Filed By Marti Abernathey | January 03, 2008 10:30 AM | comments
Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, marriage equality
Keep in mind this isn't a Human Rights Campaign dinner, but a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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Would Clinton or Edwards make the same forceful statement before an audience of non-gays? I think not.
My only issue here, and it's not a deal-breaker for me but it is a concern, is that he doesn't seem to get why the "M-word" matters just as much as the rights.
Here in NJ, where we've had civil unions for a couple of years now, insurance companies, hospitals, employers, and others are still reluctant or outright refusing to provide certain benefits to civil unioned couples, citing that those benefits are only for married spouses and that a civil union does not qualify. Yes, they are fought for and usually won in the end, but when a hospital is barring someone from seeing their spouse because they are not considered actually married by the state and therefore in the eyes of the hospital administration, by the time you can get a judge to do something about it, it can be too late.
We have a panel studying the issue for the governor's office here and thus far, their reports have been consistent: Civil unions don't work. That's why it looks like we're continuing to move toward (as it is called for a reason) full marriage rights.
Civil Unions as he proposes are not separate but equal, they are separate and unequal. Obama either doesn't get that or he doesn't want to get it. That bothers me, and it makes me less enthusiastic about him as a candidate than I might be otherwise.
Ditto on what Becky said; I was about to write the same thing. That NJ panel found that about 1/7 civil unions weren't being recognized in that state.
And yet Barack has said this about civil unions over and over and over again.
Maybe the question should have been "What can I do to get you to stop using that silly justification for capitulation?"
Not that it really matters to me; I'm not voting in the primaries, LGBT issues wouldn't change my vote since there's not much daylight between the candidates on those issues, and the whole primary process is anti-democratic, even more so than the general elections.
You know, I really do understand and appreciate the feelings and arguments made that there are significant problems with civil unions as opposed to marriage. I've pointed out some of them in a couple of my own writings on this site. On the other hand, I have, and I know many of you have, talked to folks who harbor absolutely nothing negative concerning our "lifestyle", the fact that we have the same capacity for and degree of commitment, depth of loving and caring, etc., that heterosexuals do. But they have a problem with the "M" word. And if they do, think about how the big bunch of folks who are less sympathetic to us when you bring up "same-sex marriage". I'm confident that with the passage of time (and not nearly as much as I once thought) and a change in generations that will disappear, and I know the absolute importance of continuing education.
I don't have the easy answer as to how to resolve the gulf between uneasiness over the "M-word" and the realities that civil unions as presently conceived and constituted are failing to effect full legal equality, as in the examples cited in New Jersey and elsewhere. Perhaps some kind of penalties for non-recognition (by hospitals and others) might be considered, but I don't think you get all that far with such punitive measures.
I am one of those folks in Indiana up to my ears fighting against the passage of a state constitutional amendment that would cut off (despite proponent claims to the contrary) legislative consideration of any kind of civil union or even lesser benefits. In this still farily "Red" state, that is akin to bailing water out of the boat before one can even begin to go on the offensive for positive legislation concerning these things. I think there are many in like states facing the same situation. I also know that some would denounce me as a "gradualist" or "incrementalist", putting me in the same category as those (which by the way do not include me)putting gays and lesbians ahead of transgender folks when it comes to ENDA. Well, OK, some things take time, Rome wasn't built in a day. Sometimes the temporary imperfect isn't necessarily the enemy of the permanent good. Give me a few minutes to find shelter from the sticks and stones.
The only answer to the question that woman asked Obama that would help his candidacy was that is he opposed to same sex marriage.
Americans do not believe that LGBT citizens deserve equal treatment.
Obama does not convince anyone that he is on the right side of the issue by explaining that he supports something that he can't give.
Wouldn't it be great if he went to Indiana and gave a speech about how unfair it is to amend a constitution against a minority group?
Wouldn't it be great if he went to Oregon and gave a speech about it is wrong to deny the implementation of the domestic partnership laws that inadequately compensate a minority group that has been amended against?
I hear from all over the place about how that would be suicide!! IT would be terrible!!
I won't put my citizenship on the back burner in order to help people that won't do one god damned thing to help me...he didn't take a risk answering her question. Half the people in the room don't understand or care about the rights of gay people.
I'm glad she asked the question. We should be asking more questions like it no matter how it makes a candidate work. I won't abdicate my citizenship in a gamble that some politician might do the right thing.
Talk about taking a risk...how many risks do we have to take every election cycle gambling on Democrats to do SOMETHING.
And they have done so little.
That's a good point Patrick. While I tend to lump Obama and Edwards together on the marriage-o-meter ("I support everything but the word!"), neither of them are actually fighting for us. It's as if they're willing to stand on the sidewalk and shout "Look out for that bus!" but there's no way in hell they're actually going to shove you out of the way. That would put them too close to danger...