Americans who are uncomfortable with anything other than traditional “one man, one woman” marriage by basing his opinion in his religious beliefs.

    If it’s a good enough argument for BHO, it is going to be good enough for lots of Americans.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    As long as we're into man-on-dog sex, we really ought to get Rick Santorum in this thread. He's the expert, after all.

  • knotmyline (unverified)
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    I read that the court narrowly interpreted Proposition 8. The narrowness I can discern is the minds of the evil religious bigoted judges that upheld it. Sick bigoted deadly evil imitations of humans is what they are.

  • Oregon Bill (unverified)
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    You can thank the Mean Girls for screwing this issue up in Oregon.

    No - you can thank the Archdiocese of Portland. (And all those folks who contributed to a Catholic church...)

    Archdiocese of Portland (home to St. Andrews, Holy Names, Holy Family, and funded by their "progressive" parishioners): the number one financial supporter of Measure 36. Stop giving them money for round #2.

  • riverat (unverified)
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    The reason you can't marry an underage person or your dog for that matter is that they are unable to give informed consent to the marriage. The presumption is that they are not competent (in the legal sense) to make that kind of decision. The age limit is somewhat arbitrary as people mature at different rates but it doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

    Incest is illegal largely because of the negative results of inbreeding. This is why close relatives are not allowed to marry.

    Neither of these problems apply specifically to gay marriage.

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    So, Joe...

    You talk of restrictions, but ponder this -- two adults who love each other and don't harm a hair on your bigoted head can't get married BUT in 26 states, it’s legal to marry your cousin. Going on, in Kansas and Massachusetts, 12 year old girls can get married with their parent’s approval; in Mississippi, the age of consent for girls is 15. Someone can also be a horrific criminal -- you can murder, you can rape, forfeiting all basic citizenship rights, yet you can still marry. Perhaps among most abhorrent, in all but four states, a person can adopt a child, raise the child, and then once the age of consent is reached, marry the child. Yes, marry his or her adopted child. Only, of course, if the child is of the opposite sex.

    So, if you want to concentrate your small mind on something that actually will benefit society, try working on limiting the marriage rights of some sick-ass pedophile who would marry a child. Hmm?

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    Nead: You confirmed my initial assessment. Thanks for the verification.

    MP is right, btw. If Republicans continue down this road, the erosion will continue.

    And if the Catholic heirarchy continues to fund anti-equality efforts, they'll find themselves even further marginalized from their laity.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Darn it Carla

    I don't know if I like you agreeing with me. Kinda throws off my mojo. :-)

  • travesti (unverified)
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    Here is a very helpful summary that was passed on to me by a friend.

  • David McDonald (unverified)
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    I'm sorry, it's just that this post came to my attention through a google alert of "civil rights Oregon", so I figured commenting on civil rights was appropriate. You do realize that one group of individuals shouldn't be allowed to co-opt the term "civil rights" don't you?

  • Nead (unverified)
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    "Nead: You confirmed my initial assessment. Thanks for the verification."

    Well, your initial assessment was wrong. I was mainly just wondering if Karol writes about anything but Gay Sex? I really don't care who or what you or anybody else marries. I don't care. I just seems to be that the only topic Karol seems able to write about is Gay Sex.

  • Lance (unverified)
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    I don't think this issue should even get to the point of debating gay-marriage vs. no gay-marriage. How about having the government leave the ‘religious’ institution of marriage up to the religions themselves, and just create a government entity of a civil union that covers everyone equally. I’ve always felt that this would make much more sense than trying to argue with different moral viewpoints until we are all blue in the face.

  • Old Ducker (unverified)
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    Sometimes the answers to socially divisive questions are so simple they are overlooked. Homosexual marriage is one of them.

    Question: What do Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Lysander Spooner and Abraham Lincoln have in common?

    Answer: None of them had marriage licenses.

    Reason: State licensing of marriages didn't exist until after the Civil War where it was instituted for the sole purpose of regulating mixed race marriage as a result of the 14th Amendment. Any old copy of Black's Law Dictionary will provide the appropriate definition.

    So there you have it. Get rid of marriage licenses; problem solved.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @Lance and Old D

    Couldn't agree me. Civil unions to convey the rights and privileges. Any type of event, religious or not, to party with friends and family.

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    Nead needs to pay attention. When he wrote "I was mainly just wondering if Karol writes about anything but Gay Sex?" he demonstrated that he has no idea at all what Karol writes about.

    DISCRIMINATION is what she writes about ALL THE TIME. And unlike the many bigots in our society, she understands that discrimination against gay people is as immoral as discrimination against ethnic minorities.

    Equal protection of the law and the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are radical concepts. They were radical when they were announced by a bunch of radical revolutionaries some 200 plus years ago and they are radical today. They are too radical for the holdouts of our day [Republicans] but we will overcome them just as the early American radicals overcame the backward-looking colonial crowd to establish these United States of America.

  • travesti (unverified)
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    Thank you very much for this useful article and the comments. I love this site as it contains good

  • Brig. Alistair Duckworth-Lewis (unverified)
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    Very American. Tastes like chicken. Looks like identity politics.

    How do you discuss this with a crowd that is confusing behavior and attitude? "Discrimination" is behavior. Most are irritated at attitude.

    Give Karol a break. It's clearly been the blog's managerial policy to have an identity editor, or she wouldn't have been elevated above all the other writers. If the Mariners need a good relief pitcher, and they sign a high priced batter, you have a beef with the management. What sense does it make to whine at the batsman for always thinking the situation calls for big hitting? That's what he does. Argue with the paymasters.

    • Ali
  • The Prince of Whales (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | May 26, 2009 2:12:43 PM

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    I don't for the life of me see what the problem is. Equal rights for all.

    The problem is that that has the same force of law as the last episode of the Green Hornet!!!

    Real slow, for history challenged Americans. The Declaration is not a part of US law. It has never been made a part of US law, because our leaders are no different that the people they overthrew!

    Please think about that, particularly when you feel inspired to insult France, as is inevitable in progressive debate, where they HAVE codified the Declaration!!! That is PRECISELY what is always called "unworkable" here.

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